Bank of America Implements HAFA on Equator for Short Sales

I will be the first to step out on a limb and say that Bank of America short sales are getting better…significantly better. Bank of America has long has issues with their short sale process. I have personally heard from hundreds of frustrated buyers, sellers and Realtors across the country about the dismal record Bank of America has had with short sales.  My Bank of America Short Sale Blog posts continue to be the number one visited and most commented posts on my blog:

Bank of America formerly Countrywide New Short Sale Policies and Guidelines

Bank of America formerly Countrywide NEW NEW Short Sale Process…

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

It has been a long 6 months since the launch of the Bank of America and Equator short sale platform. Both Bank of America and Equator spent millions of dollars to develop a customized short sale system to handle the hundreds of thousands of Bank of America short sales. The learning curve has been steep, but we have seen significant changes with Bank of America and Equator…positive changes. All of our Bank of America short sales have been put into the Equator system and all of the files are moving through the system fairly efficiently. Click here to view a detailed Bank of America and Equator short sale training guide.

Equator Short Sale Training Guide

Equator Short Sale FAQ

I just received and email from Equator stating that ALL Bank of America Short sale are now required to go through Equator. Additionally, Bank of America will be participating in the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative HAFA program. This is exciting news and we are very optimistic that Bank of America will put the right foot forward and turn their disastrous history with short sales around.

Bank of America's HAFA Program Website gives homeowner's details on their support of the program.

Below is a copy of an email that I received on Friday from Equator.

Bank of America Home Loans will now be using Equator as the primary tool for short sales.  It is a self service portal that automates the short sale process.  This will streamline the process and improve the experience for both customer and real estate agents.


As a result, Bank of America will no longer be accepting faxed short sale documents, effective immediately you will need to upload those documents through Equator. Information to assist you with the Equator system can be found at


Once a short sale is initiated on a Bank of America loan, you can also access the educational guide within Equator.  It can be found within the "Upload 3rd Party Authorization" task.  This guide provides tips for avoiding delays and navigating system functionality.


To start a short sale today, go to


REMINDER: The federal government recently announced the short sale program guidelines for the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program which will go into effect on Monday, April 5, 2010.  Bank of America Home Loans is implementing HAFA, the program designed to help those customers who were not eligible for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) or any other modification.  For more detailed information on the HAFA program, go to the National Association of Realtors site at


Questions?  Please call the Bank of America Home Loans Short Sale team at 1.866.880.1232


  1. Elizabeth Moreland says

    Is the Equator system suppose to be used to process short sales on homes not yet owned by the bank?
    We have an offer in on a home in short sale, however, BOA says they cannot pull it up on Equator. Is this because the home is not yet in the system because it is not owned by the bank or because the listing realtor has not gone through the process to enter it into Equator? The person we are dealing with at BOA is not very familiar with Equator and doesn't know what to tell us.

    • says

      Elizabeth –

      The Equator platform is for both short sales and Bank Owned property. The system is the largest processor of Bank Owned property in the nation. However, they have built a customized platform for short sales for Bank of America. The realtor needs to initiate a short sale transaction in the Equator system. The seller is then added to the system and the process begins. Until this happens Bank of America will not be able to find the property in Equator.

  2. Ed says

    Is Bof A suppossed to give us their acceptable price BEFORE listing the house uder HAFA? I am agent and have not received thiei price and can't list the home without a Sales Price. No appraisal has been done and owners are still in home. I am in Equator and can't even download the 3rd Party Auth.

    • says

      Ed –

      Great question. We are converting several of our short sales to HAFA and are working through the process. We have HAFA paperwork submitted on 6 short sales. I would go ahead and list the property ASAP. There are two HAFA tracks:
      1. Get HAFA approval and and list with Approved price
      2. List short sale. Get offer and then pursue HAFA approval.

      It is my opinion that most with fall into the second track until the banks and Realtors get everything rolling.

  3. says

    Is Bof A suppossed to give us their acceptable price BEFORE listing the house uder HAFA? I am agent and have not received thiei price and can’t list the home without a Sales Price. No appraisal has been done and owners are still in home. I am in Equator and can’t even download the 3rd Party Auth.

  4. Peggy says

    I am a buyer's agent.  We submitted an offer on a BOA short in April and received approval within 3 weeks that it was accepted!  Not so fast, one week later BOA negotiator sent word the approval was suspended until it was sent through HAFA.  That was 19 business days ago and no word yet from BOA.  Anyone else had this?  Did they respond in 10 business days according to HAFA guidelines?

