Bank of America and Equator (Formerly REOTrans)…Short Sale Nirvana?

Update: Bank of America Ramping up Their Short Sale Program

I am sure you are all thinking that I am in outer space mentioning nirvana and Bank of America Short Sales in the same sentence. But before you think I am crazy, I did have a most enlightening day on Monday that led me to believe that maybe…just maybe…we can achieve short sale nirvana. My day started as a normal Monday usually does in Northwest Florida…phone calls, emails, more phone calls and a hurricane (Ida) looming hundreds of miles away. As I was going through my voice-mails, I had message from a gentlemen at Equator (formerly asking to speak with me. I immediately called the number back with my mind racing as to why I would be receiving a call from Equator…was it the numerous blog posts on Bank of America Short Sales and the new Equator relationship or just someone wanting to speak with me about the account I have with them. I called the number and gentlemen by the name of Chris answered the phone. Once we got past introductions it was clear Chris was very interested in learning what my understanding was of the Equator and Bank of America relationship as it pertains to short sales. I explained how I had a few short sales transitioned from the Bank of America system to the Equator system and it appeared there was a disconnect as to what was the next step would be in the short sale process. From my blog it appeared that a few others were experiencing the same situation where Bank of America representatives did not know the next steps with Equator or how to make the short sale proceed forward. What I learned next was not shocking, but was extremely interesting and made me hopeful that short sale nirvana can be achieved…just when? First, a little bit about Equator (formerly…Equator is a technology platform.  They are the leader in automating the Default industry. They are the chosen platform for 17 of the top 25 lenders nationwide and have handled over 63 million transactions that represents over $67 billion in transactions. For Bank of America they have spent almost 8 months building a Bank of America Short Sale Portal. If you click the link you will see the Bank of America Short Sale Processing System. Yes, that is correct…Bank of America has a short sale processing system built just for them that will completely and dramatically change the way they handle and process short sales…and it is powered by the Equator technology platform. This is the same platform that has processed millions of transactions and has been completely customized for short sales. Well that is the good news. The not so surprising news is that Bank of America does not know how to utilize the system yet. They are so overwhelmed with the volume of foreclosures, mortgage modifications and short sales that they are not able to adequately train and effectively roll out this system…a system that could be short sale nirvana if there is such a thing. Let’s assume this is short sale nirvana, how is the system supposed to work? Pay attention so you can help train your Bank of America loss mitigation specialist on how the process works:

  1. Bank of America calls the borrower and authenticates the borrower by verifying loan numbers, contact information and etc.
  2. Bank of America representative then REGISTERS and INVITES the borrower to the Bank of America Short Sale Processing System via EMAIL (this is where the wheels fell off on the short sales we have on this system)
  3. Bank of America Short Sale Processing System Portal will send an email to the borrow where the borrowerr will authenticate their access to the portal
  4. Borrow then selects their agent in the system (you are registered with right?)
  5. The portal will then email the agent associated with the borrower and their specific short sale
  6. Agent and borrow can then upload files and have full insight into the process and next steps of the short sale. No guessing, no nagging, no waiting on hold for hours upon hours
  7. BPO agents, Appraisers, Investors, Fannie Mae, PMI and others are all linked into the system so the short sale will process smoothly and efficiently

Equator is working on allowing the Real Estate Agents to initiate the short sale process and authenticate the borrower and invite the borrower to the system. This will greatly simplify the process since some borrowers may be adverse to using the system and learning how to use the portal. So how is this nirvana? Equator has standardized the short sale process and developed proven work flow to manage the process…yes a standardized process and work flow…could you imagine having that with Bank of America on a short sale? Or any of the big service providers? Many of the evaluation components such as BPOs and Appraisals would be initiated via the Short Sale portal and will speed the process up from 7 to 10 days to 24 hours. Right now I would be ecstatic for 7 to 10 day turn around…24 hours would be nirvana! Investor, PMI and Fannie Mae approval would be automated and reduce processing time down from months to days. All of these companies have already worked with Equator on millions of REO transactions so the systems, processes and work flow are in place and proven to work. They are not reinventing the wheel, they have optimized and customized the system to specifically handle short sales. According to Chris 7 other large lenders will be launching a similar Short Sale Portal in the next 3 months. Which is exciting news as we are all anticipating short sales to continue to flood the market for at least another two years. As my conversation was ending with Chris Saitta, I asked him what his role was at Equator. He replied, “I am the CEO.” I was pleasantly surprised that Chris would take the time out of his busy schedule to personally call me and discuss the Bank of America Short Sale Portal and how it could significantly reduce the short sale processing time. Many thanks Chris for your time. On a side note: Equator’s call center has been completely overwhelmed with calls regarding Bank of America Short Sales. Please keep in mind that Equator is a technology platform for handling short sales. They do not negotiate or approve short sales for Bank of America. It would be like calling Quickbooks to find out where your tax refund from the IRS is. Let’s put pressure on Bank of America to get their loss mitigation specialists trained and knowledgeable on the Equator system. Let’s use this system already. I want short sale nirvana!


  1. says


    Great blog. I also believe that training at Bank of America is the main issue. REOTrans/Equator has created a terrific platform, but it won’t help if BOA employees aren’t trained to use it. Maybe you and I should start a side business and train BOA employees. I have trained approx 10 so far, I might as well get paid for it!

    We have 3(our last until the issues are fixed)short sales going with BOA that have all exceed 6 months in processing with no end in sight…what a joke. 2 of the 3 have been “escalated” to a Phase 2 negotiator 3 times. Not sure what the disconnect is at BOA. Other lenders are experiencing the high volume and we are achieving short sale approvals in 1 1/2 months or less…our most recent in 2 weeks.

    Anyway…great post. I will check back later if I have any “new” news that would add value to the discussion.


    • says


      Great post. I totally agree with the training of Bank of America employees. I guess they are too busy to stop and get trained or employee turnover is so high they can’t hang on to the good employees. Maybe we should have a national “Bring your Realtor to work day.” We can all go to Bank of America and get our short sales done!

      • David says

        I agree that BOA must be to busy for training, but it’s the consumer who takes the hit for their down fall. I have been waiting on for a response for 90 days and all you can get from them is that ” were getting closer” which does nothing for someone who’s given notice to vacate their apartment. Were tired of hearing its been Escalated!!!!!!! Get these people Trained.

        • Kim says

          We put in an offer on a Bank of America short sale home in the middle of May. The offer was accepted by the sellers and we are now waiting on approval from the bank. We had the inspection done and everything came back fine. We also have our mortgage in place. When we first put in the offer the listing agent told us the process shouldn’t take long and told us to make the closing date June 28th. June 18th the listing agent told us the bank said to move the closing date to July 10th since they think June would be a little tight to make. What does that mean? Do you think everything is going to get approved? We offered a little over asking price because we asked for some seller assist so our offer evens out to asking price. (the bank actually told the listing agent what to list the house at)

  2. NormP says

    This system has totally disenfranchised the borrower who do not have computers and as a result, their short sale purchase offers will ‘fall through the cracks’. I will be not very surprised when these homes fall into foreclosure and the judge hearing the case finds on behalf of the defendants against BOA.

  3. BoA Manager says

    I find this article very interesting and I am glad you brought up this topic. First, let me disclose that I am a Bank of America associate in a management position in the REO department. I work with our REO realtors everyday through…..(and this should come as no surprise) REOTrans. Since February of 2008 we have used REOTrans as our platform for our REO process. We implemented it at one of our busiest times when acquisitions were at their peak. Our training was conducted by the REOTrans staff themselves and even provided us their staff onsite for the first week or two of our roll out. REOTrans which has just recently become Equator has provided us an invaluable tool where we can effectively handle heavy volumes of REO properties. Now, does that mean it will work the same way for Short Sales? The answer is no. The Short Sale department decided that instead of uploading their entire portfolio of files into Equator, they would only on board new files. So they are still extremely backed up with previous offers. So backed up that once a week our REO Asset Managers spend half of their day working on short sale files to assist. It will take them some time to get used to the new work flow process and get through their backlog of files on the old system. In six months from now, they should be running just as efficiently as the REO team.

    • dave says

      ya right bofa short sales /night mare team we have everything in boxes closing was last wed and suposedly the system they are using secrettt system /equator is having problems truth is theres alota lazy people out there people wanna hang out talk go to lunch and shop online but no work

      • says


        There are always not so good people working on short sales and they make the process a nightmare. If you get a good team on all fronts the short sale moves easily through the Equator system. A good short sale negotiator at Bank of America makes the world of a difference.

        Craig B.

  4. Rob says

    Band of america has been so slow on Approving Short Sale.
    we found a home that we wanted to buy and its been 4 months without no firm word from the bank. Seller Agent is tired of BOAs response which noone can understand. They assign a negotiator and then switch without any and asks us to wait, and change the system.
    Seller,buyer and even my patience Agent is getting frustrated.
    Can someone also share their story??? or had any luck???

    • diana dunn says

      its ben awhile now and my realtor has a buyer for my house for a short sale and all the papers they wanted have been sent to them and they did a financial thing 2 times and keep saying we are pre approved and yet they arent telling us if we are going to be approved. they have till aug and then the man who wants the house will probably walk away and they will foreclose me. what do i do. no matter how many times and how many people my realtor talks to she gets nowhere with them. its like we are being ignored. help diana dunn

  5. says

    I have an open short sale with bank of America and did a follow up to see if we have been assigned yet. I know they are switching to the Equator system which is awesome, streamline with technology is a wonderful thing. Before the short sale was reopened I asked the question “am I better off going to Equator or stay on the same path as all doc are on file”, B of A replay. Stay on the same format. With doing my every other day follow up I was just informed by a Bank of America rep that I would be better off closing the account and reopen with Equator. What!!!! That means another month down the drain???? I was informed that once the account is assigned it will be closed by the assigner because it’s not in Equator and the process will start all over again. Has anyone else heard of this……………???

  6. says

    BoA Manager says: In six months from now, they should be running just as efficiently as the REO team.

    I say:  The proof is in the pudding.   BoA Manager –  Call 866.880.1232  or any of the other 15 phone numbers passed out by BOA employees like Halloween candy and see just how close you are to getting this system perfected! Only about 2/3 of BoA employees even know Equator exists let alone what it does.  

  7. SofieNYC says

    Its been BOA hell for me since I have started my short sale 9/2009.  It took me a year to have BOA even approve to take a short sale.  I got buyers mid month 9/2009 and the nightmare began.   BOA Agents not knowing a thing or how to answer questions, chasing my tail endlessly, sleepless nights, lawyers breathing down my neck.  I moved over to equator just before Christmas, an agent said it would be the miracle i was loooking for.  I hesitated thinking it was another BOA scam to keep me hanging.  I stil think its absolutely ridicoulous how BOA runs.  I thought i was the only one having the rug pulled from under me every day.  Im exhausted and scared I m going to lose the buyers who have so patiently been waiting FIVE WHOLE MONTHS.  My agent and I got pissed off and spend hours on equator (not so bad when you get the hang of it) uploaded all the assigned tasks and in one short week i got (FINALLY ) welcome letter and the damn file is being reviewed for value.  Did i mention the only thing BOA has been able to do is BPOs, three of them to be precise, apparently someone has nothing better to do.  And when I ask BOA to verify HOW someone got into the property (vacant) i get NO ANSWER. We are safely assuming some idiots behind a counter are punching out deskop BPOs while playing tic-tac-toe.
    I wonder if there is an end in sight, Im terribly losing my mind, lost all my finances cause when i was current BOA didnt want to hear about it!  Im hoping Equator is the light at the end of my long abysmal tunnel.

    • says

      Sofie –

      It is a very frustrating process. Equator will help move things along faster for you. In response to your BPO comment…many BPOs are external or drive-by BPOs. Sometimes that is all investors require for that specific property and typically is standard practice when they do the initial valuation of the property at the start of the short sale analysis.

      If you property is vacant and your buyers are renting…you may want to look into having the buyers rent the property they are purchasing while the short sale is being negotiated. There are many advantages to this and I would discuss the possibility with your listing agent.


     I'm currently working on a short sale process with a property 
    October = Offer made…….skip ahead after appraisals, etc 
    December 20 = the pending 2nd apprasial was received by bank/negotiator
    December 24 = Negotiator sends email saying purchase price of $270,000 is acceptable.
    December 29 = New contract with approved price and HUD was delivered to bank/negotiator
    January 8, 2010 = Contact a "supervisor" and bank says negotiator closed file DECEMBER 2nd!  They say they will have to re-open file.
    January 14 = Still no negotiator assigned when all docs are confirmed and purchase price approved.  Sellers and buyers are waiting for payoff.  Closing attorneys are waiting for payoff.
    Basically, the file was closed by mistake on Dec. 2.    The buyer's loan is clear to close at the APPROVED PRICE. 
    The only thing we need currently is the final payoff info and letter to close from BANK OF AMERICA. 
    The buyers are about to walk away as they have been dealing with this for several months.
    Is there anything you can suggest for me to do?????
    Anything at all?  

  9. Lisa says

    I have several with BofA and they were supposedly approved or almost approved and then canceled pending the seller to notify them they want the short sales.  My clients haven't wanted a thing to do with BofA and so haven't returned any phone calls.  So hence another 45 day delay until I finally reached a BofA rep who explained the program to us.  I've registered but find it extremely difficult in a few ways.  (long term benefit may outweigh these complaints but looking for some tips or how I can merge my business into this system).  My broker does not allow us to work on our short sale listing (she wants us getting more business and servicing our clients).  So we use another real estate brokerage who negotiates the short sales for us.  They basically collect everyone's data, submit the package and then follow up on the process (saves us a ton of time).  I don't see where I can add them so they can upload and follow up on the info.  Seems like they should be the "agent" because I have no desire to waste my time holding up the process.  I'm also not very computer literate.  We also thought of getting our transaction coordinator to help with the uploading but it's the same situation, there's no place to give her access. Last, two of my transactions are sellers who do not even have an email address.  Once due to them being of hispanic decent and don't believe in the Internet and the other because they are displaced with no Internet access.  Both don't have jobs with an address either.  They both just ask me "can't you handle it for me".  I saw this mentioned above with who may be excluded.  Has anyone gotten around this and how?  Thanks for your blog. I'm lost and frustrated because we are starting from scratch.

    • says

      Lisa –

      It is a frustrating process. I completely agree with your Broker. You are a Realtor and your job is to service clients needs with buying and selling property. This is why I hire a full time short sale negotiator. It frees me up to do what I do best and that is market and sell Real Estate. Obviously I have an intimate knowledge of the process because I am involved on a daily basis with all of my short sales and manage the process. However I am not the one on the phone for endless hours every day with the lender and putting together hundreds of pages to a short sale package.

