Countrywide Short Sales – What You Need To Know

Countrywide is the largest mortgage company in the US…think they are dealing with a short sale problem at the moment? You betcha. (not to mention short sales of their stock! Wish I had shorted them at $40!) They have now been taking over by Bank of America Mortgage.

Countrywide’s Full Spectrum Lending division was the King of awful sub prime mortgages the past few years, and now those loans are going bad. If you have a countrywide loan and are facing foreclosure, a short sale of your home might be your best option.

I did a short sale of my home (and I had a first and second mortgage on the property) earlier this year. It can be done, but it requires patience and a plan and a little help. There are a zillion schmucks out there who will offer to “help” you when your down. Some are legit, most are not.

What I Did In My Short Sale

What I did (hiring a real estate agent with short sale experience) worked for my situation. It may not for your short sale, but I found it the best option. Working with a real estate agent you at least can get a background on the person, and if they work for a larger brokerage you know they have resources to help you. Think short sales are hard for you? They are equally as hard on the real estate agent! Getting a short sale deal done (especially right now with the overwhelmed lenders like Countrywide) takes alot of work. I do think its the best option vs. foreclosure though. You can also read my 7 steps to a successful short sale guide.

Countrywide/BOA Speeding Up Short Sale Process

Having gone through a short sale of my home, I know how long and frustrating the process can be.

For homeowners with Countrywide loans, the process has been terrible.

It sounds like things are finally starting to change. I’m not sure if this has to do with the Bank of America takeover (likely), but according to two separate real estate sources I’ve talked to on the phone, Countrywide has beefed up their staffing for loss mitigation/short sales.

I’ve seen rumblings on my own posts from readers about short selling with countrywide about them finally stepping up and speeding up the approval process. Up to this point many people have been waiting sometimes 6 months to get approval from countrywide to short sell their home.

Madness, I say.

Glad to see things picking up. Short selling your home is a much better alternative for all parties involved than a foreclosure. I think people who short sell their home will have a much better time trying to buy again in the future vs. those who just walk away from the home. Obviously keeping current on payments is the hope but for many homeowners under water, a short sale is the best option.

If anyone else has news on Countrywide’s policy regarding short sales, please comment.

You Need An Experienced Short Sale Agent!

From my blog here I’ve developed an extensive network of real estate agents that have short sale experience. If you’d like a referral, fill out the form below and I’ll have someone available in your area to help with your short sale ASAP.


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  • Pups 1

    How did the short-sale impact your personal income tax situation? This to me would be a huge concern, especially if I were already in a tax trap.
    09/21/07

  • Stephanie

    I have been in the short sale process with Country Wide and we are on our fifth offer- they continuously change their mind on an approved number and recently the negotiator stated: we would rather the house go into foreclosure- we will make more money….?” troubling……..
    any advice???

  • Brennan Watkins

    Stephanie,

    First, what is the real value on the property and what to do you owe?
    Second, are you late? how many months? do you live in the home?

    Brennan

  • Erin

    I tried to purchase a home that was a Countrywide short sale. After 3 months, we still haven’t gotten approval from Countrywide. Our contract expires today, for the second time (we already extended it once). We are now moving on, even though we have already put money into having it inspected and appraised. My suggestion would be to NOT try to buy a house that was a short sale, especially if the mortgage is through Countrywide.

  • http://gmail Candice

    How short is the sale if you don’t mind me asking? We are dealing with the same scenario. We have been waiting on a reply for almost 60 days from Countrywide and we think the sale is less than 10K short.

  • Erin

    Ours was short less than $10K as well. We have been told that the listing agent deals with a lot of short sales, and the only ones he’s been having trouble getting approved have been Countrywide.

  • Amanda

    I’m waiting for a response on a home I want to buy short sale from Countrywide. We have been waiting since February 1.

  • Brennan

    Countrywide has gone through about 4 re-org’s and they still can’t get it right. I would keep shorting this stock if I where you. On the transaction I’m working with Counrtywide on they hold the second. The offer for the home came in at 750K from a retail customer. I called Countywide to see if they would except a 54K hit on the 200K second. I also did my best to explain, if they didn’t take it, my next offer to them would be about 5K on the 200K note. The home is worth about 500K in the market which wipes Countrywide out. Here is the funny thing, no one can make a decision and no one really want to. They are just going to let things drag and drag along. I would be suprised to see BoA cut the stings to these guys and take the loss.

  • Beverly Clark

    I was working on a short sale as the selling agent. This was for a condo mortgaged with Countrywide. I was told today that as of April 1, they would not be doing anymore short sales.

  • http://www.selcapital.net SEL Capital

    Countrywide is one of the most difficult lenders to complete a short sale, however, the more experienced you are in negotiating these the easier they become. Be careful that you not only ask for a realtor’s help as they are a great start, a loss mitigation company who deals with these in volume can really speed up the process. And as for the legit ones out there I am sure they work with the agents as we do!

  • http://debtkid lisa

    We have been waiting on areply from the 2nd got a counter offer two weeks post Og. offer @ 489k we complied and it is now foing on 3and 1/2 weeks and have still no word

  • Nicole

    Hello,

    I currently have 2 homes. The first is a condo that I lived in for 3 years we tried to sell it twy years ago. Due to the market change we had to rent it out when we bought our 2nd home. We currently have an offer in and it’s been about 3 weeks. I guess they passed a new thing that if it’s not owner occupied then they won’t accept the short sale. I find this crazy that they would rather have it foreclose..Is this true? What should I do at this point

  • cathy

    my husband and i put an offer in on a countrywide short sale in December 07 we just found out that it was forclosed on and they did not accept the short sale. The bad part is that we got a verbal yes a month ago from one negotiator then it changed hands and went through three other negotiator before it was denied. five months is a long time to find out no when we were only 20k below her mortgage. How will the market improve if they son’t offload these houses?

  • yris

    This situation with country wide is out of control and the customers are being affected in different ways. I’am a country wide customer for more than five years always current on my payment until Last December I request help and I was denied. According to the retention department my family income was under the requirements therefore, I put my house for sale and found a customer for a short sale since February and every week I just get the same answer from contry wide that my loan it is waiting for approval. my concern is that the buyer no longer wants to wait and the deal is going daown the cracks!

  • FV

    I am attempting to have countrywide ok a short sale on my home in Florida currently and after initially oking it they are now saying that they only “Service” the loan and that an actual other bank holds it and they will not ok the short sale unless we are behind in payments…. this sounds outragous to me as they are, in effect, asking them to not pay them…. has anyone else run into this problem? and if so what can be done….
    It would be in EVERYone’s best interest to just ok the short sale because they will be losing less money….. the only other option would be for me to not pay them.

  • cg

    I hear you all I have been doing these short sales since August of 2007 for an Attorney here in Florida. Countrywide SUCKS. They lie, give you the run-around and then you find out that at the end of the line they are only the servicer of the loan. US BANK, N.A., or Deutsch Bank there are a couple more actually are the investors and own the loan. Of course, it didn’t come together until some of our clients started getting foreclosed on.
    I don’t think that the people that work there actually know how to negotiate these short sales. I have got them to do Modifications that’s it. I call them every single day on my files, and I hear 30 days, 10 days, oh I can’t find your authorization. No negotiator you can’t talk to them, you have to e-mail them.
    With all that said NO there is nothing you can do! The Lender does not have to work with you, it is not an obligation. But I feel, then they should not have said publicly they were helping homeowners.

    See if you have any violations or are a victim of predatory lending, pull out your closing package. Fight them in foreclosure! Stay in your house and make them deal with you that way!

  • Wking on it

    I am working on a short sale in FL. I got the same situation that they wouldnt do anything unless I was behind in payments…so i started paying it at 59 days…The realtor I have has said that they have had no issues with a short sale before but most problems with a short sale is that the people within the bank do not know what they are talking about and you have to keep asking for someone else until they give you what you want..Also, a verbal agreement unless recorded cannot be used it must be in writing or they can alter it. Our process just started and I have read many of these websites and I am very concerned with this process but have no choice due to many personal situations…

  • cg

    That part is true they don’t know what they are talking about. Until your file is assigned a negotiator you are no where. I tell our clients that they can also call about their own loan# and speed up the process. You must call the right department. Calling customer service gets you nothing. They have different systems and different notes. In Loss Mit dept. they log in every phone call and every conversation. When you stop paying you will receive calls from CW, but that it is from the debt collection dept which is different than Loss Mit. dept. 800-669-6087.

  • http://www.floridamarketbeat.com Jon

    What’s happening with Countrywide and some other major lenders, is they’ve decided that it would be in their best interest to let many of their loans go into total default and foreclosure. If the borrower has PMI on the loan (mortgage insurance) it may make more sense for them in this market to foreclose on the property, collect the mortgage insurance, and then resell the property as the market improves. It’s an incredibly sad example of just how morally bankrupt, bottom-line driven, and unconcerned about customer care this nation’s business environment has become. I’m a professional Realtor with ton of experience. Countrywide is by far the worst company I’ve ever had to deal with. Customer care is practically non-existent, the work-out department is completely incompetent, the loss mitigation department is nothing more than a debt collection agency posing as Countrywide, and the company is clearly only interested in cutting losses and moving on – leaving many of their customer’s shattered lives in their wake. Very depressing indeed.

  • brennan

    I would suggest calling VP’s and all over countrywide. Search Google for Countrywide VP 800 you will get numbers and start calling … .you have nothing to lose!!!!

  • Kathleen

    Countrywide is incredibly predatory. There is so much more behind the scenes that we, as sellers and Realtors, do not understand. Countrywide really prefers to foreclose. That is why they demand a higher than market value for a property. People who think that lenders would prefer a short sale to the greater loss of foreclosure just don’t know lender logic. Can anyone shed light on why Countrywide prefers foreclosure than to accept a really good market value offer before foreclosure?

  • cg

    I don’t see how that is really possible that CW or any other lender would want these houses especially in Florida sitting empty in foreclosure. We have clients that have stopped paying and trying to short sale since August of 2007. CW has not even started the foreclosure process! Why would they want a house to sit empty, have people destroy it, be liable if a child drowns in the pool and the property is in their name. I don’t see the motivation here. I believe CW is overwhelmed, understaffed, disorganized and not trained, they are sifting through hundreds of thousands of cases and maybe there is 2000 people in loss mitigation dept. to work on these files.

  • FV

    I’ve no doubt they are overwhelmed, but it’s a nightmare of their own making and IF that is the case, the should be jumping through hoops to help those who are bringing them short sales on a plate that they just have to glance at and approve. the short sale I am attempting with them is only $30K under the loan amount and only TEN under market value at the moment. they longer they wait and the longer they continue with this the market is going to keep going south and they will end up losing more money. Don’t they realize that it’s their continued apathy that is helping to FUEL the down turn?

  • amanda

    countrywide sent out an appraiser over 6 weeks ago to get an appraisal of the short sale property i want to buy…they still have not given us an answer and we have been dealing with them since February…Has anyone else had an appraisal done and still waiting? Also, does anyone have any successful stories of short sales with countrywide??

  • Fred

    We’ve been dealing with CW for 4 months now and have extended the time of our initial offer twice. For three weeks we’ve been hearing it’s been verbally approved yet didn’t see anything officially “signed off” until today. They’ve FINALLY APPROVED the sale in WRITING.

    Other than patience, the only other advice I would give buyers is to involve your lender. The seller gave our lender written permission to contact Countrywide and once he (our lender) called CW, action started to happen. Our lender was patient (having to deal with a bunch of different CW staff members) and finally got to the proper CW negotiator. He basically mentioned that we qualified for the loan and that we are ready to get the deal done. He asked if the offer was reasonable and was told yes. My lender also contacted the owners to get certain docs to CW and encouraged them to stay in communication with CW. I know 4 months is a long time but financially it was worth the wait for us. Once the appraiser checks it out, this is a done deal.

  • Tiffany

    Fred:

    Taht is great news for you!
    Can you tell me how much loss they had to take on your seller’s loan value? We are buyers, and have been waiting on a short sale that is only $20K less than the owner owes since early March. We just found out 2 days ago that it is being appraised and we are hoping things start moving along now that the appraisal is happening. The house is in Katy, TX . I am wondering what my chances are of them approving the sale.
    Tiffany

  • Fred

    Tiffany,

    From my understanding, they had a 80% primary and 20% second for 100% financing (home was purchased 5/07). We’ made an offer that was 14.2% lower than their purchase price.

    Our initial offer was roughly 5K less than our purchase price (initial offer was made 12/27/07) and the appraisal was performed in January 2008. CW said no to the first offer so we walked. The seller called us up two weeks later stating if we add just a tiny more to the offer CW should accept so we added 5K on our offer made the first week of February.

    I’m mentioning this to you because we’re getting the home 4 months after the appraisal. Had I known to get my lender involved earlier, I think I would have chopped off a month or two off that time period.

    I would believe your chances are very good in obtaining the home because the cost of foreclosure is pricey to the bank (unless the avg home in Katy, TX is worth less than 100k).

    Don’t be surprised if you have to wait a couple of months though.

    Another item, the seller needs to get the proper docs to CW and should keep them ready to submit. The current owners of our purchase had to resubmit them a couple of times. If the sellers of the house that you’re interested in don’t stay on top of CW, this can drag the decision making by CW.

  • Fred

    I just looked at my last post and realized I need to drink coffee before posting.

    Our initial offer on 12/7/07 was 16.3% below what the home was purchased back in May of 2007. Appraisal was performed and the offer was rejected about a month later.

    Our accepted offer (same house) was placed in the first week of February and was 14.2% below the May 2007 purchase price.

    As far as the house you’re involved in:

    It probably will go through but will take 2-3 months. It takes the CW investors (insurance) a while to determine if it’s better to foreclose or accept the offer.

    I believe the house has to be the right fit for your family, a good deal and you must be willing to wait (yet stay on top on those involved). If one of these factors are missing and the time of your offer expired, I’d look elsewhere (or at least keep an eye out there on inventory). You can’t lock in a rate until CW accepts the offer and I hear the “I” word being bantered around a bit by economist.

    I hope I’m not coming across like a “know it all”; rather somebody that went through this lengthy process. Based on how the loan market looks now (interest rates possibly going up), I don’t know if I’d be willing to start from scratch on a CW short sale.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the house and the price we’re getting it for but I don’t think I want to do a short sale again any time soon.

  • Susan

    I am a seller with a countrywide mortgage. My realtor and I just listed the property after calling countrywide and discussing short sale.

    Since my equity vanished the day we listed the property, please help me understand why, as seller, I am concerned about the disposition of the home. I have never had anything like this happen to me before and am having trouble figuring out where this situation goes.

    Can you change your mind and go with a deed in lieu if the short sale drags on for too long? Since I am not making mortgage payments, why would I want to do this? Is it that the credit score gets worse with each passing payment that doesn’t happen? Would the lender prefer this? If so why? Could the lender be thinking that they can hold property for long enough to reap the benefits of market recovery?

  • kat

    Question:

    I have a house in California. I have a 500,000 first with countrywide; a 100,000 credit line with countrywide (taken out at time of purchase) and a 114,000 credit line taken out a year after purchase.

    I owe about 700,000 total.

    Right now, the house might sell for about 525,000.

    I have a short sale realtor helping me.

    in your opinions–what do you think the chances are that a short sale will work with these numbers?

    also…i am an agent who bought at the top of the market and kind of overstated my income to get the house. what risk do I run of not meeting the hardship test?

  • cg

    Hardship….
    It doesn’t matter if you overstated your income then or not. The fact of the matter is, as a realtor you definitely are NOT making the money you were then. They want to see 2 months bank statements, current pay stubs, your monthly expenses, has anyone given you the forms to fill out for the lender? There is a list of items that the lender needs to see if you qualify. One of them is a financial statement. They need to know what you make and ALL your expenses. They want a hardship letter, a letter stating what has changed that you cannot afford the house.

  • Stayin Positive

    From the first call to Countrywide to let them know I would not be able to pay on time or keep up with payments in the future until now 9 months have past and our short sale finally closed. We went through all of the hurdles of work out inlcuding: repayment plan ( would actually raise monthly payments), loan modification (would actually raise payments), deed-in lieu ( 10 weeks to be denied), Short-sale ( 4 weeks to offer, 90 days until assigned negotiator, 1 month to approval without counter, then 2 weeks to closing). Wow…hard to sum up all of the frustration involved here. Learned alot during the process. Short about 100k from owed balance, but only 20k of of the BPO in this sluggish market. Near full payoff for 1st mortgage lender (Countrywide), and 3000 “buyout” for 2nd mortgage lender (Countrywide). I am an agent and the seller unfortunatly and fortunatly. There are many key factors that led to the success and here are just a few: Follow up on everything, and verify everything (after my attempt at deed-in-lieu our file for that was never revised so when we had our short-sale offer come in our file sat in limbo for 60 days until one of the managers I spoke to discovered that by all appearances the file ahd been assigned when actually it was still stuck in the deed-in-lieu under the old negotiator’s supervision. Once that was corrected it took 30 more days to be assigned to a negotiator for short-sale); a patient buyer (mine was 76 years old and paying cash…thank the lord for him); do everything asked of you timely; a dedicated representative/agent (this is where it can be tough because it takes so so so much time calling, holding, and wondering); work toward getting the negotiator’s direct extention (once you have that you can get to them directly by calling 866-788-8495 then dial 1 then dial their extention. If it is busy or a recording comes on that says they are unavailable hangup and call back every 3 to 5 minutes. You will get them this way for sure. You will never speak to them through the normal system); Finally, be kind when you call. Otherwise you risk being placed in the back of the line so to speak. Best of luck to you all……..

  • Dee

    How do you find out who the negotiator is and their contact information?
    I have asked the Short Sale Support group and no one will answer that questions.

  • Stayin Positive

    Assuming you are the home owner, you need to keep calling, and calling. You will be told that the negotiator will be assigned in so many days or weeks. Keep following up more often than the timeframes you are given and ask if it has been assigned to a negotiator each time first. The first time you are told a timeframe and that timeframe expires without being abrupt or rude insist on speaking with that departments manager. You might have to wait but do so. Once the manager is on the phone you need to do a couple of things: Clarify the expected timeframe until a negotiator will be assigned, Second, verify with that manager that they have absolutely everything they will need. All of the sudden you will hear on one call that YES you do have a negotiator, but they will contact you in a certain number of days. At that time you must get their name (proper spelling & extention. This will be the key to contacting them directly. When you do speak with your negotiator they will be short, businesslike, and direct. Make sure to do EXACTLY what they are asking and if you are not absolutely sure what they are asking for make sure it is clear before you get off the phone. Believe me they do want your file to get resolved and go away just like you and they do not want to repeat steps. Hope this helps you…Good luck to you

  • henry

    I just got an appraisal completed after waiting several months, we plan on inspections being completed if CW accepts our offer- how does CW handle negative inspections- will they be willing to cover any significant issues? The sellers realtor told us they believed CW would but from what I am reading another negotiation will just add more time to the clock.

  • cg

    Not that I have ever seen. You should be dealing onlywith ASIS contracts.

  • Stayin Positive

    AS-IS Where-is and the best no hassle payment arangements possible are what the bank will be looking for. Your offer in my opinion should be reflective of the property in AS-IS sale. Any time you expect to change or renegotiate a contract it will delay things…now compund that in the short-sale situation and it might doom your approval. When you are contacted by the negotiator finally they will ask you to verify, and update any information so they can submit for approval. Lets say your inspection does not take place until after the negotiator has received an approval, you will be told that you have been approved for X amount and you are not approved for anything else without a resubmitting for approval. That’s were it could fall appart.

  • henry

    Thank you for the info!!!! We trusted the sellers’s realtor who is not very savvy with short sales and they said essentially it was still being purchased from the seller so we should wait to do inspections after an offer is accepted. The contract was not drafted “as is where is” but with an inspection clause and we never completed our inspections. Since the process has take so long I started doing my own research and found this website. It appears we were lucky to get a negiotiator assigned (it took 2 months), the last we heard the seller was suppose to call with a financial update and two weeks later no one has returned any phone calls to the seller. I don’t have authorization and the sellers realtor says that she calls daily for an update with no response, we have the negotiators name but they will not provide the seller with a direct telephone number or email. So we all just leave messages.

  • Nicole

    Henry-

    We are in the same boat as you except we are the sellers. I call countrywide daily and they always give me the run around. I finally got to a managers voicemail today so hopefully I get a call back. Our short sale was sent up in March the offer and the package is complete. The Appraisal was done 2 months ago and a negotiater was assigned May 7th. I was first told 7 days, then 15 days, finally 30 days for a negotiator to get back with us. Hopefully we get a call today…
    Nicoel

  • Stayin Positive

    Try this Nicole:
    Call how you normally do and transfer to the Foreclosure department. This is where I was given the contact info for the negotiator. It seems as though once you are out of the “Workout” department and the other departments are not handling your file they are more willing to review information and disclose it to you. Maybe it is brings them some satisfaction in circumventing the “Workout circle”.
    As for Henry:
    You are entitled to talk to the true seller in a short-sale which is the bank. Ask the selling agent/seller to submit your info to the bank so that they will answer your questions directly. All they have to do is fax them a letter of authorization that explains their wish to have you added to the file for information disclosure. They can put limitations on financial information since that is really not your business, but simply allow you to get answers or a feel of inclusion first hand.
    Good luck

  • henry

    Thank you. I guess we are stuck waiting to see what happens with the initial offer since I don’t want to risk changing terms now, unfortunately the house is detiorating rapidly and we would have put in a much lower offer had we decided to take as is.

  • brennan

    If Countrywide is in a second position, ask that the first lien holder to get their attorney involved, this will speed up the process. If Countrywide is in a first, have your attorney to send a letter. Countrywide will react to the legal threat as a priority. Don’t call and say “I’m going to get an atty” just get one to send a letter. They have an official short sale dept at 1-800-262-4218. It takes 15 to 30 days from the time an negotiators is assigned, but again with an atty, they seem to get right on it.
    If your going to do a short sale on a Countrywide loan – SUBMIT your paper work ASAP! The clock starts the day you fax your paperwork in. 30 to 45 working days is what they quote. Make sure it is complete with tax returns. If your realtor is a short sale professional they should have a full short sale package for you and should be calling on your behalf everyday to “check in”.

  • Don

    I made an offer on a Countrywide property on a short sale March 8 in Florida…not ONE word from them.. my agent called and they say they will call when they have time.

  • Stayin Positive

    As the buyer or buyer’s agent you can be given authorization as I mentioned about in a previous post. SInce 3 months has gone by there is something wrong. Try going down that road and contacting them yourself and holding for a manager to expedite the process for your file.

  • Steve

    If I am approved for a short sale and the home is sold, does the lender have the right to come after me for the remaining balance at a later time?

  • cg

    Not unless you sign a paper as to that. What the title company will be looking for from your lender is a full satisfaction of the mortgage. If there are any other terms you would have to sign something agreeing to it. I have had clients that had to actually sign personal notes for lenders in order to make the deal go. Like one person owed 30 the bank made them sign a note for $10,000. Another one owed $70,000 on the 2nd had to sign a personal note for $20,000. Those were all on the 2nd mortgages though they have never asked for that on the 1st.mortgage.

  • CountryWide Sucks

    Staying Positive Said…
    “When you do speak with your negotiator they will be short, businesslike, and direct.”
    When I call, they tell me the name of the negotiator, but I have YET been able to speak to them directly. How do you even get to the negotiator once they’ve been assigned. I’ve called so many times and I’m extremely frustrated.

    CW is the 2nd mortgage holder on the property and it’s been under contract since Jan, with CW having ALL of the info needed including the appraisal since mid-April and I can’t get anywhere with them… The foreclosure is due to happen next week and all I need is a letter from them stating that they will accept the short sale to delay for 30 days. I have a CASH buyer, but I just can’t get an answer from CW. I am extremely frustrated.

  • http://www.The-Extreme-Team.com Susan Milner

    Countrywide is taking a LONG TIME lately to make decisions. Earlier this year it was a 30-60 day wait. Now we have one that is coming up over 60 days with still no answer. It is crazy. When we send out the packages they are COMPLETE (very important or else they won’t look at it). They ordered BPOs very quickly but have not assisgned negotiators yet. We call a couple of times a week in the hopes that someone will give us a better answer. They are losing so much more money by not streamlining this process.

    By the way, we’ve closed short sales through other lenders in 30-45 days. These were all in the Cape Coral / Ft. Myers areas.

    Countrywide is one of the most time consuming right now for sure.

    And with so many loans through them I don’t see it getting any better until they work on their systems.

  • Long Jonh Silver

    Great, but depressing, website.

    With the documented problems of obtaining a short sale from Countrywide, why not just go to foreclosure?

    It appears that with the delay everyone has experienced that buyers vanish and the eventual outcome is foreclosure anyway.

    What are the actual negatives of forclosure?

  • Susan

    To Long John Silver
    When I read this information, your question is the same one that I had. It seems so unlikely that Countrywide will ever approve a short sale and you live in the home longer, possibly without having to make a payment and therefore at least somewhat recovering some of your lost investment, what is the problem with letting it go to foreclosure.
    I questioned several different mortgage lenders about the impact on your credit score of this whole mess. Answers varied a little, but basically, the majority indicated that credit-score-wise a short sale=a deed in lieu=foreclosure. That each would cost you between lows of 125 points (the rarity) to 300 points. Most said between 200-300 points regardless of how the situation resolved itself.
    Some have said that the benefit of a short sale is that the lender has basically agreed to absolve you of the remaining debt, having signed off on the sale. A deed in lieu or a foreclosure did not specifically address that issue. Still, if you are unable to make your house payment, pursuing you for further funds seems a waste of effort.
    The best information that I can get seems to be from this website (which is sad indeed) and considering how many people are facing this situation these days….that is quite a commentary isn’t it?
    I wonder if the other people posting to this website have any better information than we have.

  • brennan

    Countrywide will quote you:

    30-45 days to get the file into the hands of an actual decision maker

    From there

    They have 15 days to call you

    These are all business days, so you’re looking at 6 to 9 weeks before you get to your negotiator.

    If you have a good realtor that knows the short sales process they will be calling every day. Yes, every day. Countywide will lose faxes, “misplace” documents like Hud1’s, offers, etc to slow the process. We all know these are unethical business practices. But whoever said Countrywide was an ethical company? (Look for a class action in 12 to 24 months?)
    I’m sorry to say you have to be very organized, keep notes, keep fax confirmations, let them know : I have a fax confirmation from June 11th at 1:30pm and June 16th at 11:43am that says 26 pages sent “confirmed”. Where is the fax?

    Also – They change fax numbers weekly – The current number I was sent as of June 24th is 888-491-4947.

    GET AGGRESSIVE! Don’t sit waiting for this bank to call you. 9 millions loans, 900K in foreclosure, don’t get lost in the shuffle.

    Brennan Watkins
    Coldwell Banker Arizona

  • Long Jonh Silver

    Does Countrywide go for a Deficiency Judgment?

    In the state of Oregon?

  • Rebecca

    I wish that I had found this blog months ago, as my husband and I were starting the short sale process with Countrywide. I am glad to know we are not alone in our frustrations. We are on our third offer and it looks like this one might walk, too.

    I have a question for those who have survived this process…how long does the approval process take once the negotiator approves the offer? We are currently at this spot and as usual, Countrywide is giving us the run around. We feel like we see the light at the end of the tunnel. Problem is, our buyer will walk as of Monday if they don’t have an answer. I was under the impression that once the negotiator says “okay” we could go into escrow.

    Any advice would be welcome!

  • cg

    Rebecca,
    where are you in the process?
    What state do you live in.
    Do you have more than one loan?
    This week CW seems to be stepping it up.
    They are calling me instead of me calling them on the files I have.

  • Stayin Positive

    Hello,

    In response to LJS regarding deficiency judgements….when my short sale closed I ended up $100K short and they didn’t ask for anything to cover that and did not file for a judgement. The “demand letter” they provided actually states the agreement that they will accept the offer amount to release the mortgage lien, and require $0 dollars from the seller.

    That is Illinois, but the state law here does not prohibit deficiency judgements.

  • Stayin Positive

    Rebecca,

    Once was assigned a negotiator and she had reviewed and approved that all the required documentation was in (about 5 days) she realized that the second mortgage file that was also with them was assigned to a different negotiator and had to request that it be transferred to her to submit for both together (this took 2 weeks). Once she had it she submitted and we had approval without a counter in 5 days. Explain this to your buyer and explain that they are within a week or two of an approval. The process of starting over for them will take at least that long if not 30 days. One more thing…when the negotiator submits for approval the numbers on your estimated HUD1 that you provided are the numbers that they will go by without exception. If you need to revise your tax prorations or anything else that might change in 2-3 weeks do so before it is submitted for lender approval or you will have to bring the difference to closing yourself.

    Good luck

  • fed up with countrywide!!!!

    Hello Everybody,
    Countrywide has been nothing but a headache. My property went up for Short Sale March 1st- Had a Buyer by April 1st with offer in. The Appraisal was done April 15th with no negotiator assigned. They told me it would be 15 business days until the negotiator was assigned. My file was finally assigned on June 7th. Since June 7th I have spoke with somebody at Countywide daily getting the same reponse..Your account is being reviewed..I have been transferred to 3 different managers voicemails never got a call back. On three different occations they sent an email to the negotiator and according to their guidelines the negotiator only has 5 days to respond. I never got a response. The Realtor that we are using is totally Lazy. I found the buyer and making all the calls while she sits back and tells me to be patient. When I first started using her she said this process would only take 3-5 weeks max..I was totally mislead and wish that I wouldv’e just foreclosed.