    • says

      Peggy –

      As you know HAFA is brand new. Currently we have initiated over a dozen files into HAFA. Each lender handles the HAFA approval process differently. It appears Bank of America is outsourcing their HAFA files to 3rd party teams based upon investor groups. Our most recent is being handled by a firm called Moss Codilis. I think the turn around time will be a bit longer due to everyone trying to figure out who will handle what.

      Craig B.

    • says

      Hi Carmen,

      I will never say “Absolutely NOT”. But I will say that every lender I have dealt with has very specific Arms Length agreements that CLEARLY indicate that the buyer cannot be a friend, neighbor, relative or work acquaintance of the seller. If it is not clearly spelled out, then I would discuss with your lender to see if they would be amenable to a non-arms length transaction.

      Craig B.

  5. says

    Is Bof A suppossed to give us their acceptable price BEFORE listing the house uder HAFA? I am agent and have not received thiei price and can’t list the home without a Sales Price. No appraisal has been done and owners are still in home. I am in Equator and can’t even download the 3rd Party Auth.

    • says


      Go ahead and list the home. Be a bit conservative on the price so you have a listing history when you have to reduce the price. Bank of America is outsourcing the HAFA approval to 3rd parties and it is being segregated by Investors backing the loan. You need to call in with your seller and go through the HAFA screening. They have some very specific forms and documents that your seller will need to fill out.

      Craig B.

  6. JEAN says

    Dear Craig,
    Hi!  I've put in my short sale early February, 2010 and it was sold that same week.  Now yesterday, I've got in the mail Bank of America is giving me an option to go on HAFA (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative) short sale rather than the ordinary short sale.  I'm here in California.  
    Which one should I choose the old short sale that they said will have repercussions on running after me with a balance or the new HAFA short sale options – what is the catch on this one this time?  How does this affect my credit with the foreclosure word attached to it?  Do I get kicked out of my house (I am currently staying in it) immediately without notice bec it's a semiforeclosure status?   Please respond I have only 10 days to decide…  Thanks

    • says

      Hi Jean

      You should review the options with an attorney or your selling agent. In general the HAFA program is a much better option for a short sale. Your deficiency is forgiven and you are given money to move out of your home.

      Please review the HAFA details that are linked on the homepage of my website.

      To qualify you may have to redo the contract on your home since the contract was prior to April 6th 2010.

      I would apply for HAFA and then once approved redo the sales contract with your buyer and resubmit.

      Craig B

  7. Nancy says

    Dear Craig,
    I put an offer in on a short sale house in California the end of May and open escrow. the seller had originally had a short sale fall thru at the end (buyer had moved on) A BPO was done and things were moving along.  The end of July equator said everything was on hold because the seller had applied for the HaFa program. The beginning of August equator notes show seller was approved for HaFa. Will she now receive an approval letter with the market value, or will they move forward with my offer?  How much longer do you think this will take? It's been 78 days now. 
    Thanks, Nancy

