Bank of America goes to Equator for Short Sales Processing

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Have you dealt with Bank of America or Countrywide during this golden age of real estate? If you have, I am sure you received nothing but stellar service from them right? If you have received great service from them you better start blogging about it and praising who you dealt with at Bank of America and Countrywide, because all I hear from people around the country is that they are the worst in the business to deal with on short sales, let alone everything else.

Files go missing, are ignored, are misdirected and may even be burned.  Some may even be on a bus in Istanbul, for crying out loud!  On top of everything else, if you want to just talk to someone about your file, you’ll face super long hold times. It is my opinion that it has been nothing but a nightmare to deal with this institution as an broker, agent, investor, customer or human being.

I recently got word that Bank of America is switching the processing of it’s short sales to a company called Equator Financial Solutions; they were formally called Reo Trans ( I assume that B of A/Countrywide liked the system that Equator had in place and decided to make the switch.

Will Equator Financial Solutions streamline the short sale process for Bank of America / Countrywide?

This is yet to be determined, but moving the processing of these files to anyone other than themselves, is a welcome sigh of relief for the the industry, for sure.

If you currently have a short sale file that been assigned a negotiator, your file will continue to be processed through the old system. If your file has not been assigned a negotiator then it will most likely be converted over to the new system at Equator.

One Very Important thing to know is that Bank of America is changing their legacy (banks that were acquired by or merged with B of A) loan numbers to a new 9 digit number. Without this new number you cannot initiate the short sale process in the new system. Customers should have or will be receiving this number shortly; contact customer service for the new account number if you have not yet received it.

In the meantime I recommend you go set up an account with Equator if you are:

  • Agents: You will now be able to upload and start the short sale process directly online with them. You can also benefit by getting access to do BPO’s and possible listings.
  • Investors/Buyers: Signing up with them allows you to get a heads up on current and future listings in your area. We always want the upper hand, right guys? Don’t forget it’s a free service; other companies charge an arm and a leg, so take advantage of the e-mail alerts.

Hopefully this new system will help bring  short sale closing times down considerably. Nothing but a win win situation for all.

Good luck in all you do America!

About Author

Winston Westbrook is broker & owner of Westbrook National Real Estate Company servicing the cities of Victorville, Spring Valley Lake, Adelanto, Hesperia, Apple Valley & the surrounding Victor Valley High Desert communities of So. California. Specializing in short sale and distressed properties.


  1. My company has processed countless short sale files with BofA/Countrywide and I can tell you from experience that the REOTrans/Equator transition has not been a smooth, or in my opinion, welcome change. Initially I was excited about the prospect of an on-line system that would help alleviate what we all knew was a long and difficult process in dealing with the “old” BofA, but that excitement soon dissipated after using their “new” system for a few months. The problem is that once you are registered and start sending up files, the only way to get any information on the progress of the short sale is when it’s published on-line. Weeks can (and will) pass without any word and if you call and actually talk with someone you are told, “That file is in REOTrans, there’s nothing I can do to help you”.

    Now to be fair, it’s possible that this is all part of the learning curve of a new system inside BofA, but at this point, and I never thought I’d say this, I’ll take the old way. At least I had the option of long wait times and eventually talking with a live person who can update me on the status of my file.

    Jim Donovan
    Homestead Solutions LLC

  2. Is this new system in place yet? We work with BofA alot with short sales and have been using the old system, we just heard they had set up a system online which sounds hopeful, is that what you are talking about?

  3. @Jim Donovan, Thanks for commenting. Great point you made about losing the ability to get timely information. When you have a family that needs answers in a bad situation it only makes matters worse. Hopefully it’s just a learning curve.
    @Joshua Dorkin, My pleasure boss. Hope you get a great property out there.
    @Michele, Yes it is. This is what I was talking about and yes it is up and running and taking short sales. Good luck to ya and share with me your experiences.

  4. I am on hold with BoA right now… it’s been 47 minutes now. Sigh. I uploaded the short sale packet to the Equator system. They are telling me that they are getting it out of the equator system because this particular loan is FHA and they can not go through the Equator system. So, everyone out there that has an FHA short sale, call boa first to verify whether you should or shouldn’t submit the packet to Equator.

    off the phone now and they want me to re send everything. Of course!

    • I have a conference call with BoA today. I am the buyer. I don’t have much faith in my realtor – I dont’ think she has the SS experience or energy to help as promised. Our SS package was submitted to B0A in late Oct 09. We received nothing so far – except it is in the system. I was able to locate a BoA live person from a blog. They were very good at e-mailing me once we connected. I feel very lucky and hopeful. This person scheduled the conference call for today. What questions should I ask (without giving away the farm) about the offer. I am not sure if they can tell me but I would like to know the BPO amount and how quickly the bank with respond since all the tasks have been completed. Just wondering was you have to offer as advice. Thanks –

      • Hi Jody,

        It’s most likely way too late to post this, but I doubt your Realtor is at fault, unless they are representing both the you (buyer) and the seller. The listing side agent is the one who is “responsible” for taking your offer, getting it signed as accepted by the seller, and getting that offer to BoA. Your agent is at the mercy of the listing side agent when it comes to getting information about the short sale that would then be passed along to you.