  • cg

    To:
    fed up with countrywide!!!!

    Put everything you just said to us in writing and fax it to:
    SUPERVISOR of Loss Mitigation
    at 1-800-658-0395. Don’t put the part about your realtor because they don’t care. Just wrap up the letter with I’m hoping that someone can help me before I lose this buyer.

    Are you behind in your payments?

  • Rebecca

    CG,

    As to where we are in the process: the appraisal was done May 6th, we were assigned our negotiator around May 30th, we have heard that our negotiator has approved this last offer, and now it has been sent to management/investors for the final approval. Who are these people and do you know if this is the final step? They have had the approved offer for 5 business days. Our agent is trying to keep the buyers on board but as I said before they want to walk on Monday. Our negotiator is not returning our emails and we can’t get anywhere over the phone. I feel like we’re so close!

    Our house is in Southern CA and we also have a small home eq loan. Both are with Countrywide.

    Stayin Positive,

    our HUD1 is up to date and submitted with the offer

    Thanks to both for your responses…maybe today is the day?

  • Rebecca

    We started emailing our negotiator once we got his name, although countrywide told us he didn’t have external email (can you belive that?). We figured out that his email is

    [email protected]

    Our agent then directly emailed him our offers so that they wouldn’t get lost is some pile somewhere. We think that has helped a bit.

    Also my husband lost it on the phone one day (Countrywide would not put our agent through to our negotiator) and after much yelling and screaming, they put my husband through to the negotiator. The negotiator wasn’t happy to be talking with a seller but he called our agent right away. At least we were on their radar.

  • amanda

    We’ve been dealing with Countrywide since February 1 for a short sale home we want to buy. We finally thought we would be going to settlement. Countrywide countered our offer. We went up and then we were told it was approved and the final paperwork was in the process of being completed. That was 3 weeks ago. On Monday, my realtor called to tell me that Countrywide now wants to do a COMPARISON appraisal from the original one they did almost 3 months ago. This being after our offer was supposedly “ACCEPTED.” This cannot get any more ridiculous. I am thinking of hiring an attorney because I do not feel anyone is doing anything for us to get Countrywide moving alone. Anyone else hire an attorney?

  • kiko

    FV,
    We have had that same response, so even though we are on timeon our payments and even paying extra, we then stopped paying so they would probably listen to us.

    Kiko

  • Stef

    We have an investment property that is currently rented. The mortgage is a subprime Neg am loan. Currently the balance is abour 475K (and rising monthly), the houses in that area are now listing for about 200K. We have a potential buyer for a short sale who would probably be patient about the process. Should we even bother starting the process with Countrywide for a short sale. I’m hearing that they may not even do it because its investment prop. and that it takes so long that forclosure may be easier? And any consequences like repayment?

    This is our second month not paying the mortgage. We were told by the loan modification department that you had to be deficient.

    Thanks, Stef

  • Meiks

    Dang. Interesting site. We put an offer on a country wide short sale on June 2nd. Our agent added this ‘Short Sale Addendum’ document to our offer which stated we wanted some response from the bank by June 27th. I was frustrated that we hadn’t heard a peep from them regardless of the fact that the selling agent calls every day. She is always just told that it has not been assigned yet. However, after reading this forum looks like my little piddly 5 week wait is NOTHING!! Looks like we are in for many months more waiting if we want this one. We are in Northern California near Sacramento so it is a really hard hit area… so probably means there is even more waiting then normal…

    Funny thing is that the sellers have not made a payment for 6 months, and still no NOD filed!! The house has been on the market since January and we are the ONLY offer. Fun times. Can’t wait to see how this turns out. Luckily we are in no hurry and will be worth the wait if we get this house for this price!! The info on this site is great… Thanks!

  • KC77

    Ugh! This makes me want to scream.

    We put an offer in on a house June 30th and we did not know it was a short sale. Apparently even the selling agent didn’t know about the sellers 2nd mortgage with CW (not sure I really believe that). We were then told the sellers agent spent all day on the phone with the lenders and the short sale was approved for our asking price. The seller signed the contract and we had an inspection done Tuesday. At that time the sellers agent said they expected to hear from the bank by Friday which would be about a two week turn around. Of course I’m not holding my breath, but is this even a plausable story? The home is in KC, MO and the 1st is not with Countrywide just the 2nd. I’m guessing they are only 10-20K short and our offer was about 90% of what we think the market value is (in MO it’s hard to get good numbers for that). What should expect and what can I do as the buyer if anything?

  • Brennan

    “Author: KC77Comment:Ugh! This makes me want to scream. We put an offer in on a house June 30th and ….”

    That is a pipe dream …. CW takes at least 3 months for a first, longer on seconds. There are law’s around disclusure and that agents needs to get all the facts before listing a home for sale. I am sorry to say … sellers sometimes are not the most honest people in the world either.

    Brennan

  • fed up with countrywide!!!!

    Hello,
    Here is my situtation. The offer has been in since April for $230,000 dollars. Appraisal was done for the same amount. Everytime I call countrywide I get the same story..The negotiator is currently reviewing the file. My negotiator has been reassigned 3 times. Yasmin was assigned for about 1 month…I left her and her manager 3 voicemails no response back. Now once again the Negotiator has been resassigned to Anthony Palma. The buyer I know personally and he is ready to walk away. My Realtor sits back waiting for her commission. She says she calls Countrywide once a week..Which I find hard to believe because when I send her an email it takes her at least 1 week to respond. Hopefully we get a response this week from the lender with a yes or no.

    Nicole

  • Melissa

    Does anyone know what is going on with Countrywide short sales now that Bank of America is taking over? I put an offer on a short sale in So. Ca about 2 months ago and haven’t heard anything. I first heard the house didn’t have a negotator. Then they found a negotiator and she was supposed to get laid off last week.

  • KC77

    Author: Brennan “That is a pipe dream …. CW takes at least 3 months for a first, longer on seconds. There are law’s around disclusure and that agents needs to get all the facts before listing a home for sale. I am sorry to say … sellers sometimes are not the most honest people in the world either. ”

    I know that every file is different and I know many people who post on sites like this are posting b/c they are mad at how things went for them….I haven’t seen posts of any who were happy, but I guess the happy ones are just too busy moving into their new homes.

    Since my post I have found that the seller is not very short at all (around 5K) and CW was charging excessive pre-pay fees etc. and basically raking the seller over the coals for a very small loan (as they have been known to do lately). With the deal as written with all commissions CW will still be getting over 50%. I’m guessing CW will be losing that fee money and try to lower the comissions a little, but both agents seem very sure they can get this done.

  • Stayin Positive

    Some good news for those of you consumed with the stress of short-sale of your own property….I pulled my credit report today 45 days after our closing and to my suprise my credit score even after foregoing mortgage payments for the entire process has climbed back up 120 points now that debt shows paid in full with a statement of “Pays as agreed” and with a comment of “Paid account/Zero balance-Settlement accepted on this account”. What I am saying is hang in there. You will ask yourself why should I do this, why not just go into foreclosure…well seeing is believing and I am telling you it is already worth it. My middle credit score is already back up to 648. I plan to wait to purchase a home again until the market stabilizes, probably at least 2 years and in the mean time I am comforted with knowing my score will certainly climb into a good risk category again.

    Good luck

  • Meiks

    We have submitted an offer on a CW short sale. After reading all these posts, it seemed like it would be a good idea for me to try and get authorized to call CW directly to find out the status. As of right now we get all of our info from the listing agent and she says she calls once or twice a week. I asked my buyer agent to see if the sellers would list me, or him, or my lender (as Fred suggested above) as an authorized contact to call CW about this short sale. However, the listing agent said that she preferred to be the point of contact with the bank.

    We submitted our offer to her at the beginning of June and then found out (after several emails/calls to her) that she did not submit the offer to CW until June 20th!!!!! She said she had trouble getting docs she needed from the sellers and that caused a delay, but still, there was no communication from her about this in those weeks in between. So this makes me not exactly trust her as the sole point of contact to get all this stuff moving along.

    So far all we know is that CW did an appraisal last week. The listing agent says that CW has not assigned a work out coordinator yet and thus the appraisal has not been processed yet so they can’t give her any more info. I don’t expect it to get assigned any time soon seeing that the offer didn’t actually get submitted to CW until about 3 weeks ago.

    But I have tried to call Countrywide anyway just to see if I could find anything out. I spent several hours calling many different numbers and got no where. I don’t want this to fall between the cracks. The sellers have not made a payment since January and are already out of the house, no NOD has been filed, and we are the only offer on the house so far.

    If the listing agent won’t authorize me to call CW, is there anything else we can do to make sure all is in order?

    Thanks….
    Meiks

  • Brennan

    Meiks,

    If you can get authorized it’s in your best interest. If not, know that countrywide has 45 business days to to assign a negotiator. “Business days” is key here, from there, the negotiator has 30 days to respond. So when you put in an offer, expect to wait 4 months to get the home. f you get it sooner, its upside,

  • MountainGirl

    Quick question at what point in the process would the HUD be sent to CW? I’m just trying to figure out where we actually are in the process. The sellers agent just sent the HUD to CW.

  • BJL

    Ugh, here we go:
    Trying to buy a CW Short Sale, So Cal, Inland Empire area. Offer is $210k, listing was $240k, and outstanding loan is approx $283k
    Looked at the house, placed an offer 1/28/08.
    Sellers accepted offer the next week.
    CW took til April to counter (they didn’t even “officially” counter, they just wrote a memo stating the house was appraised for $230k, if we wanted to up our offer) We remained at $210k (house needs a new roof & A/C & Heating.)
    CW “Approved” $210k on 4/28/08

    And thats about it? Currently our file has been assigned I’m told by my Escrow Officer (who seems to be the only one in contact with the lender?!?!). She was told 2 weeks ago that the file “would be reviewd by the 4th”. The 4th came & went, and with no update to the file, Escrow officer has an “e-mail in to the supervisor” as of 7/8. She was told not to expect a reply for a week, Called back yesterday 7/15, and was told to try calling back Friday.

    I’m now trying to get authorized to call Loss Mit. myself. Do I need an atty at this point? We keep getting told things that are simply not true.

  • Brennan

    HUD1 should be sent within 48 hours after the agent receives the offer. That of course if you have a sharp agent. The offer get signed by the seller, goes the listed agents broker from approval, then gets sent to a title company. The title company generates the HUD1. The agent should fax the HUD1 to 1-888-491-4947. You have to call after 48 to confirm they recieved the fax. Note:Make sure the they have the account number on every page of the fax.

  • Brennan
  • Larry Martin

    I have been waiting for two months for Countrywide to look at an offer regarding a short sale in MN and there hasn’t even been an appraisal ordered yet. It gets ordered then their system somehow cancels it. This has shortened the current home owner’s foreclosure redemption period by two months. Is there any legal ramifications against Countrywide or places to complain? We are about to lose the buyer.

    The seller has only two months left of their redemption period. They have a first with CW, a second and a judgment/lien against the property with a credit card issue. It seems like a lot to work out when NOTHING has been done yet.

    If the sale does not go through, can the current owner remain in the home after the redemption period, especially if the buyer is still interested? If the buyer gives up and CW doesn’t come through, It is their plan to replace top quality fixtures, etc. with lessor priced items. They’ve done everything possible to keep the property in tip-top condition in order to sell and have it behind them but Countrywide is making it impossible to move ahead. Any ideas?

    Thanks.

  • amanda

    Finally some good news….we put an offer in for a short sale house at the end of January….After putting up with Countrywide for 6 months…we finally have the official paperwork that we need to make settlement by July 30.
    Back in January we were told it would take 30-45 days to make settlement. Those 30-45 days turned into 6 months. Unbelievable.

    Countrywide countered out offer on the first appraisal. We went up on our offer and then they sent out another appraiser to do a comparison appraisal. So for all of you still waiting, you’ll get there, but it is going to take some time.

  • Christy

    I posted about a month ago venting my frustrations with CW and I’m back to say… I have a closing scheduled for Friday 7/25. YAY! I’m just holding my breath that nothing goes wrong between now and then.

    A little background to give others hope… the offer was made on Jan 23rd (while I was in the hospital having a baby); the appraisal was completed in April; and I finally got to speak to the negotiator sometime the end of June – AFTER I called a few times/day DEMANDING to speak to someone who could move things along as foreclosure was expected to occur within 1-2 weeks (foreclosure was originally scheduled for 6/25, but has been delayed twice). My realtor was also making frequent phone calls on my behalf.

    CW is my 2nd mortgage holder and they are accepting $4k on a $50k interest only loan that I took out in May 2006. Thank god, that the tax rules have changed and I won’t be owing taxes on that $46k. My first mortgage (another lender) is being paid in full. At one point, CW wanted my 1st mortgage holder to take some of hit, but they refused because in all honestly, CW made a poor lending decision and the 1st should not be penalized for their bad business practices.

    BTW, this is a rental property. I wanted to mention that, because I think I read somewhere that banks will not consider short sales on rentals… as far as I know, mine has been approved and things are moving forward. :-)

    I will post again when and if the closing really occurs.

  • Vanessa

    I have an HUD1 put in to countrywide on a short sale in phx, az today. My real estate agent has heard that countrywide has promised that starting 7/15 they will respond to all short sale offers in 15 days. I am crossing my fingers that this is true but reading this blog has made me wonder if I need to find a new property to purchase! My lease on my rental is up at the end of August and I wanted to close by 8/20.

  • BJL

    Thank you to amanda and Christy for a glimmer of hope!
    My offer was placed in late January, so this is looking like the light at the end of the tunnel.

    To Vanessa:
    I’d hope Countrywide will be focusing attention on those of us who have had offers sitting for MONTHS before attending to anything newly placed…
    If I were you, and you MUST close by the end of August…I dunno, I’d look around… Just my 2 cents…

  • Meiks

    Amanda and Christy:

    I am just wondering how much personal involvement you guys had in being on the phone with Countrywide yourselves? Amanda as a buyer, were you given authorization to talk to CW… And likewise to Christy, did you call CW yourself and/or give permission to the buyer to contact them as well? Or did you guys trust the agents to do all the talking/calling work?

    Just wondering because I would really like to get involved and do some of the footwork with CW because I really, really want this house I put an offer on. I feel pretty helpless because the sellers in my case are pretty much totally unmotivated and not very involved in the process, and the listing agent wants to be the sole point of contact with CW, but she only calls once a week or so.

    In any case, all of the Realtors at Trulia.com say that it is NOT normal for a buyer to get authorization to talk to the sellers lender …. I guess I am a control freak, but I am having a hard time sitting back and doing nothing hoping that the selling agent is doing it all!!!! Just wondering what you guys did.

    Thanks!
    Meiks

  • Christy

    Hey there Meiks –
    I left most of the leg work up to my realtor. I didn’t get involved until foreclosure was imminent. Once I got the foreclosure notice with a date, I was at the point where I just wanted an answer one way or another, because I wanted to do right by my tenants. So, I started called CW and I told them that I was going to call back every few hours until I could get someone that could give me an answer. Of course, with a full time job, I certainly didn’t have the time to be called as frequently as I threatened to, but I definitely called as often as I could. I finally heard from the negotiator about a week and a half later.

    The buyer never got involved with the process. He’s buying the property as a rental, so he’s been very patient with the whole process.

    My realtor certainly earned his commission on this property if he was calling and badgering CW as often as he said he did… assuming that we will close next Friday as expected… we shall see…

  • BJL

    Hoping for a reply from someone with recent success in closing…
    About 10 posts back is my whole story. Here is the latest from our Escrow Officer:
    “Fortunately, I now have direct contact with 2 supervisors and they are doing what they can to get the file pushed through, but as I understand more about the process, there numerous steps involved in getting our final approval. I just received an email from a supervisor letting me know that the file has been sent to the analysis team. According to my last conversation with the supervisor, this means that we should have an approval sometime in the last week of July, but that is not a promise.
    As far as closing this escrow, the final steps involved are:

    *Receive the written short sale approval from Countrywide
    *Fund your loan with Countrywide
    *Record the sale”

    Anyone get to a stage where your file went to “the analysis team”? This is after a negotiator has been sitting on our file for 2-3 weeks. From the steps above anyone know how long from this point it took you to close?

    It’s so embarrassing to have people ask why no one in our deal knows what’s going on.

  • Stayin Positive

    BNL,

    You should be real close now to an answer. Once it has left the negotiator it goes for approval, and this is probably what they are calling the analysis team. It took them about 7 business days to come back with an approval which I had to call in to hear about. The negotiator will then prepare what is called a “Demand Letter” that lays out the terms and timeframe. If you need more time to close since they dragged their feel so long on approval make sure to tell the negotiator so that she can provide the time you need in the letter. They will fax or email the letter. I suggest email so that you can have a clean copy. Once you have that letter the clock is ticking…

    Good luck to you

  • http://www.debtkid.com debt kid

    Hi everyone, DebtKid here. Just a quick note that if you need to find an agent with short sale experience, please fill out the short form located:

    http://www.debtkid.com/short-sale-agents

    I’ve been referring people for the last 6 months, and all have been very pleased with their real estate agent. Experience with short sales is very important, you don’t want just some random agent.

    Thanks, and good luck,

    DebtKid

  • Pingback: Countrywide To Speed Up Short Sale Approval Process. It’s About Time

  • sara

    Do Countrywide Short Sales ever close???????? I quit making my payments in March so I could go into default just to qualify for a short sale with Countrywide. (they wouldn’t help us any other way). Fortunately, we got a short sale offer in early April. The appraisal was done and received on Countrywide’s desk on May 5th. Countrywide won’t even tell us what the house appraised for. Now we are approaching the end of July with still no approval. We are on our 4th negotiator and are told different stories every time we call to get an update. We do NOT have any PMI on the mortgage. I don’t know if that is helping us or hurting us. We are now told the package is at the last stop and we are still awaiting approval. This last stop just happens to be at the ‘investors’ bank, which we were told is the Bank of New York. I’m wondering if this big bank bale out will help this situation or not. I don’t know if Bank of New York is part of Fannie Mae or Freddie or what the heck. Our buyers have been so patient but how long can they wait? This house is in Florida and everything is either for sale or vacant down there. Why on earth won’t they speed this up? The house is vacant now as well. We had to relocate, Any suggestions?

  • http://www.pleasantrealty.com kathleen

    sara – At some point in the future, Americans will look back and wonder why we, of this generation, allowed so much ridiculous abuse to take place by the “lenders”. Countrywide made hundreds of thousands of usurous loans to the unsuspecting public. When the financing involved new homes, appraisals were often escalated, adding to the “bubble” tendency. The people at Countrywide made huge sums of money doing these loans. Now they are doing it all over again. Since lenders don’t have to provide short sales, but must “negotiate” with the sellers, they turn it into a very frustrating and abusive dance, pretending to “help” hurting sellers. Thousands upon thousands of people across the country are facing the very same issue you described regarding your dealings with Countrywide. This company will get a BPO or appraisal that is too high and that will be their basis of refusing reasonable offers. Reasonable offers will be rejected, even if it takes them three or four months to even look at the offer! They do not care about the anxiety and frustration and sorrow of the seller. They do not care about the Realtor who has spent incredible amounts of time on the phone, fax, and email only to get no where. They do not care about the buyer who had no idea how long they would have to wait to purchase the home, only to be told no, the offer was not high enough. And they do not care about that buyer’s agent, either. Their cruelty is abominable. Do not believe for a second that lenders prefer short sales to foreclosures. Remember, Countrywide doesn’t own these loans. The notes were sold in bundles to the “investors” like Bank of New York and Countrywide only “services” them now. It is easier to foreclose than go through the rigors of a short sale. Countrywide’s practices were in the past and continue to this day, to be predatory and greedy. This is my opinion of Countrywide and any other “servicer” who sends client sellers on a long cruel dance. Sure, Countrywide does some token short sales (none of them easily), but for the most part the process takes place as I have describe.
    Kathleen

  • sara

    Kathleen, thank you for your information. I am also going to add a few more things you may interesting. My brother was an excellent residential appraiser who owned his own business, and Countrywide was at one time, his biggest client. About the peek of 2005, my brother stopped appraising deals for the sales price because he could not ethically stomach it. Eventually, he was known as a ‘deal killer’ and was blackballed. He never once regretted sticking to his opinion that properties were overpriced. He saw this crash coming and tried to warn those, but nobody would listen. Now he is considered the smart one after all! He got out of the appraising business altogether and is in another field and far happier. On the bright side………. and you won’t believe this…. but my realtor called me this morning and told me we have the VERBAL approval for our short sale! I about fell on the floor from shock. She was told she would get the papers faxed to her by Wednesday with a closing date listed. Countrywide did accept the buyers offer with no counters. This surprised me, but I guess the offer was good enough for them. My bet is that the appraisal Countrywide had done was lower than the asking price and now the buyer’s appraisal will come into play. We are just ending our 4th month of waiting, and I wanted to say to everyone out there to hang on and just wait. It’s all you can do anyway, and I will post back once we close to assure everyone that miracles do happen! Good luck to all.

  • amanda

    Almost 7 months to the day and we are finally going to settlement on wednesday….and when countrywide sends the papers for closing they give you exactly 2 weeks to have everything ready for settlement or it is “void” …its amazing they can take 7 months to give us an answer, but we only have 2 weeks to have everything prepared for settlement…absolutely amazing…for those of you still waiting, countrywide does come through, but it takes them forever….My 7 months of waiting was filled with anger, discouragement, eagerness, sadness…it was just one thing after another with them…but try not to lose hope..its just a waiting game

  • Eddie

    What happens if the first mortgage holder and the investors( Fannie Mae have accepted the contract but countrywide is the second mortgage is trying to change the entire sale.

  • Hghlndr

    I am in negotiation w CW on my condo for a short sale – and could write a book, **sigh** I originally bought my place with the goal of selling it in 2007, but ended up staying longer. I can no longer afford it, and couldn’t qualify to refinance it, thus the short sale. I have kept my mortgage current, do not have a second, and now it’s like I am being penalized for keeping my home loan in good standing. The place is in pristeen shape. I started paying the Interest Only 8 months ago – due to a family situation. As for the sale: we had 2 offers within 1 week of listing-and 1 potential buyer was pre-approved w CW for almost 2x the amount of my place. It sounded like a slamdunk, but no-o-o… We are now 80+ days into the short sale application process, and have just been assigned to a new “negotiator,” and never spoke to our original one. 2 weeks ago a “reviewer” asked an impossible commitment from me, to move forward, and I asked for an explanation. Without details, I would be responsible for every expense imaginable. I refused and asked for time to think about it (in shock) She simply said – “OK – I will mark it as short sale closed and going to foreclosure.” I later spoke to an attorney & he said – it sounds like they sold your loan, so the sale will have to be approved by the 3rd party. We called and had those notes removed from the account status. I have to say – CW employees have never been rude to me, except for the one “reviewer”. I think they are swamped with short sales/workout sales and powerless for final decisions. Plus, they lost paperwork 3 or 4 times at the beginning of the process. I suggest if you are considering a short sale with CW- call them to keep in touch – ask for the notes to be read to you so you understand what they are reading from as the process goes on. Go on the website, and watch the “workout information” on your “account information” online. Document your calls and keep your own notes after your conversations, especially phone numbers. Ask questions so you learn the short sale process lingo. And, be patient. Please wish me luck. Good luck to you.

  • Mike

    Currently in the process of short-sale of my home in San Diego with Countrywide. I am in the military and am being relocated. I would not be able to make my payments even with renters in the home once I leave. I currently have a good offer on the home. The status is “under review by the Investor”. It was sent to the investor 25 business days (almost 4 actual weeks) ago. The negotiator has not been easily accessible for updates either by my realtor or myself (had good communication previously via email however only seems to respond to threats!). We have found out that the investor is Wells Fargo Bank. Is there any way to speak to the investor directly to push the process along? I am growing very frustrated with Countrywide and my current negotiator. I feel that they could care less whether this deal goes through or the house forecloses. I feel that if they dont make a move here soon this current offer will walk. Any assistance or recommendations are welcome. Thanks!

  • sara

    Mike….a couple of things….first, this short sale could take around 4 months to close unless Countrywide gets their system down better! The good news from your post is that you already know who the investor is! We didn’t know that until well into our 3rd month into the short sale. We’ve just entered our 5th month, but HAVE BEEN APPROVED for the sale. However, all that was really approved was the buyer’s offer…I sure hope the buyer’s appraisal works out or this is a dead deal. Countrywide only accepted the offer and it took them 4 months to do that! Countrywide had our house appraised about 3 months ago and would not tell us what it appraised at. (is that good or bad? I don’t know). I would just tell you to keep calling Countrywide every other day for an ‘update’…just so you have something to feed your buyer. If you’re working with a realtor, have them do it. Or change off and share the load. You have to keep your buyer thirsty for this deal. I plan on posting again once ours closes to let everyone know that miracles do happen and to just hang in there. Good luck and keep us posted!

  • BJL

    Just had to chime in and let Mike know that it took Countrywide 4 months to approve our offer as well, like sara.
    We placed our offer 1/31, our offer was approved late April, we went into escrow mid to late May and are still not closed.

    I’ll post again when we DO close, so you all can have a better idea of how things are going with CW right now.

  • Meiks

    AHHHHH! Countrywide filed the NOD for the house we have a short sale offer on. What does that mean for our process.

    Quick run down of the dates:
    –Seller stops making payments in January 08 – lists house as short sale.
    –No offers until we submit our offer to listing agent June 2, 08. (We are to date still the only offer)
    –Listing agent does not submit offer to CW until June 20, 08
    –CW sends appraiser to do appraisal July 11, 08
    – July 30, 08 No word from anyone so I hound the selling agent with 400 questions
    –July 31, 08 Listing agent calls CW they say the appraisal was logged into their system on July 19th. They don’t disclose the appraised value. As of 7/23 the file is in “short sale review” which means it is in line to be assigned to a work out coordinator and there are no notes on the file since that date. They had no idea exactly when it would be assigned.”

    Then today seller says she just got the NOD – it took some time to get to her because she is having mail forwarded etc. but the date on the NOD is July 17th 2008!!! It says they have 90 days to foreclose.

    What does this mean for this short sale? Is it dead in the water if they have decided to foreclose? Why would they send an NOD just days after they get the property appraised before even looking at our offer?

    Please help!

  • Ester

    We have had our house on the market since July of ’07. We requested a short sale the day we signed with our agent. It took CW about 6 months to move us out of the workout department, which was by no means a workout. Once we were assigned to a short sale agent it took another 4 months to receive an appraisal. We have had multiple buyers placing large amounts of money in escrow and one after another and many long months they all pulled out. When CW did finally “approve” one of our buyers is was a buyer that had already pulled out a few months before! we were then told to get another buyer approved it would take 45 days to close the old buyers file and open a new one for approval. We are now on our last buyer who was just sent up for approval and aobut 30 days away from our house being foreclosed on. We have beent the ones in constant contact with Cw. Never the same person, never anyone who knows what they are talking about. We have waited patiently for a year, done everything we were told to do and now we are still having our home taken away from us.

  • Christy

    I posted a couple of weeks ago, that I finally got approval from CW and was expecting to close at the end of July. HA. CW is my 2nd mortgage holder and since it took so long for them to approve the short sale, the updated HUD didn’t give them as much money as they were expecting and it even put the first a lil short, so the deal had to be re-approved by the 1st mortgage holder.

    The banks are not willing to concede anymore money (CW is getting $4k on a $50k loan), so at the moment, we are about $3000 away from getting this deal done – which the buyer and the realtors have agreed to contribute to get the deal done. I’m just waiting on the final numbers which will depend on the closing date to see what’ll happen here. AND BTW CW has not yet given their approval in writing – only verbally over the phone.

    Just to give an idea of the timeline, my property has been under contract since January 23rd. The initial foreclosure date was set for June 25th and has been pushed back several times. It’s currently set for Sept. 5th. The plan is to get this closed before the end of August.

  • sara

    We got approval last Monday, but CW did NOT fax over the papers as promised by Wednesday. My realtor called and was reassured that we were approved, but there was some ‘technicality’ and it had to be redone. They are promising the papers by early next week…..should I hold my breath????

    Curious to all you who can’t seem to close….do you guys have PMI?

    Seems like CW would rather foreclose on those loans with PMI so they can collect the insurance then resell the property. In our case, we had refinanced and had the PMI dropped a couple of years ago while our property was red hot. CW has the 1st AND 2nd, so don’t know if this is hurting us or helping us. CW had their own appraisal done 3 months ago, and the property is probably worth about 3% less now…keeps going down every month. (Florida). I’m nervous about what the buyer’s appraisal will come in at. Should be done upcoming week. I will post back with updates.

  • Christy

    My CW loan does have PMI, but it’s a 2nd mortgage, so I don’t think they stand to gain anything more by foreclosing.