  8. Frustrated in the NW says

    We would like your opinion regarding an offer we made on a B of A short sale listed at $168,000.00.
    1.  We made our first offer of $160,000.00 on Saturday 14 August 2010.  Clean offer, asked for nothing and could close within 30 days.  (In otherwords, we would take care of all repairs needed.)
    We were told our offer had been submitted by our agent, and that 2 other offers had also been submitted, but we should "know something" within days.  Ok, no word from listing agent or our agent. 
    The next Friday, I called B of A, and asked them if they had received our offer.  I was kind of pushy wanting answers.  Finally a B of A agent said they had one offer for $163,000.00 but NO OTHER OFFERS on the property.  We were furious.  (I believe we were not suppose to have been provided this information.)  We called our agent, who called the listing agent who said the sellers had signed our offfer, but that she had not submitted it to B of A because there was no "Prequalification Letter."  So, within one hour of calling our lender/bank, we had an immediate prequalification letter. 
    2.  20 August 2010 Friday, we told our agent we wanted to incrase the offer $163,500.00 and we wanted PROOF that the listing agent submitted the offer to B of A. (2nd offer). 
    3.  28 August 2010 Saturday, I had not heard anything from our agent all week, except a lame text which said we should hear something that week (23-27 August 2010).  Never heard a word. 
    4.  28 August 2010 Saturday, we left a voice mail and email for our agent, requesting update.  As of right now (29 August 2010) he has not responded to either (he has a Blackberry).  So, we decided to get a little pushy and call the listing agent.  (Was our offer even submitted to B of A?  Heck, we don't know.  Our agent never offered us proof as he said he would. )
    5.  28 August 2010 left message for listing agent who returned our call. 
    She "said,"  (hmmm….???? truth????) that she had sumitted our offer and it took her 4 DAYS to do so in the Equator System.  She "said" there are 4 offers on the house, but B of A only looks at one at a time, and right now our offer is being considered and we are "Under Contract."  She said that an appraisor will be done and B of A may counter our offer, or accept it.  She said that the process take 2-4 months.
    We are frustrated with the fact that we were never told our 1st off was NOT SUBMITTED, and were led to believe by our agent, that the 1st offeer we made on Saturday 17 August 2010, had been submitted by the listing agent, but clearly it had never been submitted.  I found this out by demanding answers from B of A…(who I do not believe were suppose to tell me!).
    What do you think about all of this?  I am more concerned about the LA not making specific request for a "Prequalification Letter" (which was not attached to our 1st offer) being a prerequisite to any offer submitted to B of A.  We are suspicous that the listing agent was intentionally VAGUE, and wonder if the offers the listing agent did submit were offers she wrote (commission anyone?).  In other words, offers she would write, would guarantee her the entire commission.  So, if she was VAGUE (listing did not say "all offers  must be accompanied by a letter of preapproval" as an example).  Bottom line, I think both agents are jerks.
    Quite honestly, we do not believe either agent is doing their job.  We SUSPECT the listing agent TRIED to figure out a "loop hole" which would allow her to submit ONLY the most beneficial (commission) offers.
    What should we ask for?  Is there some documentation that would prove our offer is being considered (only one as listing agent stated)?  If  not, we're ready to find another agent and look for other houses.  Admittedly, we really want this house.  (Floor plan, neighborhood, though neglected needing new paint/flooring, landscaping, neighborhood is sound and location is fabulous.)
    Thank you so much for reading this, and I hope you might consider giving us some advice. 

    • says

      Frustrated in the NW –

      I really can feel your pain. I am experiencing this with an agent in our area on a Bank of America short sale. I have a very specific way I handle short sales with zero guess work. We submit only one offer to the lender and work with only one buyer. We screen the buyer the best we can to make sure we do not waste our efforts. I have a dedicated negotiator that buyers can speak with directly and view the status of the short sale negotiation 24.7 on-line.

      When I am working with a buyer it is much different. In this one case similar to yours they would not have the seller sign the contract nor would they put it as “Contingent” in the MLS. I had to push very had to get clear and forthright answers from the listing agent. It is extremely frustrating not having control. I have the listing agent on a very short leash and right now they are behaving. 🙂

      Back to your situation – The Bank of America short sale system uses Equator. It can handle one offer at a time. If either agent has done a short sale with Bank of America a buyer must supply: Proof of funds, name, address, Date of Birth, First 5 of Social Security, email address and phone number. This must be in the Equator System or they will kick the offer out. Additionally, the offer will not progress in the system unless all of the information is provided.

      If you have not supplied all of this info they you have lots to be nervous about. The difficult position you are in is that you want the home and the agents are either clueless of the process, working another offer or doing something that is not in your best interest. Find out what the local real estate laws are in your state in regards to short sales. I make sure all of our offers take out the “multiple offer” clause in the contract. There is only one answer to your short sale…it is either been submitted in Equator or it has not…a very simple question that both the listing agent and buyers agent can answer. I would also request them to give you a print out of the Equator short sale summary that shows you as the buyer in the system and the date of entry.

      Good Luck

  9. Frustrated in CA says

    My experience is I made an offer on a Short Sale end of May.  Seller accepted and ours was the only offer.  It then went to a negotiator at B of A.  Couple months later they come back requiring a small increase in the purchase price, no problem.  The negotiator approves and sends it to the investor for approval.  Two weeks later I get a call "Sorry, they sold the house at auction yesterday for 25k less than you were offering."
    Furious and in the process of making as much noise as I can to anyone who will listen.

