Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Complicated and Frustrating Roseville Short Sale with a Happy Ending...Thankfully!

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, or if you read my blog post about the little fly fishing trip I just took, you will know that last week I closed a short sale that posed some insane challenges...who knew a clerical error from the 2nd lender could cause such stress!!

In the middle of April, I listed a short sale in Roseville...within a week or so, I had a few offers. Cool beans. I immediately submitted the offers to both the first lender (CitiMortgage) and second lender (Bank of America, formerly Countrywide), along with all of the other necessary paperwork. Within just a couple weeks of submitted all of the documents, I had written short sale acceptance from the first lender. YAY!

I continued to call the second lender, and followed up several times per week. I provided additional short sale related documentation a few times when it was required, and went through the chain of a few short sale negotiatiors, etc. The 2nd lender was taking a while to complete its analysis, and fortunately, I was able to negotiate and obtain written extensions from the first lender. Finally, when I called to check in with the 2nd lender on July 10th (a Friday), I was informed that the short sale was showing "APPROVED" in their system, and that the written approval document was going to be emailed to me by the following Monday.

I immediately called the buyer's agent to let her know of the great news! The buyer had already completed his inspections and was ready go! The first lender's latest extension was valid through August 15th, which would allow the buyer plenty of time to close escrow.

Monday rolled around, and the short sale approval document did not arrive. I called the 2nd lender, and they said it was on the way. Tuesday...still no approval letter. What was the problem? I called Bank of America's Short Sale Support Department to find out...the Final Negotiator (or Closer, as they are now referred to), was not returning my voicemails or emails.

Turns out that for some reason, they emailed the short sale approval document to the wrong email address!! UGH...annoying, but not the end of the world. I gave the lady I was speaking with the correct email address. Each day, I anxiously checked my email waiting for the document to arrive. Each day, I again called and emailed the Closer without response. Each afternoon, I called the Short Sale Support Department...I got several supervisors and managers involved, and was promised every time that the approval document was "on its way." A week passed...then almost another week passed. I had spent MANY hours on the phone trying to track this document down. Finally, on Friday, July 24th, I called to leave yet another voicemail for the Closer's manager, and got an "out of office" voicemail greeting that had another manager's direct number. That manager answered!! He confirmed my email address, and said I would have the approval document within an hour.

Sure enough, as promised, an hour later at 4:30pm the approval document arrived in my email inbox. SUCCESS, I thought! I opened the attachment, and was shocked at what I read. The short sale approval document named an incorrect purchase price (it was actually lower!), and it named an incorrect person as the buyer. WHAT!?!?!?

I tried calling him back, but he did not answer. This Bank of America short sale approval was not re-assignable to a different buyer. It was after hours in Arizona where they are located. I called the buyer's agent to let her know what was going on. Of course we both freaked took 2 weeks to get the short sale approval document emailed to me, and it was all wrong! Providing the 2nd lender's approval document was a condition of obtaining the buyer's loan! There was nothing I could do until Monday, July 27th...and time was running out! CitiMortgage had told me that there would be no more extensions to their approval. The buyer had already paid for his appraisal and several inspections, and was out of pocket close to $1,000.

I arrived to the office EARLY on Monday and started pleading with Bank of America's Short Sale Support Department to correct their mistake and get a new approval document over to me. I called and emailed all of the same managers and supervisors...after several hours on the phone (as if I did not have anything else to do), I was told that one of the conversations I had back in June had been entered into their system incorrectly. Duh! Several new managers and supervisors and hours on the phone later, I finally was emailed by the Closer. Wow - lucky me! The first contact from the Closer ever! She asked me to email her the correct information, which I did immediately. Finally, on Wednesday, August 5th, I received a new approval document via email with the correct information! WHEW!

So two days later I left for vacation. The very last day of my trip, on the way home, the Escrow officer with Placer Title called me to let me know of another hiccup. There was a problem with the allocation of costs on the final closing statement...I would explain it in great detail, but doing so would not make much sense unless you know all of the terms of the short sale approval which I can not get into here. 8 or 9 calls to the Closer, supervisors, managers, and the Short Sale Support Department at Bank of America over 4 or 5 hours driving home from Utah finally got us the answer we needed...we successfully closed escrow on Friday, August 14th.

Let me just tell you - for anyone who thinks real estate short sales are easy or require little expertise, you are wrong. Aside from being extremely persistent, all of what took place was completely out of my control. Thankfully this had a happy ending.

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