      If you are interested on how I structure my business with a short sale negotiator please feel free to email me or call me. My negotiator works with a number of Realtors.

  10. Ms. Kelly King says

    I'm reading all the above stories, and I'm feeling everyone's pain. But my story is worse! I wrote an offer on a short-sale for a first-time homebuyer in JUNE 2009!!! My buyer is still hanging in there, but we are both sooooo frustrated.
    To be very honest, I'm finding that the process on a short-sale is only as good as the listing agent is. A listing agent needs to know the process, have the time and energy to follow-up very often, have good communication skills to relay information to everyone involved, and now have the techno knowledge to work BofA's new Equator system.
    On our file, there has been no less than 5 BPO's, at least 2 drive-by appraisals, and at least 1 in-home appraisal. No less than 5 neogotiators. The listing agent has asked us to re-write the contract twice for a better price and updated information.  And now, as of Jan 14, we are now in the Equator system. After it took over 1 week for the listing agent to "learn" the system. Yesterday the listing agent called me for information about the buyer which she urgently needed to input into the system enable to stall the F/C date, once again. It has been stalled 3 times now.
    Of course, I'm still looking for another home for the buyer, but with 3 out of 4 homes on the market being short-sales and listed by Poh-Dunk Realty firms, I'm sooooo discouraged to even show my buyer another short-sale.  Some listing agents state in their listings "short-sale expert", "we will get this short-sale closed" and, my favorite, "don't be scared to show our listings". (Actually, I have an offer in on this listing- cuz I wasn't scared-but it has been since late September and the only communication from the listing agent has been 2 emails and zero, zilch, nada phone calls!!!
    As an agent representing a buyer, I'm finding it harder to do my job, let alone, do a good job. We have to put our faith in the hands of the listing agent, and so far it has been sooooo disappointing. We can't upset the listing agent because they basically decide which offer gets choosen, they could pull our offer and submit their cousin's or best friend's offer.
    Hoping the system will change………soon……..

  11. says

    This is a response to BoA Manager …
    I have to agree with the reaction, "the proof is in the pudding".
    Within your organization, there is a severe breakdown of communication amongst yourselves even.
    I have a way around the minefields that are set up to blast progress and efficiency into the stratosphere – it is a combination of continuous complaints to the OCC regarding the mishandling of people's financial lives as well as regular calls and complaints to the CEO's office directly and the initiating of a class-action lawsuit against the organization that will be forthcoming from the Chicago area soon.
    The processes and systems that currently exist are not even remotely trying to resemble effectiveness – they are flawed in their very essence. What I find most disheartening is that billions of dollars have been spent to finance transactions that not a single person within your institution even understands. Think about that for a moment. Billions of dollars are spent on REAL ESTATE transactions and yet – there is a complete lack of understanding of exactly HOW that transaction works.
    For example – let us take the practice of the "drive-by BPO" …
    When looking to FINANCE a property … a FULL APPRAISAL is ordered – and why? Because the appraiser is licensed in the task of placing the proper value on the property so that you know how much financing is needed for the transaction.
    Yet …
    When REDETERMINING the value of THAT SAME PROPERTY – the same is not done. Would you accept a "drive-by-appraisal" as a sufficient measuring stick when it is time for you to write the check? No. And yet … somehow … it is sufficient when it is time for someone else to write a check to you. That is what is called an unequivocal transaction … and can be argued legally … is a fraudulent practice. The same criteria should apply when determining value – REGARDLESS of WHO is writing the check. Do you see why a class action lawsuit is needed? And that is just ONE SMALL aspect of the problem.
    I have said many times that if banks are going to play the "Real Estate" game – they had better learn the rules of that game. It is apparent from the present state of things throughout the country – that the "rulebook" was not handed out in class. The approach to real estate financing has been severely flawed because there is a complete lack of understanding of real estate itself. I might even take that a step further to state that from what I see on a daily basis – the BANKS had and still have – a complete lack of understanding FINANCES. If there was an understanding of FINANCES in the first place … would we be where we are?
    Maureen McDonald
    Community Re-Development Group

  12. Cathy says

    Short Sale that went to Foreclosure in Texas!
    It is so sad to read all of these stories.  We were in the process of a CASH Short Sale except we ended in Foreclosure.  Here is a bit of history:
    9/3/09 – Submitted all Short Sale Paperwork with CASH offer – Paperwork not loaded into system for over 21 days.
    10/5/09 – After calling every single day – the file is finally esculated – Paperwork downloaded
    10/14- 1st Appraisal ordered – We have still not been assigned a Negotiator
    We and Our Realtor Still Calling EVERYDAY
    Nov 2 – Put into REO trans – must re-submit all paperwork – ESCALATED AGAIN
    Nov 23 – Requested Paperwork again – NO NEGOTIATOR – Supervisor actually said we have been falling through the cracks
    Dec 22 – Now getting ready to switch over to Equator – Need New Paperwork
    Dec 30 – I escalate to a supervisor – locks were changed on house 2nd appraisal could not be done.  Realtor requests a new key – Every month need to extend foreclosure date.  Michael Sheldon esculates our file once again because "you really need a negotiator and another appraisal done on the house".  We will also postpone the foreclosure since you are in Short Sale process.
    Jan 5, 2010 – Realtor at Foreclosure Auction with another client ant OUR HOUSE WAS FORECLOSED. 
    We call BOA – Short Sale – they state the house was not foreclosed because we are in Short Sale System and process. Foreclosure dept says we did not foreclose we were in Short Sale.  Fannie Mae bought the property and WE ARE STILL IN SHORT SALE SYSTEM.
    As of Friday, Jan. 22, we are still getting request for Short Sale paperwork!  Unbelieveable!!!!!
    We are devastated.  THERE NEEDS TO BE ACCOUNTABILITY!!!!!!!  I wish there were some recourse for the careless actions as this has destroyed our credit and "we're sorry for the mistake" is all we got.

    • says

      Hi Cathy,

      This is horrible news and I certainly understand how frustrating this is. Unfortunately this is very common as the lenders or not in sync with the foreclosure attorneys. You can have the foreclosure REVERSED!

      My negotiator actually had one of his short sales foreclose 2 times. Each time they reversed the foreclosure and the short sale finally closed. If it is truly foreclosed they make them reverse it as they are not allowed to foreclose if you are in negotiations of a short sale.

      Please keep me updated on what happens.


  13. says

    I believe I win the prize!  My short sale has been in the works since April 2, 2009!!!
    This beachfront property has sat empty, without maintenance, losing over $20K in leasing potential, waiting for an answer to a fair offer.  When Countrywide turned into BOA, they "lost " our first long, lengthy application, and wasted a month, requiring us to start again.
    We progressed again to 2nd level negotiations, and have been sitting since December waiting for the auditors to receive tax returns directly from the IRS.  When pressing my negotiator, Kevin Eckes, he told me today that the IRS had bounced the request because the request was processed on a form that was in Tiff instead of a PDF format.  6 weeks went by without knowing this!
    The market has continued to deteriorate, along with the house, and a THIRD appraisal is now required since the offer is so "old" (at a tune of $600 to $700 per appraisal), according to Kevin.  The bank is being raped if they are paying such hugh amounts for re-appraisals.  The buyers now believe the property is not worth what they offered almost 10 months ago and want to renegotiate.
    Today I was asked to transfer to the Equator program.  None of the parties to the transaction want me to do that since they and I do not have any faith in getting into a "new queue".  We are all ready to walk away, but are putting our last ounce of faith in Kevin, that he can bring this to fruition.  It makes you wonder whay anyone would put themselves through this torture.  This is my LAST shortsale.
    Brooke Bass

    • says


      Unfortunately yours does not even come close to be the worst Bank of America short sale. I just heard yesterday of one of my colleagues taking 12 months to negotiate and the seller passed away two weeks before it was approved. There was no will and now they have to go through probate and pay thousands of dollars in court costs to get the property released!

      My negotiator has had one for two years. Of course it is not all of Bank of America’s fault. They had a divorce, a bankruptcy, the property was foreclosed twice and reversed and went through 5 buyers. Ultimately the short sale did close and there was a happy ending…but the process was very long and painfully frustrating.

  14. Ms. Stansberry says

    My Husband and I have made an offer November 19 2009 on a shortsale property through BOA and we still have not heard back. Our agent told us that BOA has requested to have 3 appraisals done on the short sale but we still have not received approval. furthermore, we were told that BOA has hired a third party "Equator" to help with the process. we have been waiting patiently but the process has been nothing but stressful and overwhelming for us. our agent told us that he can not call Equator to check the status because according to them it will delay the process and put our file back to the bottom of the pile. Is this true? has any one heard of such thing? How much waiting time to we have left? we are afraid that our file might have been lost, misplaced or just sitting on someones desk being ignored. Can someone advise?

    • says

      Ms. Stansberry,

      Equator is a technology platform that automates the short sale process on-line. It is like using Turbo Tax to do your tax returns. You would not call Turbo Tax to see if the IRS has approved your refund and what the status is. Equator is a fairly easy system to use, but your Realtor needs to pay close attention that they are entering all of the information in the system correctly or the file will just sit and will not progress forward.

  15. Joe says

    Equator is not the "savior" it is made to be. BoA, I believe is using equator as an excuse of not being able to handle the volume of short sales they have. We currently have 5 files with BoA and on two of them we had a negotiator assigned. Guess what, They kicked it over to equator and we had to start all over again. Third time in some cases ie countrywide, BoA short sale and now equator. What excuse will they use next year. Also, BoA needs to come up with a way for the sellers representative to view what the seller has to send the bank so they can monitor the process. We have not had to many sellers that have the capability to upload documents or set up emails to monitor what the bank is asking. Not only the capability or the "want to". The training for BoA is certainly lacking. Last week I had one of BoA reps tell me quote "I don't know what the hell I am doing, they gave me very little training and then set me in front of this computer. I didn't have the heart to tell him that after talking to him for 5 minutes he didn't have to tell me he didn't know what he was doing, I already knew that. BoA has to get better sooner  than later or do away with the short sale process and go straight to foreclosure. I believe it would be better on the agents, sellers and the buyers. Way to many headaches and sleepless nights trying to worry about this mess. There has to be a better way.

  16. Lenny says

    We went from BA to Equator back anfd forth etc. Now we are in Equator and they have rejected. Have given no counter and said we can make offer three times, After that we have to start all over again. This makees absolutley no sense. Can anyone help. I can't even get there BPO to see if we are anywhere close on valuation.

    • says

      Lenny –

      Have your Realtor do a BPO or evaluation of the home. It should be very close to what the BPO came in at. If your Realtors evaluation comes close to your offer amount then you need to have the BPO rejected and a request a new one to be completed.

      Also, sometimes increasing your offer by a few thousand dollars is enough to make the short sale get approved. There really is no magic to the amount Bank of America will accept. If your offer was a low-ball offer it will be rejected and you should be surprised that they rejected it. Bank of America has done hundreds of thousands of Short Sales and they do not entertain low ball offers.

      What do you think the fair price for the home is? Is it what you offered?

  17. JohnB says

    I made an offer on a short sale property November 20, 2009 through BOA. all 3 appraisals that BOA requested have already been done. according to my Realtor my fiIe has been transferred to "equator" (third party for processing) and assigned to a negotiator. My Realtor said that my file is now in the "Pink stage" which is the final phase of the process before getting approval. which he thinks that by February 19th we should have the final approval from equator. Does anyone know if there is such a thing as a color process?  anyone know what the process is when going through equator?

    • says

      JohnB –

      Equator has some great color codes:
      Light Green = New
      Yellow = Negotiating
      Grey = Rejected
      Pink = Held
      Dark Green = Accepted

      You status of “Pink or HELD” can mean a few things. A HELD status is when your contract is being held for further review. Under the HELD status have the Realtor look to see what it says. They should see “REIVEW” or “VALUATIONS” or possibly something else. For example a BPO is typically ordered when it says VALUATIONS.

      Hope this helps.

  18. Nancy Porrambo says

    I recieved an accepted short sale and then it was declined because they said I did not register.  But I did and have the print out. Now I have trouble communicating as it refuses my email and password. When I registered there was no place to accept as they said and I still can't find it. Help as they have not responded to my emails. Maby the snow storms with power failures and computers on and off? What should I do so as not to lose this acceptance that took over 1 year to get?

    • says

      Nancy –

      Equator’s passwords require at least one capitalized letter. I sometimes forget this and think the system is messed up. So…try your usual password but you may have made the first letter capitolized…”Password”


  19. Susan says

    Like many of you above I have also been sent over to equator – After working with BofA for 2 years on a short sale – The offers have ranged from starting at $615,000. and two years later and 5 different buyers we are down to $325,000.00  All the appraisals are done and I to received a denial yesterday stating that my time frame is up and I did not submit an offer.  There new systems is worst then the old!!!!!

  20. Mary says

     If you submit a short sale through equator with one buyers name and they back out can you still use that submital and put a different buyers name on it or does it still go with the original buyers name?  Does it mean new submital with each new buyer into equator?

  21. Meg Vogt says

    The Blog says speak your mind,  I just did and was erased.  Will someone please answer my question.  Will publish buyer's short sale offering price online in order receive higher bids. Simple Question deserves and answer right?

  22. Ida L says

    The whole problem is if they anwer the stupid phone!  On hold on day 5 hrs, called BofA
    to try and get through they never could get through to Equator, another 2 hrs on hold.
    Here I sit another day, another 1 hr. has passed no one answers the phone!! Equator, Bank of
    America, ha, a real joke!!