    • says

      Frustrated in CA –

      Unfortunately this does happen. A short sale is being negotiated, it is approved and then it forecloses. What happens is that there is a lack of communication between the servicer Bank of America and the foreclosure attorney representing the investor. We just recently had this happen the day we closed. The foreclosure was requested to be canceled and they messed up. Bank of America should…and will…reverse the foreclosure. In Florida you have 10 days to reverse the foreclosure. That is the good news. The bad news is that it usually takes another 2 to 3 months to un-wind the mess and get the short sale re-approved. Yes you did read that correctly…another 2-3 months.

      This is why I have a full time negotiator otherwise I would have been off to the looney farm from all of this stuff!

      Craig B

    • Joel Ross says

      Another factor is that, if the loan is a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, backed loan they are not subject to, or do not participate in, the HAFA program. So if you have a BofA loan say, but the loan is backed by Fannie Mae, it can be sold at auction and HAFA won’t have any authority to do anything, because Fannie and Freddie don’t participate. Check on the Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac website to see if your loan is backed by Fannie or Freddie. If so, even if BofA offers the HAFA program and you think they won’t foreclose because you are in HAFA, think again.

  10. says

    I'm curious to when we will see a further reduction in the time Bank of America accepts/ rejects or counters offers.  I'm seeing acceptances take roughly 90 days at this time.  My peers are seeing the same.  This is still terrible.  Amazing we can get buyers to place offers on the properties when there are so many properties to select from.

    – What is everyone's experience with BofA paying seller assistance?  Our negotiator is saying that they will only accept them with VA or FHA loans.  Has this been your experience?

    • says

      Carolyn –

      We are getting some done a bit quicker. However, I beleive it may be area specific. The BPO process and the investor process is what I beleive is taking the bulk of the time now that we have gone paperless using Equator. I will say that Equator is significantly better that the old fax…re-fax…Fed Ex…email…fax…fax again…fax one more time…fax just one more time…fax to a new negotiator…process.

      The next great thing is the HAFA program. We had a short sale approved in 7 days! Getting qualified for HAFA is taking a very long time. Bank of America has outsourced all of its HAFA files to attorneys grouped by investors. We have been working for 2 months to get 4 Bank of America HAFA customers approved. We had a Wells Fargo HAFA done in 15 with the short sale approved in 7. It was a great experience.

      Craig B.

      • Poching Shen says

        Dear Craig,
        When you said ‘We had a short sale approved in 7 days!’, do you mean
        1. the homeowner was successfully qualified by HAFA to short sell the property in 7 days or
        2. an offer from a buyer to the short sale in the HAFA program was approved in 7 days


        Poching Shen

        • says

          Hi Poching,

          The initial approval process into the HAFA program can take anywhere from 30 days to 90+ days. Bank of America seems to take an extremely long time to get a property and ower approved under HAFA. They have outsourced most the of the HAFA approval process to law firms. Once approved get a response on an offer is very quick.

          Craig B.

  11. Arln says

    Received notice of foreclosure on 8/2010 stating 90 days to foreclose.  Listed and accepted short sale offer on Equator waiting for bank to approve.  Rep stated to speak to HAFA because we qualify.   However, rep also stated that this will extend closing by at least an additional 30 days.  That is past my forecasted foreclosure date.  Will HAFA program prevent me from being foreclosed if we are in contract?

    • says

      Arln –

      This is an excellent question regarding HAFA and Bank of America. In most situations they will stop your foreclosure. Getting into the HAFA with Bank of America is a little bit of a challenge. They have outsourced the HAFA processing to attorneys based upon the investor group. I would highly recommend the HAFA program. There are tremendous benefits to you as the seller that will protect you from a deficiency judgment.

      The one issue you will run into is that you must qualify for HAFA and then submit a short sale offer. If you already have a short sale offer in the system they will process it as a standard short sale. Call Bank of America, get registered for the HAFA program, have them send you the paperwork and fill it out within 14 days or they will cancel the request.

      You will then have to re-submit your short sale offer once you and your home have been qualified under the HAFA program.

      Good luck and let me know how it goes.

      Craig B.

  12. Kim says

    I was just aproved for the HAFA program yesterday, in the meantime, I was also approved for the loan modification through making homes affordable after I was denied back in July.  I would rather short sale my house and walk away free and clear than modify a house that is worth $50,000 for $135,000.  I also have a second mortgage ($24,000) on my home through another lender.  What happens to that second mortgage?  Can it stop the short sale proceedings?

