Bank of America formerly Countrywide New Short Sale Policies and Guidelines

With almost 1 in 5 home loans in Florida originating from Bank of America formerly Countrywide, it is highly likely that if you are looking to purchase a short sale or sell a property as a short sale it is serviced by Bank of America. Team Baranowski has dealt with dozens of short sales with Bank of America and we are slowly seeing the process attempting to be standardized and streamlined. See a post about Bank of America’s streamlined process here.

During one of our many short sale negotiations with Bank of America, we received a very detailed and information packed emailed that detailed some of their new and not so new polices that are being pushed down from their Senior Vice President to the hundreds of Loan Services Specialists in the Short Sale Department. The not so new polices seem to now be formalized and documented versus recognized as a standard practice.

Since the email is confidential and secured, I am not able to post it here. However, this is a snapshot of the critical points to Bank of Americas new short sale policies.

  1. Bank of America continues to adhere to the 10 to 12 business days for a negotiator to review the short sale file. This is typically through each phase including: short sale submission, triage, Level 1 Negotiator, Level 2 Negotiator, Investor Review, and Level 3 Negotiator
  2. Under NEW GUIDELINES it is now necessary for MOST sellers to contribute to the loss in order to qualify for a short sale. Clients must be prepared for this probability. Contribution will be in the form of cash or a 0% 15 year promissory note. Contribution requirements are assessed on a case by case basis. Determining factors include: if the seller is current on other debts, as reported on the seller’s credit report, then the contribution will be a firm requirement.
  3. Bank of America will contribute a MAXIMUM of $3,000 towards a 2nd mortgage pay off. This has been a standard policy and it now appears to be a firm policy. If Bank of America owns both the first and second mortgage, please pay close attention as Bank  of America has been selling off their second mortgages. This will have an impact on your short sale payoff. If you have specific questions about this please contact me.
  4. Fees that will not be paid by Bank of America and must be removed from their side of the HUD: sub escrow, recording fees, recon fees, doc prep, processing fees, wire fees, notary fees, courier fees, loss mitigation/ 3rd party negotiation fees and home warranties. All of these fees will not be paid by the investor that owns the loan.

We have had great success with Bank of America short sales. It takes patience, diligence and deep knowledge of their processes to work through system. We have had short sales approved in 6 weeks and some take as long as 5 months. Bank of America short sales is the most popular and heavily discussed topic on my blog and I get emails and phone call daily in regards to this topic. 


  1. Kristina Woolf says

    This is all a familiar story! Bank of America is full of lies! We are caught at ground zero. We own a home in Las VEGAS which has lost over 55% of it’s value. My husband is military and received orders to another state. We have been declined for a short sale (which has been under review since March 19th)because the investor put PMI on our loan “Without our knowledge” and we do not meet the PMI companies guidelines which they will not tell us. Those guidelines are protected in the TRADEMARK! We have offered a cash settlement and to sign a note only to be told “Being military you should have known better then to buy a houe”, “This needs to hurt you financially”, “Maybe the PMI representative is x military and has a grudge about what your are trying to do” Bank of America is strong arming it’s military because they know we have a so much at on the line. I guess that is what we get for loving our country and being upstanding citizens! I have contacted every congressmen, senator, lawyers anyone who will listen and they ALL just shrug their shoulders and turn away. Our men and women are good enough to defend this country but in the time of need our personal decisions our looked upon with Judgement by some paper pusher who’s “Guidelines” are very clear. So what are we to do? The PMI company wants $20K cash and for us to sign a note for 72K. Let me just say we put 55K down on this house to avoid the PMI and it is ironic that the investor put PMI on our loan without our knowledge and has admitted that this was a mistake yet that is what is causing our FORECLOSURE! We are in round five with the bank and our entire file is being re-submitted again for the 3rd time and this is after we have agreeed to give them 10K cash and sign a note for 72K! I am trying to do the right thing but the BANK is making it impossible!

    • says


      I am sorry to hear about Bank of America and the PMI company being un-cooperative. PMI is a challenge to work around, however you should not be getting this type of unacceptable treatment Nor does $20k cash AND a $72K promissory note sound like a fair settlement. These numbers are outragous. We see $5K cash OR $15K 0% interest promissory notes on hundereds of thousands in forgiven deficiency.

      You had mentioned that your husband is in the military and received orders to move to another state. Have you looked into the relief program they have sponsored by the Department of Defense? We have a lot of military out here and a few of them did qualify under this program. Click here to read about it. It is the DOD Homeowners Assistance Program.
      Military homeowners who must sell their homes for a loss after receiving transfers orders are eligible for aid that could mean thousands of dollars in reimbursements from the federal government. Recently, the Departments of Defense has published guidelines for a $555 million program to help military families that have had to relocate.

      Members of the Armed Forces permanently reassigned during the mortgage crisis can receive aid if they meet these guidelines:

      1. Permanent reassignment requires move of more than 50 miles.

      2. Reassignment ordered between 1 February 2006 and 31 December 2009.

      3. Property purchased (or contract to purchase signed) before 1 July 2006.

      4. Property sold by owner between 1 July 2006 and 1 May 2010.

      5. Property was the primary residence of the owner

      6. Owner has not previously received these benefit payments.

      To find out more information visit the DOD HAP website by clicking here.

      If you do not directly qualify for this program, there are more options under the Servicemembers civil Relief Act (SCRA).

      I would recommend working with a lawyer or negotiator that is experienced with your area and the Military. A few choice phone calls and letters to persuade and spread some love to Bank of America and the PMI company can make a huge difference. Especially is the PMI was not disclosed to you when you closed.

      Please keep me posted if there is any positive news.

  2. Christa Porter says

    Good Evening,
    I live in Delaware and I am in the process of purchasing a short sale property involving Bank of America. I’ve been waiting since 7/10/09 when my Realtor submitted my sales contract to the selling agent. (I have been looking at other properties in the mean time) I was reading the letter that you posted from Bank of America and I noticed that once the offer is accepted they anticipate a closing date to be within 10 days of the approval? Are you kidding me, why all of a sudden the big rush? They made me wait for months before they could even make up their mind. I’m financing so it’s going to take a lot more than 10 days to close on this transaction. If this is true, is there a chance I could lose the house due to the fact that I cannot settle within 10 days of the acceptance or are they willing to work with people on this? This is not fair. Also, there should be a law against short sales taking this long. It should take no longer than 2 months. What’s so hard about receiving a contract, reviewing and doing any calculations and moving it on to the next step toward a final decision? I’ve asked that question before and all I get is, “The banks are all backed up with short sales”. That to me is a bunch of crap. What, do they read one word a day on the contract? This is insane! I think they sit on it so the homeowner ends up in foreclosure and ruins their credit even worse than a short sale would. I also believe they don’t like being on the other side taking a loss like the average Joe does when we pay thier interest rates. So, basically just to torcher sellers and buyers alike. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the selling agent says my offer is the only offer on the table. That is even more frustrating because they have no other offers to compare it to. If I didn’t like this house so much I would not be waiting, but everything else I’ve looked at doesn’t strike me.
    Well, thank you for taking the time to read my note. It feels good to vent!

    • says


      As you have read, you are not alone in the frustration of handling short sales. I have over a dozen in negotiations in process and it is very frustrating to explain to both my buyers and sellers why the process it taking so long. I give my customers weekly updates and many times there is no change for weeks. Although we never accept or get complacent with the slow process, we have learned when and how you can push to speed things up and when your efforts will be in vain.