    The 1st (not CW) thinks that they’re losing out by the short sale since they have an appraisal for $171k and the selling price is $165k. Not sure who came up with that figure, because the last unit to sell went for $155k. I think that appraisal is a bit overstated…

  • Hghlndr

    Just one more confirmation to ask, ask again, and get to know your stuff: I do not have and never had PMI on my loan. During a stressful conversation, the reviewer referred to “insurance” on my account. She could not give me a straight answer to my seemingly simple questions. “What insurance? Who is the insurer?” The “Insurers” the reviewer was referring to is apparently the third party they sold my loan to. Also, I want to say that I have a wonderful real estate agent, who has been positive, kept in constant communication with me, and worked through every obstacle CW has presented to us. I can’t imagine this experience without her guidance and professionalism. Location – Orange County, CA

  • Ester

    We do have PMI on our loan. However it was added on by CW themselves. I have faxed over many many times our own insurance policy but they have still to this day not removed the policy from our loan. Even with their so called workout, the amount for the PMI was added into the workout amount!!

  • Christy

    Now, that I’m thinking about it, it doesn’t make sense that I’d have PMI on a 2nd. However, CW brought something up about insurance during the negotiation process, so I have no idea what that is… I guess I should question that to find out exactly what they’re talking about as it was my realtor that’s been handling everything. At this point, the short sale had to be approved by the insurance company as well and they’ve agreed to it as long as they get the $4k settlement.

  • http://www.countrylied.com Nuckels

    Did any of you have PMI assigned by CW with greater than original 20% down? I have found several people that had this issue making it additionally difficult to negotiate short sale or loam mod, If you want please add your story at http://www.countrylied.com

  • KC77

    Just a little update. I think for us things are moving along I just hope they keep moving. So that you don’t have to backtrack and re-read here’s our story in a nutshell we’re the buyers and the Sellers are only short around 5K. Originally we thought it was just a 2nd with CW but the title paperwork we got shows CW on 1st and 2nd as well as a small tax lien (< 500).

    The seller submitted a complete package July 14th (2 weeks after our offer)
    We heard a negotiator was assigned July 25th (could have been earlier but this is when we got the news).

    We have been told that 3 people have to review the file before it will be approved (fraud prevention measuers) and that it could take up to 30 days.

    So that’s 10 business days between truning in the package and having a negotiator. Sounds like that could be a record. We had hoped to close by Aug 29th and while we are prepared that that may be out of the question; if we close sometime in September we’ll be happy

  • deborah trujillo

    You can call the CW loan department (I used the number on my statement) and ask them to look at the details on your loan. The reps there can tell you whether or not you have PMI on your account. You can ask them to make a note of your call, including the findings on the internal documentation about your account.

  • BJL

    I got an update on our progress today…it’s heart wrenching news but still good because the file is moving. I’ll copy paste the rest of my story as well so you don’t have to read up.
    —————————————————–
    My first post 7/16:
    “Ugh, here we go:
    Trying to buy a CW Short Sale, So Cal, Inland Empire area. Offer is $210k, listing was $240k, and outstanding loan is approx $283k
    Looked at the house, placed an offer 1/28/08.
    Sellers accepted offer the next week.
    CW took til April to counter (they didn’t even “officially” counter, they just wrote a memo stating the house was appraised for $230k, if we wanted to up our offer) We remained at $210k (house needs a new roof & A/C & Heating.)
    CW “Approved” $210k on 4/28/08

    And thats about it? Currently our file has been assigned I’m told by my Escrow Officer (who seems to be the only one in contact with the lender?!?!). She was told 2 weeks ago that the file “would be reviewd by the 4th”. The 4th came & went, and with no update to the file, Escrow officer has an “e-mail in to the supervisor” as of 7/8. She was told not to expect a reply for a week, Called back yesterday 7/15, and was told to try calling back Friday.”
    ———————————–
    My second Post 7/21:
    “Hoping for a reply from someone with recent success in closing…
    About 10 posts back is my whole story. Here is the latest from our Escrow Officer:
    “Fortunately, I now have direct contact with 2 supervisors and they are doing what they can to get the file pushed through, but as I understand more about the process, there numerous steps involved in getting our final approval. I just received an email from a supervisor letting me know that the file has been sent to the analysis team. According to my last conversation with the supervisor, this means that we should have an approval sometime in the last week of July, but that is not a promise.
    As far as closing this escrow, the final steps involved are:

    *Receive the written short sale approval from Countrywide
    *Fund your loan with Countrywide
    *Record the sale”

    Anyone get to a stage where your file went to “the analysis team”? This is after a negotiator has been sitting on our file for 2-3 weeks. From the steps above anyone know how long from this point it took you to close?

    It’s so embarrassing to have people ask why no one in our deal knows what’s going on.”
    —————————————————

    Last week we were informed the “analysis team” gave us approval, but that our file now had to be reviewed by the “management team”.
    And now the latest from Escrow came in today:
    “Short sale file was returned from management group to negotiator with their approval. However, file now must be submitted to the two investors backing this loan within three business days (meaning file will be submitted on or before Wed. Aug. 6). Once with the investors, both companies must review the file through their internal channels and grant an approval. This process will take no less than 2 weeks, and can take more than 30 days.
    The positive is that the file is moving through the system, but unfortunately we are still weeks from an approval. ”

    Anyone got a gun? :)
    I kid, but seriously…this is the most hellish experience of my life.
    And every 15 days is now costing us over $250 in points to keep our 5.5% lock in.

  • sara

    Update on our short sale: I’ve been letting you guys in on how it’s going and we were supposed to receive in writing last week our approval for the short sale. We finally got it today with a closing date assigned of Sept. 5th! I will post to let you all know that it actually happened. I’m in this with the rest of you and just keep positive…don’t loose site.

  • Christy

    My closing is now scheduled for tomorrow. We shall see! I hope that I’ll have some good news to share tomorrow evening.

  • BJL

    I’m so happy for the both of you! (And frankly, a little jealous!)

    Here’s the latest on our case, as of 8/5:
    “Per Countrywide, the investor which needs to review the short sale package and grant approval is Guaranty Bank. The customer service agent yesterday mentioned 2 investors, but the agent I spoke with today indicated that only 1 investor is involved. She also stated that once Guaranty Bank has signed off on the file, it will need to go back through the final audit with Countrywide’s management group (that must be what they meant by reviewal from 2 investors).”

  • sara

    Hi BJL: It took about 4 weeks for our papers to get through the “investors” stage….hopefully your’s won’t take that long…seems like some people are making headway, so maybe CW is getting more organized. (???) Anyway, hang in there.

  • BJL

    Since the “investor” is Guaranty bank I’m hoping they have their stuff together better than CW does…we’ll see…send out good thoughts for me! :/

  • Christy

    I did it! Papers were signed today! YAY for lucky 8-8-08!

    Just a few random facts. This was a rental property; CW was the 2nd mortgage holder; the initial loan was taken out in May ’06 for $50k (interest only pmts); CW accepted $4k. The offer was made on Jan. 23rd and the deal was finally completed 6.5 months later. Just a tip to others… The seller needs to call CW directly themselves! They are slow to react, but it seemed to make a difference when I called myself. AND make sure you get the negotiator’s direct extension.

    My realtor told me this morning, “We’re all set to close, except we need the approval letter in writing from CW…” He & the title company had been calling CW all week in an attempt to get this letter. I called twice this afternoon and was able to get through to the negotiator on my 2nd attempt. I told her I’m closing in two hours and we need this letter. Her first reaction was to say that wouldn’t be possible, but every excuse she gave, I had a rebuttal. “But we need approval from the insurance co.” Already have that. “But I need to get this approved by upper mgmt.” Ok, then let ME speak to them. “Oh, not possible.” Finally, She said needed an hour to get the paperwork to her mgmt and would get back to me. That was at 2pm EST.

    She called me back at 3:40 to say she’d be faxing the letter within the next 20 minutes. Closing was scheduled for 4pm. By the time the papers were signed, the letter was on the fax machine and all was well.

    The big joke with my realtor and everyone involved is when someone asks you to do something, just say you’ll get back to them in 3-5 businiess days. Anyone who has called CW will mostly likely find the humor in that. LOL

    To BJL… I’m sending you closing soon vibes. CW had to send my file to some insurance co and that went pretty quickly. I’d say a week or less… defintitely not more than 2 weeks, so good luck!

    I wish everyone else well with their CW sagas.

  • sara

    BIG QUESTION to everyone involved in short sales…HOW IS THIS AFFECTING YOUR CREDIT?????????????

  • Christy

    I’m not really sure what the impact is going to be on my credit and I’ve been told that it’s going to take awhile for the loans to show up as settled.

    Based on the fact that I stopped paying the loans on this property in Nov/Dec of last year, it’s probably going to look a bit better on my credit than what it does at the moment. It’s definitely better than than having a foreclosure on my credit report, which is where I was heading since I could no longer afford the property. It was such a relief to sign the form discharging these loans as foreclosure sounds like such a scary process.

  • Stayin Positive

    Sara and Christy,

    After closing May 29th on the short sale of my home with Countrywide that held the 1st and 2nd mortgages, they were quick to update the credit bureaus. 6 weeks went by and I pulled my credit report. To my suprise my score jumped over 100 points after trailing to a miserable 530 (depressing) it is already back up to 640. Hard to believe I know, but all I can contribute that to is the past 20 years of “good” history and now that the bad debt is released the average of everything must have pulled it back up. Now all I am waiting for is the time separation and the housing prices to stop dropping. For now I plan to rent for a while, which seems to make since investment-wise anyway. In the meanwhile my score will continue to climb. Good Luck to you….

  • VA Loan Guy

    To Sara, Christy, et al: I’m a former mortgage broker with a lot of experience in getting borrowers “credit-ready”. That is to say, I’ve had many clients whom I advised in the craft of cleaning up credit issues in order to get them a mortgage loan at the best possible rate and terms.
    Late pays are never good news for your credit score. You can get away with one 30 day late, any more than that and you’d better be prepared with a good explanation. After about five years or so, however, most lenders will look the other way at these provided you have observed good credit management practices since. The most destructive force by far, however, is the dreaded foreclosure. Add one of these to your resumé and the only place you’ll be borrowing money from for the next 8-10 years is the give-a-penny-take-a-penny tray at your local convenience store. Most underwriters consider it to be the pinnacle of poor credit management. And in their defense, you did just screw yourself out of your own home. Relax, I’m not pointing any fingers, just giving you a bird’s eye view of how credit works.
    Short sales are something different. While it does indicate some level of mismanagement, it also demonstrates responsibility. You got a little sideways with your creditor, but you worked with them to remedy the issue. Most importantly, in the end, you settled and PAID THEM OFF. The account is closed and you leave oweing the creditor nothing. Depending on how many payments you missed, your credit will still be bruised, but you’ll live to fight(and borrow) another day. For those currently engaged in a short sale transaction, we already know you’re in trouble. The game now is damage control. Follow through, work with the loss mitigation dept. of your lender and sell that house. Don’t sit back and let the bank foreclose. After all is said and done, wait about 60 days and run a credit report to see where you stand. It may not be as grim as you think.

  • Hassien

    I need some advice. Does anybody know how to crack this nut?

    I purchased a home in Hemet California in Feb 2006 suprisingly a nice neighborhood gated community pool, lakes and a couple of parks. The american dream right? RIGHT! Anyways this is my dilemma. Im in the military and now I have orders to move from california to virginia. I did the responsible thing and put the house up for rent in hopes that I could weather the storm that we are in. I qualified a renter and they gave me a deposit in faith to hold the property for them. Now two weeks before signing the lease and me moving out the house the renter has backed out. Its kind of hard to a QUALIFIED renter on such short notice.

    So now im stuck with a mortgage a first from CW and a second from CITBNK and renting a place to live in virginia. Can you say I am officially over my head. I explained to them (CW) my situation and the best they could say was “No we cant modify your loan or defer payments” and that I would have to try to short sale and if that does not work deed in lieu and worst case scenerio foreclose.

    At this point I am just ready to just walk away stop making payments and save my money so I can feed and house my family. The best choice to me seems to me is to attempt a short sale and hope for a deed in lieu. Am I way off the mark on this thought? CW also said that they would not consider a deed in lieu if I did no try a short sale first, Is this true or is it another tactic for them to get the most bang for their buck.

    I am currently not to concerned with my credit score which is the thing that everybody is mostly concerned with. I know bad credit is awful. But cash is king.

    What choice will best benefit me? Short Sale, Deed in lieu, foreclosure?

  • sara

    Interesting info on this credit issue. However, I want to point out, that in Florida, we had our home owners insurance TRIPLE in 4 years, which amounted to hundreds of dollars more each month. That’s where the problems started. Then, we had unexpected medical bills and home renovations to pay off. THEN, with the real estate bust, our house was worth far less than we owed. We contacted CW to see what they could do, but they would NOT work with us because at that point, we had NEVER been late on anything. We begged them to work with us, but THEY refused. Renting out our house would not make the mortgage payment either. We had to relocate and sell. Then, after digging I discovered that the ONLY way to QUALIFY for a SHORT SALE was to STOP paying the mortgage. THIS got their attention, and when we found a buyer, they listened to the short sale proposal. After 5 months of waiting, we are due to close at the beginning of September.

    I am amazed how CW would not originally work with us, considering our perfect history with them, so in the end, they loose. I think the banks (and not just CW), should help home owners as much as possible in this horrible real estate market that affects many parts of the country. Ideas to solve this housing crisis are to lower interest rates temporarily on individual loans, create reverse mortgages for the time being, forgive unpaid payments and tack the unpaid portion to the back of the note, basically, HELP the homeowners keep things afloat. Florida ALSO needs to get a handle on these ridiculous insurance rate increases (hurricane insurance). This is the best country in the world and we have enough intelligence here to find some solutions. The short sale process shouldn’t take as long as it does either. Many sales are lost and go into foreclosure because of the current process. There ought to be better communication between the banks and the sellers.

    I officially propose my own idea of creating a PASS system (Pre Approved Short Sale) and once you have that, the property could be marketed better to potential buyers. Simply have the bank and the seller pre communicate a marketable price, and go from there. Foreclosures hurt everybody and bring down property values. At least short sales help. Anybody else out there like this idea???????????????????????????????????? Anybody know anybody who can implement this idea?????????????????????? Anybody know anybody at CW who will listen? Anybody know any government officials who can implement this with all banks?????????? This is AMERICA…..let’s fix this mess!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mike

    Hassien,

    I hear ya! I am in the same boat. I bought my home in Otay Ranch/Eastlake in 2004. I have been PCS’d to North Carolina. I am currently going through the process of short sale. The prospects of having a renter (and still having to pay $1K/month out of pocket to cover the mortgage because the rent won’t cover it) and managing the place from across country were not very appealing as well as financially impossible. We are hopefully reaching the end of this whole process but if CW continues to drag their feet we may SOL! Like you, I am not too worried about the credit thing. If it goes to foreclosure, then I will rent or live in Base Housing until my credit improves. No biggie! My recs to you: Make sure you get a good real estate agent that only deals with short sales. A standard agent will not put the work into it to make the deal go through. Be patient. Short Sale takes between 4-6 months on the average. Remember, this is our reward for doing everything right but have the misfortune to PCS during this real estate nightmare. Bitter – not me!

  • VA Loan Guy

    To Hassien – If you can rent your property with a cash flow that is manageable for you, I would recommend talking to a property management company or a realtor who can act as a leasing agent. For a negotiable fee, they can do the marketing, show the property and do the qualifying for you. For the sake of your credit, renting is by far the best solution. In a year or two, we’ll be looking at a different market, at which point, you may want to revisit the idea of selling. On a side note, I think it is a national disgrace that lenders will not make special provisions for military service people. From me, thank you for your service.

    To Sara – I want to note once again that I am not pointing any fingers. I understand that one can quickly find themselves in financial distress via medical bills, insurance premium increases and the like through little or no fault of their own. It seems you figured out the answer all on your own. It may not be sufficient to explain your financial woes to your lender. Instead, a small demonstration is necessary. Let me explain. If every American who owns a property which is worth less than they paid for it could call up their lender and say “I’m having serious financial problems, would it be ok if I just short sold the property?”, the entire country would be for sale and lenders everywhere would be devastated(much more so than now). The economic impact would be incalculable.
    A short sale means the lender is accepting a pay-off lower than what you owe them. In order to justify taking the loss, the lender has to be convinced it is in their best interest and that you’re not just ‘crying wolf’. Remember, the lender has shareholders and/or depositors to answer to. If you start missing payments, to the peril of your credit, it is perceived that your situation is indeed diar, and thus, is more convincing. Do I advocate skipping a couple payments in order to get out from under a bad investment? ABSOLUTELY NOT! A short sale is a financial parachute – don’t use it unless your plane is really going down. But, if you are truly in trouble, short selling is infinitely superior to a foreclosure or deed-in-lieu(foreclosure-light).

  • Hassien

    To Mike,

    I know what you mean and man. I think I will try that short sale and go from there and see what develops. Thanks for the input.

    To Va Loan Guy,

    So you think I should try to rent again even considering that the most that I can get for my area on rent is around 1700 max for my size property if im lucky and find a renter willing to pay that. Total taxes Mortgage HOA insurances, currently total a little over 2200 a month. I know ouch but i could handle that if I was living here.

    I was willing to pay out my pocket with the renter I had lined up 506 to cover the difference not paid by the renter. When I do the math it just doesnt add up and I end up losing and stringing myself out to try to make ends meet. Whats your take on that? My main concern is my family and taking care of them. What backlash should I expect from my original decison if I do go that way. The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

  • Hassien

    VA Loan Guy

    What is the real difference between a short sale and a deed in Lieu. The good the bad the ugly. Give it to me straight no sugar coating I need to know what kind of ride I am going to be on. Thanks.

  • VA Loan Guy

    Hassien – I want to emphasize that renting is only an option if the cash flow is manageable. For some, a $500/month negative flow may be tolerable. For others, it may be totally out of the question. You are the only one qualified to make that determination. If such a circumstance will bleed you dry in 6 months, then it’s an obvious no-go. Plan on a worst case scenario – that the market will not allow you to sell for at least two years. If you can sustain the negative cash flow for that long, you’ll likely come out ok. Depending on the disparity between your loan balances and the market value of the property, you may attract a more dedicated, long-term tenant by offering a lease-option. I can go into that later, if you wish.
    Remember, the game here is damage control. Your credit should matter to you. Poor credit will adversely affect your ability to house and care for your family. Astute landlords will perceive bad credit to mean that you don’t pay your bills and may skip out in the middle of the night. Buying a car may be difficult. You get the idea.

    As for the deed in lieu vs. short sale debate, here are the ABCs:

    Deed in lieu – A deed in lieu of foreclosure requires the borrower to relinquish his or her rights in a property to the lender in exchange for being released from liabilities specifically named in the mortgage note and is often the result of a settlement agreement.
    The pros:
    1. The process usually takes place outside of the court system, eliminating embarrasing public notices and proceedings.
    2. Damage to your credit is significantly lesser to that of a foreclosure.
    3. Your debt and deficiency are usually forgiven without any further judgments or legal actions.
    The cons:
    1. Not all lenders will entertain this option. Lenders are in the money business, not the real estate business. Anything that results in another bank-owned(REO) property is highly undesirable to them.
    2. Damage to your credit is greater than that of a short sale.
    3. *This will not be an option when the debt exceeds the fair market value of the property.*
    4. Most lenders who will accept this option require proof of an attempt to sell the property first.

    Short Sale: The borrower agrees to sell the property and the lender agrees to take a discounted(short) payoff on the mortgage so that the homeowner and lender alike can avoid a foreclosure. A letter of approval from the lender is required for the deal to go.
    The pros:
    1. Again, the process usually takes place outside of the court system, eliminating embarrasing public notices and proceedings.
    2. Depending on how many payments were missed, the damage to credit is marginal compared to other alternatives.
    3. Your debt and deficiency are forgiven without any further judgments or legal actions.
    4. It is widely accepted and preferred by lenders as it does not result in a bank-owned property.
    The cons:
    1. You must get approval from the lender’s loss mitigation dept. for any offer submitted before you can have a working contract. As repeatedly noted on this BBS, some lenders are more responsive than others. Patience and diplomacy are required.
    2. The market is loaded with heavily discounted properties. Competition in this buyer’s market will be stiff. Depending on your local market conditions, liquidating your home at fair market value may take some time. You will not be required to make repairs on structural or cosmetic deficiencies. Short sales are always sold as-is. However, the better the home’s condition the more appealing to buyers.
    3. As Sara noted, a demonstration of your inability to keep up with payments may be required. Your credit will take a hit.

    There you go. The straight story, sans the sugar. As a footnote, Countrywide is no longer Countrywide. No, I’m not making some enigmatic joke. They are now Bank of America and although the transition to B of A’s more proactive approach is slow, some positive changes are already apparent. Good luck.

  • sara

    To VA Loan Guy: Thank you for your excellent posts. All very well said.

    To everyone else: I promise to come back and post once we’ve closed on our short sale. Should be soon.

  • Lewis

    My friend has been trying to sell their home in a short sale with countywide for a year, they keep changing their mine. They tryed wring with the workout department at countywide, have been waiting a year for a return call .but never has gotten one, one person said they will not even talk to you till you are 4-6 months behind. that hasn’t happen. They had a offer of 261,000 for the house then countywide they wanted 345,000 that deal went away, then other one for 240,000 they said no, now they are hopping that this new deal goes thru the selling price is now 209,000, And countywide is giving the new buyers 8,000 to buy the house and paying all closing cost good luck on your short sale out their

  • Hassien

    To VA Loan Guy

    Like you said about the renting I went over and over it in my head hundreds of times and loosing lots of sleep trying to figure how I could squeeze by without giving up the american dream of homeownership. I felt like a quitter at first because I have never let anything affect me like this.

    I might be on the ropes but Im not beaten. After giving it a second look I see it as blessing in disguise. I think that was the nudge I needed to realize I was in a bad spot and if I dont do something now it is going to be a lot worst later. Pick your battles choose them wisely and know your opposition.

    Thanks for the honesty that is exactly what I wanted to hear the basics and broken down Barney style. You answerd all the questions and I like what I read. Lets hope this thing corrects its self in a few years or sooner so no more good people across this country fall victim to this epidemic. I dont need luck anymore Im armed with knowledge now! Thanks again.

  • VA Loan Guy

    Hassien –
    You are welcome. I am always happy to assist the men and women of our armed forces in any way that I can. The freedom I have to sit around reading and writing these posts was bought and paid for by the service and too often, the lives of individuals like yourself. A little advice from a battle-tested mortgage and real estate hound is small compensation.

    Knowledge is indeed power. Best of luck, just the same.

    To all others -
    If you are still struggling with Countrywide, hope is around the corner. With Bank of America at the helm, big changes are afoot at CW.

  • Hghlndr

    Wow. Well, it looks like some people are making progress. I don’t want to get enthusiastic too early, but it sounds like (maybe) we’re moving forward on my short sale. CW asked for my updated financial statement again – apparently requested by the investor. I hope this “Investor” part doesn’t take 4 weeks more. A CW short sale rep told me – “This is a positive thing. If they were going to deny the short sale, this is when they could just say no and be done with it. They’re looking at your numbers more closely.” That made sense, and I hope he knows what he’s talking about.
    I’d just like to say thank you so much to everyone for sharing their experience – and knowledge. This blog’s been very helpful through this “experience”. :)

  • Jessica

    I am a first time home buyer, trying to buy a house in the San Fernando Valley. I put a bid on a short sale three months ago. We offered the listing price and half the closing. Finally heard back a month ago (after two months of not hearing anything). CW said they wanted the newly appraised price which was $5k more than the original asking price and the full closing. So, we offered the price they asked for with full closing and have not heard anything and it has been now a month. The house has been on the market for 326 days and I am afraid that if it forecloses we will lose it. We are currently the only offer on the house. Our agent says she has been trying to call the listing agent and the listing agent doesn’t call her back anymore. I wish we could go straight to counrtywide, but she says only the listing agent can. Any suggestions?????

  • sara

    Jessica…..just call CW yourself and ask for the WORKOUT department. Give them your loan numbers and ask for an update on the file. You can call them every single day if you want too. We did. Hope that helps!

  • BJL

    A tip that has possibly pushed my deal forward: Write an email to Ken Lewis, CEO of Bank of America. I wrote him a factual email on 8/18, and got a call from the “investor” who has our file two days later IN REGARDS to the letter I wrote him. Since this investor is not part of B of A or Countrywide, someone trickled down through the system and found out where my file was, and pushed it to the top of the pile. I’m supposed to receive a new update on Wednesday. Here’s crossing my fingers…
    Here’s his e-mail:
    [email protected]

  • Michelle

    Does anyone know that a trustee sale is? From what I understand it goes from a short sale to trustee sale to forclosure. I have a bid on a short sale that is going into a trustee sale early next month. Does anyone know that this means and how long does it stay as a trustee sale before it goes into a forclosure?

  • VA Loan Guy

    To Michelle – A trustee sale is a public auction, generally held on the steps of your County courthouse, where real property is auctioned in order to compensate a beneficiary(lender) after a deed of trust has been excersized. In simplest terms, the lender has taken posession and is liquidating the property.

    In the marketplace we are experiencing now, the lender ends up buying their own property more often than not. Are you perplexed yet? Fear not. I will explain. Lenders are in the money business, not the real estate business. When they take posession of a property via the deed of trust, their first priority is to get rid of it. Fast! A trustee is appointed to act on behalf of the lender(beneficiary) and dispose of the property at the auction. *Will they take any bid? No. Generally, there is a minimum bid amount that the lender will accept based upon the outstanding loan balance(lien) on the property.
    *Do I need cash to bid? Most often, yes. Full payment of the bid amount is usually required within two days or so of the auction. However, alternative arrangements may be made in advance with the trustee in some cases. In addition, a substantial non-refundable deposit will be required to secure the bid on auction day.
    *How can I find out who the trustee is and when and where the auction is to take place? Most Counties require posting of the trustee sale notice on the property in a conspicuous location at least 10 days in advance as well as in the classified section of the local newspaper.
    *What happens if no one bids? The trustee, on behalf of the beneficiary, will make a bid and buy the property. The lender now becomes a reluctant homeowner. They may then hire a local realtor to sell the home on the open market or dispose of it by any other means they see fit.

    To Jessica – As a buyer in a short sale transaction, your resources are somewhat limited. Sara’s suggestion will work only if your are the seller. Neither CW, nor any other financial institution is at liberty to discuss private loan information with anyone other that the borrower(seller) and those he/she may designate as authorized, such as the listing agent.

    If the listing agent is not compliant — avoid getting me started on this subject — you may want to try contacting the seller directly. When their credit hangs by a thread, they should be interested to know that their agent isn’t working for them. They should be plenty motivated to assist you in relieving them of the impending foreclosure. If, for some reason, they are not, refer to my posts above for some compelling reasons why they should. The next step is to try CW directly at 866-880-1232 — you need not ask for anyone in particular, this goes straight to the short sale division. While they will not release any information to you, they may still make note of your inquiry. If you don’t get the desired response, call again the next day. You could call every day for a month and not speak to the same person twice. This does not matter. Everything is plugged into a database and forwarded to the loss mitigator, regardless. CW has a curious ‘escalation’ process for expediting short sales. Believe it or not, they have fairly strict guidelines for executing such transactions. They are supposed to approve or decline an offer within 35 days. If they have not, let them know and they should automatically ‘escalate’ the process to a supervisor. At the very least, you may get them to postpone the trustee sale and give you some more time.

  • sara

    IT CLOSED!!! IT CLOSED!!! IT CLOSED !!! IT CLOSED !!! IT CLOSED !!! IT CLOSED !!! IT CLOSED !!! IT CLOSED !!! IT CLOSED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh my goodness….this took 5 full months. Hang in there, and just keep calling them and keep pushing forward. Miracles DO happen. I am going to sleep well tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Christy

    YAY YAY YAY!!! Congrats to you!! It’s such a relief to get to the table for the closing! You got yours done in less time than it took me… Mine took 6.5 months, but it can be done! :-)

  • BJL

    So glad for you both.

    It’s looking like ours will probably not close.

    Apparently, the “previous loss mitigator” hadn’t noted anywhere in the file that our purchase price best & final offer was 210k (even though we submitted this in writing) and so they (CW and the investor) have been working off a $230k purchase price this entire time, and hadn’t stopped and asked why all the escrow paperwork says 210k til this monday. I was flabbergasted. We’re looking at other homes but haven’t backed out yet…ANYONE else deal with anything like this?

  • VA Loan Guy

    BJL – Had the seller received an approval letter from CW for your offer? If so, how much was the payoff demand in the letter?

  • BJL

    No, we only got verbal approval on the $210k in April. They did not submit any official counter offers, but did write a letter requesting we pay $230k or submit our best & final offer. We wrote a letter back stating our best & final WAS $210k.

    Since then they have supposedly been working on giving us a written approval, that’s all we’ve been waiting for!

    Late last Friday though, we did get notice that CW and the investor (Guaranty Bank) had submitted the written approval at $210k, we should be back on track to close in the next couple weeks I think?

  • VA Loan Guy

    BJL – Without a valid approval letter, you have no deal in a short sale. This case illustrates a great lesson in any type of real estate transaction — get it in writing.

    As a buyer, I don’t recommend opening escrow or putting up the earnest deposit without getting an approval letter first. On the contract, I typically write ‘$xxx earnest deposit upon lender’s short sale approval’. In this manner, you will not have thousands of dollars hung out to dry at some title company for six months waiting for a lender who may or may not approve the deal. A competent listing agent who is skilled at short sales should not balk at such a tactic.