  23. David says

    We submitted a short sale offer Nov 11, 2009. Waited 6 weeks to find out through our realtor it had to be resubmitted into a new system that uses email for all correspondence (assume this was Equator). We were patient.  BofA countered at full asking price (where it had not sold in over 9 months). We countered at original asking price. BofA countered at $10K above our asking price. We accepted.  All looked good…until.   We hear back that BofA had a backend requirement for seller to pay the difference between our asking price and the listed price or get PMI to cover the spread.  Buyer wasn't told about this side requirement.  What?!?  Well seller tells them to forget it and talk to PMI folks — that's what PMI is for, right?  PMI folks say they need something and can't swallow a $25K hit. BofA 'negotiator' says they're done if PMI won't pay on the deal and buyer won't up their offer price.  BofA 'negotiator' refuses to let selling agent have PMI contact info to negotiate directly. Selling agent says don't close the file–one more option with seller is being pursued.  Selling agent tracks down PMI contact thru seller and hammers out a settlement. PMI was very willing to negotiate and take a reduced note from the seller. Looked like BofA 'negotiator' didn't even try to work out a settlement. But at least sellers agent did. Yeah!  So selling agent contacts BofA 'negotiator' with the promissory note from seller ready to submit . BofA 'Negotiator' says 'file is now closed, start all over!'  Yeah – she closed the file!  Says she can't open a closed file in their system (again this must be Equator). This is where we are today.  Buyer and BofA have a deal.  Seller and PMI have a deal.  PMI covers the difference with BofA, so that's all they need, right?  We are 4 days from BofA's target close date on the file.  We all are ready to close, but not BofA or Equator–the file is 'closed' — nothing seems to get it opened again.  Watch the house sit another 6 months and sell at same price or less. But at least BofA 'negotiator' has a job. She just doubled her team's work load.  I smell Class Action Lawsuit from Realtors, BofA Stockholders, and anyone else who can claim BofA is padding work hours, fees, etc. etc.  Lovely way to have leveraged TARP funds.

    • says

      David –

      Many thanks for the post. This is very common unfortunately. Thank goodness for a Rock Star of a Selling Agent!! I have yet to figure out Bank of America negotiators and how they are negotiating with PMI as I hear and have experienced this many times. The other issue which we run into is “egos” of the negotiator. They do not like being told what to do or having someone find an easy solution that they just said can’t be done. I would have the agent call BofA file a complaint, resubmit the file…again since the negotiator killed the file. Hopefully you will find someone at BofA that is competent and will fix the issue ASAP.

      Try this contact they handle these types of issues:
      Kimberly Dawson
      Bank of America Home Loans
      Vice President – Group Operations Manager
      7105 Corporate Dr., Bldg C
      Plano, TX 75024
      Tel: 972-526-6970

  24. Docsports1 says

    All of your posts regarding BofA have been very enlightening. I agree that this process is only as good as the seller and the listing agent. We "signed documents", placed $5000 down, and started this short sale process May 13th 2009…yes 9 months ago. This property sits 2 blocks from my best friend of 30 years and also down the street from other friends. We have had the same BPO nightmare, appraisal horrors and pretty much 9 months of not moving anywhere. This is my first home and as a physician I definitely have the income to purchase this home. Also there is an investment company that is buying up properties in the area (5 total so far in the last 6 weeks) in auction and then when placing them on the market "require" that you use their lenders and mortgage company, close escrow in 30 days or pay $75 per diem per day, and place 20% down (even when you have approval for FHA and the bank we are going with (Chase) has already approved everything 7 months ago. Makes you wonder if they have an inside track with BofA and a not-so-hidden hidden agenda. Sorry just 9 months of frustration. Should we try to push the listing agent to use the Equator system???   FYI the seller has not paid a mortgage payment since September 2008!!!!  My concern is that if BofA pushes her (the seller) into foreclosure then this 9+ months of waiting will be for nothing as we will then get pushed out of being first in line for this property. Welcoming insight from anyone on this blog. We of course are constantly looking for other properties in the area and have been since July 2009.

    • says


      9 months of wheel spinning. There is definitely something wrong. I would submit into Equator right away and play your odds there. If the house is vacant and moving is not a huge issue for you…I would look to rent the house why you are waiting for the short sale to be approved. As long as the seller and seller’s agent are on top of the foreclosure process the home normally will not foreclose while a short sale is being negotiated. They have to watch and manage that process as it does fall through the cracks sometimes.

  25. NorCal Agent says

    Ewwwwwwwww!!!  I've been working with BofA on a short sale since October 2009 and they have not even mentioned Equator!  I'm writing an offer tonight on a different property, BofA holds the first and the list agent proudly said he is using the Equator system.  So, I googled and found this blog…… ickkkkk!!!
    So done with short sales!!!!

    • says

      NorCal Agent –

      Short Sales unfortunately have become a significant part of a Realtor’s portfolio. I have 17 under contract right now and would be in a mental ward if I did not have a full time negotiator. They take a long time…but they get done if everyone is in the game 100%.

  26. Trooty says

    I get daily updates on the status of a short sale property that I have been trying to buy for over five months.  What drives me crazy are the timelines that Bank of America representatives give.  None of the commitments ever lead to what is promised.  They don't respond, don't follow through, don't seem to care!  Why give an expectation that you know you won't meet?  Why say that you are in the "final stage" and you will hear an answer by a certain date and then not return any phone calls or emails for a week?  I understand that they are over worked and probably under paid, but what they are doing is just mean!   "Know the Customer    Care about the Customer   Act for the Customer " is written under the signature of every email sent out from the representative that is assigned my file.  I don't think they do any of these!  Am I just being overly critical and not treating this as a business decision?  Or am I right that they are doing something immoral?

  27. says

    I have a file that I submitted through Equator that was approved and ready to close (after 4 months of negotiation).  All we need is for someone at BOA, closer/negotiator/ supervisor whomever to approval the finial HUD so title can release funds.  I've contact managers, reps, and supervisors and everyone is telling me that once the file is approved in Equator that’s it…. there is no communication directly with title to approve the HUD. They are stating that Equator does not have the ability to receive email communication from or to the title agent only person that can get direct written communication is the seller and whoever has signed up and logged into equator.  I'm being told by BOA that I the agent needs to approve the HUD.  Unfortunately, title can only accept HUD approval directly from the Short Sale lender in order to release funds, nor do I want the liability of giving finial HUD approval for them incase anything comes back incorrect.
    Needless to say its been 5 days since we closed and we're still back and forth with BOA, title has called them and no one is able to give a written approval to title so that they can release funds. Something as simple as emailing the title company "HUD approved" which they did prior to Equator, they can no longer do since ALL communication must be done in the Equator email system. How can such a large company have a such a major oversight in their short sale system?
    Although Equator did streamline the dreaded BOA short sale process. They still have some major kinks to work out.  Has anyone had this title funding issue with Equator, if so how did you handle it?

    • says

      Loreen –

      You have stumped me on this one. I have not had that issue…yet. 🙂

      If the manager and supervisor says that there is no need to approve the final HUD, I would get that in writing and proceed forward…of course you need to make sure this is acceptable to the title company. You can also have the Realtor submit the final HUD in the Equator System for approval and then forward the approval to the title agent.

  28. Kathryn says

    The Equator program allows only for agents.  I am a paralegal for a law firm retained by a seller/borrower to handle the short sale negotiations.  Our client is paying us a fee to handle this for them so they should not have to call Bank of America and "sign up" for anything.  In addition, there is no option to submit a short sale for law firms. 

  29. M Culhane says

    I am just sick about reading all these comments and stories. I really did make a huge mistake proposing a Short Sale on my home. It has done nothing but cause me to be sick and mentally drained. I have had an offer since September 29, 2009. Every week I call BOA, I get a different answer. I think the Equator is just a way for them to not have to deal with REAL people anymore. I was told today that I HAVE to use it now and start over from the beginning. FIVE months of time wasted. FIVE months of loss prevention. THEY DON'T CARE!  That I don't have a choice about the whole thing. I should have a choice, it's my credit rating, it's my stress, it's my reputation. They don't care about any of those things. And in the mean time I was served a Foreclosure Summons because the laywers said they won't stop until BOA says to stop. They are seeing dollar signs! BOA is already spending money they didn't have too on a law firm processing Foreclosure papers in my county, with several hundred dollars of fees. All I want is to sell the house! Talk about having your hands tied behind your back! Just shoot me now!
    I'd like to talk to Mr.Chris Saitta myself. See if he could convince me that Equator will work with BOA. BOA doesn't seem to know to do anything in a timely manner. Don't see how this will help me!

  30. Mirtha says

    Well, my short sale process started back on February 09, after 8 months of waiting plus 3 bpo's etc, BOA gave us a counter-offer  which borrower accepted and new HUD1 was emailed and faxed  to negotiator,  I called BOA short sale department, 3/4 days later to confirm that they had received the new hud etc.. only to find out that the negotiator had cancel the file the day of the counter-offer and we had to re-start the whole process, 3 months went by we got another counter-offer to their 1st. counter offer (as they said BPO was too old to be used) they came back with a 15% sales price increase, only 3 months later? which buyer rejected and had to put property back on the market..jajjajaj, well now we started again on January/2010 with Equator, so far its been about 6 weeks, I do find their system moving faster than the regular short sale department as we can upload docs and chances of docs getting lost/ no fax received/ is not possible. But anyway hopefully we'll be looking into a shorter process, all we can do at this time is "HOPE" for the best…good luck everyone…

    • says

      Mirtha –

      This is very frustrating. We have had this happen a few times as well. Bank of America is in a hurry up and wait process. If you don’t respond immediately they close the file…and yes we have had counter offers lost and faxes lost. It is very annoying. Especially when you are responsive and did submit information in a timely manner. Please make sure they have a current BPO. We had an offer rejected twice immediately in Equator only to find out that the BPO they were using was 14 months old!! We had them do a new BPO and the rejected offer is now fine.

  31. Tim says

    I'm not sure if I'm happier or just feel 100x worse for having found this site.  I'm on one of the worse ends of the spectrum, but not quite to the "worst" end yet.
    I simply cannot believe that BofA has been ALLOWED to act this way for so long… and get taxpayers bailout money on top of it??
    How is it possible that ABC / NBC / CBS / CNN / FOX news haven't expose this ongoing scandal known as "Bank of America"?
    What about Congress Critters?  If we're all in the same boat, nationwide, is it actually possible the 'critters DON'T know about this neverending nightmare?
    Does anyone know of a real Class Action lawsuit where we can sign up?  Hell, I don't care if the lawyers make all the money, I just want back the life energy that BofA vampires have sucked out.
    Are there no real alternatives for distressed, despondent sellers, except actually foreclosure?
    I keep thinking "Could foreclosure be any worse than the neverending Hell that these #@^!)#&)(#&!#) at BofA keep putting me through?  At least it would be OVER!"
    I'm seriously asking:  should I just "let it happen"?  Or would that only make my life even worse?
    I know, I can't ask "legal" advice here (nor would any atty offer it in a public forum, especially not knowing me)… but after a year of buyers walking out due to BofA's incompetence, I can't take it any more.  It's just driving me out of my mind.  Why on earth would BofA not CARE about how slow the process is since it's ending up costing them more money for every day they delay?
    Someone shoot me now, please!  I'm in HELL!

    • says

      Tim –

      Short Sales are like being in purgatory for a year. It is very frustrating. The only thing that helps is knowing the process and having everyone involved in the short sale 100% on board with the process. I will say that it appears that the Equator system is improving the timelines. However, after 6 to 9 months of nothing…starting over never sounds appealing to anyone.

      I try not to get too frustrated dealing with short sales everyday and work through the process as efficiently as possible…however some days it is really frustrating. If you are considering foreclosure vs. short sale you should speak with your tax accountant and lawyer to see what the best options are for you. Ultimately it is your decision to make.

  32. says

    I have an approved short sale with and have found out today that the buyer has to move on and can't close the transaction. I do have a back up offer that is willing to come in at the same approved price and terms. Has anyone had quick success in getting the new approval with the new buyer on the Equator system? It has proven to be much more effiecient as we have gotten a lot further in the last 2 weeks than the last 368 days with the short sale process. We have the Trustee sale date around the corner and BofA is pushing to close. Wanted to see if anyone had any good ideas before I talk to the bank about my new offer I want to upload on the Equator system. Please help!

    • says

      Blair –

      I have yet to get into this issue with Equator. As you know with BofA each short sale approval is specific to a unique buyer. Sometimes you have to start completely over…however before you do anything make sure you update all of the financials for your seller. This prevents the file from getting closed completely due to an aging issue with the file and you can bypass the phase 1 and get right to a phase 2 negotiator.

  33. says

    Blair –
    I've had this issue with a buyer dropping with a file I had in equator. If you have a new buyer, and new contract email your negotiator or closer to see if they can do you a favor and change the buyers name on the approval letter.  If not they will make you start the whole process all over again, by uploading your new offer in Equator.

    • says

      Frank –

      This is something that you need to review with your attorney and accountant. They can only answer this question based upon your financial status…state you reside in and the type of property you are selling. Additionally deficiency judgments are lender specific on how they are handled.

  34. Martha says

    I am in the middle of a short sale with BoA.  it is NOT Nirvana.  We had an a offer accepted by BoA on 2/5/10.  Then, on 2/8/10 a BoA rep called and told the realtor and I to complete info on the Short sale system online.  The  page  would not accept my answers, and they failed to correct it to allow me to "submit " over 3 weeks and several phone calls.  They did not inform the realtor she had to re- submit the offer on the Equator system and have it re approved a second time.  Now that those things are straightened out BoA ( predictably) claims it was not their fault and it may take 45 more days ( it has been 30 already).  we may lose our buyer becuase we are past the 30 days window to get BoA's acceptance.Tonight, BoA wants me to reply to an email using their system, but there is not anywhere to input an email on their short sale system website ! we have done everything they wanted and this is not working out very well at all. They seem to not know what to do or how to do it, or how to clearly keep records of what was already done and approved.

  35. Chris says


    Thank you for this website – it is so helpful to read what others are going through!  I emailed you once before and you were quite helpful – thanks again.  However, I have a new question (one that I have seen answered here but cannot locate the link to right now), so please accept my apology for asking it again –

    We recently received a counter-offer from BOA on a short sale that we are trying to purchase.  They asked for an updated HUD1 with the new purchase price, which we agreed to and sent over promptly.  It's been about 2 weeks since we sent that over, and we had not heard anything back until today, when the seller's agent called to say the seller received notice that the house was going to foreclosure on April 6.  I vaguely recall advice on how to postpone the foreclosure process since we are in negotiations, but do not recall the specifics to pass along to the homeowner.  Could you re-post that info or direct me to the previous post?

    Thanks so much!  Best of luck to everyone else in the process!

  36. Short Sale Approval Letter from BOA says

    We initiated a short sale way back in October of 2009.  After waiting patiently for a few months the sales was assigned to a negotiator at BOA sometime in January.  In early February we were informed verbally by the sellers agent through our agent and representaive at the lending institution that the sale was approved.  This is were things stopped.  No written approval letter has been sent to anybody including the sellers agent, the title company to complete the process or our financial institution who is going to finance the purchase (Also BOA)
    So four weeks have passed including two tentative closing dates because no one can track down an approval letter.  Anybody have any experience with getting an approval letter.  It has been four weeks since we were verbally told the deal has been accepted by BOA.