      The length of short sales is due to the volume and lack of skilled staff at the lenders to process the paperwork. Each negotiator has over 500 files they are handling. This is an unfathomable amount. We just had a second mortgage FINALLY approved by GMAC. Our original negotiator at GMAC we used on a few transactions approved the short sales and delivered a lien release within 72 hours. This new negotiator was horrible on an EPIC scale. We had the Bank of America first mortgage approval for almost 3 months and could not get the lien release from GMAC. They verbally excepted the pay off amount and all we needed was the written lien release. We spent hours upon hours calling, emailing, faxing, escalating to her boss, registering complaints with company. We had lawyers call and write letters, my negotiator called 3x’s per day, I called, the owners called 3x’s a day. It was horrible and have never experience that poor of service or lack of response EVER! I was very close to flying out to the negotiators office and sitting in the lobby until she responded. There was absolutely no excuse for the delay.

      As for closing within 10 days after short sale approval. This can be extended if needed. However, just keep in mind that they approved HOA dues and taxes that have been estimated for a specific period of time on a HUD submitted to them. Every week of delay from the point that HUD was created is incurring more taxes and more HOA dues and etc. We estimate and forecast these costs, but the longer it takes to close the more these numbers go up and ultimately will become closing cost short falls that will not be covered in the short sale pay off by the Lender. Communicate with your mortgage provider that you will need a quick turn around on your loan and find out how long they will take. Get all your inspections and everything ready to go. This will help speed up your closing process.

      Craig B.

    • Brandon k says

      Your post really struck me because i am in the exact same situation right now. I put in my offer sheet on the 28th of august and still have no awnser form the bank. Bank of America is so ridiculous in there short sale process its crazy. I’m a first time home buyer and I’m 21. I’m so anxious to get in this house I’m pulling my hair out. Everyday i look at other homes but nothing i see is better then the short sale. I just don’t see why a house on the market for over a year and finally it has a chance to sell why wouldn’t the bank move as fast as they could to make sure the deal got done. Should not take 10 business days to hear from a short sale negotiator. Frustrating is not the word me and my fiancé are patiently waiting for this to get done. If somehow this falls through i will be very disappointed when my realtor told me its a done deal!

      • CrazyWaiting says

        I have to wonder why I’m reading all these blogs from 2009-2010 saying the new system was going into place, and the government is pushing the banks for debt relief, and yet I’m sitting here in 2012 (almost 2013) with an offer submitted on a short sale stuck on some turkey’s desk at BOA. It was supposedly a pre-approved short sale, submitted through this supposedly fantastic online system, and here we sit in limbo for weeks and weeks.

        BUT… it’s ALL Obama’s fault the economy hasn’t turned around. Right? Not.

  3. says

    I am a broker and my client has an accepted offer by B of A to purchase a short sale property. Due to lender time lines we requested an extention of time to close of 15 days. The sellers initial response was no and that they would put the property back on the market if we could not close on time. No offer of extention w/per diem just a definate No. One day after this initial response B of A discovered $4900.00 in HOA Liens against this property. I have received in print a message from a B of A Loan services specialist stating “HOA is not covered in California”…. A phone call from the listing agent explained that B of A will not pay these fees to provide clear title upon close. A second phone call from listing agent stated that B of A loan specialist is willing to extend the close if my buyer will pay HOA liens. I was not aware that B of A did not pay HOA fees in California. Any thoughts on this matter.


    • says

      Hi Diana,

      I focus solely on Florida, so I am not aware of the specifics with each state. However, not covering HOA liens in California sounds a bit strange. I have seen variations on the amount of property back taxes paid. This may have something to do with California’s specific foreclosure laws and thus affects the HOA costs.

      One important point is that the title company doing the closing MUST do a FULL title search when submitting the short sale package to the lender. It is not Bank of America’s responsibility to find this lien. This is a critical piece that is typically missed on short sales and unfortunately it comes back to your client, the buyer, to cover since the sellers have no funds to cover. The selling agent should have had the HOA dues and liens identified at the beginning and should not have had any surprises of this magnitude. I would send this back to the selling agent and ask him/her how they missed this critical cost and ask if the seller is willing to kick in any funds. If they put it back on the market it will be another 2-3 months to start the process over with Bank of America and the HOA fees will keep accumulating.

      The seller and selling agent are not in a position to play hard ball…especially with extending the closing of 15 days. They have everything to lose and nothing to gain when they play games with a Bank of America short sale. Unfortunately they are just another file and Bank of America will just throw their file back into the pile and move onto the next one.

  4. Anisa says


    My husband and I were trying to purchase a short sale home in California. Everything was going smooth and the owners signed off on the contract and all we had to do was wait for the bank to approve it. Today we got the call that Bank of America is not willing to work with them and is going to file to put the house in foreclosure which is forcing the owners into bankruptcy. How ridiculous is that! Here we are, ready and willing to buy the house, and Bank of America would rather foreclose than get the house sold. It is just so frustrating because not only are the owners suffering more but the bank is now going to go through more trouble to foreclose than to just sell it. It just doesn’t make any sense.

  5. says

    What a joke111 As a Certified Distressed Property Expert who handles many short sales, Bank of America is the worst with which to deal. They are rude, untimely, and have not respect or concern for the people who have been paying them for years. They also have not respect for the person who is waiting to buy the home. They will turn down $425,000 CASH and foreclose on a property which then gets them $350,000 minus all of the costs involved in foreclosing on that property. They have 20 year old college students making financial decisions for the bank.

    Our Tax Dollars at work.

    There new short sale policies, ha ha ha.

    I submitted a short sale package complete with all the things needed including proof of cash to close. Submitted on July 29, 2009. I telephoned every day for sttus and many times I was on hold for more than one hour. The buyer of this home received a job assignment in the Middle East and would not be able to be contacted for a year. He sent his wife ahead to register their sons in school. He waited to close the escrow because on September 16 I received a verbal acceptance telling me that they would 1099 the seller. The seller agreed. We waited and waited and waited some more and then on October 7 we were told that the approval letters were coming. Just send the HUD-1/ I sent it, the escrow company sent it and the analyst never sent the letters. I sent and URGENT email since she ignored my other emails and finally on October 14 she called and said she never receive the HUD-1. IMPOSSIBLE since both the title company and I sent them twice and have those email records. But the little 20 year old analyst took this time to ask for changes on the HUD-1 cutting commission first from 6% to 5% than two days later from 5% to 4%. WE JUMPED THROUGH THOSE HOOPS and asked her to confirem that she received those HUD-1 changes. No reply. Then about a week later she asked that we take the HOME WARRANTY off the HUD-1 and send that. We did. When we finally received our APPROVAL LETTERS ha ha ha. The seller was asked to pay the entire loan amount on the first and the second – both with Bank of America. What is that? What kind of short sale is that? The seller would be better off with the foreclosure.
    In the meantime, however, the lives of the buyers has been compromised in that the family has no home to come back to in California. The Seller, the buyer, and the two agents involved have been jerked around for three months with no result.

    We are writing to our Congressmen, Senators, President Obama, the newspapers, the television stations, and anyone else who will listen.

    Mr. Baranowski, you can’t imagine what it is like to deal with Bank of America.

    Take some lessons from Wachovia on how to process and close short sales.

    The message from B of A states that if you press “8” and leave your number, you can expect a call back in 5 business days. Press “8” and you hear, “SORRY THE MAILBOX IS FULL”.

    • says


      I can clearly see you are beyond frustrated with Bank of America and I don’t blame you. I completely agree that Bank of America and other lenders and extremely difficult to work with…I have learned to have a large amount of patience when dealing with Bank of America on a daily basis.

      One point I do want to clarify is that California is a non-recourse state which prohibits deficiency judgments after a home forecloses. There are 10 states in the US that fall into this category: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon and Washington. In this case Bank of America should be very willing to do a short sale as a foreclosure would not allow them to sue for personal assets to cover the deficiency. As for the commission, Bank Of America will pay only 4% if you as the Realtor have both sides of the transaction. I like to call this a commission-ectomy. It is definitely not a pleasant standard practice of banks to do on short sales. I did recently have a Bank of America short sale close for the full 6% commission…so it does happen.

      Hang in there. There has got to be light at the end of this tunnel.

      Craig B.