    • says

      Kim –

      Well you are the first person I have heard that has a HAFA and HAMP approval. This is certainly a glitch in the system as they NEVER allow the two to process in parallel. It is either one or the other. In fact, to qualify for HAFA you must first be denied for HAMP or a mortgage modification.

      As for the second mortgage, HAFA will pay up to $6,000 towards your second mortgage lien release. This second mortgage pay off will either have to be negotiated by Bank of America on your behalf, your listing agent or yourself. As a general rule the second mortgage will take about 10% of the balance as a payoff.

      Craig B.

  13. Ronnie says

    Will the same negotiator on Equator handle both the 1st and 2nd mortgages that BOA has?  Or, do 2 seperate short sale packages need to be uploaded and negotiated with the investor? I wasn't sure if BOA handled both with the one package and draft hud that is uploaded….

    • says

      Ronnie –

      That is a great question. Is Bank of America is the servicer for both the 1st and 2nd mortgage they will typically handle the negotiation of both notes. The second mortgage will be reviewed by a second team at Bank of America, however, the negotiator for the first mortgage will usually coordinate. Sometime Bank of America sells the second mortgage to a 3rd party and then you will have to negotiate with them directly.

      Submit one package and Bank of America will advise what process will need to be done to handle the second mortgage.

      Craig B.

  14. Purchase Agreement Walkers says

    The problem we have is that the agent makes the Purchase Agreement out for a term of 45 days, and when we get close to "maybe" hearing of an approval after the status is "with underwriters", the buyers walked without extending the term on the Purchase Agreement.  Happened twice.  If it takes 90 days which looks to be the case, shouldn't the Purchase Agreement be written in terms of 90 days?

  15. Jackie says

    Hi, Craig–
    Happy Holidays, and thank you for your previous responses.  Today, we heard back from BoA on our short sale offer.  They countered extremely high, and we are so disappointed.  Rehash: $609k listing, $619k cash offer, $690k appraisal.  They countered at $675k. 
    The counter was in the form of a spread sheet.  We learned that the first lien is for ~$550k, and the second lien is $3000 (both through BoA).  We are confused, as there is a statement on the counter that says, "buyer understands that counter offer is a multiple offer."  What does this mean–I thought Equator could only handle 1 offer?
    We are putting together our counter offer, and don't know what road to take.  We are so confused and frustrated.  We really thought this would be a done deal.  The house is in major disrepair, and needs ~$50-100k in repairs to make it liveable (FYI, the house next door just sold 2 months ago for $850k, but it was turn key).  We don't know what to do….advice?  Interpretation? 
    Thanks again!

  16. Sad Seller says

    Hi Craig,
    My broker specialized in short sales but didn't bother to tell me about the HAFA program when he wrote my listing.  BOA has now scheduled me house for foreclosure and we have recieved a short sale offer but BOA is telling me I don't qualify for the HAFA program because the foreclosure date has been set.
    Do you know of any exceptions to this?

  17. Amelia says


    We have had a contract on a boa short sale home since August. We heard 5 weeks ago that it went to investor for approval. At that same time BOA requested the seller to apply for HAFA program. We got an update today saying the investor(s) are waiting to get information from HAFA before they approve or not our offer. What does this mean? What about the 10 days and you will have answer from HAFA? We are getting very frustrated with this process and are considering walking away. How much longer do you suspect this will take. We are getting very little information from the listing agent and he is difficult to understand as he is Korean and speaks broken English. Can you help us?

  18. Shawn says

    February 8th we had the seller accept our offer on a short sale. Over six weeks ago we finally came to an agreed upon price for the home with BofA at 250k buyer paying closing costs. The house appraised at 290k. Our financing is 100%, title is still clear. We try to close and our short sale is no longer found in the Equator system to do a “glitch” in the system. Has anyone else encountered this? Is this probably due to a fault on BofA side or the realtors? Any light shed on this is greatly appreciated.

    Very best regards,

    • says

      Shawn –

      This is very odd. We have never had a short sale “Lost” in Equator. Did you have an approval letter from Bank of America on the short sale? Once the short sale is past valuations and proceeding to approval you will actually have a real live negotiator to work with. Once they send over the approval letter, you will need to upload the finalHUD and etc to close out the short sale. However, you have a direct line of contact with a negotiator. So there is nothing to get “Lost” in the system.