  • Cindy

    Yikes! We’re considering putting our rental up for short sale but after reading the feedback (our mortgage is through Countrywide) I’m having doubts it will work out. I’m meeting with the realtor today. Has anyone had a successful ‘short’ sale this way? If so, how should we go about it?

  • sara

    Cindy….you’re looking at spending about 5 months of no sleep ONCE you get a contract on your house. Yes, it takes that long…but we closed, so it can happen! :) My advice, don’t let your buyer see this site, don’t tell them how long it takes, and keep feeding them bits of information to keep them hanging on, because most buyers won’t make an offer knowing it will take this long. However, as time goes on, it is understood that Countrywide is getting better at getting these deals done faster….so 5 months out would probably be your WORST case. I hope this helps.

  • Mary

    Sara — As a buyer who had been “fed bits of information” for nearly four months, I have to disagree with you. We are adults and can make decisions without being manipulated. Yes, the process takes a long time. But the frustration and disappointment by being lied to about how long it takes has made the process far, far worse. If only we could get a straight answer! Instead, we are told things are progressing, or our calls are not returned, probably because the seller’s agent doesn’t want to tell us that her calls haven’t been returned either and nothing is happening.

    I disagree with your advice completely. That mentality is part of what is making people write their horror stories about short sales. Liek we are little children who must be coerced along. Get over yourself.

    –Mary

  • Christy

    Hi Cindy –
    Not to scare you, but I recently sold a rental property as a short sale with Countrywide as the 2nd mortgage holder (another company held the 1st). It took 6.5 months to get the deal done. If you only have one mortgage on the property, hopefully it wouldn’t take as long. I received the offer on Jan. 23rd and it finally closed on Aug. 8th.

    I was fortunate in that my buyer wasn’t planning on moving into the property, so there wasn’t any rush to close the deal on his end… AND it was a condo in a pretty large complex where the buyer continued to look at other units only to find that mine was the best location and most updated of all of the others that came available.

    Just wanted to mention my situation so that you will know what you’re signing up for if you do decide that you want to unload the property.

  • BJL

    Just letting everyone know that we did finally get our approval from Countrywide & investor Guaranty bank, however, they changed the amount that would go to the 2nd lender, who is now fighting to get some of that $$ back I believe.

  • sara

    Mary…My agent fed information to our buyer BECAUSE the information was FED TO US slowly by Countrywide themselves. If anyone is being manipulative, it is Countrywide. Cindy can judge for herself what advice she wants to use. I simply told her what worked for us and our deal closed. Believe me, sellers and/or their agents will only get to hand out bits and pieces of information anyway, because that’s all Countrywide will them. I’ve been there and seen it.

  • VA Loan Guy

    Cindy –
    You can save yourself time and a lot of grief by following the steps of a short sale in the proper order. Do not count on your realtor to guide you. Many agents purport to be short sale experts, the vast majority are nothing of the sort. It is imperative that YOU be familiar with each step. I recommend the following:
    1. Always contact your lender first. Without lender approval, you won’t be short selling anything. There is little point in hiring an agent and getting the carpets cleaned without at least some kind of arrangement in the bag.
    2. Hire an appraiser. Yep, you read me right. A realtor will pull some comps and shoot from the hip to try and valuate your property. No good. A competent, certified appraiser will arrive armed with a camera, clipboard and measuring tape to size-up every aspect of the property. They will provide an evaluation of the overall real estate market in the area, statements about issues the appraiser feels are harmful to the property’s value, such as poor access to the property, notations about seriously flawed characteristics, such as a crumbling foundation and an estimate of the average sales time for the property. The appraiser may then use either the comparables method, or the cost method, or even both to determine an accurate fair market value. It is well worth every penny.
    3.Contact the lender again with your appraisal in hand and negotiate the minimum purchase price/payoff they will accept. Don’t expect a quick sale at full market value. A modest discount will attract more buyers, particularly if the property is not in ‘turn-key’ condition. Since you will be walking away with nothing but your credit anyway, you have nothing to lose by discounting the price. Be realistic and sell your case to the lender.
    4. Now you’re ready for an agent. Interview them like you would interview a nanny. Your good credit is your baby. How many short sales have they done in your area? Then, ask them to define some short sale terms and lingo for you. What does ‘grossing up’ mean? What does a loss mitigator do? Will I have to pay for repairs or offer credits if the buyer’s inspector finds problems? If they stumble or don’t provide the correct answers immediately, politely excuse yourself and move on to the next contestant. I will expound the correct answers in a moment.
    5. Contact the lender and grant your agent full access to your account information. This will give him/her the ability to negotiate purchase price and other terms directly on a offer-by-offer basis.
    6. As soon as you get an offer, submit it immediately to your lender for approval. Accept all offers, no matter how low-ball. Don’t stop with just one. Some buyers may grow impatient and back out if the deal stalls for a time. Others may, in the meantime, find a property they like better and pull out.You should receive an ‘Approval Letter’ for the winning bid with the buyer’s name, purchase price and financial details. VERBAL APPROVALS DON’T COUNT. See my post dated Sept. 2, 2008. Your lender may ask for a summary of seller closing costs from the title company. You must contact the escrow officer at the selected title office and obtain a copy of the summary. If you delegate this to your agent, make sure he/she follows through promptly by requesting an immediate copy for yourself.
    7. Expect a prompt turn-around time. If you don’t get it, make yourself heard. I noted the number to call at CW in my post here on Aug. 27, 2008. Stick to them like super glue and be armed with important dates, such as when the offer was submited to them, when the offer expires and when the COE is. Keep the pressure on and don’t let up.

    Here is the answer key to the realtor interview questions:
    1. ‘Grossing up’ is the process of adding seller closing costs, inclusive of realtor fees onto the payoff demanded by the lender. Example –
    $285k payoff demand
    + $4k seller closing costs
    + $9k realtor fees
    = min. $298k purchase price
    2. The loss mitigator is a negotiator for the lender who oversees and authorizes the deal. This is the important decision-maker. At some lenders, you may have direct access to this individual. CW is not one of them. You will have to go through the call center.
    3. NO. Short sales are always sold as-is. An as-is addendum should accompany all offers submitted for approval from the lender. The addendum states that the property is offered as-is with no warranties. In other words, no credits and no repairs.

    If an agent does not seem completely familiar with the answers, he/she is the wrong choice. Be brutally honest, you have a lot at stake here.

  • Cindy

    Great feedback everyone – thank you. I started the ball rolling today. CW told me to let the realtor decide the fair market value and list it. They want me to send them 90 days worth of bank statements, proof of income, a letter of hardship, an authorization letter for the realtor to communicate with them and a listing agreement. Here we go!

  • Tjoy

    It has officially been 6 months that we have been awaiting approval to purchase a home in Katy, TX that is a short sale with CW. We have had to extend our offer several times and have not even made it to the 10 day inspection period. The most recent activity was a request from CW for a revised Hud-1 from the seller’s agent.
    We cannot seem to get approval from the seller’s agent to speak with CW ourselves, and he says that his goal is to get us closed within the next 30 days. How is this possible if we’ve been waiting this long with nothing?
    I was told by a mortgage broker that even by CW standards that 6 months is excessive for us to wait, and he thinks that maybe the seller is holding us up because they’ve been living in the house for free this long, and maybe they have no where to go at this point. Could this be the case?
    Any comments/suggestions would be helpful. Can I call CW and do anything without the seller’s approval?
    How is it that others are closing in less time than us? FYI -CW is the only lein holder and they only stand to lose $20k is they take our offer. The seller’s agent claims to call every week.
    Tjoy

  • sara

    Cindy…you’re in for a wild ride!! Good luck to you and just hang on.

  • Tanya

    Hi, I am a buyer who has bid on a short sale, a first home for my husband and I. I must say this process has been very stressful for all parties, to say the least. I will say that in our situation, our agent has been working directly with the seller’s agent (who specializes in short sales) and that communication along with reading this website is what has kept my husband and I staying in there with our bid. It has been a breather just know that we are not the only ones in this situation and a lot of what has been shared on this site is information that has been explained to us by our agent as well. I have even been able to take from this and ask him additional questions, too. We are at a 4 month mark, but communication is really going well and it sounds like we could be looking at closing within a month at this point. Good luck to all of you out there. Keep the communication open and honest, it is always the best policy!!!!! Thanks!

  • Torerique

    How can I start. I have finally figured out what is going on with Countrywide. They are not doing short sales since they are trying to cook the books in order to hide information from Bank of America. They will bait you and tell you that they are waiting for the investor (according to them Fannie Mae) to answer the offer, then they will say that the insurance hasn’t approved the sale, then they will say that they need a BPO, then they will say that the investor gave them the wrong date, and on and on and on. This is the only bank that is doing this since I have been working with other banks like Chase, Litton , Citi residential, and many others and this is the only one that is doing this. Someone has to do something about this since Countrywide cannot keep doing whatever they feel like doing without regards to all the poeple that are suffering the consecuences of their scrupuluos behavior. This has to stop. Please let the government know what Countrywide is doing since it is not right.

  • Shelly

    Sara,
    I am the buyer and am glad I saw what you wrote….I have been waiting for 3 weeks for my approval letter in writing. I received a verbal Aug 23 and still haven’t received it. I am sick to my stomach. I need to close by October 10 or I lose my loan. Thank you for the reassurance.

  • Jessica

    I put a bid on a house on June 1, 2008. We were the only bid on the house for the last three months. We offered the full price plus full closing. Just found out it went into a trustee sale yesturday. Doesn’t make sense.

  • BJL

    Shelly,

    After verbal approval it took CW 4 months give or take to get us an approval in writing. Make sure the seller’s agent is calling them EVERY DAY for updates. We put in our offer 1/31/08, got verbal approval end of April, and just got written approval 8/29/08.

  • sara

    BJL: I am sickened by how long CW is taking to get you closed! I can’t believe those people! My big question is, …. why all the different time spans for people? From start to finish, it took CW 5 full months to get us closed. (we got the written approval about 1.5 weeks after the verbal, and then closed a week later). Our sale was about 50K short. I’m wondering if the dollar amount is part of the equation, or the bank’s appraisal, or if they hold the first and second….it just seems like there is some nonsense holdup somewhere, and they should be better outfitted to handle this mess. Please know that I am pulling for you and for everyone else. Ours did close. It does happen. I promise.

  • BJL

    I’m pretty sickened too! Thanks for sending good closing vibes our way though :)

    Right now it’s actually in HSBC’s hands, they’re the 2nd lender on this transaction, and they approved (in writing in April) $210k if they get $3k out of it. CW’s 8/29/08 approval letter decreased that amount to $1k. Our realtor and the seller’s realtor are splitting the diff, and paying $1k each out of their commissions to make HSBC happy and get the written from them. And yet…that was 3 days ago our realtors did this and NO UPDATES.
    I feel like ripping out my hair.

  • Pamela

    Need Advice!

    I agreed to purchase a home from someone who’s been in the process (for several months) of trying to acquire it via short sale then sell it to me for a profit. Subsequent to our agreement, Countrywide assigned a listing agent and published the property on its REO list for approx $32k less than what I agreed to pay the seller, who doesn’t yet actually own the house. I believe the seller is under contract to purchase the home, with the intention that she’ll use my loan to fund her purchase, then immediately sell it to me.
    My question is, Can I go straight to Countrywide at this point, or is Countrywide’s hands tied with the house being under contract? The ‘seller’ does not intend to obtain a mortgage, and would be using my loan to fund her deal. If I divulge the seller’s intentions to CW, do you think that would negate her deal, thereby allowing me to try to purchase directly through CW?

  • Hassien

    To Va Loan Guy;
    I have another one for you! Well my home is up for short sale now. I currently have to offers on the table. The first offer the buyer is requesting that the seller credit 4000 towards closing costs, HOA transfer fee and home warranty not exceeding 360.00. Second offer buyer is requesting seller credit 5000 towards closing, home warranty not to exceed 360.00 with A/C and termite inspection.

    The house is in great condition built in 2006 and occupied less than 2 years.

    I have expressed to my realtor that I am not willing to pay out of my pocket considering the hit I am already taking and the house already on the market for pennies. I asked my realtor if it is required that I pay for those things or is it just something that the buyer would like for me to pay for instead of them footing the bill themselves.

    My realtor told me because it is a short sale her experinces are that the bank has been footing the bill on closing costs and all those little extras. I dont want to agree to any counter offer with my signature and have to pay thousands of dollars because I got the wrong info and the realtor was just trying to move another property. I have to let go of my house but I dont feel that I have to string myself out even more just so they can close on it.

    What should I tell my realtor? Or should I start looking for a new one? I need a realtor that has my best interest in mind.

  • VA Loan Guy

    To Hassien –

    Frankly, your agent should know better. Distressed sellers — industry lingo for your type of circumstance — don’t ante up for warranties. You should insist, as your lender likely will, that your agent impose an ‘as-is addendum’ with the contract. She should make mention of such an addendum as a requirement in the MLS listing so that buyer’s agents are aware of it up-front. A typical as-is addendum states, amongst other things, that the property is being sold with no warranty express or implied. If the buyer wants a warranty, they can obtain one from a third-party firm like First American or Fidelity National at their own expense. As for HVAC and termite inspections, I think it is ridiculous to demand such for a 2 year old house. Again, if it really an issue for them, let them pay for it. They can adjust their offer price and take their chances against other bids if they like.

    Your realtor is mistaken that your lender will entertain ‘little extras’. They may go along with some closing costs, but you will want to get that approved before the deal can go forward. The bottom line is always the approval letter. Without it, there is no deal — no matter what the contract says. A ‘short sale addendum’, which should also be required, will outline the importance of the lender’s approval and release you from the contract should your lender not approve it. You should familiarize yourself with the two addendums I have mentioned. They are available from the California Association of Realtors.

    I cannot over-emphasize the importance of getting a competent, short sale savvy agent in your corner. In my post on 9/8, I touched briefly on interviewing agents. I was not exaggerating. You really need to educate yourself first, then ask some hard questions of the prospective agents. If they cannot quickly and correctly answer, politely dismiss them. An experienced short sale expert should have had you sign a short sale addendum and an as-is addendum from the get-go, then kept it on file to present to the buyer’s agents.

    Let me know if I can be of further assistance.

  • Pamela

    To VA Loan Guy….

    What about me??

  • Hghlndr

    Hassien,
    At one time I spoke to someone in the workout department at CW and he actually asked me if I had funds available for the normal expenses included in a home sale. I said No. He politely said – he understood, he just had to ask. I have learned the short sale responsibilities of the agent and the lender can be confusing, so you may want to educate yourself on who determines what… A short sale is a different experience than any other home sale or purchase, because the lender’s decisions and actions are such a determining factor – both good and bad.

    I let my agent know that I have Fidelity homeowner’s insurance, and it is transferrable. I looked into and confirmed for her the same info on my alarm system, too. I wanted her to have as much information as possible to sell my place, and have this info avalable in a folder for easy reference.

    I agree with VA Loan Guy – you must work with a reputable agent who knows their stuff, or will be willing to ask and learn for others who do know. Your agent needs to be your advocate and partner, and someone who you can work with well. Then you both need to communicate, communicate, communicate.

    We received verbal auth from CW last week, after almost 5 months into the process. My sale, like Sara’s ia about 50k short. (And we have not yet seen the hard copy contract papers – but we need a little bit of time now. (**sigh**)
    The bad news is – now the buyer we had lined has gone elsewhere. We found out the day we got the authorization! Arrgghhh! My agent has been awesome, and has been proactive for constant communication with me, CW, and the buyer’s agent. But the prospective buyer’s agent was not forthcoming with us, or we would have had it showing again to get another offer. We don’t have the luxury of time to be pout and be discouraged, so we acted FAST. We had an Open House yesterday, with LOTS of traffic. So, we now need a qualified buyer (and agent) who will realize to get to this point in short sale, it has been A LOT of frustration, and effort; and to please, please go for the deal at the price now stated. It is a bargain at this price!!!

    I check my CW account workout information daily, and suggest anyone in a short sale do it as well. Sign on to the CW website, and select “Account Information” and a drop-down menu appears. Select “Workout Information” from the menu. It will show action (only related to the Short Sale process) of all the entries by date and a detailed report of the status on your account. I do a screen capture, and if there are new notes, I e-mail it to my agent and my own email for reference. It doesn’t list all the communications that CW staff is looking at, but it’s a tool for reference.

    Think positive thoughts. I’ll keep you posted – I need a buyer – quick!!!

  • VA Loan Guy

    To Pamela –

    OK. Let’s take this step by step. Do I understand correctly that you made an arrangement with a birddog to purchase a property via short sale? (‘Birddog’ is an industry term for someone who locates and puts a contract on heavily discounted properties, then either sells the contract itself — an assignment — or sells the property to another buyer in a simultaneous or near-simultaneous closing — a double escrow.) Then the property went through a trustee sale, correct? Do you know for sure whether the birddog has a current contract on the property? What does the listing agent say about accepting offers? What is the property’s status on MLS? What type of financing did you secure that would allow someone else to use it without your name being on the title?

    We’ll need to get the complete picture before we can put forth a plan. I see some immediate problems that concern me here. Report back and I’ll do what I can to help you.

  • Pamela

    You understand correctly. And the deal is for a simultaneous closing. There is an accepted contract. The listing agent isn’t entertaining other offers. It’s not on the MLS. I’ve obtained FHA financing, and the lender is acceptable to the terms of the agreement.

  • VA Loan Guy

    To Pamela –

    Here is one immediate issue that concerns me. A few years back, HUD began a policy forcing lenders to impose a ‘seasoning clause’ on all HUD, FHA and VA loans. In essence, this means that mortgages of the afore mentioned types cannot be granted on a property that has not been owned for at least a year. HUD did this to curb fraudulent activity by some unscrupulous investors and protect the borrowers. Sometimes the seasoning clause can be waived. Make sure you have such a waiver if you wish to move forward with the deal. The ‘sandwich L/O’ used to be reliable technique for negating the seasoning issue, but lenders are now tightening the belt on that as well.

    Second, not every state has laws that are double escrow friendly. Make sure you consult with a competent real estate attorney in your area, if you have not already done so.

    To answer your original question, CW and the birddog have a solid contract based on the information you have provided. Unless the birddog is in breach of contract and defaults, you cannot simply under-cut her and go straight to CW.

    The double escrow is a potent technique for building wealth without having much cash or credit. However, despite the merits extolled by the late-night tv real estate gurus, such transactions require specialized knowledge to successfully execute. Even as the end buyer, you should understand the mechanics of the deal before signing on.

  • Cindy

    If CW approves a short sale for a certain amount, is the realtor’s commission subtracted from this amount so CW would take whatever percent less?

  • sara

    Hi Cindy,
    With our deal, we just started lowering our house price $5,000.00 a WEEK until we got somebody in there with an offer!!! Then, we submitted the offer to CW. It was THEN that CW did their own appraisal (they never did tell us what it came in at), and THEN we got the approval for the short. And YES…CW takes out ALL expenses from the sale price including the real estate commission. Our taxes were up to date, so that wasn’t a problem. At closing we had to come up with NADA, ZERO, NELCH, NOTHING… however you want to put it. We also did NOT have to sign a promissory note for the short amount. Nor do we pay taxes on that short since our house was our homestead and not an investment. When the offer is submitted, you have to also submit a cry letter and a hud statement and prof of income and maybe a few other things…things that your realtor will let you know about. Then…you just wait…and wait… and wait….and wait….. and you make calls, and wait…. and you’re told a few hundred different things…. then they change your negotiator on you a few more times, and you wait some more… and then after waiting some more, you wait a little bit more, then after one more call you get an approval. Verbal. Then you get it in writing. THEN your buyer gets THEIR appraisal done for the loan they need and you loose sleep because you think it won’t appraise…but it usually does, because your market NEEDS the sale to help other houses. Then you close. That whole thing took us from start to finish right at 5 full months.

  • Shelly

    This whole thing is one of the most stressful things I have went through. I have been patiently waiting for this to all go through and seriously I don’t think I will ever buy a short sale again. I got the verbal and the written (which was sent back cause it was wrong….how long will this take to fix?) and then the house was stripped of everything….including thermostat, fans, sinks, faucets, doors….not fun! I am so angry!!!!!! Now what?

  • Pamela

    Thanks VA Loan Guy. You’re a wealth of information :-)

  • VA Loan Guy

    To Cindy –

    Sara has it right. You will need to submit some financial documentation along with a letter of financial hardship or ‘cry letter’ as Sara puts it. From that point forward, CW will understand that your cash position is precarious at best and that you are unable to bring any funds to the closing table. Even if that is not entirely the case, don’t correct them on it. They will expect to pay the typical seller’s closing costs from the proceeds which should include realtor’s co-broking commissions. See my post on 9/8 where I briefly discuss ‘grossing up’.

    Shelly –

    This is very important. Nearly every common residential real estate contract includes some type of clause concerning the home’s condition and maintenance. In essence, the clause should read as follows;
    “The premises and all appurtenances thereto shall be maintained in substantially the same condition as of the date of contract acceptance”. This means that if the seller did not properly secure the home, or they damaged it themselves after signing the contract with you, then they are in breach of contract and you may, at your election, pursue the remedies set forth in the contract, up to and including cancelling the contract and retrieving your earnest deposit without further cause. As I purchase distressed properties almost exclusively, I have encountered this type of circumstance more than once. It is best to simply walk away.

  • Hassien

    Va Loan Guy and Hghlndr

    Thanks for the info once again. I knew something didnt sound right from the gouge my realtor was giving me. I attached my latest correspondence with my realtor, tell what you think. It just seems that I have to pull teeth to try to get my realtor to do things that I want. Or am I just being unreasonable on my requests. All I did was change the names on the email to protect the innocent.

    Good Morning REALTOR, this is what I need to happen. On the two counter offers somethings have to be changed. Omit all items that state that I the seller will credit any monies towards closing, home warranties/ AC, home inspections termite inspections etc. ( reminder that this home has been under pest control maintenance for the better of a year and a half with no infestation problems and it is current to this date and all appliances are still under warranty the stove is brand new not even three months old). I also need to know if I signed an as-is addendum? If I did I need the most current copy.

    Leave the price at 163,000 for the counter offfers. Short Sale addendums need to reflect the same as above where applicable.

    This is my realtors response:

    Hassien,

    I do understand your concerns in the phrase that says” seller will pay”, but according to the contract, there are only 2 people that are involved in the transaction(buyer & seller). In any short sale case, the seller as we all know is deficient in the loan pay off so the bank is the one that will be taking a loss for any items that are stated in the contract subject to bank approval. I guess I could cut the costs down for the bank by eliminating some costs like termite inspection($85) and home warranty($360), but these are items in the contract that are important to a buyer when they are purchasing a resale home and even small fees like these could kill the deal for us.
    What I would recommend that you do is to call the banks(perferably the 1st since they are in 1st position to get the most out of the short sale) and ask them questions about these fees and who is paying for them in the case of a short sale. I think I have also encourage you to contact an accountant to see if there are any tax consequences for a short sale. Please do these and get back to me as soon as possible in case if I need to revised the counters.

    I know that we have passed our time frame to respond to the buyers and I will also need to call them to see if they are still interested in waiting while we decide.

    (I feel like my realtor is trying to get me to agree to just about anything and move on to the next thing).

  • Hghlndr

    We had the Open House last weekend and now have 2 offers submitted again. (We found out last Wed. that our sale was approved – and 3 hours later found out the buyer backed out.) One offer is $5k over the original, so they sound serious. That $5k will be more money to the investor or CW, however they handle it. The contract is now (supposedly) getting “walked through” to the right people to get it processed. It should be a 30-day process to finalization. **sigh**

    One of the first things I did when I realized I was going to have to be a short sale, was call my tax man. (And, he is a gem; I consider myself lucky to have a realtor and CPA I trust and respect.) I have called him a couple of times with questions regarding tax implications from the short sale. If he hasn’t known the answers, he conferred with people who do; especially since California short sale tax laws have changed a few times within the last couple of years. He confirmed for me – I would receive NO benefits at tax time for paying out anything on the settlement amount. It would be strictly an out of pocket expense for me. So, it was my priority to keep that figure as low as possible. Also, this was information my realtor was not sure about, so confirmation from another professional has been helpful to her.
    I don’t know if the costs your realtor is reccommending you pay would benefit you at tax time, but you may want to look into that with a professional. Why pay out of pocket expenses that don’t benefit you, unless you absolutely must? (I think you are a service man, so I’m adding this:) Use all your rescources possible – do you have access to tax professionals you can contact through the armed services?

    I have legal services available to me through a “plan” my employer offers at a very resonable rate. I contacted a real estate attorney, after CW asked me to sign an impossible, and extremely high settlement amount. The attorney reiterated to me it is basically the thrid party (investor) who is driving most of the deal, then CW’s influence is to coordinate everything between the investor and homeowner; and the buyer. He said without seeing my contracts, and everything CW is working with; all an attorney could probably do is “persuade” things to move along a little quicker and in the seller’s favor, because the investor holds most of the power in a short sale. Not too promising of a response. so, my realtor & I made a barrage of phone calls to CW to challenge the settlement amount. At that point, CW requested we resubmit my financials (I think the 3rd set), and assigned us another negotiator who was been more realistic and helpful.

    Also, I think every seller on this BBS should have received 2-year free access for credit score monitoring from ConsumerInfo through CW. This was in response to a CW employee’s actions compromising CW customers’ personal credit information. (It was in the news) I’d suggest people sign up for that – you can check your credit scores as often as needed – again, it’s another tool and you’re in it for YOU. I did not pay my mortgage effective August 2008, and it had never been late until then. The 30-day late already shows on my Experian report, but my score is still over 700, so I’ll be watching that very closely.

    This is indeed a very stressful experience.
    Hassien, the best of luck to you. As many of the others on this site have expressed, YOU need to be your own best advocate and think outside the box a little. You are in it for you, like no one else is!
    And, VA guy – you are awesome!! I think you’re going to have some interesting comments regarding Hassien’s situation and questions.

  • VA Loan Guy

    Hassien –

    I’ll be candid. If it were me, I’d show the agent to the door. But, I have an especially strict no-nonsense approach and take no humor of so-called real estate professionals who don’t know their business. Having noted that, I want to correct a couple of misstatements. Lenders — like CW, for example — don’t just pony up for any expenses your agent feels like throwing into the contract. Their objective is to recover as much of the outstanding loan balance as possible with a minimum of closing costs. Be assured, ‘little extras’ will not be met with enthusiasm. Next, as mentioned previously, any buyer can obtain a home warranty on their own. The seller need not purchase one for them. If you already have warranties which are transferable, any sensible buyer should be delighted. In addition, if you can produce receipts to show that the property has had regular pest control service, that should satisfy any reasonable person without the need for any further inspections. If it doesn’t, let them pay for it. For your protection, insist on both addendums.

    Keep in mind, many agents got into the business when the market was exploding. They’ve never seen hard times in real estate and they aren’t familiar with the ROE for the times. The rule is ‘seller beware’ every bit as much as ‘buyer beware’.

  • BJL

    Just got word from escrow…

    WE’RE CLOSING TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just had to post to keep the other waiting buyers hopeful. It WILL close. HANG ON TO YOUR DEAL IF IT’S A GOOD ONE!

  • http://www.debtkid.com debt kid

    @BJL – that’s great!

    I just wanted to pop in here and thank everyone for this very helpful thread! It seems like more and more deals are starting to finally go through, which good for both buyers and sellers alike.

    VA Loan Guy – You rock and you are very much right about finding an agent with short sale experience. Doing a short sale deal is nothing like a normal sale for an agent, and you deserve someone who knows what they are doing! My agent for my short sale had done dozens before and was great at tempering my expectations and following up to get the sale done. He even reduced his commission at the last minute by over a thousand bucks just to get it done for me.

  • Shelly

    I am honestly so sick of all of this. If it wasn’t for my downpayment assistance I would walk away from this house in a heartbeat. My loan is through CW too and now I am so upset with how they drag their feet I am going to tell my loan officer I would rather pay 1% more to a company other than CW. I am still waiting for a correction on the approval letter and it says that after Sept 19 the contract is not valid. How much longer do I really have to wait? This sucks…..I would never recommend someone buying a short sale!!!!!!!

  • VA Loan Guy

    DK -

    Thank you for your kind appraisal. Real estate and creative finance are my passion and I have made a good living from it. In times like this, I feel a sense of duty to give something back and I thoroughly enjoy doing so.

    All short sale sellers –

    Hghlndr is wise in the ways of taxes. Take heed of his suggestion to seek counsel from a competent CPA regarding the tax consequences of a short sale.

    Shelly -

    Based on the information you provided in your previous post, I’d say Sept. 19th can’t come soon enough. I can certainly understand your frustration and you don’t have to read very far on this thread to see that you’re in good company.

    I would like to point out that despite the recent prevalence of short sales, they have always been a bit tricky and have required specialized knowledge and patience to successfully transact. In the past, they were the near-exclusive domain of seasoned investors who know the ropes and have the resources to roll with the punches. Now, many novice and first-time buyers are getting into the act. That’s great. I’m happy to see the crisis begin healing itself. However, many novice realtors are also on the case and as Debt Kid and others have expressed, the short sale is unlike any other type of residential real estate deal — ask plenty of questions before jumping in.