        In fact, it is highly unlikely that the buyer’s side agent even would be allowed to talk with BoA even if they tried. In a short sale the seller signs an authorization form that allows someone (the listing agent or a company like mine) to talk to the lender on their behalf and because it involves financial information this usually doesn’t extend to anyone else. While it’s just a guess since I don’t know your particular situation, the listing agent may not be all that well versed in short sales and/or unwilling to put the time and effort into it to get it done. To be fair to the agent(s), it should also be pointed out that BoA is swamped with short sales and this new system has had some rough spots so there can be lengthy delays if you don’t know what your doing.

        I don’t quite understand your question out giving away the farm on your conference call. If you have already submitted an offer they know what it is. Keep in mind that your are talking to the Loss Mitigation department, and, as the name suggests, they are responsible for keeping losses to a minimum on a short sale. Their goal is to get as much money as possible so their loss will be less.

        I hope your meeting went well. It would be helpful to everyone if post back here what happened.

        Jim Donovan
        Homestead Solutions LLC

        • As a buyer, you can be involved in the short sale process. This is easily done through a simple addendum where the seller agrees to allow you access. Bank of America allows you access to their website which is designed to allow updates to be read by the user.

          I buy short sales myself and all the information provided by this poster is typical of a REALTOR. When I buy, I negotiate myself and I am not an agent either. I would NEVER allow an agent to negotiate a price on my behalf. Most agents do not even know they can counter the lenders intial counter-offer.

          In my opinion, find yourself a buyer’s agent who knows how to battle with the lender instead of working your offer through the listing agent who’s pay is impacted by a decrease in the sales price.

          If you want a good deal….. find neotiator instead of a mediator.

  5. Me and my team have been handling REO listings for BOA through the Equator site for a couple of years now and I have to say that it is a great system. When we send out E-mails to the asset managers we get a response in a matter of hours if not minutes. It is really a smooth system.

    When we heard that BOA was converting their short sales to Equator, We were elated!! because we figured that it was going to run just as smoothly as the REO side….. Well, that enthusiasm was short lived. I don’t know if it is a lack of training on their end but I have not seem much improvement if any at all.

    The one positive thing with the equator system is that BOA can’t claim that the paperwork was not received. However, the negotiators never reply to the emails, even the ones sent through the Equator system, they never answer their phones and their voice mails are always full. (THIS IS THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE OF HOW THE ASSET MANAGERS OPERATE ON THE REO SIDE) We never have any problems contacting the Asset managers.

    I submitted an offer to BOA back in August ’09 before the switch to Equator, the BPOs were complete and in the middle of the process they sent the file to Equator in mid October. A couple of weeks went by were the file was in the “Valuations Stage” even though the BPOs had been completed, when I called BOA they told me that the negotiator had a task that was past due, when I asked what that task was they said it was for him to review the BPOs. After 3 weeks, I managed to get the Rep to send email to the negotiator’s manager telling him that his task was overdue 3 weeks!! Funny enough the file moved to the “Negotiation” stage the next day.

    A couple of weeks went by and we finally received a counter offer from BOA, on December 16th. The buyers Re-countered close to the price BOA was asking for, I submitted the counter on Dec. 17th and send an email through Equator. (Keep in mind this is an all-cash buyer)

    A few more weeks have gone by and still no answer, I was told by the rep that a task was once again past due on the negotitator’s side. What was the task you ask? for him to review the counter offer I submitted on Dec. 17th. It was finally reviewed last week and I got an email stating that they needed an updated HUD in order to submit the file for approval.

    I sent him the HUD immediately, and asked him to reply and confirm that he has reviewed it and the file has been submitted for approval….. Of course he hasn’t replied. I spoke to them again last night and they told me that they are just waiting for the investor to give them the payoffs, but could not tell me how much longer it would take.

    How do I feel about short sales through Equator… I have mixed feelings. I have been able to get approvals on short sales with other lenders in as little as 2 weeks and 45 average. If others can do it, why can’t BOA? They are losing so much more money with the homes going to foreclosure, I had a listing over a year ago, the owner purchased that home for $435,000. We had an offer for that home for $315,000 BOA took too long, the buyers walked away, and the home foreclosed…… That same home is now listed as an REO for $140,000

  6. Bank of America just let our second short sale buyer walk. The last buyer had cash and they let the deal fall through. They had “CASH”, and were prepared to pay over appraisal. The Bank of America is not your friend. Our house has been in short sale mode for a year, both buyers got tired of the hassle. We did nothing wrong, we bought a house at fair market value, then the market crashed plus we had a family emergency. We also had a bad ARM loan, which the bank would not work with us on, too far up side down. The bank said ” Mr Stewart, this is like getting cancer, there is nothing you can do” Now we are faced with a foreclosure, when this should have been done a year ago. When the bank appraised the house at $130,000 they wanted $155,000 We had an offer of $135,000, I just don’t get it. The Bank of America is an evil organization and will lead to the down fall of this country. All we want is our lives back, but the bank does not care, they got their Obama money, and the hell with us. I have gone to all my local new agencies with this and have left a message with FOX News in NY. I was once had 800 credit, now I can’t buy a car from my local credit union, we are screwed.