  37. Eduardo says

    Attention all Realtors:  I have and incredible amount of closings unfortunately with B of A, from the very beginning in 2007 until now and to no avail, they are the worst as far as short sale in concerned, they have open different centers throughout the country in order to satisfied the flow of business.  However; most of the people hired to do this type of work have limited or no people skills, worse yet, no empathy.  I have 2 more short sales to do with B of A and after that any more business I incurred it will be my choice of lenders, but certainly will not deal with B of A anymore.  Most of my lenders' friends moved to B of A
    as they saw opportunity, explained to them the situation and they only see what they want to see without really inquiring about what Realtors are going through in order to continue to earn a living. In the past 4 days B of A system has been down, calling different hours the response is the same "cannot provide any information unless the short sale is input in Equator," then they send me to another number hold roughly 30 minutes to be dropped.  Really professional, really user friendly.  I will never recommend B of A for any reason whatsoever!

  38. says

    You will deal with IDIOTS.I closed 5 shirt sales with BofA WITH OUT Now I have Short Sale handled by AKA and after 15 days I am nowhere.They rejected my supporting short sale documents for reason OTHER.And BEST try to respond to that rejection.ATTEMPT FAILED 10 times.My initial Short Sale Offer was rejected after 24 HOURS.Reason? I did not submited offer in 15 DAYS TIME FRAME. I will call them tomorrow and BofA.If we can't solve problem I will notified all Gouverment Authorities.This is Soap Opera.

  39. Tanna says

    My husband and I put an offer in on a short sale home on feb 27th 2010 I was just informed today that BOA wants to start the whole short sale process over again since they did have a previous buyer who walked.  We were told they are using Equator.  What is the time frame now since it has to start over again??  I just told our agent that if we don't hear anything within the next 2 weeks we are going to start looking again.  You would think these banks would want to offload these homes and mortgages.  We even offered full listing price which was supposedly "Bank approved!" What in heck does that mean??

    • says


      Switching buyers on a short sale is very difficult. Short Sale approvals are buyer specific and they do not allow you to swap buyers at the last moment. “Bank Approved” short sale in this situation means that they have previously approved the price for a short sale. If done correctly and with some luck you can swap in a new buyer and keep progressing the short sale without having to start completely over. Hopefully, this is the case with your file.

  40. Tim says

    This process is awful!  Once you get through to a human the representatives are nice.  The process is very flawed. 
    This process was invented by people who have no clue how the world of real estate works!
    They require the seller homeowner to have internet access (many do not nor want to give it out), they require the seller to be able to create and upload PDF files (most do not).  They send emails asking for tasks to be assigned, with little clarity and instructions.  If you do attach documents in their library, they do not look at them.  They "decline" your offers, close out the account and make you reestablish an entirely new transaction to continue.  All the prior correspondence and history is ignored in the new record.  
    A short sale should be a simple task.  You have a house, the bank does not want it back, the seller provides evidence of hardship, the buyer decides a price that is fair to them, the bank looks at the facts and decides. 
    I believe they are trying to require the realtors and buyers to complete the transactional processing.  That is fine, yet there are no instructions and the process seems really disconnected and not very straightforward. 
    This system was built by a group of people who created this in the absence of human beings.  They never sat with a realtor, homeowner in trouble, potenial end buyers / investors to design this system. 
    This is supposed to be an improvement, or at least that would be the expectation.  They have gone backwards.  My expectation is that this process will break down and BOA will be taking more homes back due to the difficulties in making this work. 
    As an investor, I don't like to be insulted.  This is the ultimate!
    Thanks for wasting my time!   

  41. Tania says

    Everyone is sooooooooooo right.  This system is a total nightmare!  I have been working on the same short sale since 2008 because of Countrywide now BofA's constant changes and screw ups.  Now, I continue to experience all the same nightmare stories regarding this equator system. This same file will soon be lost to foreclosure due to THEIR screw ups….they don't even keep the documented notes from phone calls or remember which department  can best help you.  It only continues to get worse with BofA.  I have no intention of doing business with them any more.  I will take a referal fee!  This is an embarrassment to our industry.

  42. Rich says

    So, my question to you, Craig, would be – how large was the check that you received from either Bank of America or Equator?  I have been in the process of purchasing a short sale for exactly 5 months with no end in sight.

    For your own reference, I work in IT and deal with companies like Equator on a regular basis.  These are companies who develop outstanding pieces of software which have the potential to revolutionize an industry.  The only problem is the person behind the keyboard.  The pure laziness that is Bank of America is the speed bump in this entire process – and don't tell me that their workload is too great –  I currently hold 4 official job titles and do work with the Federal and State Governments.
    There is a substantial lack of assistance coming from BofA on anything that resembles a short sale and it appears that they are intentionally dragging their feet on moving the process to each new level – I could get into the internal economics of why I believe that this is occurring, but that's another topic.

    For a company who received billions of dollars in Federal aid to help stem the losses of unloading these toxic notes, simply because they were deemed "too large to fail", it seems to me that they are doing just fine and have yet to unload the majority of these assets.  My biggest fear now is what happens when they actually do start to dump them.

    • says


      That is an excellent question. I wish I would get a nice big check from Bank of America and Equator. I have also come from a technology background running world wide strategic alliances embedding our software technology platform into companies such as Oracle, PeopleSoft (now Oracle), SAP and others. I am very well aware of roll out and training issues with users.

      I have been working Bank of America Short Sales for over two years and have lots of battle wounds and a vast array of horror stories. I will tell you that the process has been getting better…not fantastic…not great…just better. Like getting an “F” in school and you are now getting a “D-“. But at least it is an improvement.

      Two and a half years ago a broker told me short sales were only going to be a 6 month blip in the market. Right now distressed sales represent 82% of all transactions in our area and are continuing to increase. The only way I stay sane is being positive, helping people, and focusing on the few things Bank of America and Equator do right in an otherwise abysmal situation. If you can follow their rules and learn the process you can get a short sale done. To date we have a 100% success rate with Bank of America short sales with none going into foreclosure. I am pretty proud of that…but it does take some effort from Bank of America to make it happen.


  43. Rich says

    Craig – my apologies.  You bring up an excellent point and I believe that my own frustrations with BofA and Equator (and the entire banking industry) has gotten the best of me and I have taken it out on you.

    As a Contracts Manager, I deal with rules and regulations on a daily basis.  I have been conveying this to both my agent, as well as the seller's agent in an attempt to ensure that things are being done correctly the first time around.  In this sense, BofA is operating much like the Feds – they give you a nugget of information on what is required of you, but never explain how you are supposed to accomplish it.  God forbid you do it incorrectly – the process starts all over, again, without any direction.
    So, while I am not an agent or broker, I can certainly agree with you regarding the need to be very exacting when it comes to the documentation.  I believe that this is something that is lost on many agents that start down the path of short sales.  They see them as a necessary evil, but never seem to understand the absolute requirement to ensure that everything is perfect right out of the gate – there is very little room for leniency on BofA's part.

  44. Iris says

    hi, I am a buyer and put an offer on a Short Sale property , we offered a little more than the list price and offer to pay all closing cost.. …offer was accepted by seller on March 11 and with the bank off and running the next day, today I was asked by my agent to provide my first 5 digits of my SSS#, birthday, address and phone, why do they need this, and what's the next step after this? The seller only has one loan and its with BOA. I'm hoping the equator system will help this process quicker. Thanks!

  45. JB says

    Hello All,
    I've been reading this blog w/ interest since my wife and I made an offer on a property back in Nov 09.  After little or almost no news we got a call today from our agent who told us that BOA has contacted the second to ask if they would  accept the offer.  The second agreed and BOA told the sellers agent that they would be sending her a letter of ratification.  So my question is does that letter mean that they are accepting our offer and if so what are the next steps that we should expect.  I'm imagining that this means once the letter of ratification is in the hands of the seller – BOA will determine the closing date?  Any and all info would be appreciated.
    Also I would just like to say that reading this blog has been very informative during this process and my heart goes out to everyone, sellers and buyers alike, who are suffering at the hands of BOA.  I wish you all good luck.

  46. Heather says

    Count all yourselves lucky… i am a shortsale buyer who made my shortsale offer in May of 2009. We got our approval on 02/13/10. This was after yelling screaming, calling and emailing incessantly, and finally I found one BofA employee that had a heart. We were given 30 days to close. The house is falling apart, has been vacant all winter. No working heat, electrical problems, etc, so gettting a valid FHA appraisal has been a nightmare. Add to that that Countrywide originally accepted a faulty survey. So after we the buyers, had the furnace repaired, the survey redone, paid for three appraisals, paid for woodstove inspections and on and on, BofA agreed to give us a 10 day extension to get all this done, when we asked for a month. The appraiser could not get the paperwork back on time and we missed the final closing date by one day. 
    The approval became invalid 2 days ago. The made us wait for 10 months and would not even give us 45 days to close. We have to reapply for another shortsale now. If they do not decide to just foreclose. This is year of our life we will never get back…and we are trying to decide whether or not to wait another. They are forcing us to go through Equator…from what I have read the equator process is longer and worse. My poor RE agent..he has been awesome! He has worked his butt off for nothing. Wish I knew what to do…

  47. JC says

    Hi Iris,
    I am an RE agent in Oakland CA representing the buyer on a BofA Short Sale.  Like you, the listing agent asked for my buyer's personal information (SSN, date of birth, address, etc.).  Also like you I am weary of giving out this information.  I called the Help Line (short sale customer service representative at 1-866-880-1232.) number from the BofA short sale portal ( obtained from this blog and at first the representative said asking for that information was not customary.  I asked her (Kim) to double check and she did.  Turns out they need to verify that the seller and buyer are not colluding on the sale so they run the credit file for the buyer to try and determine a connection between the two parties in the transaction.  Makes sense but it is going to be a sticking point as I am sure many buyers are going to be reluctant to give that info out. 
    On the second question you had, I have no clue.  Since we are in an "accepted" offer situation, I hope this means that we will be closing soon and checking the buyer is a means to that end.  Good luck.
    JC Gonzalez, KW Realtor / 510-816-6395 (CA lic#01446587)

  48. says

    More Hope…
    Please check out  
    I signed with them as a Home Retention Consultant, and the training on short sales has answered many questions as to why my short sale deals have failed in the past.  I am hopeful toward upcoming short sales as Titanium Solutions has helped me put together all the information needed from the listing side of the the short sale and the buyer's side as well.  Best of Luck. 
    Craig- Thank you for the post.   Very helpful!

  49. Mama2mad says

    I am wondering if there is a way to get this process done and over.. we have been involved in a short sale with BOA since 11.09 and just last wEek we accepted their counter offer and were anticipating a "Closing date" as the first mortgage wants to close by Apr 21  or we have to pay 75.00 a day… Now they are telling us *our account has been in Equator* that they have to order an appraisal… we have already had 2 of them… ??? Can you please give me any suggestions or help? This has been the worst , most frustrating experience ….

  50. AL says

    You do not need Equator to process short sales or any type of short sale platform. I could process a short sale and have an approval for you to close within 30 to 45 days.
    Bank of America continues to make one mistake after another. You shold have call me, I could have saved you alot of money.

  51. Iris says

    JC– thanks for replying. this friday will be the 3rd week, and as of monday this week, my realtor told me that we are now waiting for a negotiator… 🙂 I still feel good about the whole thing and i have my fingers cross that it will go quicker, i have 3 friends that bought a SS and they closed in less than 2 or 3 months with BOA. How long have you started this current SS you're dealng with? goodluck and i'll keep posting any milestone I encounter.

  52. Brandusb says

    Well I am in the equator short system and it is hell.  Days and weeks past due on every task that is supposed to be performed.  Waiting on a negotiator for this waiting for a negotiator for that.  Now my contract with the buyer has expired, after being extended three times, not sure if he is still interested or not.  But Nirvana…I think not.

  53. Mama2mad says

    We accepted the counter offer from BOA through Equator and it seems like now we are being put back at square one…. needing appraisals .. *that have been done 3 times now and are still valid*… have no closing date … this is the WORST system ever.. they get your hopes up by saying it will be done in 3 months,,, i am going on 6 months and still NO answer…

  54. says

    Good to know what we're in for.  Made an offer on a SS property at full price about 6 weeks ago through Equator. So far we've heard nothing.
    The seller put this property on the market in July of 2009, one offer already fell through.  So now we wait and wait…..and probably wait some more.
    It's really a nightmare if you are a first time home buyer without cash and competing with investors.  Getting teeth pulled is easier and less painful, or so it seems.
    Thank you Craig for your thoughtful responses.  We continue to look for another home to purchase.

  55. Linda says

    I'm currently working on my first short sale closing with BoA……..never again!  The first day I contacted BOA, I spoke to a terrific person who really helped me get the process started, her name is Kathy Gould and she is out in the Colorado area.
    Then, I called the following day, same number, different state.  The gentleman couldn't find the loan even though it was up on my computer……he said Equator was down and call back in two-three hours.  I called back and had a representative who was impossible to understand, I called again and reached Mike who was very helpful and told me the offer had been declined and when I requested a BPO He transferred me to Customer Service who sent me back to short sales, who in turn sent me to two other people until I ended up with Hector the supervisor who said I had to submit a higher offer and maybe they would accept it.  I then asked what they were looking for and he said Equator had a number in mind and wouldn't share the information.  So when I explained this wasn't rationale nor logical, he told me he knew that and no one could help me.  I asked if anyone had shared this information with Bank of America as they were losing customers by the thousands and he told me no.    This has to be the worst system known to man.  I wonder if Bank of America realizes they are paying thousands of people, all over the country to apologize on the phone.

  56. Kat Smith says

    I have been dealing with a short-sale since July 2009 as the potential buyer.  First I was told October to close … then December, and now, after eight months yet another processor has been assigned.  A new evalation was done on the home last week, and the new person has told the broker that she'll give a response by next week, but I've given everyone until Friday and then I walk away.  I'm tiried; my opportunity for the homebuyers credit is fading fast, and now I have to use an FHA loan since there is no more money in the USDA program (which was my original plan).  What I don't understand is how the government with all of it's bail out money has not pushed the banks (especially BOA) to get their game together? I don't understand how BOA does not want to get their game together?  They have to know their name is mud in the business of short sales and foreclosures.  Between Titantium and now Equator, I honestly don't see the improvement.  I did, however, see an article recently about someone who submitted on a short sale in Jan and has already gone to close — 45 days it took!  Why are they working on new stuff when they haven't resolved the old stuff??  This is my second attempt to purchase a home, and each attempt has been a horrible experience enough to make me choose to be a renter for life.  It just seems like such a shady and dirty business, and the number of honest people seems to be relatively small.  There's just got to be a better way, because this way just sucks!