  6. Tim says

    I made an offer on a short sale house and the owners accepted it April 3rd of this year…B of A has been working on getting a decision since then on whether to accept the offer. What can I do to get them to finalize this? I understand it was “elevated” to a second level negotiator about 3 weeks ago and still nothing resolved


    • says


      That is a very long time…even for Bank of America. Something must be missing in the short sale package for them to ignore the file for this long. Oftentimes an incomplete short sale package will be put in the “to be looked at by someone at some unknown point in time” file. The second level negotiator signifies that you have made it through triage and they are analyzing the file for errors, missing info, getting appraisals, updating seller financial info, etc etc.

      Do you know when the short sale file was actually submitted to Bank of America with the complete paperwork? When was the file entered into the Bank of America system? Has a BPO been completed? Have they asked for updated financials from the seller? If so, when and was the information submitted in a timely manner? Has a HUD been submitted? Has a revised HUD been submitted? These are all very important pieces of information you should have to see what has been done to date with your file and where you may be in the process.

      Does Fannie Mae own this loan? You can check HERE.

      Hope this helps. Thanks for posting!

  7. WENDY says

    Here is the situation:
    Have a neg am loan with US Bank for roughly $600,000 and a rev credit line with BAC for $100,000. The house is worth $300-325,000, here in California.
    How will the short sale process function – the First is a refi from our original loan back in 1999. If California is a non-recourse state does that mean that US Bank will settle on the short sale to clear the first, what happens on the second with BAC and can BAC have recourse since they are the second to come after us for the unpaid balance and if they can how long can they pursue us for the balance….

    • says


      These are great questions. I only know enough about California law to be dangerous and would not want to comment on specifics since it is way outside of my experience and expertise. I would highly recommend talking to a lawyer and a Realtor proficient with short sales in California to give you more specific information as it pertains to deficiency judgments and recourse. I can refer some people to you if you would like.

      In general, you will go through a fairly normal short sale process…if there is such a thing…with US Bank being for first mortgage holder. The bulk of the negotiation will be with US Bank and they will do their due diligence and either approve or deny a short sale based upon your financial situation and the amount of the offer submitted to purchase the property. Part of this negotiation will be a payoff by US Bank that will allocate a specified amount of funds to cover the second mortgage payoff to Bank of America. Most service providers have a maximum that they will allocate. For example, Bank of America will only pay a maximum of $3,000 towards a second mortgage payoff.

      As a general rule, second mortgage payoff’s are typically 10% of the note. In your case the payoff would normally be $10,000. However, this is Bank of America and they do not play by the same rules they dictate when they are the first mortgage holder. Our experience with Bank of America as a second mortgage holder when they do not also own the first mortgage has been interesting and their settlement requests are typically outrageous. My advice is to find a very experienced Realtor with short sales and specifically Bank of America short sales experience in California. Try to address the second mortgage issue very early in the process and learn what surprises they will have in-store for you during the negotiation. Knowing these surprises will enable you to have a game plan and successfully execute on a short sale.

      I would also keep your fingers crossed and hope that Bank of America sells your second mortgage to another company…this makes things much easier.

      Thanks for posting.

  8. Ed Berrios says


    In short (no pun intended!) –

    Proceeding with short sale through Chase. Investor on the note is WAMU. Sounds like WAMU will want some cash from the cash strapped seller to close the deal.
    Seller lost $240k since ths house was bought with this downpayment in Oct 2006. It is understood by all parties that the sellers loss is immaterial to the matter. Just wanted to paint clear picture.

    Financials looks like this:

    Original note = 460k (all primary residence)
    Second = none
    Short sale price = 375k
    BPO = 350k (amount of appraisal done by Chase)
    State = Arizona

    How much cash do you think WAMU might be looking for?

    Thanks for your time!!

    • says


      It is tough to get a sense of how much cash Wells Fargo will want from the seller without seeing the sellers financial situation and all the details of the deal. Typically it is a nominal amount just so the seller has some skin in the game. We are seeing anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 or a promissory note over a period of 10 years with 0% interest. However, all of our Wells Fargo deals did not require any cash from the seller…but this is in Florida so they may be handling things differently out here. One concern I have is that the BPO came out at $350K and the offer is for $375K. Is your buyer financing this deal? They may not get this to appraise if they are financing the home. I would also use this to try and negotiate down the cash require from the seller.

      Let me know what their final answer is.

      Thanks for posting!

  9. Sue says

    We have several listings for short sale, whereas as BOA is 2nd lien! They will only request 5% of the net proceeds for an approval and “charge off” the remaining balance. The problem is that the 1st lien will only pay $3,000! The seller is “distressed” and broke so they can’t pay the remaining balance, the buyer can NOT get the remaining financed for the 1st will not approve, the agents can’t discount the commission, for most waited for average of 6+ months without pay! What can you do???!!!

    What can you do about the 5% payoff and getting rid of the “charge off”? BOA negotiators are machines!!! They don’t care… isn’t it ironic that BOA will only pay $3,000 to “other” 2nd lien holders???

    Please advice….

    • says

      Sue that is a tough one. The 5% of the net proceeds is a hard number to work. We typically structure all of our offers that have 2nd mortgages. Especially if we have history of what we will know they will ask for. We do this to protect everyone in the transaction and make sure that the funds are allocated appropriately.

      Here is an example of how we will structure a Bank of America 1st with a second mortgage:

      Unstructured Scenario – Bank of America takes all of the funds and allocates only $3K to pay off second mortgage
      Offer Price: $200,000
      BofA 1st: $300,000
      Any Bank 2nd: $100,000 [assume a pay off of 10%]
      2nd Payoff: $10,000
      BofA Max contribution to second: $3,000 max
      2nd Payoff shortfall: $7,000
      2nd mortgage balance to be paid by someone other than BofA
      New Adjusted sales price: $207,000
      Because of the short fall of $7,000 either the buyer or seller is required to come up with the additional funds to cover the balance of the second mortgage payoff.

      Structured Scenario – assume Bank of America takes all of the funds and allocates only $3K to pay off second mortgage
      Structured Offer Price: $193,000 [$200,000 less the balance of estimated second mortgage payoff of $7,000]
      BofA 1st: $300,000
      Any Bank 2nd: $100,000 [assume a pay off of 10%]
      2nd Payoff: $10,000
      BofA Max contribution to second: $3,000 max
      2nd Payoff covered in structured offer: $7,000
      2nd mortgage balance to be paid by buyer – this is identified in an addendum and to be paid as a closing cost so BofA can not take the funds.
      New Adjusted sales price: $200,000
      This has been a very successful alternative to handling second mortgages. The math gets a bit more complex with the 5% of net to pay of BofA seconds, but the offer can be made the same way. NOTE: Structured offers do not work well with FHA and VA clients or clients that do not have large amounts of cash for a down payment. Reducing the offer price by $7,000 will lower the loan amount and increase the cash to close.

      I hope this helps.

      Thanks for posting.

  10. Cheryll says

    Hi Craig,

    I am a Realtor in Florida representing a seller in a short sale contract where BOA is the primary and secondary lender. I am at a loss for what to do next to get this deal done. The contract is from July 2009. It was with a negotiator from Sept 2009 and she sent it to the investor early October. This morning their records still indicate that the investor still has not responded. I email the negotiator frequently – she does not have a phone number I am not permitted contact her at – I call the SS Dept and have them make notes and update the file but it seems that no one is able to do anything to move this along. I am transferred to “Managers” which end up being unnamed, unnumbered voicemail boxes – I leave messages then I call back and get a message that my call cannot be handled at this time????? The Buyer has agreed to pay Cash if we can close the deal this week. Right, like that’s going to happen. Do you have any suggestions?

  11. Christina says

    Hi Craig,

    I am trying to purchase a short sale with Bank of America as the 1st and Suntrust as the 2nd in Pasco County, Florida. BoA approved my offer of $155,000 and wrote in a $3000 payoff to Suntrust.