    • Roger,

      I’m sorry to hear about what you’re going through. I know it doesn’t make any sense and you’re frustrated. I’d like to offer to try to help you if possible. I have dealt with BoA for a long time on short sales and I might be able to get something done for you that you can’t do on your own. Is your home still listed with a real estate agent now and actively seeking offers? Also, I need to know a bit more about your situation. If you’d like to trade messages in private you can reach me at jpd721 at gmail dot com. And in case you are wondering, no, I don’t want any money or the deed to your house and any other such nonsense.


      Jim Donovan
      Homestead Solutions LLC

  7. Unhappy BoA Customer on

    The article is accurate except for one key point. Where it states: If you currently have a short sale file that been assigned a negotiator, your file will continue to be processed through the old system. If your file has not been assigned a negotiator then it will most likely be converted over to the new system at Equator.
    That is not entirely true – we are currently working with BOA going through the short sale process via equator (they hold our 2nd Mortgage). We had a negotiator assigned prior to being sent to Equator. I would bet most that had a negotiator stayed in the old system, but thought I would share that tid-bit as it may not be 100% accurate.
    We went faxed documents multiple times, called repeatedly, got the run around, had a negotiator, were placed in Equator only to start over again. We now have a negotiator and we’re very happy to be at that point again.
    One other point of pain is the email address they provided me so that I may send an email to the generic.negotiators was a bum address. I confirmed the address a second time and received the same rejected email. I wasn’t too happy about that.
    Do I think BoA’s short sale process will be helped by Equator…based on my limited and one time experience with them; I would say no. They will continue to stall through poorly established processes. I wish I had a more upbeat tone, but I just don’t see it. I suspect that much of what I have dealt with was on purpose. In other words I feel that we have been given false information and in general purposely stalled.
    Their front line personnel are not given the tools to provide the customer with good information so calling in for updates or to ask intelligent questions is mainly a waste of time. I believe the front line agents themselves are very professional and feel I have always been treated kindly. They’re simply not given the tools to help the customer outside of reading what one can in equator.
    Equator is filled with tasks…some are for the seller, agent and BOA (generic.negotiators). BOA will be late completing their tasks. Yes, they assign their own deadlines. I asked for an escalation in equator, because BoA did not complete their tasks the date they stated they would. Do Not Do That. Escalating in Equator actually gives the generic.negotiators more time to complete that very task. Instead, ask that the front line agent send an email to the generic.negotiators asking that they complete the task. I don’t know if sending an email helps, but at least it does not reset the clock and extend the time they have to complete their own tasks. By the way they were late the second time around as well. The tasks were somewhat meaningless for a 2nd Mortgage, in the first place.
    I’ve got another one for you…we, the seller, were advised to create an account (along with the agent) in equator so that we can complete the tasks assigned to us. We did this by uploading all the documents we had already faxed I don’t know how many times. Thats fine we accepted that as the way things were. However, last night I had problems logging into Equator – the system did not recognize my login. I’ve been using the same email address as my login for the past month and half – looking for updates and the like in Equator itself. Never had a problem. Well, today I am being told that Equator is only for Agents and BoA. Thats news to me – they (the front line agents) told me it has always been that way and that the seller should only be going to I have never been to that site – not once. I tried explaining that, but it fell on deaf ears. My login does not work on the new site and I now have to call in for updates no matter what. This whole process has been very frustrating and I will be sure to express this to all that will listen as I would not recommend BoA for any sort of service to anyone I like, maybe just those I don’t:).
    Just my thoughts. I liked the article. Equator may be a good tool, but throw poor business practices around anything and you get the same sad results.

    • Sebastian Garcia on

      Thank you so much for your informative post. I too, am a seller. We are just starting our short sale process.

      Work was great, the economy turned by business upside down and now we cannot afford the home. My wife has to have surgery now as well. Its strange how quickly things can turn!

      So I am having a similar problem. I was told to called BofA to get initiated into the system. The representative set me up and emailed me a link and login information. Got home over the weekend. And the link ( of course doesnt work at all. I actually found this article trying to find the equator website. So far I cannot even start the process! After reading this article and some comments, I am not looking forward to this process. We have an offer that is barely below our loan amount.,it will be ashame if we are forced to foreclose due to BofA’s procrastination. They also lost our paperwork the first time we tried filing for a loan-mod. Isnt there something we can all do legaly to stop them from doing this. Maybe file a class action suit??

      You figure they are hurting themselves as a company as well….

      • Sebastian,

        Sorry you are having a rough time right now and I hope your wife gets better quickly. Many people dealing with BoA feel just like you – frustrated and it’s understandable. If you have an offer that’s close to your loan amount don’t give up; you’re likely closer to getting out from under this debt than you think.