  57. Calzonan says

    Just thought I'd add my two cents as a buyer of a BoA short sale who made the offer back in Aug 09.  I really think a lot of this has to do with the listing agents out there.  My offer never made any progress until the LA called at the beginning of Jan and said that we were being put into Equator (wasn't Equator started in Oct?).  He asked for our info, DOB, 1st 5 of SSN etc and said we would have an acceptance by 7-10 days.  BoA black hole again until mid Feb when he again asked for that information.  Apparently the seller had had some info to upload to Equator and never did so our file was closed.  LA never knew about this until he finally checked because he got tired of me bothering him.  So everything put back in Equator 2/18.  On 3/4 we finally got our FIRST BPO!  On 3/5 we were told we were assigned a negotiator who had ordered a BPO (yeah, it was done the day before) and the auction was pushed back from 3/22 to 4/24.  Then on about 3/18 we were told that the 'evaluation team' had our offer and would make a decision within a day or two.  We finally got a counter offer from BoA on 4/1, which we countered on 4/2 but did not get input into system until 4/4.  I'm really hoping we get a fast turnaround now.  As I've said, once the LA input everythign quickly things started to move.

    • says

      Calzonan –

      It is pretty amazing that once the file starts getting worked by the lender it actually moves fairly quickly. It is just the 5 to 6 months of dust collecting that is horrific! In the past 4 weeks we have had all of our short sale files go active. Instead of working 3 or 4 at a time with the lenders we have 20+ all being worked. It is great to see but we are now totally overwhelmed.

      I guess it is a good problem to have. I am definitely beginning to see some light at the end of this long dark tunnel!

  58. Harry Hollis says

    the short sale/modification process/countrywide to BOA process has taken myself over 15 months. I have three departments to call, I have to repeat the situation every time, and equator has been zero help. Modifications to my loan have been performed without regard to the HELOC, and this process has been nothing shy of torture. Of course, my fault for not making the payments. This is the pennance for falling deliquent. However, having viable means to work this out, is this process the norm in time frame just curious ready to walk on the property

    • says

      Harry –

      I feel your pain. We have had a few long ones with Bank of America and one of them just closed a few weeks ago. One thing to remember is that you can not do a mortgage modification and a short sale at the same time. If you switch course mid-way it really gets things messed up in the Bank of America system and takes some work to get things on the right track. Make sure your modification is completely canceled in the system before you attempt to start the short sale process.

  59. Gary says

    Understanding Bank of America's value matrix.

    Does anyone know who to get in touch with to discuss their value matrix that equator uses to value a property for accept or reject on the initial offer.  Right now it's like a crap shoot.  They do not use the BPO or any valuation that the market has dictated for a property, yet they want to use an across the board matrix to value a properties worth.  If anyone has a fax number or phone number to the department that constructs the value of a property, I would like to get that.  I keep plugging away trying to get someone at Bank of America that knows what their doing, the problem is that it depends on who you get.  Each person has a different answer for the same question.  If anyone's had any luck with this issue and a contact that can actually do something, please post it here.

    • says

      Gary –

      The Bank of America value matrix can be very annoying. What we have done is pay for our own BPO to be done by a 3rd party unrelated to the transaction and submit it to Bank of America. They will use this BPO to evaluate the property. We employ this strategy when they keep rejecting offers in Equator and we know the offer is within the range of fair market value. In a few cases they had an 8 month old BPO messing up the valuation and driving us crazy until we figured out the issue.

  60. Chris says

    First time using Equator and I just uploaded the 3rd Party Authorization which I'm assuming is the first process.  The question that I have is, my seller recently got divorced (2009) and was awarded the home I am listing.  She has also filed Chapter 7BK and still awaiting the discharge notice from the courts.   What type of document(s) should I have ready in case BofA comes back and asks for something.  Craig, I think you mentioned earlier you had someone in your office going through the same thing where the seller filed Bankruptcy and also went through a divorce.  Your expertise in this matter is appreciated.
    Thank you

    • says

      Chris –

      This gets a bit tricky. First, you will need the appropriate documentation from the courts that shows the property was awarded to your seller during the divorce. This should be easy to obtain. The bankruptcy issue can be problematic. You have two options…

      1. Wait for the bankruptcy discharge to occur…which can take a very long time. A very very long time.
      2. Have the property removed from the bankruptcy by the trustee. This takes some work and cooperation from their bankruptcy attorney, but if the property has no value than its release should be a non-issue.

      Due to my experience I would highly recommend option #2 since the bankruptcy process will drag on forever and it is more frustrating waiting for the discharge than waiting for a short sale to be approved.

  61. chris says

    Thanks Craig for your input… I did request a divorce decree with my clients attorney and was hoping the lender would file the "Motion for relief from the automatic stay Real property", so we can proceed with the sale.  I also have GreenTree as the 2nd so this file is no fun to begin with. 
    Btw Craig can you refer a good short sale negotiator? I'm starting to pick up on the short sale listings and would rather focus on getting new business than go back and forth with lenders all day.  There are negotiators who ask to be paid upfront or take 1% of your commission etc… I've seen short sale negotiators who actually don't take a penny from your commission but rather pass the fee to the buyers and make them pay for there services.  
    Thank you again in advance and appreciate your input

    • says

      Chris –

      You are spot on. I have a full time negotiator and the buyer pays 1.5% of the purchase price at time of closing for his services. It works great for me and my team and I can focus on marketing and selling versus sitting on the phone with banks all day and putting short sale packages together. This enables the buyers agent and the sellers agent to get their full commission. It works out really well and most buyers are happy to pay the fee when the short sale is completed successfully.

      I also refer to a good negotiator on the lender side as they are critical part of the equation. We have had some really bad negotiators on the lender side and it makes the process very painful.


  62. Gary says

    Do you have any suggestions on where to submit the 3rd party BPO?  No one at Bank of America knows where to send it to get it into their system.  I keep going around and around with them to find out where it should be sent and if I get in touch with equator they keep saying that I have to deal with Bank of America.

  63. Jon says

    we listed our condo in march of 2009…
    countrywide never responded, and BoA put us into the titanium system, then told us to submit our short sale packet like 4-5 times…
    Then they put us in equator about a month ago and we are told the BPO is in and it will go to the be another 30 days before being sent to the investor…
    It has been over a year now, we are going to court tomorrow to see about our default..stress and worrie are killing me..
    BTW..we have had the same buyer approved for the whole time!
    God help us with equator!

  64. Richard says

    I posted a question/comment on your site yesterday and it is missing today.  What's up?
    I asked about the legitimacy and legality of Bank of America requesting the first 5 digits of all buyers social security numbers for a short sale purchase regardless of whether or not they are purchasing with all cash.  What legal right does Bank of America have in asking for this in the case of a cash sale?
    Everyone knows that the last four digits of one's social security number are known to be the numbers to confirm the social number when working with one's current creditors so it appears to not be too much of a stretch the Bank of America may be trying to put the 2 together.
    Should someone not be contacting the banking commission or the attorney general's office regarding this?
    Seems to be on the level of illegal.  It would be interesting to see whether or not the AG's office or the banking commission would employ a cease and desist to Bank of America for this tactic while using the equator system and requiring the first 5 numbers of the buyers social security number. 
    The poor agents can't even get Bank of America to accept an offer without the information.

  65. Sarah says

    Hi. I am a buyer. I just signed a purchase agreement with the seller. The seller's agent just sent it out to Bank of America on 4-12-10. I am wondering what the process is and how long it will take. What can I do to speed things up?

  66. says

    I have been working with a buyer who had a contract with a house that the lender was BOA and yes using this system Equator. We had this house under contract since December and the seller agent has been working every day to accomplish all of the task as of from the Equator system and the negotiator was very vague and answering detailed questions. After about 5 months of waiting BOA countered and ask for a higher price than the apprasied value, my client agreed because she liked the house alot and about 1 week later they said it was sent to Fannie Mae to have an approval due to an FHA loan on the house. Upon waiting for an answer the sellers agent received an email from the negotiator saying it Foreclosed and shut down access to the Equator system. This is Ridiculous and something needs to be done. I am highly upset along with everyone involved. SOMETHING MUST BE DONE

  67. Iris says

    So it's been 16 days since I last posted an update here. We finally received an update last night  after 2 1/2 weeks of nothing….and we have a negotiator and now in negotiation stage, they will be ordering BPO then go to Valuation stage. ( Total time spent so far for this SS is a month and 8 days. Not bad at all. I still have my fingers crossed. Does anyone know how long it will take for BPO to get done, and for BOA  to counter or approve? Am I getting closer to closing?
    (SS started on March 11, 2010)

  68. Chris says

    Hi Craig, very short question…. what is the percentage icon, under library, on the property files line, representing? I have 3 short sale in equator and the percentage is different on all three, with no rhyme or reason. Thank you

  69. George says

    I am the a potential buyer on a short sale and have gone under contract in December.  We have been put into the Equator System in March.  The seller is working with a negotiator who in turn is working with BOFA (this is not BOFA "negotiator").  Is there a way that I as a buyer can have access to the Equator System or can be sent status updates as they are posted to the system instead of having to rely on the seller's negotiator to send me updates? Anybody can feel free to answer my question. Thanks

    • says

      George –

      As a buyer you are entered into the Equator system as a user with your email address. However, you are not given a log in ID. Equator allows you to have a complimentary log in ID to view Bank Owned properties, but not the status of your short sale.

  70. Iris says

    New Update from my SS: I think everybody reading this will be shocked.. I put an offer on a SS property back in 03/11/10, and as of 04/20/10 BOA came back with a counter offer saying this short sale is approved but they want 4,000 more of what we offered. We offered 7 gran more of the listing price. Luckily we still have a little bit of money to be able to accept the counter. So we agreed and they said they will proceed with the written approval and we should see it soon and gave us a closing date of 06/28/10 or sooner. I am so shocked and happy about this and i knew from the start that I have a good feeling about this short sale. 🙂 Goodluck to all! If it meants to be it will happen. I will keep posting until then.

    • says

      Iris – This is FANTASTIC news! Bank of America has gotten significantly better with short sales. Bank of America short sales that have been languishing for 6-8 months in outer-space continue to languish, while new files are moving quickly. We have started our first short sales under the HAFA program with Bank of America and Wachovia and I am anxious to see how the process will be streamlined.

  71. George says

    Craig or Iris –
    I was just notified that we are in the "held" status. On average how long is this status take before accpetance.  I am the buyer and was given a screen shot of the equator system and it showed a pink line going through the screen with the "held" status. On the bottom right hand corner there was a key that showed that the held status was the next step prior to the acceptance stage. So I'm just curious how long this will take as we had a BPO and negotiator assigned about two weeks ago.  I know every deal is different but on average how long have you seen this part take? Thank you

  72. sarah says

    I hope I can get as lucky as Iris. Our offer is 86% of list price in cash. Similar homes in the area are going for the price we offered. But, the property was only on the market for 7 days when we put the offer in. What are our chances? Any ideas?

  73. Iris says

    Craig- Yes I think so too. It seems like every single step went smoothly and I will post again once written approval is sent. Do you know if the written approval would be in an email form?
    Sarah- Just hang in there. Try to get busy and not think about it. Also I dont have a log in to the equator, I guess I should ask my realtor If i can do that. She just updates me when she gets an update from the listing agent.

  74. Iris says

    George- I dont have a log in to the Equator system.. But we had a negotiator after a month and a week then 2 days after they are verbally approving the SS for 4 gran more than our offer.They asked us if we accept it or agree and if we do which we did, that they will proceed with the written approval and BOA gave us a closing date of June 28…
    Craig- they said it could be sooner for closing date, I wonder if we can close by May. 🙂

  75. C Judy fortin says

    Bank of america you short sale policy SUCKS! My son signed a P&S on feb 20th and still no answer. Now we find out equator has it and it is day 12. He needs answers to get his federal loan and tax rebate. How can he get answers? He is in Florida.

  76. John says

    I am the buyer. I had an offer on a short sale for 195K with 2.5% closing back. Got a counter from B of A for 195K without the 2.5% at closing and accepted. 3 days later we get  another counter from B of A saying they want 215K. Comps in the area are 84sqft and we are at 78 @215K. Just liked the deal at 71sqft so much better. What are your opinions on what I should do.

  77. Jay says

    The listing agent input all the documents and information last wednesday in the Equator system. Does anybody know how long it will take before we will get a response, and what the next process will be?

  78. George says

    Jay –
    I am on the buyer side of this short sale process. The seller agent submitted all the required documentation and the BPO was completed on April 7th. We were given a general negotiator the next day. However, we have yet to hear from anyone or have been given further instructions from the equator system.  Not sure why this is taking so long to get to the next step. We've been on "held status" for over three weeks.  Anybody know why this could be taking so long or if we are close to being approved/declined, at this point i just want an answer!!!!!!!!!!

    • says

      Hi George –

      When was your short sale put under contact? Typically we are seeing about 3 months with Equator with getting approval. Some moving quicker than that. The agent has to stay close to all the details in Equator as it is easy to miss some required info that may be holding the approval up.

  79. chris says

    Hi Craig,
    I just got an offer from BofA through Equator and I had a few question.  I wanted to get my seller some moving cost, so in your opinion should I press the issue with BofA when I counter the offer back to them?  Also my seller will not budget unless BofA gives her in "writing" a letter stating they will not go after her for any deffiency amounts or record any judgment, have you seen BofA provide such a letter?  Sorry but one more question and it is my seller is in Bankruptcy right now, normally I would assume the bank would record the motion of relief from automatic stay but should I have the sellers attorney pull the home out of the BK instead or how would I know the bank will record the motion?
    Thank you in advance Craig,

    • says


      If the seller is in Bank Ruptcy you need to have the property out of the trustee holding the assets. You will need their attorney and trustee attorney working on this together to make it happen. We do this all the time with success.

      As for the deficiency and moving costs…get them in the HAFA program if this is their primary residence. We have been converting all of our qualified sellers to the program with good success.

      Recently we had our seller get a $1,300 incentive bonus on an investment condo we just sold last week. So they are being more flexible.

  80. Amber says

    We have been in escrow on a short sale since Feb 1st  2010. We just yesterday finally got a counter from the bank basically stating that they dropped our closing cost credits from 7000 to 2000 and they are wanting the owner to sign a promissory note for 10,000.00 and come with 5000 cash to close the deal. They did accept the amount that we offered. The owner can come up with 5000 but is refusing to sign the note. How often is that negotiable? Everything else is in order and they gave us a date of 06/14/10 to close by but if he doesnt sign the note is this the end? There are 2 loans I believe they said 80/20 and both are with BofA. In your experience at the point we are at where does this usually go? Thank you for your time.

