After yesterday’s wrap-up to last December’s short sale saga, I thought it was important to mention one contributing factor – the seller’s loan was backed by Freddie Mac. This seemingly small detail can be the difference between getting a quick answer (by Bank of America’s glacial standards) or not getting any kind of reply at all.
Short sale processing for Freddie Mac loans is a specialized process, to the point that only those in the “Freddie Mac” department have access to the files. Other negotiators also working for Bank of America can’t see what’s happening any better than the rest of us.
Because of this, and the limited number of specialists working the boatload of files, delays not only are inevitable but they’re exacerbated. Which can lead to situations such as what my seller had, where even complete documentation and a solid offer led to no good end.
Two Ways to Process Phoenix Short Sales
There are two basic ways of processing these short sales as they came up – and, despite my wearing garlic necklaces and carrying around small talismans, they still come up – I either can go through a third-party negotiator (I’ve used Short Sales Express in the past) or I can do it myself. The documentation’s identical either way; the big difference is in communication. I’m no longer calling the short sale department every couple of days but the tradeoff is I don’t have the same hands’ on knowledge of a file’s progress.
Many local agents have spent the $400 to $600 (depending on discounts) going through the two-day Certified Distressed Property Expert program. Okayfine. I’m not one to say anything if someone wants to add some capital letters to the end of their name. But as I mentioned yesterday, being a CDPE or not being a CDPE matters not a whit if you still know what paperwork to put together.
Lenders, as best I can tell, aren’t actively ignoring the files on their desk only to trip over the CDPE logo and say to themselves, “Damn it all, we’ve got to answer this one now!” The file’s either complete or it’s not, secret handshake be damned.
Saying there is a difference between processing these myself or going through the third party is sort of like saying there’s a slight difference between black and red spins on the roulette table. Either way, you’ve got better odds at the blackjack table. Or even craps, if you bring yourself to play “don’t pass.”
Short sales can be accomplished, just like it’s possible to win at roulette. But the odds are stacked against you. If you’ve got two loans, your odds are worse. If they’re with two different lenders, they’re worse still. If you’ve got your loan through Bank of America, which has adopted to worst of Countrywide’s protocols, the odds are even longer.
But that chance remains. And when you’re dealing with a last-ditch scenario, which really is what a short sale ought to be – the last thing you do before walking away – even a slim chance is better than no chance at all.[tags]Phoenix real estate, short sales[/tags]