        I would call BoA back and tell them that you have tried to do it their way, but have not been successful. As you can see from the postings here, BoA is struggling to implement this system so waiting for them to get their act together is not a smart move in my opinion. Try to “kindly” force the issue so you get the process started. The good news is that once you do get the offer into the system it’s unlikely that they will move to foreclose while trying to negotiate a short sale. That being said, don’t ASSUME that they will just put the brakes on it, you have to ask them what your status is and if a sale date has been scheduled. I don’t know your particulars, like how far behind you are, I’m making general comments on what to do. The main point is that you should keep pushing forward to avoid foreclosure.

        By the way, that BoA website is a joke. It’s up and running sometimes (it was when I checked a few minutes ago), and sometimes it’s not. It’s been a great example of just how screwed up the process is.

        Jim Donovan
        Homestead Solutions LLC

  8. New update. BoA is called the seller’s realtor to get the name and telephone number of our finance guy who prequalified us. At least we are running in place and not just standing still. I am hopeful. I presume BoA has not rejected our offer at this point.

    • We just had seller’s realtor ask us for our lender info too. I think they are just trying to make us feel like we have SOME news. Has anything progressed with your short sale? We are approx 30 days in the equator. I’m seeing a psychic next week for some insight…this is just too frustrating!

  9. Roger / Jody, good luck with your transactions. I keep hearing mixed signals on BofA. One person says they are fine, another says they take forever. Anecdotally I feel as if the opinion is trending upwards, but who knows if that is truly the case.

    I think it was yesterday or today there was news that BofA hired a new exec for short sales – here is

  10. I am currently processing a short sale through Equator and things seem to be moving along at a good pace but of course until it is done it is not over so time will tell. My sense is that the due to the number of files requesting short sale approval and that various investors may own a piece of each loan, the process will continue to be chaotic and unpredictable.

  11. Unhappy BoA Customer,

    You’ve hit it right on the money. I am experiencing the same things you described here.

    Unfortunately the first submitted offer (hours of pain) fell through so when we replaced it with a new buyer not only did we have to start all over with a new negotiator and all, but we had to go through the “new system – Equator “. At the very least, the interactions will be time/stamped documented so hopefully there could be accountability somewhere in there, or leverage.

  12. I have a short sale with GMAC beign the first and B of A being the 2nd. Fortunately, we were able to get a great price for our seller and he will be paying the first off completely. Friday, 2/12/10, I called B of A to ask for thier short sale process, where to submit my package, where do I fax the authorization, etc. I was told that B of A now prefers all short sales be submitted thru which would reroute me to Equator. I made an account and hit the “initiate short sale” button. It immediately gave me a task (an email was also sent to me telling me I had a new task) I filled out all the info asked for that day. When i came in on Monday, I had a few more tasks, (sumbit short sale, buyer/seller info, uploading offer) which I completed within an hour of the tasks being posted. It has only been a few days but it still says “generic negotiater” . It had a status of “negotiating” yesterday. Today the status says “held”. I assume that I cant get any further until I get a negotiator assigned to this but I will call anyway to follow up. I want to like the system as I enjoy feeling like some progress is being made but it is too soon to tell. It took all my info and seemed to move along in asking me for items to upload. I’ll update this as things move forward. A few notes, I read on another blog that if you call B of A to discuss your short sale that is in the Equator system, the first thing you do is ask for a negotiator that is familiar with Equator. Do ask for that right away and save yourself the trouble of trying to explain it to someone who has yet to be trained on this. Also dont know yet if it is true, but another agent told me it was not neccessary to have the seller go to I guess I will find out. My seller called B of A to get a password for this site and he was on the phone for over an hour with no luck. He says that they admitted to him the program was new and no one could figure out how to help him with it. I saw a post yesterday from an agent who said she had approval in just two weeks after submitting to Equator! Huh?! Guess time will tell for me!

  13. The B of A is not interested in short sales; they would rather the home go to forclosure so they can collect the mortgage insurance money and any bail-out monies from the government. They may process one every so often to make it look good. This way they get the full value of the mortgage then they can sell the house at auction. Also, when many of these loans were written the were sold the next day as AAA securities instruments on the stock market without the buyer’s permission. Most of the personnel who sold these loans were not licensed stock brokers. Look at your loan docs and see if “Securities Instrument” and MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration System) is in the paperwork. When you try to sell your house via short sale and you get the run around it can mean your mortgage docs have been lost my MERS. I have had two buyers sitting for a combined year to buy our property and the bank did not cooperate. It’s a big scam. Do some home work, check out MERS. The B of A could be in trouble, this was told to me by an accountant. They hold so many bad notes at their inflated value they could implode. They are allowed to report their worth to the government at the inflated value of the notes, when in fact the banks value is only the value of today’s lower property values, in my case half. 2010 could be the breaking point, per my source.

  14. How do I register with the Equator system? I try to avoid short sales, but where I do most of my work I end up doing 8 to 10 every year anyway. Is there a web address I can get to go and register since one of my normal listings is about to turn into a short sale with BOA?