    • says

      Hi Amber,

      Do you know if this is the their primary residence? If this is their primary residence, the promissory note and cash to close will be completely thrown out the door under the new HAFA program. They would most likely qualify under the new HAFA program and it completely changes the rules on this.

      If this is not their primary then the sellers have two options:
      1. reject the promissory note and have Bank of America negotiator re-submit to the investor. Sometimes this will work, but will take a few weeks to get through negotiations.
      2. Accept the promissory note and then re-negotiate note after short sale closes
      3. Decline the short sale and either do a deed-in-lieu or foreclose on the property. Most likely the deed-in-lieu will have the same terms.

      Either way the seller needs to consult their tax accountant and attorney on their best options.

  81. Amber says

    Thank you for getting back to me. This is the sellers primary residence. You have given me some hope here as It has almost been a week and yet to hear anything else back from the selling realtor or the bank. I told my realtor about the information you offered and she is going to see what she can find out. Thanks again!

  82. C judy says

    Bank of America short sale keeps you waiting over two months then tells you they want $5,000 more even while the offer was the sales price. Hope you have plenty of time and money if you are doing a short sale with bank of America. We gave up!!!

  83. Iris says

    hi to all and Craig,
    Well, Here's my 5th update for everyone. Yesterday 05/05/10 is when we got our written approval from BOA… Yeah!!!! We started this short sale back in March 2010 – so approved in less than 2 months and we are now in real escrow as of yesterday. In 30 days I will be at my new house.
    View the property on 03/1/10 offered 7 gran more than the list price
    Offer accepted by seller 03/04/10
    In Equator by 03/11/2010
    Negotiator assigned  on  04/16/10
    Verbal Approval from BoA on 04/20/10 (But they are approving it for 4,000 more) they ask if we agree or accept and they will proceed with the written approval. (Of course we agreed, we really love the house)
    Written Approval received on 05/05/10 🙂
    And now were in 30 days to close.
    The thing with short sale is every short sale is different. I have a couple of friends that bought a SS house that didnt close till after 10 months, another closed in 3 months and one closed in 2 months. It all depends on the seller's loan, and their circumstances. As a buyer you need to find a house way lower than your price limit and leave extra room for when the lender counters. Sometimes they wont but most of the time they will. I wish everyone the best and goodluck on your SS. Till then …I will have another update once I get the house keys.
    Good things happen to those who wait.

  84. Iris says

    I forgot to mention that when it was verbally approved but they want 4,000 more. They also gave us a closing date of June 28, 2010. But since we got the approval yesterday we can close much sooner per my loan officer. 🙂

  85. Jon says

    Hello to everyone,
    I put  a offer on a SS in february. I am being told the bank accepted our offer and gave the listing agent the verbal acceptance in mid april(we went a couple grand over list price). Now we are waiting for the actual "approval letter" It has been over 2 weeks. I am being told by the listing agent that the equator system has been down for 2 weeks for a system update? Is this accurate? Also I am being told that the apporval letter comes vial mail however, others say it comes in the form of a pdf file through the equator system? Not sure which is correct. Any help would be apperciated.

  86. Ed says

    I am Realtor and can't upload the 3rd Party Auth. I tried 29 times. Once it came back rejected due to being blank and next time "other."  I can't seem to get it into my computer and even see it. I treid to go through Bof A and nothing. I e-mail Equator and they keep sending me the instructions again and again. How do I upload it into my computer.I have tried sending to an open file and a  ile with other data and get nothing. Equator says i have it but nothing. 

  87. cris h says

    I have  listed my AZ investment property way back in July, 2009 for shortsale.  Me and my realtor have probably submitted all documents countless times; assigned negotiators we haven't from; 2 occasions of appraisals until we were directed to go to equator system on March,2010 after 9 months of painful dealings with Bank of America.  Long story short, we have finally received a response about the shortsale….a decline.  However, if we want them to re-consider reviewing the shortsale again; my realtor has to come up with the revised HUD.  He has the revised HUD the next day we received the decline letter.  The HUD has to be downloaded in the equator, the the negotiator closed it. 
    Is it true that if the equator system is closed, then we have to start all over again?  This is what the shortsale dept says.  That even me as the borrower has to download everything again in the system for the documents that were in the system can no longer be viewed by bank of America.  It is almost a year just to get a decline response for all the work and phone calls and waiting. 
    Whoever has the ability to answer my question concerning the equator system closure, please help. 

    • says


      This is a very frustrating process. Equator allows you to submit an offer 3 times. If it is declined three times then the file closes and you have to start over. Most likely your offer price was out of sync with the appraisal. You need to call Bank of America and find out what is the date of the appraisal or BPO that they are using as a baseline for the short sale approval. Many times the BPO / appraisal is very old and out dated and they need to order a new one.

  88. Ninh Nguyen says

    I did applied for short sale, my property at 6009 Golden sun court, N lasvega,NV 89081, I did submited my fianancial statement and letter hardship on 03 /17/2010. Today Equotor dept transfer my case to BAC Home Loan Servicing,then I have to do again, but I could not type in because the previous typing still on computer, not clear yet. so please advise Equator clear or release my old statement then I can retype.Thank you

  89. George says

    Jay – just wanted to let you know we have been approved. We received the letter yesterday from the bank and have a close date of 06/14 or sooner if possible.  We put into the equator system in mid march.  Hang in there….it will get done.

  90. George says

    Jay – Just wanted to let you know that we were approved and received the approval letter yesterday from BOA.  We were put into the equator system in mid march.  Hang in there….it will get done.

  91. says

    Regardless of how smooth the system the people that work it are still clueless.  One of my listings received an offer which was submitted through Equator.  I received several e-mails from the Negotiator marked "counter-offer" and a work-sheet showing the counter information.  The Buyer and Seller accepted the counter and I notified the negotiator and asked for any more paperwork that may be required.  The Buyers agent went to the house to meet the appraiser and found a foreclosure sale date notice.  I contacted the negotiator and was told by her and her supervisor that the "counter-offer" wasn't a counter and that we originally put the offer in too late.  They are maintaining that it is a requirement to have the paperwork in 21 days before the foreclosure sale date.  I have asked them to prove it in writing, which they can't and I have forwarded copies of short-sale procedures from the B of A website which refute their claims.  I have also called their information line and been told the 21 day claim is wrong.
    They are either in the habit of making counters without consulting their investors or they screwed something else up and are trying to lay the blame on us.
    They are just as pathetic as always, but they are quicker at it. 

  92. Andrew says

    We got our offer accepted back in Jan 2010, and BoA has kept us waiting and waiting…
    We never get a straight answer or anything. We had a BPO and agent assigned in April. We keep getting messages saying we are in final review, and will know in 3-5 business days. Then 5 bus. days later they say they haven't moved at all. The process just keeps going on and on. BoA IMO is the worst company on earth.
    Will we close by the tax deadline of July 1st? Will we ever close? I never like BoA and now I absolute abhor them. I hope they go out of business this time for good – no bailout this time.

  93. George says

    Chris –
    I have recently posted that BOA has approved our short sale (I am the buyer). However, just with my luck the SELLER has decided to counter the language in the approval letter.  She wants it to basically say that BOA can not go after her for the difference.  Have you ever seen this language changed?

    • says


      The good news is that you are not the first to come across this. The bad news is that Bank of America RARELY waivers on the language. We come across this all the time and advise our sellers to seek an attorney and weigh the pros and cons of rejecting the language. The only successful way I have seen the language changed is through a forensic analysis on the mortgage, blatant mortgage fraud by Bank of America and some very expensive and crafty lawyers to get the language changed.

      The questions the seller needs to consider is what are their options?
      1. Foreclosure is a “guaranteed” deficiency judgment and short sale is a “may pursue a deficiency”. With a short sale you may be able to negotiate the deficiency “if and when” it occurs. With a foreclosure there is no negotiation. Which path would you want to take? A guaranteed deficiency or a possibility?
      2. Do the sellers have the money and financial strength to hire an attorney and prove mortgage fraud with the Bank of America loan to get the language changed?

      Bank of America is a MASSIVE company and they do not change their legal language on short sales with out Senior Executive and approval from their Corporate Attorney. Frankly they do not have time to get them involved on a short sale and will take the property in foreclosure.

      One thing that many sellers have lost sight of, is that a short sale is the choice of the lender to do a favor for the seller to avoid a foreclosure. Sellers are not entitled to get a “get out of jail” card from the lenders with zero repercussions…unfortunately many think that is the case. There are many programs in place to help homeowners in distress and investors that are in financial trouble. Sometimes you can only do so much to minimize the financial impact of a short sale. If this is their primary home they may qualify for the HAFA program which does waive the deficiency.

      Good luck and let me know what the seller chooses to do.

  94. George says

    Craig –
    Since our initial contract was subject to third party approval and now that we got third party approval is the seller even able to get out of the contract? From my understanding once third party approval is given then both parties are bound to the contract, right?

    • says

      George –

      You are correct. Once the terms have been accepted by the seller and then the lender you now have an effective contract. All of my contracts have special provisions/ language for my sellers to protect them just in case the lender asks for something completely crazy. This gives them the option to cancel the contract and avoid getting sued by the buyer for backing out.

  95. chris says

    Hi Craig,
    I just received the approval letter from BofA  (1st lender) and they had attached a form I never seen before.  The form is title "Assignment of Unearned Premium Refund", have you seen this form and can you shed some light as to what it is?  Also the approval letter clearly states BofA can go after my seller for any deffiency amounts or record a judgment.  In your experience have they ever gone after your clients or were you able to get a letter from BofA stating they will not pursue for any deffiency amounts after the close of escrow?  
    Thank you again for your help

  96. Liz says

    I would like more inforatmation regarding the held status. I have been under contract since February, all the conditions have been met. Our negotiator was changed twice. I even went up to the amount. they would accept. I have been in held status for two weeks now with no response from BOA. I'm concerned because I want to capitalize on the tax credit which was my incentive to buy this year. Can anyone provide any feed back?

  97. chris says

    Hi Liz,
    To answer your recent question posted on May 28, 2010 at 5:51 AM – I had gone through the same experience where negotiators were changed and the "Held" status just stayed put for a few weeks.  Give it a little more time and you will get a response.   I had opened my short sale with BofA in April and just recently received the approval letter last week.  But in the early stages it does take weeks before you hear anything, and sometimes weeks after the appraisal and BPO has been issued.    You can also reply to the negotiators with a ETA or ask for status and sometimes they would respond or speed things up through Equator.  
    Good Luck

  98. Liz says

    Thanks for the response, Chris. I just received some not so encouraging news. Now that they have assigned a new negotiator, they have decided to go back on the price they initially countered me on. They asked for $287500, this was met by me going up $4000.00 and the seller signing a promissory note for $4000.00, since my original bid was $279500. Today I was told they countered me again at $299000 and still want the seller to sign a promissory note. I don't get it. $299000 was their list price and they came up with the $287500. I don't understand the logic behind it. Now, I'm even more anxious because it seems that I will not be capitalizing on the credit. To add insult to injury there is a unit in the same building that is a 3 bedroom, not a short sale and is asking $319000, the unit I’m discussing is a 2 bedroom. They are about to lose a deal because I do not believe the property is worth what they are asking.  It seems like BoA doesn’t really care if it goes into foreclosure, which seems like it will cost them more money. I am very frustrated, to say the least. This just seems like bad business, doesn’t even seem legal how they can just at the very end decide to increase the price. I have paid for my attorney and inspection, not to mention the stress that goes with this and it seems like the deal is falling apart.

  99. Liz says

    I forgot to mention, on top of this, they want the $299000 as well as the seller to keep their promissory note of $4000.00. Has anyone experienced something like this. I want nothing to do with BoA, I'm even canceling credit cards I had with them, I'm so put off by their policies. After all of their conitingencies have been met why would they decide to increase the asking price?

  100. says

    i am trying to purchase a home in henderson nevada.  i submitted an offer on a short sale in dec '09.  bank of america kicked it back saying person wasn't far enough behind and to wait for a notice of default.  i have waited, i pressured my agent to resubmit the short sale offer again.  we resubmitted it at the end of may '10.  the bank has not kicked it back.  my agent is in contact with the listing agent at all times.  how long should i wait to pressure them again to get thngs moving. or should i just sit back and wait some more.  i love the house and really want it.

    • says


      Was the offer submitted into the Bank of America Equator system? Usually they will kick it back right away if the offer is too low. If everything has been submitted…including sellers financials, tax returns, hardship letter and etc…it should be about 2 months before you start getting close to getting a response. Usually 3-4 months to get it all the way to the end with Equator and closing on the property.

      Craig B.

  101. chris says

    Hi Liz,
    Find out if they have Mortgage Insurance on the loan b/c it makes more sense for the investor to foreclose on the home if there is mortgage insurance.  I know it sounds wrong but thats just the way it system is placed.  You may try to order your own BPO and argue the fact if it does come in lower. 

  102. Alex says

    I am a realtor. I have a short sale listing and the property is with BOA. When I initiated it on Equator, it did not match the loan number and property address.  It is just showing like 000000 as address. I called BOA Equator more than a month for correction, but they are just pointing findgers to each other and nothing is changing.  Also, they are keep declining the shrt sale for this propble.  It is their proble not mine.  Why are they keep declining the file instead of fixing the stupid address problem? Equator is the worst system I have ever seen.  BOA and Equator are making short sale process even worse and worse and keep trying to make it worst.

  103. Eddie says

    I agreed to purchase a short sale in October 09', the asking price was 525,000(3-Family House) and we agreed on a 500,000 sale price. I been waiting for a response for about 8 months now and BOA just responded 2 days ago with a 560,000 counteroffer. The appraisal we ordered valued the property at 500,000, therefore we cannot borrow any more from them. On top of that they gave me a deadline of 5 business days to respond with a counter offer. I decided to put up a 525,000 offer with the extra 25,000 in cash despite the appraised value and I'm waiting to hear back. Why would they do this? they're stating that the computer(equator) came up with the counter offer but if the appraisal is 500,000 how did it come with that number? they ordered a new "BPO" but with the pressure of not getting by the deadline i caved in and made the counter. Needless to say I really want this property! do you have any advice for me?

    • says

      Hi Eddie,

      Equator sometimes has old BPOs from 12 months ago. The realtor should have sent in your appraisal and said, “this is the appraisal on the home and this is all he can get the loan for due to the appraisal amount. Please accept or the buyer will walk as he is not able to increase his offer.”