  • Shelly

    Thank you VA loan guy. I agree….Sept 19 couldn’t come fast enough only that the CW approval they sent was wrong so it was sent back to them yet again. It has been 2 weeks so far to fix a minor detail and the clock for me is ticking. I have the downpayment assistance which after the 10th of October, I can’t use. I am starting to feel like this deal is really going to fall through. I don’t trust the listing agent. We have left messages and no updates or calls back. This is so frustrating. Wouldn’t she also want this to go through? What the heck!!!!

  • Hghlndr

    Shelly,
    I really feel for you.
    Have you been able to address compensation for the hardware and equipment stripped from the house? If you have access to the property, have you documented the current status with photos? It seems that you should have some recourse there, since you are dealing in earnest and “good faith”. Do I understand your loan is with CW? Can you call them and approach things from that end – as a customer?

    :) VA Guy – You’re awesome, but I finally found one thing to point out where you’re wrong. I’m not a gentleman. I’m a single mom who was sickened by realizing I’d have to go through the short sale process, so I set out to do it as well as I could.

    I wish this discussion had been available to me from the first steps of this experience. It’s incredibly supportive and informative.

  • VA Loan Guy

    Hghlndr -

    I offer my sincere apology for the error. It was indeed presumptuous of me. Go girl!

    In Shelly’s scenario, she has a couple of good ‘outs’. One I wrote about in my post on 9/16. A failure to maintain and secure the property from damage or vandalism constitutes a breach of contract in most cases. Under that convention, she is most likely free to cancel the contract and walk with her earnest deposit. The other escape would be with her lender. FHA does not loan money for homes which are not habitable due to missing or non-functioning mechanical or structural components. I trust that HUD and CW are not aware of the situation. Again, she can recover her deposit and wave goodbye.

  • Tristain

    Hi, Everyone

    My name is Tristain and I am Currently a customer of cw I just started the process of giong through foreclosure my home is vakeued at 123,000 I owe 105,000 I found a short sale realtor but I have missed four payments and recieved a letter from the foreclosure lawyer. I just want to get away from this house I do’nt want to make money off the sale I just need to relocate bad since I finally found a job but in another state. What should I do to speed up the process I really need to have this complete by Nov. 15th. any suggestions from anyone please.

  • Shelly

    Thank you all for the advise. It is always easier said then done. I fell in love with my house the moment I saw it. As of today, I am approaching it with my lender and his CW rep. Hopefully we will now get somewhere and with some response. CW is aware that the stuff is now missing…. but to no avail. They have not responded to me at ALL. Hopefully now that I have my loan officer and his CW rep working with me it will help. I really appreciate the support on here….it is just not easy to walk away from something you have had your heart into for 5 months!!!! Thanks again to all of you!

  • VA Loan Guy

    Tristain -

    At first glance, I have to ask why you are trying to short sell a property that is worth $18k more than you owe? If I have the facts straight, you should be able to sell at around $116k and cover your payoff and closing costs, walking away with nothing gained and nothing lost.

  • Tristain

    Va Loan Guy,

    I just thought this was the only way I have had the house on the market for 45 days with no prospects and like I said I really need to sell asap. I was unable to find a job in my old town so I relocated to a whole diffrent state. caring one mortgage and a rental property is just way to much I thought this was my only way out quickly before foreclosure ruins my life I’m 25 years old i may want to buy a house one day and I know you can’t after you have been through a foreclosure. I already took a 45 point loss on my credit report for missing payments. Not to ramble on but I just don’t know what else to do.

  • BJL

    Short sales aren’t quick! I don’t know who would have told you that…
    :(

  • VA Loan Guy

    Tristain -

    What is your asking price? Is the property in tip-top condition or a ‘fixer’? The right price, the right appeal and the right marketing strategy are the key to a quick sale.

    DK -

    Thanks for changing the entry field font. Now I can write w/o my glasses.

  • Hopeful Buyers

    Okay – here is a real CW nightmare. Almost 3 months ago we found a great little house we fell in love with. The listing price was $399k. We put in an offer at full price. We were told that because it was a short sale we won’t hear anything for about 2 months. The next day, our offer was countered by CW at $403k. We accepted and seemed like we were moving forward due to a great selling agent and a really on the ball negotiator. We got the inspection and were just waiting for the written acceptance before moving onto the appraisal. We were promised the written in a week and escrow was opened. CW cashed our good faith check of $5,000…. and then nothing. As we approached the middle of escrow we found out that the second who had agreed to $3,000 was sold to AIG. AIG said they wanted $10,000 and eventually went down to $5k. Escrow was suppose to close several weeks ago, apparently it has been extended. And now, nothing. We have been told for the past 3 weeks we will be getting the written acceptance any day. This has been agonizing for us. If we didn’t feel that this home was so perfect for us, we would walk away. But walking away probably means starting this nightmare all over again with another short sale.

    Here is the question. We are just the buyers, but do we have any right to call or write to CW to try to get this moving along. I believe the selling agent has been contacting them regularly, but we want to have more control in this process and at least feel like we are doing something. Our agent is also great, but all she can do is call the selling agent every few days.

    Can we request the selling agent put in a letter of authorization for information disclosure?

    Thanks for any advice.

  • Meiks

    Hey Hopeful Buyers,

    You can definitely ask… However, I am also a buyer that was feeling helpless in the process (been waiting over 4 months to hear what is going to happen with the house we put an offer on in June). So after reading this site it seemed like it was common practice for a buyer to get authorization to contact CW directly. However, when I asked – the selling agent flatly said ‘NO.’ I later found out from my buyer agent that the selling agent was actually a little peeved and offended that I asked at all. I also presented the question to the Realtors on Trulia.com, and they also all felt it was un-kosher and out of line for a buyer to get this authorization.

    In any case, long story short, it can be done, and buyers do get authorization to contact the lender directly (several buyers on this site have mentioned that happening for them.) All you have to do is get the seller’s to fax an authorization letter into CW.

    Just be careful how you ask and don’t be surprised if the selling agent (or sellers) say no. Once you have authorization you are actually privy to all the financial info related to the account and so some people are uncomfortable with that. But if the sellers are motivated, and the selling agent is not a control freak, they may be willing to give you the authorization letter.

    Also, even if you do get the authorization… don’t be surprised if that doesn’t really help ‘get things moving along.’ Countrywide is just SLOW!!!!!!!!!!!

    Hope that long winded answer helps. :)

  • Shelly

    Hopeful Buyers,
    Good luck with getting authorization. It is just a LONG process…know you are not alone. I have been patiently waiting since May. Good luck to you. Hopefully we will all have beautiful homes when we are done with this. This is not fun!

  • Hghlndr

    Potential Buyers:

    If you are truly interested in the property, be patient and hang in there. By the time this is done, you’ll have gotten an education you never knew you needed. (I sure have.)

    Definitely – be proactive for your position, of course – but don’t give up if you really want the property. Short sales at this volume are uncharted territory. I heard on NPR about a month ago that some CW negotiators are working on up to 700 files each, some as a team, and some individually. What a work load! Check with your agent, seller’s agent, whoever; even CW if you can get them to work with you. Call 2 x a week, whatever it takes to get and keep your file at the top of that stack! And, seriously – until the final stage – you’ll never speak to the same person 2x @ CW, so ask whoever you speak to, to make full notes of your calls and communications. CYA.

    I’m a seller with a verbal short sale authorization that took 5 months to secure. We were not showing the property because the short sale was going through the approval process at CW, and we were advised the buyer was still on board – until the day of authorization!! We lost valuable time there, becasue we could have been showing it to line up another offer. The negotiated and authorized deal is acceptable to me, as the seller, so my agent and I want to move forward – with that deal. We have another offer, so it’s now submitted to CW again, but with a another qualified buyer.

    Lesson learned: After my first experience, my condo is listed on the market again, and will be – until I know we actually have a signed contract. We’re approaching this backwards this time, because we aready have the negotiated and previously authorized deal that was presented to us.

    My condo is now listed on MLS, as an “approved for short sale” property. Our CW negotiator is “walking it through” to get it going. THIS is where we are finally dealing with the same person at CW. So far, we are one week into processing the second offer, and I hope we can keep it as a 30-day closing, as we were quoted on the 1st sale auth that fell apart.

    We seem to be showing the property to more potential buyers with brokers representing them, than last time. I think the news this week of the financial support program has encouraged more pre-qualified buyers into the market. Especially to look for short sales; as they may have been waiting for a slight turn in the market. Hopefully, NOW lenders will be more motivated to create a faster process,

    Seriously, good luck.

  • VA Loan Guy

    Hghlndr makes a number of good points.

    A short sale is rarely a slam dunk for either party. But, as a buyer, if you’re willing to play the game and be flexible, there are plenty of heavily discounted properties to choose from in just about every community. Personally, I enjoy the satisfaction of having helped someone save their credit and get out from under the crushing weight of their mortgage. As a buyer, you are also helping to reverse this economic melee and restore the market. It’s a win/win in my estimation. Just be patient!

    As a seller, your education on the subject and your proactive, persistent approach are your best assets. Ms. Hghlndr’s estimate of the CW negotiators’ work load is pretty close according to a CW insider I know. The fact is, lenders are motivated. They are also swamped with a tremendous backlog of homes in foreclosure. Be diligent and keep calling until you get the desired results.

    Above all, I want to reiterate; get it in writing. One poster after another has complained about deals falling through at the last minute. In reality, most never really had a deal because they did not have the all-important approval letter — the holy grail of the short sale. As a buyer, I wouldn’t dream of spending a dime on appraisals or inspections without this valuable letter in hand. And neither should you. As a seller, you should never stop taking offers. Many have written of getting approval, only to find that their buyer has taken a powder. If you had a fistful of back-up offers, you’d likely still be in business. As Yogi Berra once observed, “it ain’t over ’til it’s over”.

    It’s good to see so many of you closing deals and moving on. Good luck to all.

  • highlndr

    I hope this example doesn’t lose formatting & just create a mess. This is a “cut & paste” of the notes on CW’s “My Account” when I access my Workout Notes online. I check this daily and send my agent screen captures when updates appear. As you can see, the postings usually appear in a flurry of activity. (So, I do think the consistent follow-up helps…) We were assigned a different negotiator the week of 7/28, so there really were no updates posted for a bit, but we were on the phone during that time, calling CW 2 x a week.

    Sellers, this is where you can see activity noted on your sale. . . Even if you are frustrated with calling CW, and feel like you’re getting nowhere, there is status information available online. . .

    I hope this helps.
    We’re all in this together.

    07/25/2008 Short Sale APPRAISAL REPORT
    08/18/2008 Short Sale WORKOUT OTHER
    08/18/2008 Short Sale VERIFICATION OF DEPOSITS/ASSETS
    08/18/2008 Short Sale WORKOUT LETTER
    …………………………………………………
    09/17/2008 Short Sale CHECK/RECEIPT
    09/17/2008 Short Sale PURCHASE AGREEMENT
    09/18/2008 Short Sale FAX COVER SHEET
    09/18/2008 Short Sale HUD-1 OTHER
    09/18/2008 Short Sale FAX COVER SHEET
    09/18/2008 Short Sale HUD-1 OTHER

    The above list is real-time and reflects the documents processed to date for this account. We may have received additional documents recently sent to us that have not been processed and therefore do not appear in the list. Please do not call us to check the status of a document not showing in the list as our representatives will not be able to provide any additional information than what is shown here. Thank you for your patience.
    **************************

    VA_LoanGuy – I think you can shed some light on this if there are questions… Thanks.

  • Shelly

    Hey guys just thought I would give an update. Today I got furious when once again I was given NO NEWS. We (my realtor and I) went and talked to the broker and she had us call the title company to find out when the last HUD was sent….come to find out Escrow was cancelled last week and I was never informed as well as the listing agent. What the heck? Now it looks like after all the sleepless nights I have NO house. I am so disappointed. I would not recommend doing short sales. The money you can save is not worth the trouble…..Now after all that the listing agent is concerned… I think they cancelled it because my loan was with the Nehemiah program….if only the agent would have done her job 6 weeks ago I could have closed already and had a house and saved someone from foreclosure.

  • highlndr

    Shelly, I am so sorry you had to go through this.
    You have put so much effort and time into doing this right, in trying to get this house; and someone else’s non-compiance or lack of actions have brought a very frustrating end to it.
    Good luck with whatever your next step may be.

  • VA Loan Guy

    Shelly -

    I’m sorry to hear that your deal didn’t go. Although much work was lost, valuable experience was gained. You will be better prepared for the next one that comes along.

    You may be right about the cause. DPA programs like Nehemia and AmeriDream present outstanding opportunities to purchase a home without the daunting task of coughing up a full 10-20% cash down payment. Coupled with FHA programs, DPAs are a potent tool for many who could not otherwise buy a home.

    As DPAs are generally non-profit organizations, the problem arises when, often, they require the seller to write a check. Inasmuch as short sale sellers frequently suffer from cash flow issues, there is an immediately obvious problem with the combination. Sometimes, there are ways to work around the conflict, but I can envision the listing agent rolling his/her eyes at the prospect. DPAs also do not lend themselves well to the flexible and uncertain nature of short sales. They just add an extra level of difficulty and deadlines to an already challenging transaction. For that reason, I would not recommend the use of DPA programs with short sales or even REOs.

    Be advised, the Congress and Senate have passed legislation which was signed by President Bush eliminating non-profit down payment assistance programs effective September 30, 2008. This elimination of private DPAs was packaged by Representatives within the foreclosure bailout legislation.

  • Cherise

    We’ve been waiting since April for a shortsale to go through (CW) on a property that we want to buy. We are tired of waiting. The initial deadlines on the purchase agreement were not met but we kept interested and now I want to know if we back out, will we forfeit our earnest money?

  • Meiks

    Cherise,

    We are in a similar situation and our Buyer Agent tells us that if we decide to back out at this point then we DO get our deposit check back. I believe it has to do with what is written in the contract… but basically because the offer has expired (i.e. deadlines in purchase agreement not met by the seller), the earnest money goes back to the buyer.

    I am not an expert at all and your Realtor should probably be able to better answer this question, but I am pretty sure you are fine. You should be able to get the deposit back.

  • highlndr

    Hi VA Loan Guy –

    I now have a really unique situation, but I’m seemingly in great shape on this. We have noted here that this market is new territory, and I’d like to hear your thoughts on my situation.
    We had the Open House 11 days ago. We were pre-approved on a short sale that fell apart two weeks ago today, so we needed a new, solid buyer. The first offer we received a week ago – the day after the Open House – was $5k over the original approved deal. We have now received six seemingly bona-fide offers, and have stopped showing it so we don’t overwhelm our negotiator with all these varying offers. We now have it marked as “HOLD” on MLS, which we didn’t want to do until we had a solid deal – in writing. Is it that different of a different market than it was 5 months ago?

    I was stunned by the heightened interest in my condo. Here’s what my personal finance consultant told me: People with over $100k in banks are concerned about FDIC. So, some of them are pulling out cash that would not be insured, and looking toward distressed real estate as an investment to pay off when the market turns around. My realtor and I have done all the legwork and waiting, waiting, waiting on the first offer; so this is a great deal now for whoever ends up with the property. Does that sound right to you?
    I find it very interesting. But, I wonder if the investment buyers are going to create competition with people who are pulling all their cash together to finally buy a first home. What do you think?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

  • anya

    I live/own a home in Detroit 4 yrs. ago. Because the home is bordering a suburb, the neighborhood was generally good 4 yrs. ago when I bought the house. Now, virtually all my neighors have foreclosed and their empty houses are currently on the market for $60-$70K less that what I currently owe to Countrywide. I want to get out of this house. I am current on my loan, but the neighborhood is getting really bad. There is no way I would be able to sell for the balance owed and I cannot foreclose because I need to maintain my security clearance for work. What are my options?

  • Hassien

    Does anyone know a good real estate lawyer for california laws. My realtor is telling me she has had no problem having the lenders agree to paying for closing costs and inspections since it is a short sale. So she has advised me to counter all offers and agree to pay for closing costs. Once again I do not want to get stuck paying for closing costs and inspections etc..

  • VA Loan Guy

    highlndr -

    A lot depends on your local market in terms of recovery. While some local economies are still strong with thriving core industries, others continue to struggle and lag.

    It’s great that you have so many offers. Make sure all prospective buyers understand that they are bidding on a short sale and that it may be a lengthy, arduous process. Be frank with them about your experience with CW. If they aren’t up for the ride, don’t turn down more offers.

    Your consultant is correct. Well advised, affluent types are scrambling to spread their cash around in an effort to avoid putting too many eggs in an under-insured basket. While precious metals have been a traditional ‘go-to’, many will take advantage of market lows to buy into other investment vehicles. Real estate, despite recent events, is still one of the most dependable investments around. Obviously, I’m a believer.

    Historically, short sales have been the jurisdiction of seasoned investors. I honestly don’t recommend them for first-time buyers. They are simply too complex, precarious and require advanced knowledge to execute. There is little room for emotional attachment in such deals — don’t go picking out carpet and drapes before the close of escrow. There are plenty of discounted properties on the market other than short sales for the first-timer. As a novice, the stress just outweighs the benefits, in my estimation.

    Anya -

    Do you want to get out or need to get out? If you need to get out, see my post on this thread from 8/15 for a breakdown of the options. If you don’t really need to get out, I would recommend sitting tight until the market improves.

    Hassien -

    You won’t get stuck, as long as you have the short sale addendum with every offer. Your realtor isn’t being realistic in expecting CW to ante up for inspections or extras. She can take a run at it, but my hunch is they won’t go for it. Expect CW to decline or counter-offer. Setting the bar a little lower assures approval the first time around with a minimum of negotiating. Counter-offers mean more time and a greater risk that the buyer will lose interest and walk.

    Cherise and Meiks -

    Your agent should be able to properly advise you as to the status of your contract. If the seller (or their lender) has not performed in accordance with the contract terms, you are free to pursue the remedies therein, usually up to and including cancellation with a refund of earnest deposits.

  • Alicia & Family

    We put an offer in on a Countywide short sale June 6th. Our house was on the market at the time, and has long since sold. We got a pre entry agreement from the owner of the home we put our offer in on since it was vacant (for almost a year), so we moved into it. We are still waiting! Every week they give us a run around answer…”no later than wed….” We’re working on it..call back in 5 days…” We have a negotiator, so with in 10 days…” etc, etc. and every week we are left still not knowing. Has anyone out there ever had a good experience with countrywide short sales? We have two very small children and another one coming in 3 months and this is way too much stress for me! My husband is a realtor/loan officer and keeps telling me to have faith, this will all works out. Any advice?

  • VA Loan Guy

    @ Alicia -

    It is pretty bold of the seller to give you early possession. I trust there some provision for liability in the agreement.
    My first suggestion would be to contact the listing agent and demand a more specific status report. The seller has access to a CW website featuring up-to-date status. See highlndr’s post on this thread from 9/22 for an example of the typical information. Have the listing agent send you a screenshot or a cut-and-paste accounting of the info. Whatever activity has taken place on the short sale, it will be so noted on that website. Second, ignore anyone who tells you that you cannot contact CW yourself to prod them. You most certainly can. If the listing agent gets fussy and starts complaining about protocol, you may remind them that they do not get paid until the deal closes, IF it closes. So, it is in their interest as well to play along. The number to call is 866-880-1232. See the last paragraph of my post on this thread from 8/27 for more details. Make sure that you request ‘escalation’. That is a magic buzzword at CW which will kick your case up to a supervisor for review.

  • Alicia & Family

    Thanks for the reply. The listing agent already bailed out, he was not very familiar with short sales and it must have took way too long for him to have us calling him once a week. My husband and the home owner have been calling relentlessly every week. As far as the escalation, I believe it has already been “escalated”. CW has assigned a negotiator Sept. 11th, so they say, we still haven’t heard anything? It seems as if each time either my husband or the owner speaks to CW we get run around answers. I’m really trying to remain positive through this entire thing. Five months is a long time to wait after submitting an offer. I’ll keep saying my prayers!

  • VA Loan Guy

    @ Alicia –

    It looks like you’re on the right track. Five months or so seems to be the typical time frame for CW short sales. This thread is laden with examples.

    I would add that if there is anything even slightly out of the ordinary about the contract, CW will balk and reject it. They aren’t the brightest bulbs in the house and will likely be confounded by any manner of creative deal. Keep it simple and be persistent.

  • tanya

    Hi, I had posted on here once before in September, and I wanted to follow up. My husband and I bid on a short sale on June 1st. We closed today. It does happen, and it does take time. This site and the fact that the seller’s agent specialized in short sales, helped us remain in on the bid. Good luck to all of you waiting for your short sales to go through. Hang in there. Thanks much!!!

  • highlndr

    Here is general info available to homeowners on the CW site. I thought this might be helpful for anyone interested to see the outlines on these two options.

    Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure*
    You may be able to deed the property to the lender/servicer and avoid a lengthy foreclosure.
    You may be able to deed the property to the lender/servicer and avoid a lengthy foreclosure**. For information on how this will affect your credit rating, please consult an independent tax advisor. This option relays to the credit bureau that the financial situation was mitigated. If approved, the Deed-in-Lieu documents are forwarded to our attorney’s office to complete the process.
    Required Documents:
    o Updated financial information for all parties on the loan
    o Interior appraisal
    o Title Reports, to ensure that the property is free and clear of any liens or encumbrances, and the premises are vacated
    Completed Deed-in-Lieu documents
    Estimated Timing
    The process typically takes 75 to 90 days to complete, but may take longer. The primary stages are:
    o Review of financial information – 2-5 days
    o Determination of clear title and value – 2-3 weeks
    o Transaction approval – 25-30 days
    o Document Preparation – 2-5 days
    Document Signing – 1 week

    Short Sale*
    You may be able to sell your property at its fair market value even if the sale’s proceeds are less than what is owed on your loan**. How the process works:
    This option provides you with an opportunity to sell your home quickly, while attempting to preserve your credit rating. At the close of escrow, if the short sale is approved, the proceeds are wired to us.
    Documents that are required
    o Updated financial information for all parties on the loan
    o Completed short sale documents (i.e. Purchase Agreement, HUD Documents etc.)
    o Verification of income
    o Interior appraisal
    Estimated Timing
    The short sale process typically takes 60 days to complete, but may take longer.
    The primary stages are:
    o Determination of value – 2 weeks
    o Negotiation and approval of offer – 2-5 days
    o Transaction approval – 2-5 days
    o Escrow closing – 2-4 weeks

    * All plan options may require investor/insurer approval. All time durations listed are estimates only.
    ** This option may have tax implications. Please check with a financial or tax advisor.

  • Tami

    I submitted an offer and full short sale package on 9/24 and was assigned to a negotiator on 10/1. The BPO was ordered today. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, hopefully they are getting their act together.

  • stunting

    Own an investment condo in Orlando. Husband has hardly any work in last 2 years, my business lost 2/3 of income due to economy…. we’ve had to move out of our primary residence and rent it out to help pay mortgage we can’t afford…we’re living at my parents (how humiliating at 50). Condo is vacant – been advertising on Craigslist to sell since January with hardly any response. 11 units on market… last sale was over 12 months ago at 119k. There are now units selling at 70k with no takers. We have negative am loan, which means debt is increasing and any rent can’t pay for full minimal payment, HOA and taxes. Put in CW request for deed-in-lieu (and I’d still lose $45k as we paid off the high 2nd) and THEY REJECTED IT??!! Said we should do short sale even though I told them there’s been no sales for over 12 months, even at 70k (I bought our unit at $140k).

    1. SUGGESTIONS?
    2. LET THEM FORECLOSE? With all those attorney fees/late charges incurred on their end, will they collect from me and will I have to declare bankruptcy? I have other rental properties barely making it so there’s a lot at stake.
    3. SHOULD I RENT AT CHEAP RENT TO GET SOME INCOME since I’m losing so much already to cover HOA fees, insurance and taxes?… and wait for them to foreclose at meantime?

    HELP!!!

  • sara

    I hate to say this, but if you decide to sell short, then it really doesn’t matter how ‘low’ you go, just get an offer! Your current real estate market will determine the price eventually. Just list it at 80k, (or lower) and start dropping the price 5k a WEEK! That will get a buyer in there and they’ll know up front it’s a short sale…which means a long long wait to get it closed. If you try this, and it still doesn’t sell, then go back to Countrywide and try the deed-in-lieu again. In the meantime, they’ll probably start foreclosure proceedings, but that takes a long time too, and you may just get a buyer in there. You have to at least TRY. I’ve always thought Countrywide would come out with some sort of temporary program to lower payments so places like this could rent out easier….but so far, I haven’t seen anything like that appear….has anyone else??

  • highlndr

    Stunting,
    You can apply now for the short sale approval to CW, even before you get offers. As soon as I started working with my excellent agent, we started the short sale application process before we even received our first offer. This lets potential buyers and CW know you are trying to sell it as a short sale. This is a proactive move, and CW should note your account as “financial hardship processing” on their files becasue of this. It seems CW’s current focus is for customers to exhaust the “homeowner assistance” programs they are offering. Whether it’s successful or not, you’ve played the game.
    Please know that as a short sale, any offers you get may be lower than your asking price, anyway. Even if there are no current sales in your area, you might be inviting offers simply because it is noted as a short sale.
    As for dealing with CW, they are absolutely overwhelmed. Keep all of your necessary documents together, and be prepared for CW to “lose” a few doc’s at the beginning of the process, so you may have to re-submit them. Check your account online, and call them to get your file into their focus and keep it there – every step of the way.
    Also, you might want to consult a local tax professional, because that may influence your decisions, or at least accurately inform you of what to expect.
    Good luck – There’s so much to learn in this process. You really have to become your own best advocate, as a seller and as a CW customer.

  • VA Loan Guy

    @ stunting -

    highlndr has it exactly right. Follow her suggestions as indicated. As noted, CW is besieged by defaulting loans, short sales and the like. The sooner you get the dialogue and paperwork started with them, the faster the transaction can come together.

    A while back, I posted a sort of primer on options for the distressed seller. It is important to read and fully understand these options. A reposting follows:

    I want to emphasize that renting is only an option if the cash flow is manageable. For some, a $500/month negative flow may be tolerable. For others, it may be totally out of the question. You are the only one qualified to make that determination. If such a circumstance will bleed you dry in 6 months, then it’s an obvious no-go. Plan on a worst case scenario – that the market will not allow you to sell for at least two years. If you can sustain the negative cash flow for that long, you’ll likely come out ok. Depending on the disparity between your loan balances and the market value of the property, you may attract a more dedicated, long-term tenant by offering a lease-option. I can go into that later, if you wish.

    As for the deed in lieu vs. short sale debate, here are the ABCs:

    Deed in lieu – A deed in lieu of foreclosure requires the borrower to relinquish his or her rights in a property to the lender in exchange for being released from liabilities specifically named in the mortgage note and is often the result of a settlement agreement.
    The pros:
    1. The process usually takes place outside of the court system, eliminating embarrasing public notices and proceedings.
    2. Damage to your credit is significantly lesser to that of a foreclosure.
    3. Your debt and deficiency are usually forgiven without any further judgments or legal actions.
    The cons:
    1. Not all lenders will entertain this option. Lenders are in the money business, not the real estate business. Anything that results in another bank-owned(REO) property is highly undesirable to them.
    2. Damage to your credit is greater than that of a short sale.
    3. *This will not be an option when the debt exceeds the fair market value of the property.*
    4. Most lenders who will accept this option require proof of an attempt to sell the property first.

    Short Sale: The borrower agrees to sell the property and the lender agrees to take a discounted(short) payoff on the mortgage so that the homeowner and lender alike can avoid a foreclosure. A letter of approval from the lender is required for the deal to go.
    The pros:
    1. Again, the process usually takes place outside of the court system, eliminating embarrasing public notices and proceedings.
    2. Depending on how many payments were missed, the damage to credit is marginal compared to other alternatives.
    3. Your debt and deficiency are forgiven without any further judgments or legal actions.
    4. It is widely accepted and preferred by lenders as it does not result in a bank-owned property.
    The cons:
    1. You must get approval from the lender’s loss mitigation dept. for any offer submitted before you can have a working contract. As repeatedly noted on this thread, some lenders are more responsive than others. Patience and diplomacy are required.
    2. The market is loaded with heavily discounted properties. Competition in this buyer’s market will be stiff. Depending on your local market conditions, liquidating your home at fair market value may take some time. You will not be required to make repairs on structural or cosmetic deficiencies. Short sales are always sold as-is. However, the better the home’s condition the more appealing to buyers.
    3. A demonstration of your inability to keep up with payments may be required. Your credit will take a hit.

    A negative amo loan puts you in very bad position. Every day, your LTV increases. Mortgages of this type are like a stick of TNT. You can blast open a gold mine or, with one miscalculation, lose an arm and a leg. I seldom recommend them for their high risk factor.

    In any event, you must act quickly and decisively. Time is of the essence with this property.

  • Rusty

    Here’s my situation-
    I’m looking at potentially doing a short sale on our home, and I have really appreciated these posts to get me up-to-speed on the process.