  15. I just stumbled upon this site while looking for information on Equator as I was not familiar with it. I have a buyer that put an offer on a BoA SS property several months ago. The listing agent handed everything to the sellers attorney. We have had a hard time getting updates from the sellers agent, and were going to go out looking again a t properties. Today, the attorneys office called to say BoA wanted the buyers first 5 digits of their SS # and date of birth. I asked if the offer was accepted, and the atty’s office said not yet. My buyer is reluctant to give out any personal info until he knows his deal has been accepted AND is afraid this could be a identity scam …. can anyone tell me if this is customary procedure for BoA before they accept an offer.?

    • Janine,

      It is standard procedure for BOA to ask for the buyers 1st 5 digits of the SS# and DOB. I’ve heard different explanations as to why they are doing that.

      What you should be concerned with is that the attorney is just now asking you for this information.

      BOA Switched to this new online based system back in October, I had a file that was one of the first to be switched into the new system in Mid-October, and we just got an approval the last week of January.

      I have another file that I submitted in December and just got an approval for that deal last week.

      With the attorney asking you for this info now means that they are just beginning the process under this new system, and they have not even uploaded the file to BOA because the system will not allow you to upload an offer without completing the section where it ask for the buyers info 1st. So you are still be looking at a couple of months of waiting for a response.

  16. Janine,
    I have handled many short sales and am currently working on 3 with boa. I have never been asked for the Buyer’s social security information. Have you asked the attorneys handling the short sale what they need the ss# for?
    Attorneys are often way too busy to do anything… I hope that is not the case with you as the Seller’s representative should be calling the servicer (i.e. boa) on a weekly basis.

    • Every time a short sale is initiated in Equator, as part of that process, they ask for the buyer’s date of birth and the 1st 5 digits of their SSN. There’s no reason at all that B of A needs that information as it’s not germaine to the short sale process. I never give it to them. I simply enter all zeros for the SSN and a bogus DOB, something like 01/01/00. It’s far too intrusive of them to ask for that information, at least in my estimation it is.

  17. Krista Mosley on

    So here is my story……I signed a purchase agreement on a short sale in October 2009 with a home financed through Bank of America and was told the process would take 45 days…….90 days later I received notification from my negotiator on my realtors side that I would have an answer in 2 days……..the next day I was informed that Bank of America had too many loans at this stage and that my short sale was given to Titanium to be worked on…my file would go into first stage position again and the procedure would start over again. Two mths after their receipt I received notification that Titanium had all of my final information needed and I would have a definate answer in 1o working days…today which is the 16th working day I received a notice from Titanium that my file had been given to Equator …here we go again! I called Bank of America Short Sale assistance line to get a possible time frame and they said that once my file was set up in the Equator system the file would start in the position it was in with Titanium……so my 45 days has turned into 6 mths…..and the foreclosure department will probably beat the short sale department to the punch on this one…..Way to go Bank of America!!!!! I have been approved for a loan on this home for 6 mths……why not get this short sale complete and get this bad loan off of yours books B of A???????

  18. My wife and I just put in an offer on a short sale with a BOFA property, it’s the first time the listing agent will be using equator, but said he had an offer on the same property that was already approved by BOFA the old way that fell through in December as the potential buyer backed out after losing his job so our bid may be faster as they have already checked on the property once. I’m not seeing any good experiences with the Equator system or BofA in general, I was hoping we would be able to close by July 1st to snag that $8k from the gub-ment. But our chances are looking slim with having to deal with Equator and BofA.

  19. Short sale “approvals” aren’t really approvals. They are sort of bank “counter offers” to requested sale approvals. In most cases, if not all, they require borrowers to sign statement stating that the bank can go after them for the deficiency (e.g. place judgment, garnish, etc.). So, what’s the purpose of the short sale for the involved parties? Well, for the real estate agents it’s little bit of very hard earned money if they “successfully” close (though they need to keep in mind, this money will start taste sour if they do not inform seller-borrowers of what short sales really are and sellers will start calling them again for explanations after the sale when their lenders will be getting back to them for the deficiencies). For banks it is sure thing they can go after the borrowers once sale occurred (otherwise original loans generated in anti-deficiency states for personal residence are wiped out after foreclosure), and for the borrowers is a sure possibility that they will be “hunted down” for the rest of their lives for the deficiency. So, what’s the goal for the borrowers in such states? Just to get sooner out of their properties?

    These are just my personal opinions earned from opinions of others ?, including attorneys. Some of you who knows more I guess can tell more or correct me.

  20. I have put an offer in on a short sale. It is currently in the equator system. I recently found out that there are several offers behind mine. The seller’s realtor said that we are the only ones on file with the bank and there are other back up offers behind us. What does back up mean? We offered 10K over the asking price with closing costs paid by seller ( up to 3%). When/if the bank accepts our offer does the seller’s realtor have to tell the bank there are other offers. I’m just trying to understand where we stand. We are not in a position to go into a bidding war. What we offered is our limit give or take a K. Please help! I’d like to try to take some control and know what lies ahead. If their are multiple offers over ours we don’t stand a chance. I’m not in “perfect” living arrangement now and I would hate to walk away from this perfect house, but there’s only so much patience I have.