    Here is the ordeal: Suntrust wants 10% of their loan = $8800. I am willing to come to the table with the balance of $5800, but I keep getting mixed messages through the title company and the listing agent that I cannot contribute the money because it cannot show on the HUD, since I am getting an FHA Loan. Is this true?? It makes no sense to me. If I contribute the money, every party gets what they want from the deal. Is this policy? If so, would I be able to contribute the money if I get a conventional loan? I am 10 days away from the contract expiring and the seller does not want to extend b/c they think it’s a dead deal. Please help me asap so we can close already. I have been hanging in there since April 29th.

    Thank you so much,

    • says


      Great post and question. You are so close. This is definitely not a dead deal. This is exactly how first and second mortgages work with a Bank of America short sales. I have posted many times so buyers are away of how the structure works so there are no surprises about the 10% payoff and Bank of America only covering $3,000 maximum. FHA loans only allow a certain amount of closing costs by their very nature. So you are not able to pay the $5,800 in closing costs and have it on the HUD. This is a fundamental problem I struggle with on many of my short sales with second mortgages since this $5,800 short fall is not part of the sales price and ends up being a closing cost and requires more cash to close. Since these are short sales so many of the standard guidelines that need to be followed with a FHA and VA buyer’s loan make doing a short sale almost impossible. There are extra costs such as second mortgage payoffs that can not be adjusted to accommodate those guidelines.

      Your best option is to switch to a conventional loan and there will be no issues. There are some ways to work around the FHA issue, however you would need to work with your Realtor and title agent on those options.

      I hope this helps. Let me know how it goes!

  12. Regenia says

    My husband and I are in the process of purchasing a short sale being serviced by BOA. This has been a long…..process. When my husband and I found this home on Georgia MLS site for $209,900.00 it stated it was an Short Sale verbal approval, and we aren’t that familar with the total process of what a short sale included. WOW! what a quick awakening. We decided to proceed with the offer anyway (we LOVE) this house. We put a offer in on Sept. 19, 2009 for $200,000.00 the owner accepted and signed it back to us on Sept 20, 2009, the owner has already moved to another state.

    The selling agent sent the completed package to BOA on/around Sept 23, 2009. All the communication regarding the status of the loan from BOA to the seller seller’s agent, is being forwarded to my agent(buyer) who happens to be my 1st cousin. On or about the first week of October BOA says the offer was strong….We are the ONLY offer for this property. And that we shouldn’t have any problems with this being approved. BOA informed the sellers agent that we should be getting a called on/around October 26, 2009. Thank God, I was bugging my agent/cousin everyday and on October 16 my agent contacted the sellers agent for an update. The Sellers agent spoke with another BOA representative/ Another Negotiator regarding our contract. We found out that our case was CLOSED on October 5th, 2009. The new Negotiator says apparently he had closed the file almost 2 weeks earlier on October 5, 2009 and had been straight out Lying to us this entire time. Even the new Negotiator was surprise! No calls just LIES. BOA’s manager did contact the sellers agent and the seller, and said apparently some document was left out and the Negotiator just closed the file no call, no letter, NO anything! The owner was FURIOUS!

    The manager did indeed expedite the case. On November 4, 2009 We recieved a call from our agent with both Good and bad new. The good news was that BOA approved the deal. Now the bad News was that the loan was going to be sent to the MIP area, actually they said that they had already sent the file over to the MIP area. And it will take another 20 to 30 days to complete. From ALL the blogs/reading that I have been doing where exactly do we stand. What do the MIP area do, and how close are we. Do we ACTUALLY HAVE THE HOUSE. Or, are we waiting on another entity to give their blessing too! And what’s next. All that I am getting is WORDS. After that last lie from BOA, how am I to trust them. I am hoping to be in our new home by Christmas, do you think that this is possible. Our lender says, they are just waiting on BOA to get them the package and we could close by Christmas. I’m tired….But, I am NOT ready to give up!

    Thank you for listening, I needed to vent.

  13. PreShon Henley says

    Good Afternoon Mr. Baranowski,

    I’m taking the time to post to this blog out of pure desperation. Even if it falls upon deaf ears, it has momentarily provided me with a glimmer of hope for action.

    My issue is this: my husband and I put in a highly reasonable offer on a house in North Wales, PA back in April, 2009. Less than two weeks later, the offer was “accepted” by what was then Countrywide Bank with a closing date scheduled for July 17, 2009. I understand that BOA recently acquired Countrywide so I was completly understanding when this July date passed without any notification one way or another. Now that it is the third week of November, I’m really concerned. Our temporary housing situation (with a family member) will be longer come December 10th when they, themselves, will be relocating out of state. My two young children are doing well in the schools located in the school district where the new house is located (The school district was gracious enough to allow us to enroll them, using our signed sales agreement as proof of residency). Now, we stand the possibility of having to withdraw them both as the school Friday requested a definitive move-in date.

    I’ve read the blogs about BoA short sales, and I realize I’m just one story in possibly thousands. However, if you can just give me any advice for getting any answers as to whether or not this sale is even going to happen at this point, my family would be most appreciative! It seems that my sale is unusually long, even for BoA. Now I’m wondering if there could be any reason that this sale is not going to happen and this reason simply has just not been communicated to us?

    • says


      Many thanks for posting. This is definitely a stressful situation you are in. Is the home you have an offer on vacant? If it is, I would suggest trying to work out a rental agreement with the sellers so you can rent while the short sale is in process. It is very hard form me to tell where you are in the short sale process without more information. Sometimes your file could be done and just sitting in the system waiting for someone at Bank of America to send the closing documents to you. This just happened on a file with us. One phone call to the right person and we received the closing docs on Wednesday. They were dated August 5th! I was furious when I saw the date and realized how broken the Bank of America system truly is. We do this everyday and are experts and we could not get this file to move…even with excalations to a VP at Bank of America. Then one phone call to a competent person and we had closing docs in 5 minutes.

      Who is negotiating the short sale for the sellers? Is this negotiator giving you updates as to the status? Are they calling several times a week? Have they escalated up through the Bank of America system? Has the package been submitted to the investor who owns the note? Is there a Bank of America negotiator assigned?

      Have the seller file a complaint with the office of the Bank of America CEO:
      Call Ken Lewis’ office.

      704-386-5687 number to his office.
      There is a full staff there including negotiators to handle escalations. Remember that if everyone uses this then it will lose it’s effectiveness. So please us as a last resort when things are totally out of control.

      I hope this helps.

  14. Dave says

    I found your site while frantically looking for some direction from somebody. My wife and I, along with our grown children all decided to pursue a short sale in Surpise, AZ when the market tanked in late 2008. We completed a trip there (we live in South Dakota), and had bids on 3 short sale properties when we left the 2nd week in April, 2009. After about 4 months, we were down to one remaining possibility, with BOA as the lender for the seller of the home. The process was slow, but we kept getting closer, so remained confident it could work. Finally, in October, 2009, we were notified by our agent, that the listing agent was now saying there was just one remaining lien against the property, that being the PMI insurance company which wanted $10K to resolve it. The seller said he could offer nothing to help. The listing agent said she had negotiated the amount down to $5K with the PMI company, and wondered if we, the buyers could do anything to help. Through our agent we offered $3K. But suddenly, the listing agent intervened and said, the seller had changed his mind, and would now sign a promissory note to settle the lien. She said once that happens, which should be today, you should have approval with a week. We were ecstatic.
    Well, it took about 6 weeks to get the approval letter, but it finally did arrive via email from our agent. I thought it looked a bit peculiar in that it appeared to be somewhat abbreviated, outlining what it means for the seller, but found nothing about what it means for the buyers. It only listed our names as the approved buyers, and the price we had bid. Anyway, we were told that now having final approval, we could establish escrow with the title company, and schedule the inspection. The inspection went fine, followed by the appraisal which met the standards of our lender, Wells Fargo. We set a tentative closing date, and started to contact utility companies to turn on services. We bought some furniture, scheduled vacations, scheduled the rental of a truck to haul everything to Surprise. On the day of our tentative closing, like a bolt out of the blue, we were contacted by Wells Fargo that a closing could not occur because a lien still existed against the property. It was the very same PMI lien which we were told had been resolved with a promissory note. My agent called the listing agent and asked if he had signed the note. Curiously, she had the knowledge that the seller not only had not signed the note, but that BOA had merely take a verbal commitment that he would be good for it, and he was now refusing to honor his word. I went ballistic. Our deal was being held hostage because BOA took a verbal, and never notified us. So, once again had to negotiate, now in a crisis atmosphere. The listing agent said $3K would satisfy it, if we paid $2K and the seller $1K. We agreed. We set a new closing date, one in South Dakota, and one AZ the next day for the seller to sign off his interest. We signed and got busy to travel to AZ. The next day, two hundred miles down the road with a load of furniture in tow, we were informed the seller never showed up to sign. We turned around and went home. Obviously, this has become the kind of nightmare you think only happens to someone else. We're not quite sure of what to do next.