      Craig B.

  104. says

    I am the co-ordinator for an office of agents that specialize in REOs. I am not impressed with Equator and the way Bank of America is utilizing it.  The Equator system has just simplified the submission of documents to Bank of America.  No more having to fax repeatedly documents because B of A claims that they did not receive them.  It has not sped up B of A's cumbersome short sale process.  While most of the larger lenders are now closing short sales in 6 to 8 weeks Bank of America is still taking 4 to 5 months or longer.  Their processing is slow, negtiators are changed in the middle of the offer negotiations, negotiators do not communicate with the real estate agents or sellers and do not respond to emails or phone messages, you have to call for updates or you know nothing.  The only thing that has really changed is that with the Equator system they cannot claim that they did not received your documents as they are there uploaded into the Equator system for those involved to see.  Until Bank of America changes its entire system of processing these short sales they are going to continue to be inept in the short sale department.  Maybe they would just rather foreclose as short sale a property?  I will say that when you call now to the short sale department those handling these calls are very professional and nice and much more informative.  Unfortunately they are not the ones processing the short sale which is where Bank of America fails miserably.  We have now and have had several short sale offers for Bank of America, the 3 that are being processed now have been processing for from 2 to 4 months with no approval yet.  We had 4 buyers back out due to B of A taking so long and just one closed, it took 7 months to bring to closing. 

  105. says

    I am office co-ordinator for agents who specialize in REO properties.  The Equator system has just simplified the submission of documents to Bank of America.  No more having to fax repeatedly documents because B of A claims that they did not receive them.  It has not sped up B of A's cumbersome short sale process.  While most of the larger lenders are now closing short sales in 6 to 8 weeks Bank of America is still taking 4 to 5 months or longer.  Their processing is slow, negtiators are changed in the middle of the offer negotiations, negotiators do not communicate with the real estate agents or sellers and do not respond to emails or phone messages, you have to call for updates or you know nothing.  The only thing that has really changed is that with the Equator system they cannot claim that they did not received your documents as they are there uploaded into the Equator system for those involved to see.  Until Bank of America changes its entire system of processing these short sales they are going to continue to be inept in the short sale department.  Maybe they would just rather foreclose as short sale a property?  I will say that when you call now to the short sale department those handling these calls are very professional and nice and much more informative.  Unfortunately they are not the ones processing the short sale which is where Bank of America fails miserably.  We have now and have had several short sale offers for Bank of America, the 3 that are being processed now have been processing for from 2 to 4 months with no approval yet.  We had 4 buyers back out due to B of A taking so long and just one closed, it took 7 months to bring to closing.   They could use some lessons on closing short sales from Wells Fargo, they move it right along and do not waste any time.

  106. Jason says

    It's odd that some transactions go relatively quickly while others go on for months or years.  Is there any evidence that geographic location makes a difference?  It seems like those in the harder hit areas such as Florida, Arizona, Nevada, etc. have a harder time.  Does anyone know this to be true? 
    I'm a buyer in the San Francisco Bay Area (thankfully, we were not hit as hard by the housing crisis) and my short sale offer was accepted by sellers in late May.  BPO was ordered by BofA that week.  I haven't heard anything yet, but as BofA may not be so overwhelmed in my area, I'm hoping the process will move quickly. 
    Can some of you comment on where you are in the country and whether or not you think that impacted your experience with BofA?

  107. Elizabeth says

    Bank of America has taken a slow and cumbersome process and messed it up completely by creating a system that takes the human factor out of the process.  I went through the Equator short sale process and after 3 months, I got an approval letter.  I was happy for about a minute until I saw that the letter had expired 2 days before it was even written.  There is no solution in the Equator system to deal with this.  As far as Bank of America is concerned, the short sale is complete. Case closed, end of discussion.  My appeals for a correction of the typo, or an extension have gone nowhere.  4 weeks later, the deal is dead.  Fully approved, but cannot close.  What a giant joke.  It seems that when a bank is so big and bloated that it cannot move or think, it should just be shot & put out of its own misery.

  108. Anne Howard says

    I am the buyer.  This is a cash purchase. BofA approved my offer April 30. Sellers moved out of house May 11. Escrow was to close June 2. Now an addendum for closing to June 30. Seller and buyer have submitted all docs requested by negotiator.  Any idea when this deal may close. Also, my agent told me the seller's agent is the Only person who can have any contact with the negotiator.  Am I correct in that I can access Equator myself and check the status of this short sale?  Am I able to contact the negotiator myself? This house is in Oregon. I appreciate any feedback/suggetstion you can offer.  Thanks very much. 

  109. says

    We submitted a short sale offer in March at a listing price consistant with the alledged Bank approved short sale dollar value. A BPO was assigned in April. Now it is the middle of June and no word from the Bank of America. My agent claims there is no system in place that expedites the process, and it takes a random act of luck to get that eluvsive letter of approval from the bank. I find that difficult to believe. When should I expect a letter of approval if the offer was submitted at a Bank approved price.

    • says

      Richard –

      Sometimes it does feel like a random act of luck to get things done in Bank of Amearica’s Equator system. There are processes and policies in place for expediting and escalating short sales. It is clearly defined in the Equator system. The negotiator has a specified number of days to complete a task. If it not completed you can escalate it in the system.

      Try to find out what the next task is in the Equator system and that will shed some light on how long it will take for approval.

      Craig B.

  110. MadShortSale says

    Equator System sinks, we are on our 3rd go round with them.  No one knows what is happening and no one can help when you have a question.   Now you must hire a realtor even if you are doing a private purchase.  I won't buy another house that has anything to so with Bank of America.  Maybe you should consider a name change Bank of America and Realty,  because you will be sitting on a lot of houses.

  111. Donna Bruno says

    I just had a great offer on a home that is a BOA short sale. The buyer is all cash and can close asap.  I put the offer into the system and it declined it immediately and did not counter offer the initial offer.  The buyer, over a number of days, raised their offer to full price all cash and still Equator declined it.  That full price offer meant that  the differenc ebetween settlement and the short sale was about $25k.  There is no one to talk to in order to state the case. It's a frustating process and sad.  No wonder Bank of America has so many properties in trouble.  Realtors would be able to sell them if they got an answer out of someone actually breathing! So sad for the homeowners!!

  112. Michele says

    I have been trying to get an offer through via equator and B of A keeps rejecting the offer. The home is not worth anymore then the offer…I have called B of A several times and keep getting different answers as to how to get the offer through, but none of them work! I don't them the reps themselves understand how the portal works! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I have been working on this for 2 months and now the home will go into foreclosure by August. The sellers are extremely disappointed in the way B of A is handling it. It seems like we can't get straight answers and they will not accept the bid..they told me there is no other way of placing a bid!

  113. Ken Harmar says

    I have been a customer of Bank of America for years and have been trying to buy a house that is in short-sale status for several months now. B of A has handled it so poorly that I am going to be recinding my offer if they don't decide soon! The house has been sitting vacant for over a year with no A/C or care to stop mildew and rot from consuming it. The swimming pool is so black and full of all sorts of critters & mosquito larvae that the county just stocked it with fish to eat the mosquitos.
    B of A is being remiss and acting stupidly as the house is rotting and will shortly go into receivership, in which event the bank will get even less for it. It is almost beyond repair now.
    Thanks for nothing B of A,
    Ken H.

  114. Laura V. says

    So, as I sit here on a Tuesday evening reading through this most interesting blog, I am reminded of the days activities, and just how frustrating it was manuevering through the Equator system. On one particular file in Equator I have 28 msg., most of which are rejection notices which supply nothing more then "other" as the reason for same. Holy maird! How hard would it be for BAC to provide us with a detailed reason for the rejection. As it stands now we are forced to call BAC and ask them to view the notes left by the ever elusive "generic negotiator" as to just WHY the offer, or supporting docs, were rejected. More often than not BAC's call center provides incorrect information as to the rejection, and I waste valuable time chasing my tail submitting and re-submitting the same documentation over and over and over and over again. Either the system is flawed, or the call center is. I'm not sure which, the jury is still out.   I believe Equator has the potential to be "nirvana", but I also believe that Chris (CEO) would benefit greatly by gathering a group of Equator users, both seasoned and green, from across the country, who have varied Equator user experience, and can provide valuable input as to how to enhance the Equator experience (e.i. more user friendly) for all us rapidly turning grey, furrow browed negotiators/agents who end our days most often with our bodies twisted into a question mark, wondering if we should update our clients by stating "nothing new to report at this time", or by being brutally honest and disclosing that we are more ignorant today than we were yesterday as to where the file is in the negotiating process, and what the possible time frame for an approval/counter offer/quasi answer may be.  
    Quite frankly, I do my happy dance when I learn that my clients loan is a government (FHA, VA, etc…) and therefore won't be subject to Equator submission. Although I hear that may be changing ):    The turnaround time my be greater, but there is comfort in the knowledge that my communications throughout the process will be with a living breathing knowledgable individual.  I use the term knowledgable lightly.

  115. MadSeller says

    I have had nothing but aggravation from everyone i have talked to at Bank of America for the last 2 years trying to short sell several properties.  I am convinced that the entire company is comprised of pond scum that are so dumb that they couldn't find their ass in the dark with both hands.

  116. Diane says

    We just received final approval on the short sale but they told us the seller's realtor need to get a letter and the letter was sent to another department for setting up the settlement date.  How long does it usually take to receive a settlement date?

    • says

      Hi Diane,

      Once the short sale is approved by the investor you should receive the approval letter within a few days to a week at the maximum. If it is taking longer then a step has been missed or it is hung up somewhere. Possibly there is mortgage insurance and they need to get that approved.

      Craig B.

  117. RS says

    I am very unhappy with the equator system.  I have been waiting for 6 months and counting for processing with cash money.  They act like they want to keep the house.  I even offered more money just to complete the short sale.  If anyone knows how to speed up the process-please help.

  118. Foster Little says

    I am an agent with Century 21, Johnston in Harlingen, Texas and I had a home owner approach me about listing his property for a short sale.  We communicated with BOA  thru a local BOA Mortgage agent and received a tentative approval for a short sale.  I have entered it into the BOA "Equator" system and have (I think) forwarded the 3rd Party Authorization into the system.  I don't know how to work the system and cannot communicate with anyone at Equator or BOA to receive any help in what my next steps should be or how to accomplish them.  I don'[t know where this is going.  Foster Little. Century 21, Johnston

  119. Deir Andrade says

    I discovered my customer was trying to sell his house to a friend of his. I am not sure the friend has a job or not, I met her once. After smelling a rat I resigned as the customers broker and advised him to find someone else to sell his property.
    The letter instructing him to find another broker was returned. Should I send one certified?

    • says

      Deir –

      I would absolutely send a certified letter. The last thing you want to is get sued over the home foreclosing. You did the right thing about resigning your representation of the client. You can get into some serious legal issues getting involved with a non-arms length transaction and an unethical customer.

      Craig B.

  120. HowMuchLonger says

    I am a future homeowner,
    My process has been going through the equator system since Feb 2010 and finding out that the key players to push thing through weren't doing their jobs only delayed it even more.  However I've find out that most of the delay was that the seller had outstanding hoa fees and that they are cleared now.  So my loan is ready with a closing date for 10-27 and the sellers agent just asked for my updated preapproval letter…. so am I closer to closing or have I just started waiting….

  121. SoConfused says


    We are confused with the equator system. It seems to work fine until the point of negotiation. I have 3 short sales that have been dragging on for months in this system. I have re initiated them countIess times. I have closed about 40 short sales with BofA prior to equator and none since.
    For all 3 of these files the first counter I received was  WELL over market value. I have gotten the buyer to go up in price because we all know it will never appraise. I accepted the higher amount and another counter was sent…..20k higher. I accept that. Now they want a new HUD that has to match their worksheet. This goes back and forth for a month. New HUDs sent in and so forth. I can't get anyone on the phone. The status line, while friendly, can't do anything. Negotiators are being changed constantly.
    It is finally submitteded to the investor and I get another counter offer wanting the seller to pay 8k. In all 6 counter offers I went through cash contribution from the seller was never included. I met the net proceeds and why would the seller pay 8200 on a 220k condo? This is a purchase money loan and the seller has no motivation to contribute.
    I don't know what the BPO came in at but probably around 200k. The offer is for 220k. Why is the bank declining an offer that is WAY over market value?
    I'm beginning to feel that BofA has no interest in short selling this property. I have driven myself crazy wondering if I'm using the system wrong or if BofA is just not interested in closing this file. I'm having this same problem with all 3.
    I have read people that say they have gotten approval letters in 3 months. HOW????
    Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

  122. John says

    Hi – I'm a buyer and we put in an offer through the Equator system.  My agent really kept after the seller's agent (who didn't seem to know what she was doing) and we got a counter-offer for more than $30K.  My agent was able to get a conference call with the negotiator and she convinced him that the offer was sound and represented FMV and the negotiator agreed.   The negotiator then sent the offer on to the investor with the recommendation that the investor approve the contract.
    Once the negotiator approves the price, does anyone know how long it typically takes for the investor to approve or disapprove the contract?

    • says

      John –

      That was a great tactic your agent did with the conference call. It is very frustrating trying to negotiate with a software platform that just spits out an answer. It was very helpful that your agent was able to get on the phone with the negotiator and challenge the valuation.

      Once the investor approves the price you should have verbal approval within 72 hours and a short sale approval letter very shortly after this. If it takes any longer the negotiator either dropped the ball or they are waiting on something that is delaying the approval. 9 times out of 10 it is the Bank of America negotiator that needs to simple input a few keystrokes and it is done.

      Craig Baranowski.

  123. Stephen says

    Is it true that Equator can only take one offer at a time?   The seller agent on a short sale house we would like to buy keeps saying that he cannot submit a second contract.   He says the system limits him to one contract submission.   It sounds crazy the Bank of America doesnt want to see a contract with a higher offer in it.

    • says

      Hi Stephen,

      Yes. It is true that Equator will only allow you to submit one offer at a time for a short sale. However, if it was a bank owned property, Equator does have the ability to submit multiple offers. Short sales require an extensive amount of work so lenders can only dedicate the time to work the highest and best offer for the property.

      Craig B.