    • Emily,

      Don’t panic, you’re fine. The BoA will only work with one offer at a time so there is no bidding war. It’s commonplace for real estate agents to have back-up offers on short sales because buyers often get tired of waiting for the bank to make a decision and walk. The agent is just trying to do his/her duty for the seller and make sure that if your offer fell through that they could immediately have another one right behind it. Right now the bank doesn’t even know about the other offers.

      Since I don’t know what total dollar figure we are talking about it’s impossible to say what impact your 10K overage offer will have, but hopefully the agent priced it accurately so BoA will accept. On a separate note, keep in mind that on a short sale the seller accepting your 3% for closing costs doesn’t mean anything; it’s the lender that counts. Since the bank is getting less than what they are owed on the property any closing costs are coming out of their pocket, not the sellers. BoA will look at what they are owed, how much the offer is minus things like your 3%, the real estate agent commission, etc., and come up with a net figure. If that net figure meets their requirements then it will be accepted.

      Good luck and I hope it works out for you,

      Jim Donovan
      Homestead Solutions LLC

  21. julie hestand on

    Question…..from all the things Ive been reading on short sales with B of A thru Equator it looks like another long wait once you get the approval until closing. Am I right? About 60 days? Thanks so much, all this info. has been SO helpful!

  22. A few hours ago, I got off the phone with one of the supervisors, Sheryl Jones of the BOFA San Antonio Short Sale Call Center. A few facts about Equator, iif you have an offer and submit it in the first stage as required, and the computer negotiator doesnt like the amount, it will be rejected. you must then submit a new offer. Only 3 a week can be submitted./i There has been no appraisal of the home, how can they reject the offer, which is valid based on comps, without a BPO? Sheryl Jones said, iif the offer would make the bank lose too much money then they wont accept it into the short sale system. You cant get a human negotiator until you have an accepted offer./i Catch .22 anyone? Then I asked about HAFA. her answer – iOh, under HAFA, it will take longer, a minimum of 4 months, vs. 45-90 days with a reg. Short sale./i Either way, you face the black hole of the on-line Negotiator to accept the offer before you can proceed. Without a valid BPO, how do you decide an offer is valid? iI dont know and I cant tell you/i she replied. At this point, theyd rather go to foreclosure with a valid offer on the table just to cut the costs of Short Sale staff. So much for improving the process with HAFA. BOFA is solidly saying they support it, but doing all they can to block its implementation. BTW – it was the banks that set the low housing value with the first 20 short sales and foreclosures in my sub-division after the crash in 2008. Now they are complaining the offer value is too low vs. the loan value? If you arent in Equator, try to avoid it – Fax your SS Packet to Documents fax# for short sale: 888.491.4947 at BOFA its worth a shot.

  23. Janine Walsh on

    Since my last post Feb 25, I have just rec’d a counter offer from the bank (through Equator) that is $20K higher that the buyers offer. BTW, my origianal offer was submitted in January. My buyer has counteroffered to split the difference, and I submitted strong comps, strong letter of financial ablitity from my buyer from his lender, and the realty trac info of what new foreclosures will be coming on in this area (a TON!) … I am hoping my ammunition will make BoFa take this offer and run…. we’ll see how long it takes the negotiator to get back to us before my buyer walks and we all lose!

  24. Dennis Minato on

    I will sell a rental later this year, a short sale. Can I expect a 1099C (Cancellation of debt) from BofA or will I have to pay off the shortfall in the form of a promissory note. If I present a good hardship case will they offer to me the seller some relief in a 1099C? I am in San Jose, Ca.

  25. Hi anyone who can help me,

    I am trying to buy a short sale property from Bank of America and I don’t know whether the B of A is playing games or my agent is not telling me the truth about B of A’s short sale process. Can any one helps me?

    I made an offer on one house in May. The agent told me that this house has been approved short sale at the price of $249K after waiting for about 9 months (the house was listed on Sept 2009), so we made an offer at $249K. A few days ago (June), the agent said B of A counters me at $295K. I asked the agent: hasn’t the short sale been approved at $249K? The agent said that B of A uses a new system called Equator. When B of A did BPO before (meaning when they approved the short sale in May at $249K), they only look at the outside of the house. Now, they did another BPO and send someone to look at the inside of the house and thus came up with a counter price as $295K. Do you think it is true that B of A changes a news system and it will affect the price that they has approved? It is just one month away and the two BPO prices became very different. Do you think it is just a negotiation strategies that B of A plays? Do you think will the B of A accept an offer that is less than their counter price? What should I do in order to make them drop the price down?

    I already make a counter offer at the middle ground, which is $270K since I like the property. But, my boyfriend said that I should counter at a lower price, so there is room for negotiation. Am I doing wrong? Should I counter at $255K or $260K in order to make the B of A negotiator drops the price down to $270K or lower? Or, I should insist the amount on my original offer which is $249K?

