Countrywide was one of the largest home loan providers in the United States, as a result they have been overwhelmed with a staggering number of foreclosures and short sales. During the last twelve months they have received a large amount of bad press and has earned a bad reputation for taking an excessively long time to process a short sale. In some cases Countrywide has taken as long as 8 to 9 months to approve a short sale. In the process the seller get discouraged, buyers walk from the transaction and Realtors lose faith in a system that seems fundamentally broken. Bank of America’s purchase of Countrywide appears to have only exacerbated the problem.
In recent months we have seen and heard of talks about a streamlined short sale process and incentives being put in place by the Obama Administration under the Making Home Affordable Program. This program is targeting to prevent homeowners from foreclosure with alternative options including mortgage modifications, short sales and deed of lieu of foreclosures. You can read more about the program here.
We have yet to experience any tangible changes to Bank of America’s short sale process however, this letter to one of our customers is a sign that they are acknowledging and trying to define a standardized short sale process. In this letter Bank of America is expecting the short sale process to take 30-40 days to complete. If the loan was sold to an investor it will take an additional 20 days to process. This would make the entire process from start to finish 60 days. Our experience with dozens of Bank of America – Countrywide short sales has been anywhere from 3 months to 6 months.
If we could get close to a 30-40 day turn around on short sales with Bank of America it would be almost magical and welcome any changes to improve the process. Click here to view the letter from Bank of America.