    About two years ago, we bought our first home for $250K, with a $237K mortgage. However, I just accepted a job that will now require us to move at the worst possible time. But the job really is a good opportunity and I’ll be making a lot more $. Our home is currently valued at $215K according to our realtor. That would mean we’d end up owing probably $20K if, and that’s a big IF we can even sell it at that price. I called CountryWide to see if there was any assistance they could provide me. My wife and I both have good credit and we’re up to date on our mortgage payments. We don’t have a lot of debt, however, I have been diligently paying off my student loans during the last three years. The broker encouraged me to contact their home assistance program, which I did. I provided them with all of our financial information and at the end, she said I was ‘approved for a short sale’.

    I’m not quite sure was this means, and I’m still not convinced we’ll even qualify given that I currently make $73K and my new job is at $100K. We’ve looked at renting, however, the difference between the mortgage and rent is $700/month.

    So, my question is, given our situation, how likely do you think they’d actually approve a short sale for us? If we don’t have a chance, then I won’t even try to go for it even though we’re ‘approved’. Thanks for your help.

  • Hghlndr

    Hi Rusty,
    Your situation and circumstances are somewhat similar to what led my pre-planned sale to become a “short sale”. It definitely sounds like you’ve done the right thing by approaching CW about their homeowner assistance programs. That’s definitely to your advantage.
    If you are indeed approved for the short sale, it should be noted online on your personal CW account now, or within a few days – like my Sep 22 posting. Please take a moment and look at my Oct 6 and Oct 10th postings – and VA LoanGuy’s Oct. 10th posting as well. It seems like we were posting just for you. (Thank goodness we have VA LoanGuy here with his technical knowledge and practical experience.) Definitely get an experienced, knowledgeable real estate agent who you can work with, to handle your sale. You have enough to deal with at work and for the move – get a qualified, knowledgeable partner for this process.
    As far as what you may be offered for the house, versus what you owe, CW and/or whoever actually owns your loan will determine what your “Settlement” (pay out) will be. Be ready to quickly provide current financials at that time, if you plan to attempt negotiation on that figure. That can be scary, and I suggest you proactively discuss this with a knowledgeable tax professional. You need to know how the short sale and the settlement may affect you. If and when you find your settlement payment is strictly out of pocket expense with no tax allowance, you may feel strong motivation to negotiate that number.
    A short sale is a stressful experience, it’s not a perfect process, and CW may be frustrating at times, but this is the real situation. And I absolutely agree with you – this site is definitely a godsend. Wishing you the best. . .

  • sara

    I have a question to those of you who have already gotten a ‘short sale’ approval just by calling CW on the phone. Most of you say your payment history is perfect with them, and so does this mean they are going to pre approve you guys while you still maintain a perfect payment history with them?????????? I am so happy for you if this is so. When I called them with my perfect payment history, they wouldn’t talk to us at all. So, we had to stop paying them to get their attention, then get the offer, then submit it, and then got the deal done. It looks like CW is starting to help the home owner’s more than when I went through this process months ago. Our credit has a blemish on it now that we had to stop paying for about 5 months. In fact, we closed in late August and are STILL getting payment invoices!!! We called them, and were told it takes a few months for everything to clear the system. Talk about inefficiency….my word.

  • Hghlndr

    Sara,
    I absolutely agree with your experience.
    I think CW has changed their process, and are now aggressivley trying to “help” and maintain more homeowners than they were, say, 3 months ago. I have now not made 2 payments, and it shows on my credit reports.

  • Rusty

    Thanks Hghindr. I read through your October 10th posting as well as the posting by VA LoanGuy, which were both very helpful. We’ll see where this takes us- wish us luck!

  • Mary Ann

    I need to conidere a short sale on my condo which i purchased at 230k and is now worth about 120k (in florida) and have mortgage with CW. I read all the great info on how to do this.
    Just one question – There was a mention of PMI – which I do have. How will this impact their desire to negotiate with me to do a short sale. Are they covered in they wind up foreclosing on me. Not sure what to do next.

  • VA Loan Guy

    @ Rusty -

    Your situation is like many others where a job, divorce or other life change dictates the need to liquidate a property quickly. Since you’ve studied up here on our thread, you’re likely aware of the credit penalty associated with short sales. I trust that you’ve duly analysed the increased salary vs. credit damage equation. It will take about three to five years to really shake off that damage and restore your good credit. Some folks here are $100k or more upside down on their mortgage. For them, the short sale solution is a virtual no-brainer. In your case, I think it’s a tough call.

    One seller I know of, who was in a similar situation, threw in his collectible Ford Mustang to sweeten the deal and get a few dollars more for his property. He ended up with what he needed to pay off his loan in full without short selling — an unconventional, but effective strategy.

    @ sara -

    A couple of months ago, I noted that times were changing over at CW, as they are now under the B of A umbrella. I have been advised by a CW insider that there has been no real integration in the short sale divisions of the two entities to date, but the mission has changed. Where the modus operandi was to sit on short sales, the new mandate is to aggressively pursue and liquidate defaulting notes before they become REOs. Your comments highlight the new attitude. Good news for all.

    @ Mary Ann -

    You are certainly a prime candidate for a short sale.

    To answer your questions, a PMI policy will make a short sale no more or less palatable to the lender. Our goal is to avoid foreclosure. So, any consideration of PMI coverage in that circumstance is purely academic, as far as we’re concerned.

    Step one is, as hghlndr suggests, to contact CW and get the dialogue and paperwork started. See my post on this thread from 9/8 for a recommended step-by-step strategy.

  • Mary Ann

    Thanks for your quick responses. This is an awesome site for information. I will follow the guidelines and start on the short sale protocal and hope for the best. Will keep you posted.

  • Reflection

    Need advice please. We are in the process of trying to purchase a short sale, Countrywide holds the first. I am in California. There is also a second. The home was listed for 425K, made an offer of $399 and placed $1000 earnest money, which my understanding they accepted. This was in the beginning of July. Our realtor called the following week stating that we had a verbal approval of our offer from CW. He said he was told to put the house in escrow. Well, now three months later we are now being told that the appraisal came in to high and they cannot accept our offer. The appraisal was done in JULY! Over the last three months we have been told again and again that we would close in two to three weeks. We are being told that our file was lost by CW for over a month (Sept).

    Can they do this now? They have had the appraisal and offer for since July. We feel like we have been led on for months. We are not sure if we are getting the full story from our Realtor or if the problem truely all lies with CW. Our Realtor thinks the appriaser is crazy. He had contacted the negoiator at CW who said last week that he would have the appriasal re-evaluated. We would have an answer in 48 hours. It has now been a week and no answer.

    What options do we have>>>>Should we contact CW directly?

    Thank you in advance!

  • highlndr

    Reflection,
    Sadly, I am not surprised that CW would lose such an important file for a month. If you do go forward, keep copies handy – of everything you provide to them.
    How involved is the seller and the seller’s agent in communications to CW? They need to work with you, and they are in the preferred roles to contact CW and stay on top of the progress there.
    What do you have on your side to encourage CW to get them to talk to you directly? Are you financing with them? I’m not sure how much, if any, info CW might give you, as the buyer. But, I do think the old protocol of who should contact who is being challenged with the current short sale market, and your situation is a “perfect” argument to validate that.
    Good luck.

  • Reflection

    Highlnder: How involved is the seller and the seller’s agent in communications to CW?
    Reflection: I don’t know the answer to this. My agent is also the sellers agent

    Highlnder: What do you have on your side to encourage CW to get them to talk to you directly?
    Reflection: I would say the ability to a home off their hands that the seller hasn’t made a payment on in a year

    Highlnder: Are you financing with them?
    Reflection: NO! We have a friend that has their mortgage through them. She has automatic payments. Well, they took SIX payments last month!!

    I have recieved advice to have my Mortgage Lender contact CW as “they speak the same language”.

    My big question is can they take and cash the earnest money and then just plain reject the deal …they didn’t even counteroffer.

    Thanks for you help!

  • VA Loan Guy

    @ Reflection -

    I’ll start with your big question. No. They cannot keep your earnest money and, in fact, it should be either in the title company’s hands or in the broker’s trust account, depending on the local practice. Neither CW, nor the seller should have access to the funds. If the seller has not performed in accordance with the terms of the contract — i.e. close of escrow — you are free to cancel the contract and recover your full earnest deposit in nearly every case.

    Your mortgage lender will get nowhere with CW. The folks in the short sale division don’t write loans and don’t speak the same language. In addition, your lender will not be authorized to obtain any information on the status.

    Your agent is a different matter. As a representative of both parties, he/she should be authorized, on top of the status and in constant communication with CW. I suspect you are getting less-than-competent service from your agent. See the second paragraph of my post on this thread from 10/4 for some proactive buyer tactics.

    @ All -

    At the risk of Monday morning quarterbacking, this case underscores a point I have written of several times here. I cannot over-emphasize it. Repostings follow.

    9/21
    Above all, I want to reiterate; get it in writing. One poster after another has complained about deals falling through at the last minute. In reality, most never really had a deal because they did not have the all-important approval letter — the holy grail of the short sale. As a buyer, I wouldn’t dream of spending a dime on appraisals or inspections without this valuable letter in hand. And neither should you.

    9/14
    The bottom line is always the approval letter. Without it, there is no deal — no matter what the contract says. A ’short sale addendum’, which should also be required, will outline the importance of the lender’s approval and release you from the contract should the lender not approve it. You should familiarize yourself with the two addendums I have mentioned. They are available(online) from the California Association of Realtors.

    9/2
    Without a valid approval letter, you have no deal in a short sale. This case illustrates a great lesson in any type of real estate transaction — get it in writing.

    As a buyer, I don’t recommend opening escrow or putting up the earnest deposit without getting an approval letter first. On the contract, I typically write ‘$xxx earnest deposit upon lender’s short sale approval’. In this manner, you will not have thousands of dollars hung out to dry at some title company for six months waiting for a lender who may or may not approve the deal. A competent listing agent who is skilled at short sales should not balk at such a tactic.

  • Reflection

    Va Loan Guy – You are so right…get the approval letter! We have been trying to get this since July. First we were told that they were awaiting the appraisal. Then it was waiting for a negotiator to be assigned.

    Also, get this…when you call the short sale department if they are busy your transferred to the work out department and never told. Thus when our Realtor called and was on several occasions told that a negotiator was assigned and even given a name, which would never return his calls. He was also told that the purchase was approved. Turns out the negotiator was the one for the work out department. So NOW we have a Negotiator in the short sale department…three months later.

    So yes we have been trying to get it in writing. Just no luck.

    You also gave really good advice concerning not paying for inspections, appraisals etc. until you have the approval letter. Wish we had this advice given to us!!

    Ok so I am going to try and clarify my questions.

    1. Are there any regulations in regards to time frames…i.e. Time limit for a negotiator to be assigned?
    2. Time limit from time appraisal received to rejection/approval of offer (I think 90 days after appraisal is a LONG time to reject)?

    What I am looking for is a way to push this deal forward and if they have the right to reject an offer after it has been on the table for 90 days after the receipt of the appraisal. I could see the deal falling through for other reasons, i.e. second not cooperating etc. But not due to the appraisal when they had it in their hands for 90 days!

    We don’t want to back out. We really want this property. We just need this happen NOW….We relocated for work and have been living in a trailer for 3 months waiting for this deal to go through. Pretty tight quarters for two adults, two teenagers, to BIG dogs…and I won’t say how many cats.

    Thanks!

  • BJL

    Reflection:
    I was in your situation earlier this year. took about 9 months from Purchase offer to closing. One month before we closed, I wrote an e-mail to Ken Lewis, CEO of Bank of America. 2 days after I sent that, I started receiving calls at my office from the “Investor” on the first mortgage. I honestly believe that my e-mail helped push the deal to close. Until I sent it, we were getting the run-around much like you are. Here’s the text, please don’t copy word for word, your situation is bound to be a little different. But it can maybe be a starting point.
    “Dear Mr. Lewis,

    This letter is to bring to your attention that the loss mitigation and/or “workout” department of Countrywide Financial is handling our situation very very poorly and they have dragged out a short sale for going on 8 months now. Countrywide is the seller’s mortgage holder, as well as our lender. We have been pre-approved for greater than the purchase price, and we have been in escrow since the end of May 2008 now. It is my belief that these people are not practicing good faith negotiations.

    We signed an offer on this short sale on January 31, 2008. We got the go ahead approval from Countrywide in April. Since then, it’s one thing after another as to why they cannot close yet. The loss mit. department is filled with incompetent and unknowledgeable “customer service” reps, and it makes it appear that in this company, the right hand doesn’t know what the left one is doing. Every week since the end of May, we’ve been told we would close “soon.” This is especially inexcusable now, as we had locked in a 5.5% interest rate in June, also with Countrywide, which now the lock-in has expired and Countrywide has refused to pay for the lock-in extensions (.125% points every 2 weeks, it comes to about $500 a month until we close). I find that extremely unfair business practice, as we are ready to close and have been since May. It is only Countrywide dragging this short sale out, not us or anything to do with the buyer side of the deal. I feel that Countrywide should absorb the cost of our lock-in extensions, AND I also feel that they are unnecessarily lengthening our escrow, in hopes that we walk and they can get more for the property. This is just ridiculous, and I’m sincerely hoping you care enough about past and future customers to have someone look into this, and straighten out this deal.

    The Property in question is:
    [Full Property Address]

    Escrow Contact Information:
    [Escrow Officer's Name]
    Escrow # *****-**
    ***/***-****
    Century 21 **** Escrow

    Currently owned by the K’s
    Buyers are S & BL

    If I need to provide any other information to have this looked into, please notify me right away, as we are desperate to close this short sale. It’s been 8 months, this is unnecessary.

    I will also be sending you a letter through regular mail.

    Sincerely,
    BJL”

    His e-mail is [email protected]
    Good Luck!

  • Reflection

    THANKS!!! I won’t copy it word for word, but I do like some of the language you use. It is greatly appreciated. The thing the just ticks me off is that they had the appraisal for 90 days and NEW that they would be rejecting the offer. To me that is just unacceptable.

  • BJL

    No problem.

    And I agree, completely unacceptable. Mr. Lewis should know too :)

  • Christy

    Hey there… I posted here awhile nack when I was selling a rental property that was financed through CW… Now, I’m selling my (previously) primary residence – also a short sale… I know this is mostly about CW, but hoping to get some advice.

    Today, my bank (not CW) sent an approval letter – good news right… yea, not so much, BECAUSE I have two offers on the table. There is a difference of $5k btwn the offers and the higher off has NO inspection requirement. They approved the LOWER offer that requires an inspection.

    I swear these banks are their own worst enemies. It seems to be common sense to approve the higher offer with NO further requirements… AND that buyer chose to do the inspection in advance of making the offer knowing their offer was higher, so it totally sucks for them that the bank did this, not to mention that the bank is losing out on $5k, which is pennies to a bank, but when you keep losing pennies, it adds up… and I fear… what happens if this other buyer does an inspection and chooses to back out??? and I lose the other buyer? PERFECT.

    I’m a lil aggrevated right now. I just found out about this tonight and I’m planning on calling the bank in the morning, but I’m assuming that the buyer has been notified and things are moving forward.

    Any thoughts?

  • VA Loan Guy

    @ Reflection -

    I am not aware of any State which has statutes limiting the time a lender may take to consider a short sale offer. CW, themselves, have SOPs governing the process. However, the enormous volume of short sale activity has clearly overwhelmed them. The standards are illustrated in the following internal CW memo:

    In order for the short sale transaction process to run efficiently, we are providing an informative timeline to assist in determining if you have a short sale situation that qualifies for escalation.

    The Short Sale Timeframe
    A typical short sale decision can take 30-60 days from the date the offer is received. Several factors contribute to this timeframe:

    Day 1: Receive a legitimate offer (this includes the listing agreement, copy of MLS, preliminary HUD-1, hardship letter and a signed purchase contract)
    Day 2-15: Order appraisal (timeframe to obtain the appraisal is approx. 10 days)
    Day 15-25: Analyze: (obtain necessary financial documentation from the borrower to determine hardship and ability to contribute to the loss, dependent upon input from the borrower)
    Day 25 – 30: Negotiate delegated decisions. Be advised that non-delegated decisions will take an additional 30-60 days. Many investors (i.e. Fannie, Freddie) and insurers (FHA, VA, MI companies) do not delegate the short sale decision and require their explicit approval. If there are any subordinate liens then there must be a negotiation with them to accept a reduced payoff amount to release their lien.
    Day 30 – 35: Approve or Decline
    Day 35 – 80: Upon successful approval of the offer

    Escalation Process and Resources
    The Short Sale Support Team should be the first resource used by originators to answer questions and resolve issues. The Short Sale Support Team is available to originators, Realtors and customers at 1.866.880.1232.

    When an issue is not resolved within the described time frame originators should escalate the issue to either:
    Regional Office – OR-
    Division Portfolio Retention Manager

    When to escalate
    To make this escalation process a success, it is critical that proper procedures be followed. Ensure that the required amount of time has elapsed relative to a specific step in the timeframe described above and that all required documentation has been submitted before escalating.

    More Information
    For questions contact the Short Sale Support Team at 1.866.880.1232 or for detailed instructions go to Short Sale – Borrowers on CMD Connect or type short sale in the search box.

    @ Christy -

    Since the seller always walks away from a short sale with nothing anyway, it really makes no difference for you which offer they accept, only that they accept one and produce the letter in a timely manner. It may be foolish, but it is the lender’s loss, not yours.

    I would advise the other prospective buyer that they are in a backup offer position and, should the accepted buyer drop out, they may still be able to purchase the property. Such is common with short sales. For that reason, I recommend taking offers from all comers.

  • Christy

    VA Loan Guy -
    Thank you for your reply. I realize that I have nothing to gain regardless of which offer that the bank accepts — EXCEPT avoiding foreclosure. My gripe is that by the bank accepting the less solid offer, they are putting me at risk of being faced w/foreclosure as there is no guarantee that the second buyer will stick around – which is why I am angry. It’s simply the difference between the quick and easy sale versus one that may or may not go through.

    Best case scenario, this buyer completes the inspection and is satisfied w/the results. I just get nervous about inspections, because the home is 160+ years old, so it’s not perfect, but in my opinion there aren’t any issues that require immediate attention. If people are not cognizant of that, they might get nervous once they see the results of the inspection – I know that it made me think twice when I purchased the property. Strangely enough, this buyer was renting the home when I bought it, so hopefully she is familiar with the flaws and won’t be scared off by the home inspector.

    I will continue to sit with baited breath and hope that the sale goes through without a hitch.

  • Meiks

    Hey VA Loan Guy –

    Lots of Questions :) :)

    Background:
    We put an offer on a short sale in June. The process followed the first part of your time line (i.e we submitted the offer, CW ordered an appraisal a few weeks later, the listing agent had already submitted all the necessary hardship documentation, we were finally assigned a negotiator.) But then things just stopped there for MONTHS. Several weeks ago we were finally told that “the file has been reviewed and worked up by the negotiator, and is being sent to **OSU.” CW also said the file now needs to be reviewed by the investors, PMI company if applicable,and one or two more departments. But no word since then.

    Q 1.) Can you please explain the “Day 25 – 30: Negotiate delegated decisions” part of the process? CW holds the first and there is no second on the house, but I don’t know who the investors are. Do I have to know who the investors are to determine if we are waiting for a delegated vs. non-delegated decision? It sounds like it impacts the time line, but I never asked the listing agent if she knows who the specific investors are.

    ** Q 2.) What the hell is OSU? (the listing agent didn’t know either).

    Q 3.) Also – concerning your golden rule of the short sale — As far as I know we DON’T have an approval letter. We did submit an earnest deposit with the offer but also had a ‘short sale addendum’ in our offer package that releases us from the contract if time lines aren’t met or if it is not approved. The offer has far past expired, but we still really want the property so have not backed out yet. So, when in the process is the approval letter supposed to happen?

    Thanks in advance!!
    Meiks

  • VA Loan Guy

    @ Meiks -

    Q1) Not all ‘Countrywide loans’ are actually owned by Countrywide. Often, the loans are sold on the secondary market in bundles — known as mortgage backed securities — to investors such as the famed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, amongst others. However, CW may continue to service the loans on the investors’ behalf. Depending on the servicing arrangement with the investor, CW may have limited powers to accept a short sale deal on their behalf as well. In that manner, some of the decision-making power is ‘delegated’ to CW. An inquiry as to the nature of the investor’s servicing arrangement may help clear that up.
    Q2) I am not familiar with the mnemonic ‘OSU’ in this context.
    Q3) Again, I am not aware of any State which has statutes limiting the time a lender may take to consider a short sale offer. The approval letter is among the final steps in the process for the lender. Once the seller has received it, you’re ready to close.

  • Shelly

    I’m back…I still have not given up on my house. Today I was told that if I closed tomorrow they would accept the offer. Funny thing is….I was told the end of September the deal was off and I have been sick and depressed trying to find a house that I love as much as my short sale. No matter who you are….MAKE SURE YOUR AGENT knows what they are doing. I am sure the seller does not know that the seller’s agent just forwarded us an approval letter she received 3 weeks ago from CW and it was approved and now expires tomorrow UNLESS of course I pay 70 dollars a day extra to extend the offer. I have been ready to close since JUNE and now this. REALLY MAKES ME MAD. Sellers….keep on top of your realtors too. It isn’t always the buyer who is dragging their feet.

  • Reflection

    Hi everyone…I wanted to give everyone an update. I took BJL’s suggestion and wrote a letter to Mr. Lewis, however, I took it a step further and found e-mails for every Executive that I could find for Countrywide. I did this on Wednesday afternoon. I think it is working!

    I have not received a response, BUT amazing my Real Estate Agent was contacted by Countrywide’s “Concierge” Short Sale Manager. All of the sudden our offer is fine and they wanted to see what the Second was saying on this so they could wrap up their end and get this closed. They said as long as the Second doesn’t come back and want $20K then we should close within a couple of weeks. I know I have heard this before but at least there is movement again!!

    THANK BJL!

  • highlndr

    They (guess who) have misplaced my paperwork – again. We have been on the phone weekly for the last 5 weeks, trying to stay in their focus, even though we were advised to wait until October 15, the date by which they repeatedly told us we would have the final sale documents. Today, Oct 17th – no documents yet!

    We’ve tried to be proactive while playing by their rules, and it has gotten us nowhere. Two days ago, they asked my agent to submit a new offer – We sent in strong 3 offers for them to consider over 3 weeks ago!!! (My agent and I even decided to take the listing off MLS to stop the confusion. I am in OC, CA; and we rec’d over 6 offers because it was pre-approved. The previously approved short sale fell apart, and we had multiple offers within 10 days. The market isn’t as bad here as other places, but bad enough to have killed my home value.)

    My files have been stuck in the workout/short sale department, and we have been assigned different “negotiators” so many times I have lost track of all the names. Our last one dropped off the radar for a short time b/c she was training new negotiators! My agent is now speaking to our newest negotiator; so far it’s been 3x this week – and not always pleasant. I have called them, too – and I can’t even fathom how they are functioning. CW is totally, absolutely disorganized.
    My account is locked online right now so I can’t even check the status. They have all the documents there to close the deal! I absolutely can not understand it.

    I think I’m going to sit down with a glass of whiskey tonight, and re-write BJL’s letter for a personalized submission to CW. I am so unbelievably frustrated – I just want to be done with this and move on with my life!!

  • BJL

    @ Reflection:

    AWESOME! I’m so glad it seems to be helping! Seeing your post just made my day. If I can help anyone shorten the hell that is the purchase of a CW short sale, I’ll do my best! Good luck! :)

  • highlndr

    Thanks for the input, BJL and Reflection.
    I will do my letters tonight.

  • BJL

    Good luck to you too highlndr!
    I hope that the letter coming from the seller’s side will be as effective, let us know what happens for sure.

  • Reflection

    @highlnder

    Some advice. I researched lawsuits against CW and used some of the language. Mainly “Bad Faith Negotiations” and “Countrywide has conducted their business with gross negligence and has shown no responsibility towards their sellers and potential buyers of their clients. ”

    The later from a possible lawsuit…The suit would involve short sale sellers and buyers…due to there handling of short sales.

    There is one thing that ALWAYS has to happen in Real Estate, even in short sales, and that is Good Faith Negotiations. This is especially true since they have agreed to a short sell with the owner.

    GOOD LUCK!

  • Hghlndr

    I sent an email and a fax to the BofA retention team office today, requesting them to forward along the documentation I have. Maybe a long shot, but their offices are in the same small town I live in.
    I sent an email to the legal network I have access to, inquiring about my options for help there. Thanks for the tips on lingo to use – it’s all in my email there.

    Amazingly, my misplaced files, inlcuding the selected offer, were found somewhere in the short sale department. Just yesterday they were asking for us to submit a new offer. My agent and I each heard the catch phrase “escalating” during our phone calls to CW today.
    I’ll work on more letters and emails, and get those out, too.
    I do not want to go through the Christmas season here, waiting for my short sale to finish up!
    Thanks for all the support – you guys are great!.

  • VA Loan Guy

    @ BJL, Reflection, hghlndr -

    Well done. In general, B of A has a much higher standard of customer service than does CW. It seems nearly everyone does. Taking the issue directly to B of A is a great idea.

  • Hopeful Buyers

    Well here is an update. Two weeks ago the selling agent received a telephone call from CW telling him to tell our agent to move forward. Everything is accepted and they want to close no later than Nov. 8th. But, still no acceptance letter. By the following week we were extremely stressed out. We are doing an FHA and we could not and would not proceed without the letter. FINALLY the next week we got the written acceptance and it says to close no later than Nov. 2. It is completely unbelievable. We have been waiting almost 5 months with promises of the letter every week. We finally get the letter and they give us less than 3 weeks to close. Of course everything is moving very quickly. We got the FHA appraisal yesterday and the loan will be submitted to underwriting Monday. Whether or not we will be able to accomplish this by the 2nd is questionable.
    We are very happy to have gotten the letter, but the time limit is very possibly unreasonable. I think we are just relieved to finally have a definite time line.

  • cg

    Hghlndr and to those of you putting in more than one offer to CW. I have sent in MANY short sales to CW — only a handful have closed. Honestly probably working on a 10-15% ratio. Most times buyer walks away… can’t stand the wait.
    But… I am surprised at what I am reading…. it seems there are alot of people putting in more than one offer? I was doing that in the beginning (last Sept.)and told by one of the negotiators that was ridiculous… it was the CW customer, realtor and attorney to figure out which contract to submit for approval and to keep the rest as backups. My reply was how are we suppose to figure that out — most money to CW and pick buyer with best financials.

  • Hghlndr

    Hi cg,
    My first potential buyer did walk – after 4 months. They were pre-approved with CW, before they even looked at my place. They were perfect on credit reports, and the pre-approval amount was almost 2x the amount of the total sale on my place. It was infuriating to lose them – it should have been a slam dunk. And, it was apparently too good to be true.
    When we had to scramble and re-list the property the 2nd week of September, it was quickly obvious we had different potential buyers than the first go-round. The explanation we came up with was some investors had pulled cash out of FDIC insured accounts, and were now considering real estate as a preferred investment. (My condo was offered to this group as a pre-approved short sale since we had approval on the previous sale. So, we knew the sale price and terms deemed acceptable by CW. ) We had several offers written and presented by brokers; and presented three similar offers (highest cash to CW, best financials) to CW for their decision.
    We understand they are now focusing on one buyer’s offer we have presented, and we are crazily hoping this buyer doesn’t walk away, as well. We hope we don’t lose so much time that we need to go to the back up offers, but it’s a touhg lesson to learn.
    We have presented everything to CW in good faith, in a timely manner and tried to comply with their requests, even when we were sure it was mishandling on their end that caused so much backtracking.
    If they drug their feet for over 4 months on a CW pre-approved buyer the first time, what are they looking for that would ensure a prompt and efficiently processed short sale? We pretty much know that doesn’t exist, so we have to work with CW, and their selected operations on that particular day.

  • cg

    You have to call them almost daily. If they tell you it’s 10 days to do this or that. Call them in 5 days to make sure it is being looked at or done. It is the only way to push it through.
    If it’s your realtor handling it for you. Make sure you call CW too if you don’t have an attorney. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. It’s just the way it is…sometimes they will give you a different piece of information than they give the realtor.
    How far along are they? What state do you live in?

  • Hghlndr

    @cg,
    I live in Southern CA.
    The 2nd offer has been in their hands past 30 days; that was Wed., Oct 15. They asked me on Friday to call back in 3 to 5 bus days for the final decision – I told them I’ll call back Tuesday morning.
    My agent and/or I do call CW twice a week, and coordinate our efforts to avoid duplicate calling. But, that is being practical and logical, and dealing w CW needs a new set of rules. I check my online workout notes every morning, and send my agent a daily update regarding the progress. She usually calls CW, and she has the most current info have available to me when she calls.
    I was furious with CW about last week’s deadline missed, and lost files, etc., so I decided to call them- again, even if it was a duplicate call. So, on Friday, my agent and I both called CW short sale dept. Her call was 55 minutes, and mine was 20 minutes. We found out after we hung up – we were on the phone with the same dept., at the same time!! She was half-done with her call when I reached them. CW didn’t tell either of us, so they were probably not even aware of the duplicate effort.
    I sent out some emails to CW exec’s yesterday, and should hear from an attorney this week. It’s been a long 5 months, of trying to be proactive, do everything “right” and repeating steps, but CW is an extreme mess, and very difficult to deal with.
    Just a footnote – When I called Friday, I was advised that I am an excellent candidate for, and will be receiving a personalized home retention program packet. The gentleman said – “I realize you want to proceed with your short sale, but I had to tell you that”. Somebody at the top isn’t getting the whole picture. Some people are going to take advantage of this, and it may be a blessing for them – but I think others are going to get into deeper debt; so we’ll see what the market is like in another 6 to 12 months.