    If B of A accept my offer at $270K, can I still ask them to credit me some money to fix up the home. The garage is converted to a room illegally and I want to tear the illegal addition down. Also, I want to ask them to pay to fumigate the house for termite infection. Do you think I can get what I want? I want to get some of my money back since I add $2K to my original offer price.

    Please help me to solve the puzzle. Thank you very much.

    Pearl, [email protected]

  26. Good God. Over a year later and this dog pile of a mess is still around. What is it about BofA that keeps them in existance? I have been negotiating on a house since mid April with BofA/Equator and it’s been a month since all parties agreed to BofA’s last counter. What the hell is going on? My wife and I are first time buyers and are preapproved. The sellers are anxious t0 let go and we were excited about buying our first home, but are down right fed up. The listing agent any my realtor are at the ends of their ropes tool. I’ve been following these forums for a couple months now and am frustrated enough to take my vent out here. BofA tried to get into my wife’s job to attract employees to open accounts and she refused them! We’ve looked at two dozen houses and keep coming back to this one in question. Will this ever end??? -Agrivated!

  27. Hello all,

    I have a friend what works at BofA offices in So Cal. I have heard from this person that the training that short sale personnel gets is about 2.5 hours long. That’s it. Are you wondering then why when you call, nobody seems to know what is going on? They can’t tell what is in the contract, how to read a HUD statement or the seller’s bank statements.

    BofA used to have us (agents) sent the entire package to India. They were supposed to get it back all sorted out. That did not work as planned, so BofA hoked up with Equator. Now, Equator is processing short sales for Wells Fargo, ASC and another company, besides BofA.
    I have seen some progress. It takes 4 months instead of 9 months to get an approval nowdays. I guess you could call it progress.

    However, not ALL shortsales (for BofA) are going through Equator. After months waiting for some notification from Equator (with the help from misguided phoney jockeys at BofA) I learned that nothing had been done on my offer. We are in contract now, but I almost lost the home to Foreclosure.

    BTW, it seems BNofA is using Equator for their REO transactions as well.

    Luis Salas

  28. B of A’s system, Equator, is hands down, the worst I’ve ever worked with. They constantly reject documents with no real reason given. They use a single word as justification to reject, the word is “other”. The word “other” is an adjective, sometimes a pronoun, but it’s not a reason. When you call in to find out what “other” means, it’s usually something silly, like saying that the docs are illegible when they’re perfectly clear or that the file wasn’t submitted in a PDF format when it was, etc. If, while you’re trying to negotiate a short sale, a buyer walks away, you have to start the entire process again, from scratch as if no work had been done on it up to that point. Their closing statement doesn’t match a real HUD, which is puzzling because that’s a standard Federal form, so for some fees on a HUD, there’s nowhere to put them on the online form that match the real HUD. All you can do is mash numbers together, add them where you think they’re most likely to make sense and then hope that whomever is on the other end with B of A is able to make out what was going on once they compare their form to an actual HUD. Often it seems they can’t though. They also want to nickle and dime the fees and argue about things that are standard seller paid items like pro rated property taxes or title insurance. I don’t expect them to pay for home warrantees or buyer’s closing costs, because it’s a short sale and most lenders won’t do that, but nitpicking over standard seller fees….sheesh. You can try to email a negotiator though Equator, but don’t hold your breath for a response because you probably won’t get one. If you call in and ask for details you get a run around with the staff, as sweet as they usually are, not being able to give any real status updates except to say that a negotiator is still within their time to get whatever task done or that they’re past due for it and a message will be sent to the negotiator and their supervisor. Since this system has been put in place, I’ve had several homeowners get fed up and just quit the process and most of the Realtors I process short sales for want nothing at all to do with it because they see, from the messages they receive, how difficult it is to get anything done. B of A has made it abundantly clear that they don’t want to work with 3rd parties such as me, they only want to work with Realtors and sellers. Consequently, I have to log in as the Realtors I work for, check to see what’s been rejected or is being picked apart, call in to see if I can get it straightened out, then log out and log back in as another Realtor I process short sales for. I appreciate what B of A was trying to do, but it’s failed miserably and, in my opinion, is causing more foreclosures than it’s preventing.

  29. Equator has it’s pros and cons. The upload is simple and painless, the communication is no different from the fax machine. The reject your documents and use the reason other. Then you are left to figure out what the problem may be and can only assume how to correct the issue.

  30. I have found that the Equator system has possibilities. But what some of us did not realize is that you still have to work with the employees. At times I have gotten very quick responses, and others not. I recently sent a note with the offer for a Jr. Lien that I needed to hurry with this. “Bad move.” I hope they are more professional than being spiteful, but it was transferred to 2 different negotiators without them responding or doing anything. Then it was transferred to a third. Of course, that person was not on the job yet. The phone # and email they gave me was incorrect. It was two weeks before they were on the job. During this time I escalated the file by sending emails to everyone on the list, and by calling in and requesting it. Finally I started getting phone calls. Either because they were tired of hearing from me, or because I told them I am a writer, and wrote an article on the internet that was somewhat negative on BOA and Equator. I said I was hoping to update it with more positive information, but they were making that not possible.

