People often call my office to ask for the phone number of one of the major lending institutions. When I provide the toll-free number that can be found on the mortgage statement, the callers generally seem disappointed. It’s almost like they think that I have the Batphone in my office. However, I assure you that I am not Commissioner Gordon, and I work every deal by calling most of the same bank phone numbers that you do.
One thing that may differ could be, however, the conversation that takes place on the call. When calling a short sale lien holder, you have to know the questions to ask. You cannot just rely on the individual on the other end of the phone line (who may be at a call center in India and have little knowledge of the foreclosure process in Arizona, for example) to give you the information that you need.
If you are a little bit stymied as to what to say in your first lien holder call and you have already submitted the short sale package, here is a list of questions you could ask that may help to get you started:
- Have you received the short sale package?
- Can you evaluate the package to see if it is missing any items? If so, what are they and how should they be submitted?
- Has a Notice of Default been filed? Is there currently a foreclosure date scheduled for this property?
- Please describe the short sale process and time frames for your bank.
- How soon will a negotiator be assigned?
- When will be the BPO (Broker Price Opinion) be ordered?
- When would you recommend that I call back to check on the status of the short sale?
The answers to these questions provide a terrific learning opportunity for novice short sale agents. So, listen carefully and take notes. Then, the next time you call the very same bank, you will already be familiar with their processes.
Now, do I ask those very same questions when I call the banks? The answer is that I usually do not. While lending institutions are continually changing their short sale processes and policies, in most cases I’ve worked with the institution countless times before and have become familiar with the procedures and policies. That being said, even Commissioner Gordon can learn a few things from Batman.
Photo: flickr creative commons by psd