  • cg

    I have heard that CW is telling customers that they are eligible for a workout, but yet the ones that are in foreclosure and they offer the packet to — CW doesn’t seem to be stopping the foreclosure process.

  • Meiks

    Well… I sent VA Loan Guy’s info regarding the CW time line and escalation procedure to the listing agent for our property and asked if she had tried escalating the file. She states that the file has been escalated twice in Sept. But, alas, to no avail because we are still sitting here waiting.

    Also, I did find out from her that “file does not have to go to the investors for approval. Countrywide staff has been given the authority to negotiate. ” So basically it is a non-delegated decision, but the listing agent is not so sure that is a good thing.

    So not sure exactly what we are waiting for. Just a ANY decision. 4.5 months later for us (the buyer) but it has been 10 months for the seller. No payments since January. Offer in June. Appraisal in July. Then NOD filed in July. Still no foreclosure and still no answer on the short sale… just sitting helplessly in Purgatory.

  • highlndr

    Meiks,
    Hello from Purgatory, row 2. I’m right there with ya.
    We “learned” today that only certain negotiators are assigned to sales that are ready to close – so that must be the personnel who they feel can do some negotiation, or understand enough about the process to handle it independently. So, we have been assigned another negotiator, and we are in “escalation” mode. My agent and I will both call back again on Thursday for updates and to try to push it along, again.
    The internal quick reference notes for my account, for whoever I now speak to @ CW are so long that it confuses them. I swear, they are their own worse enemy.
    I have now sent out 4 e-mails to exec’s at B of A and CW – I don’t want to keep shooting off emails and sound like a nutcase. I sent a fax and an email to B of A home retention offices. If I don’t hear anything significant, I’ll restart my writing campaign on Thursday.

  • Bkfalken

    Just wanted to tell everyone of my appreciation for the information that you’ve all provided.

    I have a property for short sale in SoCal. If it were not for the experiences everyone has contributed, I would not have realized how naive I was in thinking everything was going well with the short sale, or how ineffective my realtor has been.

    We submitted for a short sale in June of ’08, and it has not proceeded beyond the initial negotiator. My realtor informed me today that it was still under review, and that they have received a BPO that was conducted late September. This same information I received several weeks ago, when I called the customer service line; my realtor was never in contact with the negotiator or anyone working directly with our file. Even worst, the realtor has not been in regular contact with the buyer’s agent; I found out the buyers decided not to buy only after asking my realtor to verify their intentions.

    As I continue to push for the short sale, I am better prepared to deal with CW with all of the information you have provided. I also am pushing more on my realtor, whom I have intentions of replacing. I would gladly have my wife sell our place, since she has her real estate license; but according to CW she cannot represent herself in a short sale (it would be a conflict of interests).

  • Meiks

    Yea… Purgatory is getting pretty damn crowded these days!

    I mentioned contacting BofA to the listing agent and gave her the emails of execs I have found on this and other sites. She didn’t have a stellar reaction to that suggestion, so we’ll see. However, she is also considering actually flying to Arizona (we are in Nor Cal) to the office where the physical file is located and see if some face-to-face action will help the situation.

    Unfortunately, the sellers in our case are pretty uninvolved. They are out of the house already and just idly waiting to hear what is going to happen… But they don’t do any calling etc. themselves. The listing agent seems on top of things, she has invested a lot in this, and she wants to get paid. However, it is hard for me to get detailed info from her about what is going on. She is pretty sensitive so when I ask too many questions or make suggestions like contacting BofA or escalating our file she gets all defensive and thinks I am undermining her ability to do her job. So it is just drama all the way around!

    I am an ‘action’ kind of gal so I do a lot of researching and want to DO SOMETHING… but as a Buyer it just seems like there is not much you can do except wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and try really hard to NOT walk away… and wait some more…

  • Meiks

    Bkfalken —

    Find an agent that is a good communicator and has no problems keeping the buyers in the loop all the time. As a buyer, if you are sitting there for a month with no word, then it becomes very tempting to just walk… especially with so many other properties out there right now….

    So anyway, even if your agent is getting NOTHING from CW, just keep the buyers informed that you are trying, and calling, and working… and keep them in the loop…

  • Hghlndr

    Meiks,
    Other buyers on here have sent communications to BofA and CW. If your seller is not involved, or motivated to become involved, get your information together and start writing! There are the catchwords listed above, and I have to say, writing those letters is quite therapeutic.

    Bkfalken,
    Meiks has some excellent advice for you above.. You’re right, this site is great. Also, keep posted here to stay current with what CW is doing, because the market is changing around of us, CW is overwhlemed with their case load, and trying to keep up. They change their practices and focus as needed.

  • Nvywhyf

    Thanks to all for your posts – it helps to know we are not alone. Here is our saga w/CW . My husband is active duty Navy – just returned from a 1 year tour in Iraq – I have my CA real estate license .(currently not at brokerage as I’m working for stable income due to RE market) We received word of relocation orders to MD in April. After much research with other collegues – was told I could not short sell our home in Eastlake Chula Vista, CA as it’s a conflict of interest. Hired who I thought was an experienced agent to short sell the house. Went on market in April – agent fell off the planet before the ink was dry on the listing agreement – did not return phone calls, no marketing of property etc. After a month of trying – he made contact and I fired him. What seemed like 5 minutes from when listing was taken off MLS – received several “cold calls” of agents who stated they were the masters in short sale. After sorting thru the duds, interviewed 3 agents, selected one who has over 35 yrs r/e experience and done short sales when CA market crashed in late 80′s and said he closed 17 military clients w/CW this year . House went back on market this Keller Williams agent in June. Our lender is CW. This has been a nightmare! We have explained over and over that we are military having to relocate to east coast in October and won’t be able to rent and keep up mortgage. We thought 6 months would be a decent time to sell. We received an offer on July 2. Submitted everything to CW – file sat for 3 weeks and no action – received letter from CW saying they closed our file for missing info and they tried to contact us. They did not contact us at all or agent. I had to call the stupid minimum wage working/don’t give crap short sale dept and explain they were defrauding the US Military. Within 1 day an appraiser came out (August 11). We were told by CW it takes 30 days to review. We called on Sep 12 and negotiator never looked at file – our agent said he was calling CW and buyers agent . We were told by our agent that buyers are willing to wait. We kept calling CW to find out status- calling every other day. Same thing – run around. On Sept 26 a BPO was ordered – it was uploaded in system on Oct 8. We still call agent and CW get run around. On Oct 8 we also found our agent went to a mgmt position and not doing short sales – he never told us. We had to go to the broker of record and was told “oh your file slipped thru the cracks”. We have since had to move to the east coast and yesterday (10/21) we found out the buyer backed out. Just 3 days before we were told they wanted the house- we contacted the buyers agent and she said she hadn’t heard from her client in weeks. Between our agent and CW – we are now in a bind. We’ve begged and pleaded w/CW and explained that we’re military and can’t afford both rent and mortgage. We’ve submitted our hardship letter and financial docs 3 times. We’ve been told that if we’re not in default they won’t help. Default isn’t an option as my husband has to maintain his credit for his security clearance to do his job.
    Any insights..?

  • cg

    I believe there is a law about active duty servicemen. I do know they cannot foreclose on an active duty serviceman. I actually closed a short sale with this same situation, it was with another lender but that should not matter.
    I would ask them if you qualify for cash for keys. If you want I will look up the law so you can recite it to them, if I were you I would write another letter a little more direct and with more facts.
    Is the loan in your husband’s name?

  • cg

    Nvywhyf

    Servicemen Relief….

    I would not give up there is help for you out there for you, read this article.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93638961

  • Nvywhyf

    CG
    Thanks, what is cash for keys?

  • Reflection

    Hello all,
    Quick update. Well after my CW e-mails things were moving. All we had to do was get the second to agree with a settlement. Well, the second is with CHASE. Now we have been dealing with them is July, too. They have known all along the amount approximate amount they would be getting and seemed ok with it. Well, no surprise but they have came and said they wanted $14K…nowhere near the $3K that was on the table in July. So once again we are hit with a stumbling block. I feel like I am being blackmailed by CHASE. They confirmed that the account has already been written off as a bad debt (The sellers haven’t paid for over a year). So, I would think they would take any amount of a money they could get and run.

    Our agent has offered to give up even more of his commission to make the sale go through. But it will still be about $5K short of what Chase wants. Now it is not some much the 5K but the principal. I feel like we have been lead on and batted around for months.

    The house is in forclosure and the agent feels that if our deal falls through it will be on the auction block within a couple of months. We could wait until then and get the house for even less, but again …I am just …well I can’t use that language here.

    So, I maybe going after Chase to see if they can get their noses out of the skies and back to reality. It really depends on if the loan was a hard loan or a purchase loan.

    Anyway, enough venting….Let me know if you all have input on how to go about this next hurdle.

    Thanks!

  • cg

    Nvywhyf,
    sorry I just read the info again you won’t qualify because you are not in foreclosure.

    But I do know that there is relief for you with the military. They absolutely should be trying to do a work out with you. I read one of the foreclosure docs I am working on for a client. The plaintiff has to check military status on every customer to make sure they are not in the military!

    Try doing another letter to CW don’t make it too long. It should not be more than 1 page. I would explain that you had a short sale and that it did not go through and that you need to be moved to a deed-in-lieu status immediately. Send in the military papers that your husband received showing where he is stationed.
    It takes 3 days for that letter to hit someone’s desk. There are separate numbers for deed-in-lieu and short sale. If you need more information, let me know.

  • cg

    Reflection,
    I would definitely go back to chase and ask them what they are smoking? If the house goes on the auction block they may get ZERO…

  • highlndr

    I don’t want to jinx it, but I missed a call today in response to one of my emails to CW. I tried calling back, with my agent on the line as a conference call; but missed our contact person 2x. We at least have a direct line to someone we really want to talk to…
    Please send your good thoughts my way! As we all know dealing w CW – you never know what tomorrow brings. Maybe this time, it will be something good. Whew…

  • Mike

    Nvywhyf,

    Your situation is exactly what we were facing a couple of months ago. We owned a house in Otay Ranch, just down the road from your place. We are also a Navy family and received orders to the east coast in March (to leave in June). We immediately put our house on the market as a short sale but CW wasn’t really working with us because we were still making our payments. Long story short we got an offer and a buyer who was willing to hang in there and stopped paying our mortgage in July. It was a hard thing to do but as you know it would get to be impossible to pay rent and the mortgage with a huge difference in BAH. After much calling to CW by us and our wonderful agent we closed our short sale on October 1st. So it can be done.

    No great advice to give, except that CW was more willing to move this along after we stopped paying. I know that there is concerns with security clearance issues.

    Good luck and hopefully you’ll get another offer.

  • Carrie

    Well I don’t usually join blogs but this one I just have to! My husband and I listed our home with a Realtor a year ago for a short sale. Countrywide wouldnt say whether or not they would approve it and said that they will not until they have an offer on the table. Well needless to say we just got our first offer today but it is $57K short from what we owe. Our Realtor said that with all the new laws that best case scenario this would take about 2 months…any advice on how to make this go faster? I know reasonably because we owe $206K that they will come back with a counter offer…I am nervous reading all of the statements here about the poor management at Countrywide and afraid that our short sale will not go through or CW will ratehr foreclose. We are currently 1 month behind on our mortgage payments due to my being out of work from a shoulder injury I incurred in Iraq. Any suggestions?

  • Meiks

    Hey Carrie,

    I am not sure there is anything you can do to make it go faster but you should:
    — Carefully read all the documentation here,
    — Be educated on the short sale process,
    — Make sure you have all of your documents together on your side and submit everything to CW on time
    — And constantly stay on top of contacting CW and making sure they have everything they need (they will probably lose everything at least one time).

    The more organized you are, the better it will go for you. I would also make sure your agent is well versed in the short sale process: All the normal rules agents are used to are out the window these days. The listing agent is the PRIMARY contact and does the most work in a short sale – so you need someone that knows what they are up against.

    2 months is super optimistic. I would bank on more like 4 months from the date the offer is submitted. (We’ve been waiting over 4.5 months thus far). Countrywide is way too overwhelmed with short sales and you will be lucky to even get a negotiator to look at your file in 2 months! Not to be pessimistic, just trying to convey the reality of what you will be up against and the time frame you are looking at!

    However, the good news is that it is likely that CW will not foreclose, especially if you have a short sale in the works. CW does not want any more of these properties. In my short sale the sellers have not made payments in 10 months. 2 NODs have been filed, but CW has never foreclosed. You more then likely have time to work on short selling your home before they foreclose… but just be aware that it will take TIME… a lot of it!

    Finally, make sure you keep your buyers in the loop! Let the know what is going on and that you are constantly working on getting this deal to go thru. Try and get a feel for if they are still interested in the property… if they walk, you kind of have to start from scratch! So make sure they are solid buyers that are genuinely interested in the property, and willing to hang in there and wait it out.

    There is a lot of good information on this site… read thru all the comments… you will see some success stories… IT CAN AND DOES HAPPEN! But it is not a pretty or quick process.

  • Hghlndr

    Carrie,

    I absolutely agree with Meiks. This experience is a hell of an education. Check your account online – the workout notes show updates for reference, and contact CW constantly. Good luck.

    Wow, we need VA Loan Guy’s knowledge and insight for some of you and your unique situations.

  • http://www.katherinemcbride.com Katherine

    I’ve been working on a Countrywide and B of A short sale since late June. It’s gone smoothly so far thanks to an early offer. Although that buyer walked we got 2 other offers, and we got negotiators and investor approval. Then the next buyer couldn’t qualify and buyer #3 is still interested and waiting. When I call they say it’s in foreclosure yet they asked me to tell my client to call for home retention. I gave the number to my client but I’m worried that if he calls they may no longer want to talk to me or negotiate the short sale. Is this a setup? It’s hard to trust a company that has hurt so many people. Thanks for your responses..:)

  • Hghlndr

    @ Katherine,
    I think you should get your seller involved. My agent and I both call – I have signed and repeatedly told CW verbally that my agent has full authorization to represent me.
    I’ve been told my account is in foreclosure, when the person on the phone hasn’t taken the time to read through all of the account notes. Every time a short sale is cancelled on our end, it shows as “closed,” defaults to a foreclosure note on their end. I ask the date of that note, and tell them to keep reading – there are a lot of notes on my account.

  • Nvywhyf

    Mike
    Thanks for the input…good to know we’re not alone aboard the USS CW Stinks. =0)

    We are current on our payments too. Who was your agent. To add to the saga yesterday…our agent has decided to pursue a different career, his broker said they are overwhelmed w/short sales and since our buyer backed out – we need to find a new agent and cancelling the listing….so we are back to square one. We are concerned on credit impact if we miss payments, as we would like to buy a house at our new location in a few months (much more affordable cost of living than CA)

    However….the debt kid site provides great resources if you ever come into our situation and need another realtor that specializes in short sales.

    Keeping a positive attitude is key in all of this to maintain sanity. Hang in there everyone – it will work out.

  • carrie

    Meiks,

    Thanks for the feedback I will continue to keep you all updatedas teh process goes along.
    Originally when we listed the house for sale we had only 1 showing so 6 months later we contacted the CW modification dept to see if we could work something out so out loan wasnt so high they took all of my financial information and said a negotiatior would get back to us is 30 days…they never got back to me so I started calling them again a month laster and everytime I called I talked to a different person and was told that there is no update on the loan and that a negotiator had not been assigned…so I called the 1-800-955-hope line and talked with them and they again took all of my financial information and said that they would be in touch with CW…I never heard back and have tried to follow up numerous time. AS time has gone on our financial situation has become worse and we knew that we ould not be able to hold on to the house much longer…After calling CW more than 20 times with no results we decided on the short sale. OUr Agent dropped the price to our home to the 150K I had mentioned earlier and we had 2 showings and one made and offer. But I think with the price being $57K lower than what we owe that CW will probably not accept it and come back with a much higher counter offer. This is jsut day 2 in this process so I will again keep you all up to date as i go along. Thank you for your feedback thus far. And if anyone happens to know the President of Bank of Americas contact information I think I would like to write him/her a letter to try to speed this up.

  • highlndr

    Carrie,
    Be prepared for offers that are lower than your listing price. Is your list price based on short sale comp’s in the area? This is a completely different experience compared to any previous buying and selling properties you may have gone through. And the rules from the past no longer apply because of the volume and bottleneck at CW.
    Sign in with your loan # to check your account staus online. There may be detailed notes available to you, that will be to your benefit.
    Here’s how to get there in detail: Sign on to CW, it may take up to 10 minutes to create a sign on because there are several security steps to set up on the site. After you sign on – on the 2nd page – under Account Summary, select Acct Information on the right. The next page will pop up – it shows a snapshot of recent payments and current loan balance. On the left – there should be “FINANCIAL HARDSHIP ASSISTANCE” in red. This option appears when the account reaches the short sale/retention option status. Click on that; 2 options appear – WORKOUT NOTES and FINANCIAL HARDSHIP ASSISTANCE. Click on either, and you will get a lot of current info on your account. Any CW customer can access this for their account.
    Also, you may want to print out the last month or so worth of posts here and highlight notes that apply to you – these posts can serve very wlll as your guidelines. Sorry to repeat if you already know this, but “Control” and “F” will help find your keywords among the posts.
    Good luck, Carrie!

  • sara

    Carrie….your numbers are very close to what mine were. CW took the short sale offer of 152k and we owed 199k. They did not counter at all. It may have everything to do with the appraisal that CW will have done privately. They never told us what it came in at. Then, it had to get appraised again for the buyer’s loan people. From start to finish, took 5 months. It did close end of August, so just hang in there!!

  • carrie

    Thank you all for your positive feedback. I just talked to CW…some woman named Shanita…again another agent. It never seems to be the same one so I am keeping a list now. She tokd me that they needed an Outhorization letter and a Hradship letter from me and the P/S agreement form the gaent. I wrote all of it up and sent it off so now its just hurry up and wait I guess. Amazingly enough this time when I called they had acted on mylast call and assigned the account to a rep for a deed in lieu review that I had requested last month so they did eventually act. I am glad I found this site so I am armed with the knowledege I need to deal with these people. Thankfully the people that made the offer on the house already own property and do not need to move into this one right awya they are planning on keeping 2 properties and are prepared to deal with teh CW waiting game. They were going to build on the lot next door as this is a subdivison and found that they could get the same house that theyw ere going to build for a lot less so hopefully this will all go through in time to save our good credit rating. Incedentally my agent told me that not paying the mortgage gives CW incentive to take the short sale…

  • VA Loan Guy

    @Nvywhyf -

    ‘Cash for keys’ is another industry term for a deed-in-lieu. Every State has laws governing the length of time a homeowner has to vacate a property following foreclosure. Some States allow you to remain in the home for up to six months. Naturally, such a circumstance is a contradiction to the interests of the foreclosing lender. In return for voluntarily turning over the property and promptly vacating without incident(a deed-in-lieu), some lenders will offer a cash incentive. Hence the term cash for keys. To my knowledge, CW does not participate in this tactic. A comparison of the short sale vs. deed-in-lieu can be found in my post here on 8/15.

    @ All -

    Many of you have been pursuing a short sale on one side of the table or the other for quite some time. The climate at CW and the market in general has changed considerably in the last year. But, one thing is clearly illustrated in every case — your knowledge and daily participation are required. Turning your short sale transaction over to an agent and resting on your laurels will likely result only in disappointment. If you find your agent taking issue with your involvement, I recommend their prompt dismissal. Remember, you are the boss. The agent works for you. The following is an excerpt from my post on 8/27 for buyers.

    If the listing agent is not compliant — avoid getting me started on this subject — you may want to try contacting the seller directly. When their credit hangs by a thread, they should be interested to know that their agent isn’t working for them. They should be plenty motivated to assist you in relieving them of the impending foreclosure.

    I would offer similar advice for sellers; if you have an interested buyer on the hook and your agent is less than proactive, there is no law which prohibits you from speaking to buyers directly. Give them the phone number for CW and get them involved in the campaign. The more people calling CW and hounding them, the better. Don’t worry about your agent’s deep-seated resentment. They can work that out with their therapist on their own time — the vacation time you are about to grant them.

    On a final note, I want to thank those of you who have chosen to serve our country in the military. There is no more noble calling, in my estimation. As I have previously stated, I believe it to be a national disgrace that our servicemen and their families must endure financial ruin in order to serve. Shame on us all.

  • Meiks

    Hey Carrie… Hghlndr is absolutely right… you don’t need to be concerned with how much lower the offer is then what you owe… You just need to get the offers in there so CW can start assessing them and get the process started… And Sara is a perfect example of a success with similar numbers!!!

    To put things in perspective… I live in California where the house prices got really out of whack… The house I put an offer on was listed at $450K for 6 months with no offers… We put an offer of $400K…. Then we came to find out that the sellers actually owe $650K!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CW is looking to take a hit of a quarter million dollars if they accept our offer… but this is NOT UNCOMMON in this area…
    My best friend just closed a short sale for $388 where the sellers owed $615 (not a CW loan, but still).

    The house I put an offer on is a regular residential home… The kitchen and bathrooms are not even updated (they are all 80′s style, old appliances etc.)… but it is a large house, beautiful exterior, nice yard, and in a good neighborhood etc. …. Still, at one point during the boom in 2006 it was appraised at $829K!!! It is ridiculous that a normal house like this would ever be appraised at that amount… The banks did this to themselves… house prices were rocketing out of control at an unsustainable rate… appraisers were fired if they didn’t come up with the high numbers in their appraisals… and banks were giving out 100% financing to homeless people with no jobs…. so now they are paying the price…

    Anyway, let the bank worry about how much of a hit they have to take and you just get those offers in there and start working on your short sale!!!!

  • carrie

    Do you think that we should continue to show our house even though we have an offer on the table in case it falls through so we will have a contigency plan?

  • highlndr

    Carrie,
    Personally, I think you should keep showing it and accept back-up offers. The bottom line is- it’s going to be the strongest offer that gets approved, and that includes the most cash to CW, or the investor; but the interested party must be 1)willing to wait for this slow process, and 2) a qualified buyer.
    We had brokers write detailed offers on my place; with inclusions of cash back requests, etc. These buyers were aware that others were also bidding, so there was determination and creativity in these offers. (These were the 2nd group- after the 1st short sale request was approved.) Depending on the motivation and qualifications of the potential buyers, you may receive offers that are not just cut & dry.
    We presented 3 strong offers to CW, all with seemingly qualilfied buyers, and considerable down payments. We received some weaker offers that we did not even submit, as they were offering less than the established dollar range.

  • Mike

    Nvywhyf ,

    CW did not pay any attention to us until we stopped making payments. As an officer and a person with good credit, this was the last thing I wanted to do but once we no longer received BAH for San Diego, It was not an option. With that said, we only missed 3 payments and finally short-sold our place in OCT 08. We had a really good agent that was on the ball but the deal also called for a lot of strong-arming from me once we were assigned a negotiator. You have to be persistent. If you give me your email, I can give you the info for the realtor we used, Good luck!

    Note from DebtKid: I’ve referred a lot of people across the country now to experienced short sale agents. It can make a huge difference. Use this form at the top of the page to request a referral:

  • sara

    to Mike: We also closed in late August…first and second with CW with short sale. (not enough to cover the second). ARE YOU STILL GETTING PAYMENT STUB NOTICES FOR THE SECOND? We are. We are told that the second takes a few months to actually disappear from your credit reports…lots of paper channels to go through I guess. The first got dropped off immediately and we got the Satisfaction of Mortgage thing sent to us. Just curious on your end.

  • highlndr

    Info from a CW insider – most rep’s in the Workout & Short Sale dept. are currently handling 300-400 files at their desks.

  • readytobedone

    My husband and I put and offer on a house in august it has been 11 weeks and cw called my realtor and asked if we were intersted they told her all they needed was an amendum (which we singed that night and fax to cw) and we could close by the end of the month, which is now a week away. I feel like we will never get a singed contract from them, would you wait around for this?

  • BJL

    @readytobedone:

    Just info for ya, it took NINE MONTHS from Date of our purchase offer for our deal to close (Jan 31st to Sept 17th.) It closed, and we got what we wanted, but at 11 weeks we hadn’t even gotten a verbal approval.

    And from Mid-May on, we also were told just about every other week that we would close by the end of the next week.

    I’m not trying to discourage you. If you want the house, stick it out by all means, and read through all the responses in this blog to get some ideas to help push your deal along. What I’m saying is that 2 and a half months is child’s play and to be ready to stick it out way longer than this if you want that house.

  • BJL

    Oh yeah, and did CW by any chance give your realtor that approval in writing or was that your “verbal approval”?

  • highlndr

    @ readytobedone,

    You might consider the possibility of your short sale being complete in early 2009. I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but optimism is lost in the short sale process. We keep saying the same thing, but you need to be organized, determined, you need to be proactive and ready to learn, and accept that you’re in it for the long haul. Go through this log again in detail; and forget about your prior homebuying experiences. Short sales are a different animal.

    The national homeowner retention program is due to be rolled out before December 1, by way of personalized offers created to retain current customers. If CW is as swamped and overwhelmed as they are right now, just imagine how much busier they will be when they start getting responses from concerned, confused, existing homeowners. I think most businesses would consider adjusting their energies to the homeowner retention program, to maintain and increase their customer base.

    If you’re really interested in this house, be prepared to wait it out. The worst you can do is be pleasantly surprised and prove all of us wrong. I, for one would applaud you.

  • highlndr

    Also, be realistic by taking what you hear from the seller’s agent with a grain of salt. I don’t know the agent, but only a few have much experience with short sales. If they slightly, even slightly – change dates or other info so it’s what they think you want to hear, it can get distorted fast. Ask them to be 100% accurate and up front with you regarding this process. Keep notes, make copies of everything – speak up and be your own best advocate.

  • carrie

    Just an update…I went on the CW website and checked my financial hardship information after we got the offer as was suggested a few posts ago. CW denied the deed in lieu so that the short sale process could begin…now its just a waiting game I guess. My agent told us that even though we want to pay our mortgage not to because CW will not act on a short sale as long the account is current. What do you all think of this. We are 1 month behind right now. My agent also said that their track record is 2 months for a short sale approval but I am not going to hold my breath.

  • Hghlndr

    @ Carrie,
    I’m so glad you checked your account online. Watch that site, as the transactions usually post in a cluster of activity, when someone is actually working on your file. It doesn’t include everything, but it’s a tool.
    Unfortunately, I think your agent’s right about your account status. I suggest you contact CW to let them know you’re unable to keep your account current, and ask them to note it. You may have to submit updated financials.
    I think I have submitted 4 sets now; including an update last week. I’m frustrated. I am starting from square one again – submitting my personal (short sale qualifying) documents with the latest offer we are presenting to them.
    CW notes dates for reference on every step of the short sale process, so you want every one of those dates posted for future reference. I’ve noticed they now actually compare my file’s specific dates noted, to their internally accepted timelines more often.
    I am so ready to be done with this, and I know you all are feeling the same.

  • http://www.katherinemcbride.com Katherine

    Thanks Highlander! Now that’s the least of my worries. Now buyer #3 wants to offer less than the approved price and the trustee sale is scheduled in 3 weeks!
    I hope I can get an extension so we can get some decent offers in. (Thanks to our new MLS rules I wasted 2 months with the status pending).. Of course the negotiator never calls or emails back even when we’re in contract! Do you think they will get it together to postpone the sale?