  15. Justin says

    Great site. I'm in the military stationed overseas–i going to be here for a least 3 more years. I don't meet the requirements for the federal homeowners assistance. I owe 140,000 on a house in central florida and foreclosed houses in my area are selling for about 60K–according to zillow. I have an adjustable rate mortgage–currently the rate actually went down this year to 5.125%. However, I believe rates won't stay this low.
            Lucky, as of now i have my mom in the house and she is paying the mortgage. However, she is about to move out and I'm not sure if I can afford the mortgage and really I don't want to keep throwing money at a bad asset. Therefore, i want to short the house. What do you think a likely financial serenero am i looking at. Will bank of America come after me for difference in the short sale. I have no late payments on anything and no credit card debt. What kind of promissary note do you think they would want if the house sold for 60K? Any advice is greatly welcomed.

    • says

      Hi Justin,

      Thank you for protecting our country I appreciate it.

      As for your home. You can do a short sale without missing a payment as long as you can prove financial hardship. If you can show that without having a renter you can no longer pay the mortgage and being deployed has impacted your financial situation then you will have sufficient hardship to do a short sale. I can walk you through the details and get you in touch with a great realtor in Central Florida to work with once I know what specific area you are in.

      As for promissory notes and deficiency. There are laws in effect for primary residences and new legislation that will protect you from the tax burden of a short sale. Bank of America has a standard clause on all of their short sale approvals that states they reserve the right to pursue a deficiency. They do not waiver on this clause. A foreclosure is a guaranteed deficiency judgment and a short sale is “we might at some point in time” pursue a deficiency. Additionally there is new legislation under HAMP that may resolve the deficiency issue as well is Bank of America chooses to participate. You can read that HERE.

  16. Karen says

    I found a short sale house I really like but wonder if it will be approval or not. My offer was accepted by the seller. Here are the details:
    1. Three loans, Chase in primary ($870,000), 2nd and 3rd is BOA ($330,000, home equity loan)
    2. Offer price is 1M, few percent short from Zillow's estimation/ market price. My agent also said it is a reasonable offer
    3. Seller's investment property. Seller's primary resident is also under water.
    4. Seller has just stopped making payment
    Since Chase is not being short, so I think it will agree on the sale. However, any experience on how much Chase is willing to give to BOA? And how many percent does BOA want from a short sale when it is 2nd and 3rd?
    I read somewhere that BOA wants 5% when it is 2nd lien holder, but some websites said 60% to 85%, which one is correct?
    What are the terms of BOA's promissory note in CA? How likely is this short sale be approval? I hope it will not be a killing wait. Thanks.

    • says


      Has your offer been submitted to Chase yet? If it has not you need to work out a plan/ strategy before you submit anything. Was this a cash offer?

      The good news is that you have submitted a good offer for the property as long as it falls within 90% of fair market value. The offer should be structured a bit differently since the 1st mortgage will be paid off completely you do not need to get them involved in the transaction. Chase will not negotiate the second and third mortgage this is up to the listing agent/ negotiator/ seller. The industry standard is $3,000 maximum contribution to a second mortgage lien release by the first mortgage holder.

      Bank of America is a bit of a pain in the butt when they are second mortgage holders. Please feel free to email me or call me with more info and I can give you some guidance on how to approach this one.


  17. Annmarie says

    My husband and I put in an offer on a short sale in Southwest Florida on October 30, 2009. The offer was accepted by the seller. We were told by or Agent that the process would be long, so we were prepared. However, we have not gotten any definite feedback from our Agent or the listing Agent other than that a BPO was ordered and the process is progressing. Per  a recent e-mail, we heard that the process was starting over as BoA was sending our file through the "new electronic" system. How much longer will we have to wait? Any thoughts as to how we can follow this process on our own or to get any more information? Or make sure that BoA has all the correct paperwork? Prices seem to have come down since October – will a new BPO need to be ordered? Any information would be helpful.
    Many thanks in advance.

    • says


      It appears you file has been put into the Equator system. It is a very good system, but it does have a learning curve. It will clearly document every step of the process and what documentation is needed to be completed. They have assigned tasks for agents if more information or paperwork is required.

      If prices have come down and you need to adjust your offer you should do that now. If you are financing your purchase and your appraisal will be below your offer price then do this change before it is entered into Equator.

  18. sarahl says

    Also going through the same thing. BofA holds first and second. I am the buyer in this case and has been told by my agent that the property has been appraised then a week later the negotiator says that hte package has been submitted to Freddie and is waiting for approval. My main question is and it may seem like a dumb question is: If BofA is hte servicer on the loan and freddie is hte investor, what role does BofA really play in all this? Am I on the right track? Is this a good sign? Does BofA do their check of numbers to see if the offer and numbers make sense and then forwards to freddie for review ? Is freddie just re-checking the numbers and ultimately are responsible for the approval ? I hope I'm making sense, I am a first time homebuyer and this process has just been such a rollercoaster. Can you shed some light into the process a bit more?

    • says

      Sarahl –

      You are on the right track. Bank of America is the servicer. They have very specific approval guidelines that they follow. The offer fell within the guidelines and was thus submitted to Freddie for approval.

  19. says

    I am currently going thru a short sale in Kissimmee Florida. Flagstar is my primary loan and Suntrust was the 2nd lien holder (equity loan). Flagstar just recently approved the  short sale and will not ask for a deficiency and it took about 6 to 7 persistant months to get this approval. Flagstar will give $3000 to the second lien holder (Suntrust). Suntrust took 8 to 9 months to approve the short sale but wants us to pay the remaining balance of the note ($47k less $3k). We can not afford this because i am going to be laid off in June and the only income we will have is my husbands. Suntrust's investigator did not want to talk any further and rudely hung up on me. I guess my question is, what can i do? I do not want to enter into a loan contract that i will not be able to afford. Who should I contact or what should i do in this scenario?
    Thank you,

    • says

      Nadia –

      This is a tough one. As a second mortgage holder Suntrust will get $0 if the property forecloses. Typically a second mortgage holder will accept a 10% payoff on the second mortgage balance. The $3K paid by the first mortgage holder is industry standard. Are you current on your payments with Suntrust? There is a strong possibility that the file is in the wrong department.

      Suntrust takes forever to approve short sales. However, I have never heard of them requiring the entire balance to be paid on a short sale as a second mortgage holder. This does not make any sense.

  20. Jimmie says

    Hi, Craig:
    Much like Annmarie, we also put a cash offer on a short sale in Port St. Lucie in August '09. Since that time, B of A has (claimed) lost our contract twice, replaced their (internal) original listing representative, re-negotiated the seller's loan, did a BPO which has been completed and uploaded into the system, loaded all of the information into the Equator System, requested a contract extension with us in December asking to close on February 26th, which has come and gone.
    My question is, do we have any other options to expedite this sale? Thank you.

