Buying an Equator Short Sale

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If you hear the word ‘equator’ associated with a short sale, this does not mean that the property in question is located somewhere near the middle of the globe. It simply means that the short sale transaction (perhaps the property that you are listing, buying or selling) is being processed through an online (Internet-based) platform called Equator.

As of the time of this writing, the online platform, Equator, is used by Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Nationstar, GMAC, and Service One. While each of these servicing companies uses the system differently, the bottom line is that the system helps aid in the communication between all of the parties to the short sale transaction. The benefits of this system are that documents are uploaded instead of faxed, and messages are sent electronically instead of calling a toll-free number.

One of the unique attributes of Bank of America’s short sale processing via Equator is the request for the first five digits of the buyer’s social security number as well as other personal information about the buyer.

When Bank of America added this tier to their short sale triage a few years back, one of the veeps advised me that this new step would help to assure that any transactions entering their system were not fraudulent in nature. And, believe it or not, Bank of America actually does verify the info you provide.

If you are buying or processing a Bank of America short sale through Equator, be prepared to provide this personal information along with your offer. If the buyer is unwilling to provide that information, Bank of America is generally unwilling to move forward—it doesn’t matter whether your offer is all cash and hundreds of thousands over asking price. Rules are rules, so be prepared to play by ‘em when it comes to B of A and the Equator system.

Photo: Flickr: miczanin

About Author

Melissa Zavala is the Broker/Owner of Broadpoint Properties and Head Honcho of Short Sale Expeditor®. Before landing real estate, she had careers in education and publishing. Many folks say that Melissa is genetically pre-disposed to success with short sales. In fact, last year she and her staff obtained over 500 short sale approval letters! When she isn’t speaking with lien holders, Melissa enjoys practicing yoga, walking the dog, and vacationing at beach resorts.


  1. This was not a fun process for the selling agent all together as they must submit all of the paperwork from the seller including all the docs that would normally submit as a BUYER. Yes they must include W-2’s, last 2 year’s income tax, reason why they are submitting the short sale, a spreadsheet of all of their expenses, it’s gruesome. Make sure when you are making an offer the seller is as committed as the buyer.

  2. It’s taken me antwhere from 3-9 months. Plus there is no guarantee that the bank will approve or the home won’t go into foreclosure (both scenarios have happened to me). Just make sure the selling agent knows what they are doing and stay abreast that the seller is submitting all paperwork.

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