  31. I am a buyer. I entered in to a purchase in June of 2009. My offer slightly over asking price was accepted by the seller. I innocently assumed this was a good thing. My previous purchase was a short sale and closed within 30 days. I had at least expected to be in my new place by Christmas 2009. Well, 2011 is now dawning and I am still not in my place. I have been a customer of Bank of America since the 70s and never expected to be treated with such incompetence and disrespect. I have been repeatedly told by the selling agent that the closing was imminent. He was (I’m assuming) getting his information from B of A. I was assured that the sale would closed in time for the federal homebuyers credit which was first set to expire in June 2010–it did not. The credit was extended till Sept 30th and again was assured by the selling agent that it would close in time to take advantage of it–it did not. The Calif state credit expires at the end of 2010–it will still not close by then. I have already paid for one appraisal back in June–that is no longer valid so will have to pay for yet another appraisal. The deal has been “escalated” (poor choice of terms) innumerable times. Information that has already been uploaded seems to go missing each time a new negotiator is assigned and takes weeks before they request new copies and then weeks before they discover that they still need something else. The so-called BofA “helpline” is of no help to buyers. On Dec 2nd I was told that the bank had everything they needed (again) and would take 5-7 days to review. Then on Dec 28th I find that they are mssing something that had already been uploaded and yet a new negotiator is assigned. My loan had been accepted back in 2009 and I was ready to close then. At this point I have very little trust and faith in Bank of America and their equator system.

    • Good morning,

      I am just wondering, why, as a buyer, you ordered an appraisal without having the written approval from BofA. I would have waited until getting the approval in my hands before spending any money.

      BTW, when we (Realtors) say Selling Agent, we mean the agent that represents the buyer, and the Listing Agent represents the seller. Is that what you meant when you say “selling agent”?

      Last but not least, people think that because they have a checking/savings account with certain big bank that will make a difference in their loan/short sale. It does not.

      Good luck to you…

      Luis Salas

      • Sorry, I’m not in the realty business. I meant the agent that listed the property for sale. He is the only contact we had with Bank of America so expected to be able to trust what he was telling us. As to the appraisal, we were assured by the “listing” agent that my purchase would close in time to take advantage of the federal homebuyers credit that was set to end (originally) in June 2010. We were told by the “listing” agent that the short sale approval would be forthcoming. Even though we had heard this numerable times before from him, we went ahead with our appraisal so the closing, in time for the credit, would not be delayed because of something we did not do in a timely manner. We’ve since decided that we cannot count on everything we are being told as to be truth and have not ordered a new appraisal. At the time we did the first appraisal in late May 20 10, I found that there was a family living in the unit even though the owner had been evicted. I imagine that was one reason why I had not been able to view the property again since seeing it originally in June 09 even though I had requested to do so several times. I received notice Dec 29, 2010 that we had 48 hours to submit more items to Bank of America. Nothing bOfA has done was accomplished within 48 hours. On Dec 2nd we were told that BofA had EVERYTHING they needed to close this and would be hearing in 5-7 days what the closing date would be. Did not hear from them until the 29th AND they want to extend it another 45 days.

        • Anne,
          What you need from Bank of America is the short sale approval letter. They do not actually set the closing date. The approval letter will give you a deadline date. If they give you 45 days that is good. That means you have from the date of approval to that deadline date to close. Also, sometimes they will give an extension of the closing if there are legitimate reasons.
          I think what may have happened is the listing agent who is handling the short sale, is not as knowledgeable as they should be on handling a short sale. The amount of time yours has taken is pretty much unheard of. Although, they do take time.
          You are a very patient lady, to still be “on board” as the buyer. I hope everything works out soon. Send me a message if I can help.

  32. We closed on the short sale mentioned above on Dec. 27, 2010. I’m still doing flips!! But after that post, our buyer backed out after it was approved. We were lucky to have a new qualified buyer waiting for the opportunity. The new buyer and new price were submitted just before Thanksgiving, and BOA and I got it completed. It was not without some oddities instead of everything going smoothly. The worst was the closing officer was working with me on the Preliminary HUD for closing, and went on vacation without giving me notice, or someone else for me to contact. On the 27th I had to make 6 phone calls, and send 20 emails to get action. But we closed at 4:00.
    A couple new things I have noticed is that they are sending short sales to other places instead of their Ca. location. They are smaller offices and are more personable in most cases. They use Equator, but actually communicate also. You can even send an email and get a response.
    Another thing on Mon. that I noticed is that they have the phone # you are calling from when you call in now. Not from the file but from their computer, like caller ID.
    If anyone needs help with a short sale anywhere in U.S., I can help. No charge to the homeowner, or any tricks. I have just done enough with BOA and other lenders that I can get results. I don’t promise a very quick process, but I can get it done. I am not an agent. I work with the listing agent, and handle everything with the bank.

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