    • says

      Jimmie –

      Have they sent the seller closing docs / settlement docs? This is what you are waiting for. They usually take a few days to a few weeks to get depending upon the Bank of America negotiator. Has your short sale been submitted to the investor and has the investor approved the short sale?

  21. Drew says

    Fantastic site for information.
    I have some questions myslef. My wife and I live in California and have put an offer on a short sale with only 1 lender BOA. When we put our offer in we asked that seller contribute to the closing cost. Not pay all closing cost just split.
    Do we have any hope of this going through? We are very new to this and decided that we would jump into this game but have since learned through research that it does not seem as though banks are willing to contribute to closing cost?
    The few details we do know are:
    We were told before offering on this home that it was already set up with the bank BOA to short sale the home……whatever that means?
    When we made the offer on February 7th it was accepted the next day by the owners and a complete short sale package was submitted via the equator system they have by their agent.
    We were assigned a negotiator by the end of 2 weeks after our offer was made.
    The last we heard was that on February 25th the bank had something done maybe a BPO and that the listing agent was ecpecting some sort of answer between the 5th of March and the 12th of March?
    I am sorry if what I am saying makes no sense. We are trying as much as we can to understand and learn about short sales.
    Your response and insight will be very much appreciated.

    • says

      Drew –

      These are great questions. Bank of America typically does not pay sellers closing costs but in a few instances they have paid for the title search and title policy. Also if you are doing an FHA there are a few fees that the seller is required to pay by law.

      As for the BPO…this is great progress through Equator. The 12th of March response will most likely be feedback from a phase 1 or phase 2 negotiator. They will either continue evaluating the short sale or kick it back due to the offer being too low. If they proceed forward then they will progress to getting the offer submitted to the investor for approval.

      Good Luck!

  22. Drew says

    Thank you so much for your input. I would like to run by you the most recent developments as of yesterday  regarding our offer to see what you think.
    Yesterday the listing agent did hear from BofA regarding our short sale offer. BofA has completed their appraisal of the property and they have asked that the listing agent get some comps together of the area to justify our offer. The lisitng agent has said no problem and is going to submit them today via BofA's new system. The comps in the area are very comparable to what we offered.
    What does this mean for our offer and what will it mean when the listing agent can prove via comps that our offer is within the comps for the area?
    Thanks for your input.

    • says

      Drew –

      Any communication with the lender is good communication. Asking for comps is good as they are allowing feedback and input from the agent. It is all good. If the offer was horribly off they would not even entertain this process.

  23. Drew says

    Thanks so much Craig,
    I will come back and post when we hear something so that way others who are in this same situation with BofA can get a fill for how they are working.
    Thanks again for your insight, it helps keep us grounded when at times we feel like just running away and asking ourselves why we got into a short sale to begin with especially with BofA as the lender.
    Hopefully this will be a nice surprise!

  24. Warren says

    Great Site..
    I am in Las Vegas and  am looking to short sale because of a pending job transfer.  I am current on payments and BoA holds the 1st and 2nd.  I contacted an attorney who suggested (what he would do in this situation) that I miss 3 payments get the default notice and sign up for mediation.  Nevada has mediation with a judge, my lawyer and BoA lawyer and a resolution has to be hammered out within 4 hours.  The lawyer says this is the only way to get it done, if not BoA will take forever.  He said BoA is terrible with short sales.  I have very good credit and dont want to mess it up too bad, however I will not be able to pay for mortgage and rent in a new city.  The lawyer says that mediation is the key because you force BoA to resolve your case right then and there but the only way to get to mediation is to default.  I see from earlier post that I will have to come up with 10% of second loan to short sale.  Do you think I could still short sale with the new laws in April without defaulting?  Or in your experience will the time frame still be awhile for BoA to decide with the new laws? 
    Thank you for any advice or comments

    • says


      I am very surprised that a lawyer has instructed you to default on your mortgage. In most cases Bank of America will not start the formal foreclosure process with only three missed payments. Most of my clients…all in Florida have missed payments around 6 -14 months before the formal foreclosure process is started. As far as the new HAFA guidelines you need to carefully review them and the HAMP guidelines to ensure you do not forfeit your ability to participate. Read hear to link to the HAFA and HAMP programs.

  25. Calzonan says

    Thanks for updating us, keep them coming! 
    I submitted a short sale offer in Aug of '09.  Did not hear anything until the first week of Jan when the sellers agent called, asked for the 1st 5 of our SSN and our DOB's.  Then he said things were really moving, he'd uploaded all information into the 'new Equator' system and that we'd have an answer in 7-10 days.  I contacted my lender got that ball moving and then no word until the end of February!!!  The sellers realtor again called and asked for that information again.  (I'm thinking he screwed up somehow and didn't get anything input right).  The sellers agent has also closed his office and moved to his house during all of this.  About a week after we gave our information for the second time, the sellers agent called and said that a BPO had been done on March 4 (first one in 6 months!!) and that a negotiator had been assigned, the negotiator had commented that a BPO had been ordered in which the sellers agent told the negotiator that it had been done the previous day, the auction has been postponed until 4/22, and finally that things were 'really starting to move'.  10 days later, I still don't know what the results of the BPO were and if anything is actually moving.  I know about 2 weeks ago we were in pink "HELD' status, but was told that that was because the seller had not uploaded all his docs successfully.  I've been assured that this too has been taken care of.
    I'm just trying to get a timeline here.  We've waited patiently for over 6 months.  I submitted a fair offer.  We live in AZ and the 115+ degree heat is fast approaching, I don't really want to be moving in June/July.  The part I hate is not knowing anything and putting my life on hold for over half a year.
    So any timelines I can find online, or any positive stories on B of A short sales really help in my determination to see this through.

    • says


      Many of our Bank of America short sales have been processing much quicker once into the Equator system. Unfortunately, like many of the Bank of America short sales your time between August and January was wasted. I suspect you will have an answer on your short sale in early April…and closing docs very shortly after.

  26. Drew says

    I will continue to update. We too searched high and low on the web looking for other BofA stories so that we would know what to expect. I know what it is like to see others share so I will update every step of the way. What we have come to quickly realize is that in order for everything to go smoothly the listing agent must have experience with short sales because any little mistakes can cause mass confusion and for things to just be kicked back.
    This is not the case in our situation where the listing agent has been fantastic. He is very experienced with short sales and has closed many of them including BofAs. What we like about him is that he communicates all updates with us via our agent weekly (without our agent having to call) He had communication with BofA last week after they sent in the comps. He was told everything looks good and that we should have something on paper this week……….so we wait and see……..I am keeping my fingers crossed.
    From what we have been told in our case the bonus is that BofA is the only loan on the house, and our short sale started in the new equator system.
    We are still in the wait and see…….
    I will let you know. 

  27. Calzonan says

    The home we have the offer on has only one bank as well, B of A, so no seconds to deal with.  We did hear some news today.  They did the BPO two weeks ago and I was expecting to hear something last week, apparently the Evaluation Team is reviewing the offer and B of A said it would be finished in a day or two and we'd hear something by the first of next week.  I'm not holding my breath.  The sellers agent said he really thinks our offer will be approved.  The housing prices have declined significantly since we put our offer in last August, plus the house has been vacant since then and all the landscaping is now dead, birds are in the attic, the roof is leaking, etc.  I'll keep you updated as well…

  28. Julie says

    My husband and I made an offer in the end of January. The seller and the bank has approved the offer. Now we are in the phase 2 of negoiation. What is the next step and how long before we can even get closing date. Is this Equator system working good.

  29. Amber Smith says

    We put a contract on a short sale house on March 9th. The sellers loan is through B OF A. They are the only loan on the house. The bank has done there BPO and is scheduled to go and take interior pics. How long before we hear an answer?