  124. says

    I sent an offer with letters of 3rd party authorization and hardship to equator within specified time limit of 14 days. In fact I have copy of the email confirmation from equator stating stating successful receipt. Now I get an email 15 days later stating the short sale request is being denied because offer was not submitted within the 14 days.  The instructions says to reply, log in to Band of America Short Sale System and go to the messages section. I have tried 10 different Bank of America Short Sale links to no avail. This system is so frustrating. What to do???????
    Lula Cosby

    • says


      Please make sure that when you upload a document you actual complete the “submit” action. This happened the first time we used Equator. We had all of the documents uploaded and realized they were never submitted for review.

      Thanks for posting.
      Craig Baranowski

  125. Oliver 13 says

    We submitted an offer that was contingent on City approval for demolition.  Our offer was accepted through (I have been told by the seller's broker) the Equator system.  However, we have not received demolition approval within the contractual time period, it is maybe 50/50, the costs to continue this risky process have ballooned tremedously, and if the City approves demolition they told us they will impose restrictions on our new construction.  In order to justify continuing the process, we must revise our offer downward.  How can this happen within the Equator process?  Our broker, and the seller's, are clueless.  Ideally, I'd like to speak to someone to explain the situation.  Can anyone give some advice?

    • says

      Oliver 13 –

      This is certainly a complicated situation with the demolition. However, we adjust offers downward all of the time due to inspection results, repair estimates and appraisals. I would recommend putting together a cost estimate to demo the property and compare to a vacant lot. Once you run the analysis and the numbers you can submit the new offer to Bank of America via the Equator system. I assume that everyone is in agreement that the property needs to be demolished right?

      Craig Baranowski

  126. Dipan says

    I put in an offer 2 weeks ago and the sellers have not heard back anything from BofA. My agent keeps calling the listing agent and all she hears is that its with the Bank. I am surprised because I think equator does provide specific tasks with deadlines and the listing agent should be able to provide the status at all times including who is it waiting for and for what reason. I hate the lack of transparency for all parties involved in the sale.
    Can anyone please provide the tasks with their time-lines?

  127. Jeanine Lopez says

    I wrote a contract on 10/19 for a property Bank of America is short selling, cash offer. They countered at $171k, I said I'd take the house at $163K.  Bank of America accepted my offer on 11-17 stating a COE date for 11-29. I'm still waiting for the paperwork from Bank of America to finalize the deal.  I'm so sad at this point, I have no faith in the system. Both Realtor's keep saying: be patient, but at this point I have no idea if I even have a deal in process with them or not.  On 12-9 the file was escilated, but still today 12-10 at 3:44 PM Arizona time – nothing new. At this point I have no option but to look for a new property this weekend. I'm suppose to be out of my place by the end of December, which means I have about 18 days to find a place, move and of course supply Christmas to my kids.  Jeanine  

    • says


      This is very frustrating being so close to Christmas. Did they approve the offer in Equator? I assume you are waiting for the official approval letter right? The agents may have jumped the gun too soon on the approval. If the offer is accepted in the Equator system it will still need to have final approval from the investor. Even though your offer met their guidelines for approval, Bank of America must get final sign off from their investor. Depending upon who the investor is, this may take a few days to 2 weeks. If it takes any longer than something has fallen off track and could be in Never Never Land.

      Be patient you should be getting the approval letter very soon.

      Craig Baranowski

  128. Erika says

    I'M LOST…

    • says

      Hi Erika,

      Congrats on your first home purchase! You guys are going head first into the buying process with a short sale! The Equator system does cause a bit of confusion with their process. Bank of America and Equator have been able to get the process streamlined and dialed in to the point where Equator will submit a “preliminary approval” of the short sale in the system. What this means is that the offer meets their internal criteria for approval of the short sale. If everyone agrees to the terms: sale price, net to bank, realtor commissions, closing costs, closing date, and etc then the terms are accepted in the Equator system. Once this is accepted the offer is submitted for management approval and then submitted for formal approval to the investor who owns the note. Once the investor approves a formal approval letter is generated by Bank of America that details the terms of the deal and specific terms for the seller in regards to the short sale. This letter is what you will need to provide to your lender to get the loan processed.

      99% the deal is done and the formal investor approval takes anywhere from 1 day to 1-2 weeks. I have had 5 Bank of America short sales approved in the last 2 weeks as they are doing a mad rush to close out deals for 2010. Assuming that your offer was approved in Equator I would say it is safe to do a 30 day lock on your mortgage.

      Hope this helps. Good luck with the new purchase!

      Craig Baranowski

  129. Erika says

    WoW, Craig I appreciate your quick response….really, really  helpful!!
    Do you have any idea what the current rate is?? I am in California if that make a difference…
    I wonder why the lender didn't ask if we wanted to lock..I learned this through research…because I am so ignorant to the real estate world and am having to learn the hard way!!

  130. Jill says

    Recently, Bank of America has been asking for borrowers to submit an explanation letter explaining why they can not contribute cash or sign a promissory note. In addition to the borrower being unemployed, in this particular case, the lender has no deficiency rights because of the state laws and the way in which they foreclosed, so there is little incentive for the borrower to contribute.  Have you seen this request on your BOA short sales?  And if so, how detailed do you tell your buyers to be in their letter?  Should they mention the state law or just stick to the unemployment issue?

    • says

      Hi Jill,

      The last 3 short sales we just closed in December with Bank of America all asked for a cash contribution. We declined on every one and the sellers were not required to sign a promissory note or bring cash to closing. My policy for any communication with the lender is “less if more” when it comes to information. I would make the letter short and sweet…

      “To whom it may concern, I am not able to sign a promissory note or bring any funds to closing to due my current unemployment status. Additionally, XYZ State is a non-recourse state for deficiency judgments. Sincerly, John Doe”

  131. says

    I think the biggest issue I have with the equator system is that when the automated e-mail arrives and indicates: documents rejected and the reason is other; no one can seem to tell me what “other” is – they just say “other”. This is the most frustrating system – if you want the system to work you need to have a chat line back at least a to an e-mail address.

    I bet if Hugh McColl was in charge ( former CEO of Nations Bank) there would be a chat line.

  132. Steven Abrams says

    My realtor had a letter from BOA that they would accept $345,000 for a short sale.We made a cash offer of that amount 4 months ago.5 times they asked for copies of proof of funds and several other docs.The broker supplied everything they needed.Recently they asked for a HUD which was also sent.Last week they changed the price to $390,000. There is no one to talk to and nobody ever returns a call.Something doesn’t smell right with them.It seems that they do not want to do a short sale and may be getting money from the Government.We are so fed up and drained with them that we don’t know what to do anymore.If someone can help please e mail

    • Lauramc says

      I feel your pain. After a year of jumping through hoops with BofA to get our Shortsale approved, we were almost there, just waiting for the Mortgage Insurance company to sign off, they foreclosed on our property. The Shortsale Dept and the Legal Dept don’t know what the other is doing, so just be careful.

  133. shirley tyree says

    I represent the buyer their mortgage company nor closing attorney has anything on an accepted offer by seller that the offer has been submitted to bank of america. The offer is more than appraised price but we have an appraisal contingency. The only thing in file is an real estate agent in california sending an unsigned pdf through listing agent or made up. we do not know. The home is in a vandilized condition. The property is in Georgia. Does this look like fraud and should I contact fraud department?

  134. Heather says

    Hi Craig
    You seem very knowledgable and helpful with bofa Short Sales. I have a unique situation that in all my short sales I haven’t come across. We rec’d approval on our offer of 185K, but the MI company wants 17,500.00 in Cash Contribution. We got the Buyer to agree to purchase the property for 199K (14K of the cash request) and the rest will be paid by the seller. We submitted that for approval it got rejected when I called the Negotiator she said the Equator System if we put the purchase price as 199K then bofa looked at they were getting that money and the 17,500.00 would have to be to the MI. We would have to accept it as the 185K and 17,500.00 seperate. I explained if we did that the FINAL Huds would look different due to the purchase price being 199K. She said they didn’t care HOW they got the money they just wanted those amounts and it was the system. I even talked to a closer from BofA to verify, said the same thing he would approve the different huds with the different purchase price. UNFORTUANETLY the approval letter stated “approval of 185K purchase price” so the Buyers Lender cannot underwrite it with the difference of the addendum and approval. ANY HELP? I’ve requested they approve the final Huds prior or remove the verbiage from their letter via Equator, but I believe only a REAL Manager will be able to bypass their FORM Letters and the System. Would Love any Help you have and if it works I will buy you a game of golf or dinner if you ever visit Utah!!

  135. Lauramc says

    The new Equator system is not working as well as people think. For the past year my Realtor and I have been trying to get my short sale approved. Half way through they switched to Equator, but the documents already submitted were not transfered, so we had to download everything again. Then the Equator system said it wasn’t downloaded, so we downloaded again, this has been done 3 times, finally the Equator system recognizes the info was there.

    I don’t think the Eqator is the biggest problem with BofA though. We have tirelessly been working on getting this sale through and were only waiting for the Mortgage Insurance company to sign off, well while waiting, the Legal Dept foreclosed on our house, WTH? We have been in contact with the Loss Mitigation Dept (Shortsale Dept) daily, but they didn’t know what the Legal dept was doing and visa versa, so now the poor people that have been waiting FOREVER to buy our house are out a house and we are out also. Now our credit report will show forclosure instead of shortsale. Dealing with BofA has been a complete nightmare. Good luck to any of you that try and get anything done with BofA.

  136. BofA_HAFA_Experience says

    I was finally approved for the HAFA program last March after months of haggling with AMS (BofA’s HAFA servicer). We received an offer the following April. The buyer had been approved for financing by his own bank and the funds were ready to go. BofA last conducted a BPO (appraisal) the previous December and came up with a price of $120. Even though the offer was for the FULL amount of $120k that BofA was asking for, they took almost a month to approve it. The buyer’s bank conducted their own appraisal and it came out to $110k, which makes sense because it’s a declining market and it had been over 5 months since the last appraisal. BofA was supposed to have been conducting a BPO every 90 days but they were not. As a result, BofA now wants to conduct their BPO before they will accept $110k from the buyer’s bank, a process I’m being told could take up to 6 weeks, which would put us at about 3 months since the offer was made. The buyer is becoming impatient and is preparing to walk away from the deal. For all of the talk about how streamlined and efficient the HAFA program is, I’ll I’ve found is that every deadline that they are supposed to have met under this program has been missed by several days. Every time my agent or myself calls AMS to get information about the status of an approval or a BPO either nobody knows anything or we’re told that the person to talk to is not available. I’m told that even if the short sale falls through I may be eligible for a deed-in-lieu but the truth is, it seems like BofA is doing everything in their power to thwart my efforts at avoiding foreclosure so I’m not very optimistic about being approved for a deed-in-lieu. I would really like to know who is supposed to be holding the banks’ feet to the fire to ensure that they meet all these guidelines that they claim are suppose to be part of this HAFA program that they say is so great and what, if any, penalties are imposed on them for not meeting them.

  137. Marie says

    Equator is now fine but why is it that after all the uploading to it and waiting to get to a B/A negotiator, they encourage you to respond to Bank of America Short Sale system which is impossible to find the MESSAGE SECTION AMONGST THE MANY B/A SITES? i HAVE A SHORT SALE WITH BofA SINCE MAY OF THIS YEAR, and so far we just got assigned a negotiator who does not seem to get the documents I uploaded to Equator, but when I checked it out it is on there. Crazy but true.

    Has anyone tried CITIBANK? it is even worst. We went through 8 processors, who requested same documents again and again from my buyers. They were pre-approved by them since June 17, 2011 and were told to wait all these time by all 8 processors who promised everything is being reviewed by final underwriting. They have ordered appraisal which was more than the approved short sale price of the selling Bank which met the PO value, only to be rejected because they said his Fico went down to 690. FHA only need 640, so what are they talking about? The guy owns a commercial property free and clear worth $300,000 in current value and earns a combined income of over $10,000. a month.

    • says

      Hi Marie,

      Equator is tricky if things are not done 100% correct. We have done almost a hundred Bank of America short sales in Equator and still make errors. If things are not progressing quickly there is usually something that has not be submitted correctly or not submitted at all. Items can be uploaded, but not submitted.

      I would call Bank of America and have someone review your Equator file to ensure everything is submitted correctly. Otherwise the negotiator is never alerted of the task that needs to be completed.

      Craig B.

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  139. Jennifer says

    I came across your blog post while trying to find similar stories to mine regarding the Bank of America short sale nightmare. I am a seller that was screwed over by the Equator system. Two full price offers fell off the table while waiting for Bank of America to remove an older rejected offer from the Equator system so that my realtor could enter one of the backup offers. Then they closed my file because the first offer didn’t complete. So frustrating…and now my loan has been sold to another company and I have to start the process all over again of getting approval for a short sale. I would sue BofA if I had the money and energy and actually thought it would go somewhere.

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  141. says

    Well, I had a property that lasted for 16 month before the Bank of America decided it was time to close the damn thing. During that 16 months, I had 1 BPO and 8 appraisers. There were at least 10 negotiators during the process. The file was declined 3 times as no fault of the buyer, seller, or Realtor. There was no explanation at all from the Bank of America. The Bank of America told us so many lies and made up so much stuff it was absolutely ridiculous. My seller got pissed and hired a lawyer and the Bank of America got ready real fast to close the file. We closed the very next day, after the attorney sent them a demand letter and a summon for the Bank of America to appear in court in Jacksonville, Florida.

    • George Walker says

      I know of a similar situation about the Bank of America. The Bank of America got stupid as usual and went to court in Camden County, GA and lost. The judge threw the book at Bank of America after he found that the seller had been trying to sell the home for almost a year. The seller got to keep the house for free and the Bank of America had 48 hour to clear the sellers credit report and report that the debt was paid as agreed. Further, the Bank of America had to pay all court costs and had to pay the seller 754.00 for each month beginning when the seller and buyer signed the purchase and sales agreement. The buyer was compensated by the Bank of America at 754.00 for each month plus 5000.00 for other expenses. The Bank of America tried to cheat the seller out of the 3000.00 relocation fee. The seller got the 3000.00 fee anyway by the order of the judge. The seller and the Realtor kept very good records and taped every single conversation with the Bank Of America. The judge was able to see the 10-12 inches of paperwork and the dictated phone calls. That is what pissed the judge and why the judge ruled in favor of the seller. The judge caught the Bank of America lawyers in so many lies he told the lawyer to just sit down and be quite.

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  143. Mike Solo says

    Equator just made a major change to there system.They don’t forward the messages to your email anymore. If you have assistants, you have to give them your password. You can no longer view them from your email, you have to log in to view them. Its also a documention issue. You can not longer save the emails you can only find them in equator as long as they keep them. Once they transfer a listing you will loose everything. Users need to contact them and force them to change this back!


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