      There is a very good chance that something else happened and what is being communicated may not be the real story or that it got “lost” in translation to you…if you know what I mean.

      Craig B.

    • Tia says


      How long did your HAFA sale take from the time you received the offer to closing? Did you have HAFA approval before receiving the offer or did you receive the offer then pursue HAFA approval?

      Thank you,


      • says


        It takes 10 days to get to get an offer approved on a HAFA. We just had one reviewed and counter offered in 3 business days. The amount they move off the approved proce is based upon the individual investor on the loan.

        In our most recent HAFA short sale, they countered at the list price and will not move off of it. Bank of America just ordered a new appraisal and is asking us to not submit a counter offer until after the new appraisal.

        This is an odd process but we are playing by their rules.

        Craig B

  19. Tia says


    I made an offer on a property at the end of July. The listing agent submitted my offer on July 27th to the bank. I found out that the sellers are going under the HAFA program but did not apply until my offer was submitted. Last week on September 2nd, the sellers completed 2 task requested by the bank. Saturday, September 3rd, the BPO was completed. What do I have to look forward to now? It seems as if things are moving along quickly. Once my offer is countered or approved by the bank, I would really like to close escrow by the end of October. Is this a realistic timeline? The family(sellers) are motivated to move. The listing agent mentioned that the BPO and everything should be submitted to the lender in the next 2weeks for approval.

    Thank you for your help.

    Much Appreciation,


    • Tia says

      Today I received word that B of A accepted my offer price but they countered a few fees (expected). I countered back for them to pay their part of the title fees. Should hear back from them next week so my deadline might be achieved!

      Wish me luck!


  20. James says


    I submitted an offer on a house that a short sale listed for 145k. I offered 140 and the seller agreed. B of A said that they had the house appraised and it showed that it was worth 190k. This house is in need of repair and all houses in the area are selling for 140k. We did not receive a copy of the apprial. I believe the apprisal if wrong? What are my options?


  21. Lisa and Bill says

    We signed a contract on a HAFA approved short-sale on April 10, 2011, as of today, September 30th, 2011, we have yet to hear if BOA has accepted. Seriously? How long do we wait before it’s just not worth it any longer?

    • says

      HI Lisa and BIll,

      There is something very wrong. HAFA approval with BofA takes several months to get approved. However, this approval process is usually done before the property is listed or a contract has been received. Once the Seller receives HAFA approval, they are assigned a negotiator, required to get the property listed and give the listing agent a listing price.

      Once the property is marketed and is HAFA approved there is a maximum 10 day turn around on all offers. We have done several Bank of America short sales and the longest response was 4 days and that was due to an error by our team in the Equator system where we did not fully execute the submitted offer.

      I would try to get some real answers from the listing agent to see what is going on. Typically you have 3 to 6 months to market and sell the property and if that does not occur they will do a Deed in Lieu.

      Let me know what you find out.

      Craig B.

  22. Olivia says

    Hi Craig! We put an offer on a Short Sale Listed Property ( 3 days after the price dropped to a “short sale”) July 27th

    we offered FULL Price and planned to pay our own Closing Costs.

    The property had 1 Lender and BOA is Servicing for a Investor in NYC .. Our buyers agent asked the Sellers agent if they had applied for HAFA .. They had NOT but decided to 3 days after our offered Contract was returned to them

    The BPO has been updated twice and as of today this home is still the highest price listed in the area right now (only due to no other homes are being listed in the area .. it’s worth the price but couldn’t imagine much more)

    OCT 18th , the Negotiator Asked if the Sellers fee’s could be lowered. That did happen

    Our Lender went ahead and approved the home price Pending appraisal and title search just to be ready if the bank wanted to close rather quickly.. This was November 10th

    It is now November 20th without any word from the Negotiator to the Seller for Approval .

    How much longer could this possibly take? what else could possibly be taking this long ?

    The Sellers attorney just says that this could take upwards of 7 months for a Hafa Sale.. “7 Months” ?? I thought there was a timeline.

    there are no other backup offers on the table and the sellers would be glad for this to be over with just as quickly as we would.

    • says

      Hi Olivia,
      BofA has a much different process for HAFA than a standard short sale. Normally, they want the sellers to go through the HAFA program before the property is marketed and an offer is submitted. The HAFA approval process takes 2 to 4 months depending upon how diligent the seller is with their paperwork and responding to BofA. Once the HAFA approval is completed then the short sale process will take about 10 days for a response and another few days for written approval.