  30. Michael says

    Hi, I just received an approval from BOA yesterday for a short sale.  The offer was submitted on an approved short sale with BOA 2/20 and went back into unapproved status because I was a new buyer and the agent commisions were change to 5 percent from 2 percent (2 agents instead of 1). I just received the approval 3/30.  I had agreed originally to pay the seller a relocation fee of 8500 dollars as an approved short sale but don't want to pay because it ended up not being approved and am now seeing articles that giving funds to the seller is illegal.  Any advice whether or not I am obligated to pay the fee?

  31. says

    What you have failed to mention is that Bank of America is now dictating how much they will allow escrow fees, and agent fees to be. So sure, they will pay….but only a small fraction. Just had one where BofA said we can only charge 300.00 dollars for escrow. My fee is 675.00. They threatened the customer, and said we can only charge 300 period. I am currently filing a complaint with the State Attorney General…this is wrong. B of A should be ashamed of themselves, dictating fees like that.

  32. Calzonan says

    Just an update-
    BoA finally answered our offer from 8/09 on 4/1.  Unfortunately they countered our offer at a price that we were afraid the house would not appraise for.  We countered their counter offer on Friday (LA submitted it on 4/4).  We're hoping to have an answer soon so that we can close before the summer heat.  Here was our timeline-
    8/09 submitted offer to seller
    9/09 seller approved offer, everything submitted to BoA- then the BoA black hole, nothing done no communication nothing until…
    1/2/10- LA contacts us, states he needs our DOB, first five of our SSN and our address.  We should be hearing an approval within 'a week to 10 days'
    2/15/10- have not heard anything from LA after numerous phone calls emails, finally a call asking for above information again.  LA states owner did not upload paperwork, LA did not know this and so offer was closed out.  Took 1-2 wks to get it worked out.
    3/4/10- 1st BPO done
    3/5/10- Negotiator  was assigned and stated BPO would be done shortly (was completed day before), auction would be postponed from 3/24 to 4/22.
    3/18/10- Everything is with 'evaluation team' and we'd have an answer within 2-4 days.
    4/1/10- BoA counters our offer $35K above what we offered, which will probably not appraise for.
    4/2/10- Counter offer with CMA and pictures submitted (did not get submitted to BoA until 4/4)
    Present- wait and see yet again… life for past 7 months!!

  33. Sarah says

    Hi. I live in Chicago, IL. I am working on a condo short sale purchase with my realtor, who informed me that the seller's agent sent out the puchase agreement to the lender (Bank of America) yesterday. My offer is a competitive cash offer. I am wondering how long the whole process will take to close. There is only one lien on the property. My offer is $80K. Average price in the area I'm buying is $79k. The lien on the property is $123k. What do you think will happen and when? Do you know if all agents are using the Equator system? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  34. ESimm says

    Sarah, Bank of America switched short sale systems.  How do I know this?  Because my current offer was just canceled and put into a new system and has to go through the entire process ALL OVER AGAIN.  Even though the price was approved 3 months ago (after a 9 month wait). 
    Bank of America is the worst and most inefficient bank I have every dealt with.  I work in the finance industry and at one point have actually worked for Bank of America and I am serious when I say that their beauracratic processes and terrible customer service are really turning customers and investors off.  Short the stock. 

  35. Eduardo says

    Just wanted to warn all agents doing business with B of A, in "short sale" format handled by Equator. I had it, of all banks this is the worst and will tell all my friends, clients or whoever come I come across to stay away from it.  Extremely difficult to work with, the people hired to do short sales are mediocre to low in sensitivity training, have no interest, no compassion nor empathy towards clients who are losing their homes. I have one last short sale which got transferred over from their initial system to Equator, after 1 solid year and 4 months the inadequate system kicked me out because it was unable to input the required figures to conclude the transaction.  Therefore,the Equator is the worst invention and is only user friendly to B of A. The agent has to input all the information pertaining the seller, which I agree, then must input all input pertaining the buyer, title, etc. which means Bank of America all they do is look at the info and approve or disapprove.  Not a professional entity by the stretch of the imagination, My support goes for Dave Francis, if you want an additional signature I am willing to sign up and express my opinion in the matter in front of any judicial court.   

  36. Brett says

    Just put 6 months into a short sale with B of A finally giving us a approval letter. O fcourse they only gave us one day to close, because the negotiator was asleep when writing the approval letter.  While waiting for another correctly dated lettter, B of A foreclosed on the home even though they gave us a approval.  Is anybody competent or even awake over there? Now the home will be relisted and sold for $20,000 less.  Great money management.  B of A no longer has any of my business.

  37. Gary says

    I have bein in the finance industry for 10 years; and I can sey something about BoA. BoA sucks. Bank of America, the worse people ever found. Poor customer service, lack of knowledge, controling, and slow. Whanna be frustrated, get involved in a short sale with BoA. I assure you, you would like to run….

  38. shortsaleaddict says

    "WORST BANK OF AMERICA" That is what should be put up on their big red signs for everyone to see. I had one shortsale nightmare after another all BOA transactions, what a joke. I have two now. One seller makes only $2200.00 per month and supports his entire family on that income. He no longer lives in the home and is facing the fear of layoffs and cutbacks, as California has and continues to have many companies closings their doors and laying off.  BOA does not care, they say for the seller to pay $7500 or forget the deal. What a joke. We started in November 2009, it is now August and still no approval.  I have two like this. The sellers are giving up and said let BOA just have their heap of house back and I dont' blame them.
    They modify loans and the struggling homeowners mortgage goes up by several hundreds of dollars facing them further into default. Something has to be done. Bank of America is not bank of AMERICA, as they outsource to the point of supporting whole countries. We are here in America and can not even get an even break to keep the roof over our heads.  Very troubling what is going on in this country!

  39. RTim says

    I've been trying to get a shortsale approval from bank of america for about 3 months now. We got a letter stating that they sold the property to another bank, the new bank was very compromising and approved the shortsale after the bpo was taken. Today, our escrow officer informed us that BOA sold our property at an auction last friday. Is that even legal after they sold the property to another bank and was fully aware that a shortsale was in process? Now the new bank said there's nothing we can do since it's already been sold. I need some advice.

    • says

      RTim –

      What state do you live in? When you say that the property has been sold at auction are you referring to the actual foreclosure auction? Oftentimes you can have a foreclosure reversed up to 10 days after the foreclosure sale if you were currently negotiating a short sale. This is the case in Florida. I would consult an attorney ASAP and know what your rights are for your state. You may still have time to get the short sale reversed and completed.

      Craig B.

  40. Mike Flynn says

    We are renting a house in California that is both in default with a auction date of July 14th and in the middle of a short sale. I am in Afghnistan working and will be here for an other 45 days and the owner emailed me a 30 day notice 3 weeks ago. There is no way mom and the kids can move until I get back as she is disabled. The short sale process started on May 21st and I just got an email yesterday from the agent that said “Bank of America Short Sale Information: Awaiting Analysis”. The appraiser cam in last week, and the owner is tell us that it is in escrow and could close at any moment. Are we being lied to, or any idea how much longer until B of A closes the deal. I also know there is a second on the house just don’t know if it is with B of A or another bank.

    • says


      This is a difficult situation. I would highly recommend getting in contact with a real estate attorney that knows the rental laws and give you options in case the home forecloses or the seller and buyer are unwilling to work with you.

      You have several options and I would first try to work out a solution with the owner and new buyer on the property. You can lease the property from the new owner while you have a chance to find a new place for you and your family to live. Oftentimes, the seller and buyer panic when they get close to a short sale being approved. Ultimately, they will do the right thing and should workout a reasonable solution for everyone.

      If the foreclosure auction has been cancelled on July 14th, you will have time before the short sale is approved. “Awaiting Analysis” is the very early stage of a short sale and could be a few months before the short sale is approved…and then an additional 30 to 45 days from approval for the buyer to close.

      I would also recommend getting the name of the listing agent and work with him as they have the best insight into the short sale timeline. Sellers are usually in the dark on the process and very panicky at every step of the way.

      Craig B.

  41. Lavinia says

    We put an offer on a house in NC in Feb 2011 that was higher than the advertised price, and were told it was accepted. Is it normal for us to still be waiting for an update in October? The sellers say they are playing ball with the bank but the bank keeps changing their mind/dithering etc. Is there any way to get an official update as buyers, or are we just going to have to wait and see if something happens eventually?

    • says

      Hi Lavinia,

      When you said it was accepted, was it the sellers accepting the offer or Bank of America? February is a very long time for a Bank of America short sale in 2011. We are getting 2-4 week approvals on our short sales once all of the paperwork and the short sale offer is submitted into Equator. Bank of America does not change their minds on short sales. It is black and white. Either the offer is accepted or it is not. It sounds to me like the sellers or listing agent are screwing around with the short sale and/ or have no idea how to work a short sale. Try to get some real answers or re-submit the short sale and start over. 8 months for a BofA short sale in 2011 is not the norm.

      Your Realtor should be able to get you an official update on the short sale.

      Craig B.

  42. Dani says

    Question – We put an offer in on a Bof A short sale May 2011, our offer was accepted the end of June from BofA. We had to get a contrator estimate for the work to be done to the house and submit for our loan. We then had our apprisal done in August 2011 and the Apprisal came back $12K less than the agreed price. A new contract was sent to BofA with apprised amount on 8/23/11, we just learned last night BofA has now asked the sellers to take our a loan of $19K to pay them. The sellers attorney responded back stating they would did not accept this and sent back to BofA with same offer that was submitted on 8/23/11 due to BofA had already told them they would not have to pay any of the difference and if the deal fell through they would move back into the house and let the house go in foreclosure. Have we lost this house now????


    • says


      This is a great question. The answer is NO you have not lost the house. This is part of the negotiation process. The $19K loan you are referring to is a promissory note that the lender’s investor is asking the seller to sign as part of the shot sale settlement. This is very common with Bank of America short sales. The seller’s attorney will always reject the promissory note offer and threaten foreclosure and even bankruptcy. Sometimes they can negotiate it away and other times it is the only way to get the short sale done. This is normal short sale negotiation tactics from both sides.

      Give the seller and their attorney some time to work through the short sale settlement terms and do not let it stress you out. Ultimately the seller and their attorney need to work through what is best for them in terms of a settlement. Ultimately, the answer is something in the middle where all parties give a little.

      Let me know how it works out.

      Craig B.

  43. logicdude says

    Is there any way of pushing Bank of America for an answer? I am the buyer that put a cash offer on a countrywide Florida loan back in August. it is now November and they have asked the seller for paperwork 3 times and proof of funds three times. After I sent an email to the Texas based level 2 Bofa associate which she never responded directly to me, but she contacted the realtor and asked for all of the paperwork to be resubmitted yet again, this was the first of the month. My question is that if it would help speed the process to send emails to the same person in Texas, Her supervisor and all supervisors all the way up to the top of Bank of America Management?? I know it has only been 3 months now, but I was originally told 30-45 days for answer. Maybe they are working on it, but hearing back from the realtor is impossible as well. I would be happy to send a series of emails out to Bank of America Management if that would be advisable. I read on another blog that a seller send a complaint into BBB, OCC, and FDIC against Bank of America, then send emails to Senior VP, Chairman, CFO, and VP or REO Sales. She seemed to get a valid and quick response. Please advise. Thanks

  44. avh1284 says

    I put an offer in on a short sale (B of A house) on or around November 18th. We gave them six weeks to respond and that deadline came and went with no response. We extended it for another 30 days hoping something would happend given that it was originally submitted around the holidays. The listing agent seems very unmotivated as our agent has to call her to get any updates and when she does we get “haven’t heard anything yet”. I have read that the seller’s agent needs to be very motivated and dilligent and clearly that is not the case here. My agent is not willing to be even the slightest bit agressive and put some pressure on the seller’s agent. As of right now I have no idea where the offer sits. From reading some of these posts there seems to be a stepped process and people knew where in the process their offers were, but I have not a clue about that. I assume I can thank the seller’s agent for that lack of knowledge. I have sent a request to my agent to have a meeting with the seller’s agent and the sellers to discuss where this thing is and what is going on. The two agents seem to be very passive about this which is driving me crazy because this is the house that I want to buy and live in for a very long time. It is not a minor decision and I wish they would not treat it as such. I am beginning to think that the seller used a short sale as a scam to stay in the house. The house has been for sale for over a year and B of A refused the last offer from another buyer, which was over 7 months ago and haven’t had any offers since I put one in in November. I am so unbelievable frustrated but I refuse to give up without a fight. What can I do to move this alond given that I have to unmotivated agents? Thanks.


    • says


      Unfortunately this is a very common problem. Oftentimes the sellers are in such financial distress that they are numb and do nothing to help move the short sale process along. I have had a few of these myself and they literally bring the process to a standstill. If you add unmotivated Realtors or Realtors that are inexperienced with short sales you end up getting strung along while nothing happens.

      I would try to get some concrete answers as to where the short sale is in the process. You need to find out if the seller has submitted all of his financials and if a complete short sale package has been submitted to the bank. This would include seller financials, tax returns, hardship letter, preliminary HUD, buyer’s proof of funds, listing agreement, executed contract, arms length disclosures and etc.

      If the seller is trying to stay as long as possible in the house then you may be wise to move on to another property. They could delay the process right up until foreclosure…if it forecloses then you have to start over and risk losing the property to another buyer.

      Let me know how it goes.

      Craig B.

  45. Steve Kinder says

    Hi, we just placed an offer on a house that is listed as a shortsale, this property has a significant amount of structural damage as well as other minor repairs that need completed. We submitted an offer that takes comparable prices minus the contractor estimated repair costs. The offer has been accepted by the seller, and the package has been submitted to B of A. My questions is this; will B of A, assess the property damage themselves, will they use there own structural engineers and geotechinal experts to generate the same advice i have been given, or will they use the documentation that we submitted to the sellers agent for reference and negotiating tools?

  46. Jodie says

    What to do now? We received an approvel letter from BofA on our short sale offer on 2/6/2012. The letter required us to close in 30 days (March 7, 2012). We met all the requirements (HUD-1 sent 5 days before, etc.) but have not received signed settlement statement from BofA or any response from the negotiator, neither has the selling agent or the seller’s title company. The seller’s sent an addendum extending closing date thru 3/9. What do we do after that? We met all requirements BofA has not come through!

    • says

      Hi Jodie,
      If I had a nickel for every time this has happened on our short sales I would be a rich. There are too many moving parts in a short sale and they are all on their own time line. You are going to have to escalate if you cannot get a response from BofA. Everything needs to be done through Equator or have the listing agent make a call into the Short Sale customer support line and they can help resolve.

      Bank of America is in the business to close short sales and they will extend the approval letter…especially when it is their fault.

      Craig B.

  47. Steve Hansen says

    We made an offer on a short sale listing in Las Vegas in February, 2012. The listed price for the property was $37,500. We offered $40,000, which was subsequently accepted by the seller, contingetnt of course upon Bank of America approving the sale. Bank of America subsequently commicated to the escrow company that they would accept $43,900 from the buyer, and a $700 cash contribution from the seller. Both the seller and us, as buyers, agreed to those terms. Then, two weeks later, the bank came back and stated that the seller would now have to come up with over $8,000 cash, or sign a promissory note. Everything sat “on hold” for over a month, while the bank re-reviewed the seller’s financial situation. Then, two weeks ago, the communicated that they would not accept an offer lower than $50,000. I don’t understand why the bank cannot be held to their original agreement to accept $43,900. Is there not a governing entity in Nevada that can oversee this kind of waffling?

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