      Unfortunately the sellers on your property are doing everything backwards and you are basically starting over when you switched to the HAFA program. Most likely they will need to create a brand new listing and a new listing price dictated by BofA. They will then allow your NEW offer to be submitted for approval. The good news is that the price may be lower than your initial offer.

      There are dozens of variations and strategies to present on this specific deal and your Realtors should be able to consult with you on the best strategy to move forward.

      – Craig B.

      • Keith says

        Hi…I am in the Process of “trying” to purchase a home that is in the HAFA program….B of A sent the sellers a Pre-Approved listing price…and we actually placed an offer within a few days of the listing..we have offered the full “Pre-Approved” listing price…so I am assuming that our offer should be accepted…B of A also did a full appraisal to come up with what they wanted the seller to list the house for….Our realtor has submitted all of the paperwork through equator…that was 9 days ago…she did say that she had to re-submitted a few docs a couple of days ago….so I am wondering if we will actually receive a response by the 10th day…or if they will re-start the clock since they requested additional docs a few days ago…I have read quite a bit about everyones frustration with B of A….so just wondering if we will get lucky or just have to keep holding our breath…..

        • says

          Keith – HAFA short sales are nice because the purchase price is an approved price. It eliminates any ambiguity on what they will or will not accept. The settlement terms with the seller are also pre-determined and extremely favorable for them, so they are highly motivated to go through with a HAFA short sale.

          The only downside is that the process is not perfect and their 10 day window does not always occur. I would highly recommend to stay patient and have confidence that the process with continue in a positive direction. Just make sure that the short sale is being handled by appropriate parties at BofA and that it is not lost in the system. Many of the HAFA short sales are being handled by sub-contractors of BofA. Oftentimes their responses are not as timely as promised. A few calls into BofA customer support will help escalate things very quickly if they have missed their promised deadlines and milestones.

          Craig B.

          • Keith says

            Thanks for the encouraging words…Our Realtor told us yesterday that our status in Equator has changed from Offer Submitted to Offer Being Reviewed…I’m assuming that all documents have been sent in and we should hear back fairly soon on our offer….

            Thanks again,


          • Keith says

            Great news…Our offer was accepted today… for us…this started on March 24th when we made the offer on the home….so 21 days from offer until Bank approval…This might be a record from what I’ve seen…we are doing the happy dance….Thanks again for the positive insight….looking to close within 30 days….

          • Kym McClimans says

            We made an offer on a B of A shortsale on Feb. 23rd, the seller accepted it on Feb. 24th, and it was loaded into Equator on Feb. 27th. On March 26th we were told that the bank was still requesting paperwork for HAFA approval. Apparently the seller decided to switch to a HAFA after our offer was submitted. Finally on April 11th (day 44) we got word that the seller got HAFA approval but the realtor has to resubmit our offer back into the system. So does this mean the whole process starts over and we are looking at 30 – 45 days (or longer.)

          • says

            Hi Kym – The HAFA process is really long on the front end for the seller to be approved under the program. Once approved, the process usually goes fairly quickly. If they have already established a market value for the property then it will go fast. If they have to get a formal appraisal then you will have an additional week delay. I would estimate that you should have approval by end of April, first week of May.

            Craig B.

          • Kym McClimans says

            How many appraisals do they need? We just got word yesterday that they have ordered the “final appraisal”. They did an appraisal in January and in march – both actual appraisals, not just BPO’s. Aaaannnnnddd, we were told that we were most likely going to have to apply for a variance because the sellers loan is a FHA and they will only pay for 1% instead of the 3% which we asked for in closing costs. So now I am really confused because I didn’t think FHA loans were eligible for HAFA! What are our chances of getting a variance? Is it worth the time or are we better of to just say we will pay the other 2% and save ourselves the time and frustration of being told no anyway.

  23. says

    My mortgage broker said she was putting my wife first on the loan because she had a higher FICA score, mine was 720 but I had the income. It turns out I was left off the loan but not the title. 4 years later my wife died from cancer and the estate lawyer advised to continue making payments and say nothing. I listed the house for short sale Jun 2011 and left the area. I had 3 contracts before one went through. BofA approved me for HAFA during this process. Today I closed and they said I wasn’t the originator so I couldn’t get the money. It’s the first time they said that. Don’t trust Bank of America.

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