  • Scoop

    Wow-I stumbled on this site and can’t believe some of the situations you people dealing with CW are going thru. What a terrible and sad situation all these lenders and bankers have done to the housing market with their greed. The lives they have messed up, not to mention our economy,and for that matter, the global economy. It wasn’t that they made bad or high risk loans…it’s the amount of them that they made that caused all this. Had they done a few, people who could no longer make their mortgages could have sold their homes when they got into trouble with arm resets or whatever, if the housing market was stable. However with the high volume of high risk loans that they made they have destroyed the housing market, thereby ruining their own collateral and making it a nightmare to sell or refinance a home in trouble because of the huge inventories and collapsing prices.
    I see a lot of bright and knowledgeable people on this website. I have not been able to get much help or advise on my situation nor do I know where to look to find out. When I saw all these posts here I thought ” gee, with all these people on here experiencing a lot of what I am, maybe someone out there could respond and give me your thoughts on my situation and advise or answer some questions I don’t know. ” So here goes.
    I have an 800 credit score. I have no debt except for my mortgage. However I am unemployed and my job prospects here in Las Vegas where unemployment is prolly top 5 in the country is poor. The housing and forclosure market are also amoung the worst nationwide aswell. My first morgage is an interest only
    arm with countrywide of 164k due to reset in may. My second is with Wamu 20 yr fixed for 47k. A $211,000
    loan for a house that at it’s peak was worth $265,000.
    I now have it listed for $149,000. Fair market value! Sheesh. Down $116k from it’s peak, and upside down
    currently- $62k. Believe me I know my story is not unique , no sympathy asked for but what would anyone reccomend? Can’t refi even if I found a job-sorry no equity. We all know how helpful Countrywide
    is. They won’t even talk about freezing my arm until 120 days before it resets. I could continue to make my payments for at least 6 or 7 months from my savings on the hope that I can get them to negotiate later. I’ll
    prolly find a job eventually and could prolly even make my payments even if I have to pay more when my arm resets if they won’t negotiate. My question is why should I? I don’t want to deplete my last cash reserves trying to hold onto a house that will prolly never be worth the money I throw at it unless it is revalued to market value. I don’t want to give them my money until I’m homeless and out of options. These predatory greedy lenders have made it more attractive for me to walk away from my loan than to pay it! I doubt my home will regain $62K in value in the next 5 yrs. Even if it did, I would only be “even”. Right now housing prices are still dropping.
    I could rent an apartment or house and pay $500 or more a month less than I am now. @ $500 a month for 5 yrs I would be $30,000 or more ahead in 5 yrs instead of even. So I have the home I love up for sale.
    I’m going to quit making payments. CW won’t let me list it as a short sale until I have it listed 90 days. Silly beaurocrats, It’s listed at fair market value and will be a short sale anyway. Seems even if I do get an offer the buyer or seller enters into a nightmare to get CW to respond anyway. Never mind they also have to negotiate with my 2nd. So I have to hope it will go thru as a short sale anyway. Either “with satisfaction” and my debt forgiven, or as a delinquincy. More than likely tho it will prolly end up in foreclosure. Judging from the comments I have read here on how efficent CW is. So they may chose to get a judgment on me.
    I am in solvent..I have less assets than debt and they won’t get a dime. Maybe I’ll be forced into bankrupcy.
    I’m sure not going to be able to pay them the $62k or more I’m upside down if they find me delinquint or file a judgement after auction. They could try to recover their closing costs and attorny fees etc and run my judgment to $125K. Good luck!
    They could save a lot by re-valuing my home for what it is worth and give me a fixed loan at a fair interest rate and make money.. but no. They should call a proctologist to help them get their head out of their butt.
    So a few questions for anyone who has made it thru this far of my sad story and rant.
    How long usually until I am foreclosed?
    If I decide later to make payments to stall foreclosure, can I make just a payment or 2 and be a month or 2 behind, or do I have to pay it all current?
    What exactly happens when foreclosure begins?
    They pin a default sign on me right? Then what?
    An Auction? How long can I live in the house before I
    have to move? Is there A forum or something I can go to to talk with people who have been thru foreclosure?
    What about this Countrywide settlement that is supposed to happen Dec 1? I can’t find out any particulars..CW isn’t telling. Anyone see any hope for me there? Anyone think I should try to hang on and wait for CW or the government? Anyone see anything I’m missing?
    I want to plan for my future after my home loss and I’m not sure how this will unfold if I go to forclosure. I would appreciate any positive input anyone can give.
    I am embarassed in a way about having to default if that is what it comes to. I did not get my 800+ credit score stiffing on my debts. I haven’t had a late payment on anything in 20+ years. I did not take out a bad loan I could not repay. I can still pay. I felt if I could not refinance my home or make the payments I could sell it into a stable housing market for what I paid for it at least..even a little less if nessesary. I, and many others were not aware that banks and lending institutions were artificially creating a housing bubble by imprudent and greedy lending practices. I was under the impression that they were still keeping to the practice of only making a small percentage of their portfolio in high risk loans. The volume that they did is what has made the economy into the mess it is today and I won’t feel bad defaulting on them. It’s like giving me a car loan and then destroying the car and expecting me to pay it. These greedy, gambling irresponsible banking idiots caused their own losses and it is sad what they have done to the american dream and the lives they have destroyed. Thanks for listening and any helpful advice or info. Best wishes to all with a similar story. I know there are many. I know we’ll all get past this somehow. God bless America.

  • Hghlndr

    @ Katherine,

    Here’s what I am now learning:
    CW is referring to their internal timeline to determine if they are within their timeframe allowed. So, what we as normal citizens would consider the “due by” date, they consider the schedule of when to do that process. If the timeline for that step is 21 to 30 days, it doesn’t have to be done until the 30th day, and it may be overlooked unless they are reminded by the seller/buyer at that time. Other than that, the file is being handled status quo, pending in the current process step. It’s like a crisis operation mode.

    So, if you’re stuck in a step working with a negotiator – do you know your negotiator’s name? Here’s as much as I know about the set up on the negotiators: Workout Staff will give you their names. They are protected from interruptions, and only give limited contact info out when they are in direct contact with the seller/buyer/agent.
    Beware: Some of them only work on accounts that are in the final, closing process. We were assigned to a “closing” negotiator, based on my initial offer being approved in Sept., – but the buyer dropped out. Every time we called we were advised it was being worked on by “jane smith”, negotiator. We left messages, went through supervisors, everything we could to get through to her. We repeatedly left info that this was the new offer with a different buyer – and asked to be alerted if there were any questions about the file. We were stone-walled until day 30, the end of the timeframe limit.
    When we finally spoke to her, and she finally picked up the file in her hand with us on the phone: she saw that we now had a new buyer, different than the original, so she sent off the file to be re-assigned. My file had to go back to step one for the whole approval process again. Infuriating!!
    Customer Service IDEA: IF someone had actually picked up and LOOKED at the file during one of our calls, and they could have said – oh, you are assigned to a “closing negotiator – we need to re-assign this.” We could have saved up to 30 days time!!

    I have no idea what to tell you about the trustee sale – sorry.
    You can call CW, ask for a supervisor in the short sale/workout dept., and explain that you have a unique situation. I would guess if your buyer is a strong candidate they may take a look at the short sale offer. Be prepared for your seller having to sign another auth form for you to represent them on this offer – they seem to need updated seller doc’s on every offer.

  • Hghlndr

    @Scoop
    Wow – I am spinning after reading your post. I’ll address a few concerns that I feel comfortable addressing. Others can help you with their responses, too. We’ve all been there.
    Take a deep breath and realize this is not going to be like any previous property sale you have gone through.
    The final selling price will be determined by comp’s in your area, in the current short sale/foreclosure market. You need to receive and present offers from highly qualified potential buyers – that’s a major factor for your sale.
    Since you’re at the beginning of the short sale process, this is the time to check with a tax professional. Seriously – the numbers you end up with may not at all be what you expect to be working with. Check now to learn your personal tax responsibility, in your state. Go into this as informed and educated as you can be.
    You’ve done the right thing by approaching CW to look into homeowner retention – they like to see you have tried to play by their rules.
    You’re right about your account status – current vs. “late”. I have been watching my credit report very closely, too. So far I’m still in the same range that I was at the beginning of this process, but the 2 “late payments” show now. As a CW loan holder, you should have a free access subscription to Consumer Info.com b/c of the compromised info that was stolen from a CW employee earlier this year. CW offered this free service to all their customers, and it is a great tool to have right now. I received my letter offering the service in August or September. So far, I’m glad I took the offer.
    From what I was told, the “settlement” is a nation-wide retention program. They will be mailing out personalized offers to homeowners, due out before December 1. I don’t know how many households will be involved. I do think it will raise quesitions from people who are currently not in negotiations for refinancing with their lenders, but may be after they receive their offer. CW is already swamped with the current situation. If this rentention plan generates a high volume of calls and inquiries, how much will it change their response time and “customer service?

  • Hghlndr

    @ Scoop
    Also, one more thing – the homeowner retention program offer does not mean or imply that people who receive the offer are pre-approved.
    “cg” noted that here on the 10/19 post, and I have seen that statement posted on another, general consumer-info site.

  • TJoy

    BJL–
    Another big “Thank You’ for posting Mr. Lewis at B of A’s e-mail. I am a buyer, and on Oct. 8, I wrote an e-mail to Mr. Lewis explaining that we have been waiting to see if our offer was approved since April 11, and that we are pre-approved for our FHA loan. Two days later I got a call from the Office of the President of CW on the phone number that I had listed on the e-mail telling me that our file was being moved to a different department with a different negotiator. The next day, the seller’s agent called her and she actually answered the phone. She requested a revised HUD, then contacted him again a few days later to tell him that she was reviewing the offer and needed to see if he could get a HOA lein on the house reduced or removed. He was able to get it reduced to half of the original amount. On Thursday, Oct 23, our file was given to a manager for approvel, On Friday our offer was approved. We recieved it in writing via fax on Saturday morning. We are now doing our inspections and they have given us until Nov 24 to close or their approval is void. Funny how we wait 6 months for them and they give us 30 days, but I’m not complaining. I know that the only reason this has moved along is because Mr. Lewis’ office got my e-mail and got the file into the right hands.
    I’ll keep posting as things move along to let everyone know what successes & non successes we have.
    Thanks to everyone on this site. We would have given up a long time ago if not for all of your advice!!
    TJoy

  • BJL

    @TJoy
    My pleasure! I’m so glad these emails are helping people!

    Sucks that to get things moving on these files we have to contact the CEO of a major corporation… but if that’s what it takes then I was willing to do it, and I’m glad you are too. Good luck in the rest of your deal!

  • Reflection

    So, it seems that CW and Chase cannot come to an agreement. Now our agent (he is the agent for us and the seller), wants us to sign a cancellation agreement. Also, he says that it will take some doing for us to get our deposit back.

    My question is: Why do we have to cancel the agreement when we are not the ones that didn’t abide by the terms of the agreement. Who cancels the agreement when the lenders won’t agree? And why don’t we automatically get our deposit back from escrow? We held up our end of the bargain….

    Thanks for your help

  • Meiks

    Hey Reflection –

    Do you know if there was a document called the “Short Sale Addendum” in your offer package? For us, the short sale addendum is the document that specifically states a deadline and our contract is technically expired after that date. It also has verbiage about getting the deposit back etc. You may want to look over all the docs in the offer package and see what language is used.

    Meiks

  • [email protected]

    HELP I NEED ADVICDE PERTAINING TO INCOME TAX FROM A SHORT SALE!

    We bought a house in the Tampa area (Hillsborough county) FL. in 2005. the Sale price was $235K and we put down about 50K. Our mortgage at the time was about $190K. We refied for $232K in May of 2006 and were duped into a subprime. We now owe $266 and the value of our house is about $189K
    We have two short sale offers on our house at the moment…. both for between $185K – $190K
    But my biggest concern is about any Income Tax we will be liable for if we allow the sale to go through and Countrywide accepts one of the offers.
    We don’t really want to stay in the area but we don’t/won’t have 10′s of thousands of dollars to pay the IRS either….

    WHAT CAN WE DO?!?!?
    PLEASE HELP!!!!

  • sara

    to fvinson: You won’t have to pay any taxes on the short amount….(the amount the bank forgives) if this is your homestead, which it seems like it is. Hope that helps! Be prepared though, for a long time to get it closed…about 5 months maybe?

  • [email protected]

    Thanks Sara, that sounds like good news… Here’s what I was told though…..

    that the difference between what I owe and what our original mortgage amount was $190 is what we would owe taxes on….. which is about $70K at the moment.

    The house IS our Homestead…. but I’m not sure how much that makes a difference here in FL.

    If anyone else can give any more advice I’d sure appreciate it.

    I’m fairly certain I’ll have to consult with a Tax Lawyer before we’re said and done.

  • VA Loan Guy

    @ fvinson42 -

    Here is the scoop on IRS regs as I know them to be:

    In years past, lenders would issue a 1099-C for the amount of the loss and the borrower would have to pay income tax on that amount.

    More recently, the fed has passed a law which excludes borrowers from this tax, under certain circumstances. The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 says that on foreclosures, short sales and mortgage restructurings for less than the current balance on the mortgage, there will be no tax on the forgiven debt, if:

    1)The debt relief was incurred between 2007 and 2009.
    2)The debt was for purchase and/or improvement of the house.
    3)The debt was collateralized by the borrower’s primary residence.
    4)The amount forgiven was not in excess of $2 Million for a married couple.

    As indicated, if you did a short sale on a rental property or 2nd home, you would be liable for taxes.

    If the mortgage on your house was a cash out refinance to pay off credit cards and to buy another property or to take a trip or pay off medical bills, the deficiency would be taxable.

    The workaround for such cases would be for the borrower to declare bankruptcy. The IRS says that if you are provably insolvent — your liabilities are greater than your assets — you will not be liable for the tax.

    More info can be found here: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=174034,00.html

  • Pingback: Lose your home without losing your mind

  • Frustrated Buyer

    We put an offer an a house that was a short sale with Countryiwde on August 17. We are now going on 80 days and have heard very little from anyone on where things are in the process. We keep getting told that we will hear “by this date” that day comes and goes, then they say “oh it will be another week.” I know that they are swamped right now but it seems like this is taking a lot longer than most people have experienced. We put in a fill price offer on the list price, including closing, etc. Now I know that the list price is much lower than the how much the loan is on the property. We were told several weeks ago that there was a negotiator assigned but still have heard nothing. Is there going to be a light at the end of this tunnel since a negotiator has supposedly been assigned or are they going to keep stringing us along and eventually counter with a higher price? How long does the negotiation process usually take?

  • Sad Story

    We initially put in an offer on a “short sale” house way back in May. About 60 days later, our offer was accepted by the sellers first mortgage lender. It wasn’t until another 30 days had passed that Countrywide (the 2nd mortgage lender) “verbally accepted” our offer. We were to close on September 15th – and guess what happened?? Yes – that is right – Countrywide changed their mind, then changed their mind again! We have had numerous attempts at closing on our house (we’ve even signed the final loan docs) just to have Countrywide come back and fight yet again. Now we must re-apply for our own loan and because of the current situation in California, we may not be approved for what we were 6 months ago. After we signed our loan docs, we put in our notice for our apartment and it has already been re-rented as of 12/1. Yeah – it SUCKS! If countrywide doesn’t come through for us in the next 2 weeks – we are officially homeless.

    I would NEVER recommend buying a house that is a “short sale” – it is devastating…

  • VA Loan Guy

    @ All -

    I cannot imagine a better illustration of the value of the omnipotent approval letter. These poor folks went the distance but, in fact, never really had a deal because they did not have it in writing.

    A competent agent could have saved them much grief and expense. Short sales really aren’t the devil’s work. But they do require diligence, patience and, above all, knowledge.

  • Hghlndr

    First Off – Happy Veteran’s Day to all of you on this blog who are currently in the service, or have served our country in the past. We owe you so much – and all I can offer you today is very sincere best wishes and my heartfelt respect.

    My home is being appraised again today. We have two offers being considered now, and my short sale is being handled by the office of the president @ CW b/c of my email and fax spree I went on a few weeks ago. My previous appraisal was over 90 days old, so they need a new current figure. The 2nd group of buyers were bidding against each other based on the previously aproved short sale figure. Hopefully it will all be settled within 30 days, with the new team from CW handling it, and based on others’ experiences of the quick wrap-up of the short sale.

    I moved out 2 days ago – found a perfect condo to rent thru a private party 2 miles from my job. My “new” job earlier this year (40 miles away) was one of the big reasons I was ready to sell – 8 months ago.

    I am so disgusted with CW’s handling of my short sale. The people we are dealing with now @ CW say they are amazed at the previous handling of this sale – and not in a good way. I have to say this team is certainly much easier to deal with than anyone we’ve dealt before through this nightmare. I just want to be done with it, have it be over – and move on with my life.

  • VA Loan Guy

    @ All vets and active service people -

    I want to echo Hghlndr’s message and thank all who have served our great nation and defended the cause of freedom. That is one debt that I will never sell short.

    @Hghlndr -

    Congratulations on getting out of there and into a new place. Hang on, you’re almost there. I look forward to reading about your quick escrow and successful closing!

  • gabriel

    I live in the Dallas area. I put in a Bid for a home and it seems like I’m being played on two fronts. One is the realtor who the listing belongs to and the other is the actual office. I put my bid in a month ago and after finally getting fedup I called several offices and found that the realtor never submitted my bid ( he was lying to me saying he did). I won’t let them get off so easy.

  • TJoy

    I was so excited because after 6 months CW approved the short sale (we are the buyers) and we were set to close by the 24th. We have a signed contract with the seller, I had just set up my homeowner's policy, all forms were approved by underwriting–let's just say that all we needed to do was to sign at closing. Well, I get an e-mail from the seller's agent last night stating that the seller has told CW that they want to stay in the home under CW's home retention policy and that they've 'withdrawn' from the short sale. I'm so upset I can hardly speak. I have been patiently waiting for almost 7 months, I have spend over $1000 on inspections and for this to happen right before closing is unfathomable. Luckily, I hadn't given notice on my current rental house.
    My question is: since they are under contract with me can they even do this?

    Any advice from anyone familiar with this program would be helpful or any Real estate attorney's out there?

    Thanks!

  • TJoy

    Thanks, Highlndr… You are correct in that they might not even qualify, but I spoke with someone at CW myself and they told me that the application process can take a couple of months, so the people have just bought themselves another 2-3 months of free rent at my expense. So, yes, even after all of this it could still happen, but I'm done playing the games with the seller and CW. They were informed that I could sue, and that they could still be foreclosed upon, but I honestly don't think they were ever planning to leave. I never saw a single box packed. I understand the emotional toll and the fear and the fact that they probably have nowhere to go (I've been there!) but to wait until after I spent my hard earned $$ on the inspections is just plain wrong. So now, if they are not approved for the program, they no longer have a buyer.

    Thanks for everyone's advice on this site. You all are great!

  • highlndr

    @ TJoy:

    I'm so sorry to hear about this development on your purchase.
    The national home retention program is new and CW is putting a big push on it. It's a blanket offer to everyone whose loan is or may soon be distressed. From what I've heard about the program here, and seen on other consumer sites, there is a chance that just because the offer was made to the sellers, it does not guarantee that they actually qualify for the program. Their decision to "withdraw" may prove to be premature, and it may not be over for you yet. Did you ask your agent if they have anyone in their office that has sufficient experience and/or knowledge, to offer you insight or could help you with this unique situation?

    Good luck on it, however it works out – you certainly don't deserve to go through any more stress after being emotionally strung out and playing by the CW rules all this time. Perhaps others on this site will respond with technical information for you about the home retention program and any recourse you might have.

    Again – the best of luck. :)

  • Meiks

    Well, a sad frustrating end to my short sale process… For 4.5 months we were the only offer on the short sale we were looking at. Countrywide moved snail speed, but was finally coming around and we were finally talking to a real negotiator and getting some where. Alas, just as things were finally working out for us… another offer was submitted — this was about 3 weeks ago. The other offer was for exactly the same total amount as ours, however, they had about 3x the down payment as us, which is obviously much more preferable to the sellers/countrywide. So today we were informed that Countrywide was moving forward with the process, but were now only looking at the other offer. So my over 4 months of work fared very well for the other folks that got a smooth ride into this whole deal w/o all the fuss and only a few weeks of waiting!!! I guess that is the way to do it!!! So back to the drawing board for us… At least there is a market FULL of as many houses as anyone could want… And the interest rates are lower then ever!!!

  • Meiks

    Thanks highlndr :) :) … GOOD LUCK!!! I really hope your verbal approval turns into the real thing!!!

  • highlndr

    My short sale was approved last Friday. VERBALLY approved, so far, so I am very cautious about being too happy. Our advantage is, we are being monitored by the executive offices on this go-round, after the dragging out, delays and overall mess they made on the first offer and its approval that came too late.

    Meiks – we submitted three offers to CW at the same time – only 5k difference on the top two, but the highest offer was asking for assistance on the down. CW is taking the second highest offer; not the highest. These people and their broker knew they were bidding against another party, without knowing the exact details. My agent has been hearing from the potential buyers' broker/agent constantly. Their agent keeps checking to see that they are still in the game, so HOPEFULLY, this sale will go through okay.

    Again, my sale is just a verbal authorization, and I am not out of the woods yet. I wouldn't have even posted this if it had not been for Meiks' situation, and my sale being somewhat similar. Meiks, I hope you find someplace else that is even nicer, with a sale that goes through quickly for you.

  • Reflection

    Hi All,
    Just wanted to give you quick update. We have been in the process of buying a short sale home since July. The first was CW and the second Chase. Well, Chase wanted $5000 more then what CW was willing to give up. So we ponied up the $5K. We received our approval letters Nov 14th. CW gave us until Dec 12 to close….Chase gave us until Nov 30th. Well, we had to completely redo our loan and in the middle of it my aunt died and we had another family emergency. So we tried to get the loan docs signed before Thanksgiving but they weren't ready until Tuesday before. Unfortunately, we were in a very rural area where FedX only comes in the morning.

  • Reflection

    …post continued…it said my post was too long…haven't had that issue in the past…

    Which it was past the pick up time on Tuesday when we received the call that the documents were ready. Our lender, the county and just about everyone else was scheduled to be closed on Thursday and Friday. So even if we had found a notery and signed the docs and fed-x them on Wed no one would have received them till Monday Dec 1st. So we ended up signing docs first thing Monday morning. Well yep you guessed CHASE isn't sure they want to sign off on the property now since we missed the deadline. I am just sick. They only gave us 8 working days to redo our loan and close. That seems ridiculous to me.

    So I guess we will see tomorrow. All of our funds have been transferred to our escrow account. CW is fine with everything. We just have to pray that CHASE sign off.

    YIKES>>>>>I am a total stress ball again.

  • highlndr

    We lost our buyer – right when we were trying to schedule contract signing and escrow close date. CW sat on the offer for a month with no action, so we lost one month there, at the beginning. But, this was the buyers changing their mind at the last minute and backing out of the deal. As recent as last Wednesday, the buyers were calling us, b/c they were so very interested in it. The buyers and their agent avoided my agent's calls the last few days until this morning. What is wrong with people?!?

    OMG! I want to be done with it. My agent already has it listed again (within the last 2 hours) and she's going to call everyone who has shown interest in it. She is fired up and anxious to sell it, and wants to have another Open House, probably next weekend. The third offer we had is $25k lower than the approved offer, so they’re pretty much out of the question right now. The place is in a great location; very nice neighborhood, it's clean and everything works – how frustrating!!

    I am so very tired of these false starts, and all the waiting that every one brings. I am devastated, frustrated, discouraged – and probably in shock.

  • Reflection

    highlndr,
    Hang in there. Has your agent submitted the third offer??? I don't know how much your how is selling for but another $25K isn't that much for CW. The house we bought recieved only 77% of the actual debt. The second only recieved 14% of the debt.

    That said we almost backed out several time just because of the frustration. The biggest thing is that our agent didn't make it crystal clear how difficult a short sale is! I know often agents are optimitic with a buyer just to get the offer (like us saying we would close in 60 days…yeah right!). We wouldn't have been sooo tempted to back out if we had known up front the hassle a short sale is and that it can a very long long time!!! So I would ensure that your agent is letting buyers know exactly what they are up against and the time that it takes. The frustations, and the time. I really think this is the key. Good luck!!!

  • highlndr

    Hi Reflection,
    Yes, She's already been working with the third offer to get him in there with a solid offer. As the seller, my preferred deal would be as close as possible to the one we just lost – due to the settlement payout from me. So, we want to present a solid offer, and hopefully keep the same negotiated settlement.

    The backed-out buyer is a teacher who learned after Thanksgiving break staff cuts may start at the beginning of the year. They decided the new mortgage was a chance they just couldn't take. Also, even though we let them know from Day 1 it was a short sale, and the possible headaches included b/c of that – theirs was not the preferred offer until almost 8 weeks into it. That may have been an extra element of surprise to deal with.

    So, the condo is being shown again, including an Open House if necessary. We had people who previously showed interest in it, and they are being contacted again. It's featured on communications to other agents as an approved short sale. (Deja vu…) I hope the third time is a charm….

    I never could have imagined this sale becoming such a nightmare. Thanks for your support.

  • Reflection

    WE CLOSED….5 months later and it is finally ours!!!! Paitences is definately a virtue in short sales. Hang in there all it will happen. It is very discouraging but put up a fight. To all the buyers find solutions to the road blocks. My realtor was ready to cancel the agreement several times and I would suggest another way to go….e-mailing BofA really works too..

    Good luck to all!

  • Fla Girl

    I closed too! I put the offer in 5 months ago and almost backed out twice. I had a verbal approval for about 5 weeks before we received the written approval. I only received that after I went on an e-mail and phone campaign. So thank you for Ken Lewis' e-mail address and the information on this website, without, I would have definitely backed out because the process was taking so long – longer than I thought was the worse case scenario.

  • Dave R.

    Got a question. Lender is CW. Home owner hasn't made mortgage payments for 6 months. HO wants to do a short sale with me but wants "25k on the side" from me, separate from the short sale. This is illegal and I told them so. In that case, they want to sit in the house for as long as possible rent-free and sell off things in the house, until it goes to foreclosure.

    Is there any way for me to approach CW and make an offer, totally bypassing the home owner?

    TIA, Dave

  • Meiks

    Hey Dave… I would say just forget this one all together. It is hard enough getting Countrywide to get their act together for a short sale situation where the seller IS actually involved and trying to save their credit. If the seller is shading and unmotivated, Countrywide has less of a reason to do anything. Contrary to what seems to be logical, Countrywide does not care about closing short sales. It takes a lot of work and perserverance, mostly from the sellers side. As a buyer, you really have no power to contact Countrywide about the short sale unless you get express written consent from the seller, which seems unlikely in this situation. Besides, even if by some miracle Countrywide decides to approve the short sale down the line (again, extremely unlikely scenario), then do you really want to get this house when you already know the seller has no qualms about stripping down and destroying in the time he has left in it?

  • Meiks

    UPDATE: Countrywide ended up foreclosing on this property after all!!! So no one wins!! Madness, after all these months of drama!

    In short, the other buyers offered 400K with 100K down. CW countered with 420K. Buyers were going to accept but then found over 10K in repairs that needed to be made before the bank would approve their loan (sewer lines and water heaters had been replaced with used parts not to code etc and needed to be fixed.) . Buyers reduced offer to 410K to account for this additional cost they would have to pay for out of pocket before their loan could even be approved!! CW declined. Foreclosed instead! Crazy stuff. 7 months of short sale madness and two willing buyers on the table, CW still forecloses!!!

  • K&K

    WE CLOSED!!!

    6 Months and 6 days after we put in our offer. 80/20 loan with CW being the first and another bank the 2nd. During the 6 months of waiting the sellers had 2 liens put on this property. All of this had to be cleared up before we could close.

    Good luck to all of you out there!!!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/drgernwoh drgernwoh

    Our CW buying story to date: Signed PA on 16 Sep 2008, closing for mid-Oct, cash sale. Only vague dialog with seller's agent through Oct., ours only serious offer for the vacant house. CW negotiator not assigned until 31 Oct. Talk of a BPO in early Nov. 2nd mortgage settles verbally for 5k on 25 Nov. Verbal counter offer from CW on 10 Dec for 10k over our original offer. We amend our original PA to reflect the CW's verbal counter and 2nd's settlement on 15 Dec. 2nd sends agreement letter on 15 Dec (good til 15 Jan), CW sends their agreement letter on 19 Dec (good til 19 Jan) and closing is scheduled for Wed, 31 Dec. All is well. Call from our atty on Tues: the closing is postponed indefinitely. The title insurance underwriter doesn't like the CW agreement letter apparently. CW only services the mortgage, Bank of New York bought the debt in Feb 2008 (they're not the original lender) and has filed foreclosure against the owner (though not served). CW letter doesn't say explicitly anything about Bank of New York releasing its lien or dismissal of the foreclosure suit. The intervening New Years holiday doesn't help and we lose more time. And now the title agency won't close until it gets something (they won't say what exactly) from CW. Is the title agent asking for something they (and we) will never get? Could we lose this because CW doesn't own the mortgage it services? Any suggestions on how to move this toward closing? The clock is running out on us and this property.

  • VA Loan Guy

    @drgernwoh –

    CW has servicing agreements with a wide variety of investors. Their arrangement with each of these investors varies as well. In many cases, CW has 'delegated decision' making powers. That is to say that the investor has empowered CW to act on their behalf in matters such as negotiating short sale payoff amounts and terms, even though the loan does not belong to CW. The relatively quick turnaround — in the world of CW — suggests such an arrangement with Bank of New York.

    Your intuition is correct. The title officer is asking for a doc that will likely never happen — not in time to do you any good at least. CW uses a standard form letter for short sale acceptance that has been approved by their legal dept. To my knowledge, they never deviate from that form. Find out specifically what title is looking for. Don't wait for your agent to do it, pick up the phone today and get the story for yourself. Be assertive, you are the one writing the checks here. If they are less than compliant, consider switching title companies.

  • VA Loan Guy

    When a short sale closes escrow, a copy of the final HUD-1 is sent to the lender(s) for approval. An authorized officer must sign and remit the HUD-1 to the title office before the sale is funded. The lender(s) have 72 hours to rescind, if they so choose. Once they sign in acceptance of the HUD-1, they relinquish all rights to foreclose on the property and accept the short payoff. Therefore, a release of lien and cancellation of trustee sale is essentially automatic. I know of no court of law in the land that would allow otherwise.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/drgernwoh drgernwoh

    A follow-up to the list: we closed today (Jan 14th) almost 4 months from our original offer without difficulty (except for a dose of winter in NW OH).

    We believe the primary difficulty came from lack of understanding (trust?) of any relationship between CW and Bank of New York by the title insurance underwriter. Our old-school, semi-retired attorney, based on his reading of the Commitment for Title Insurance had been adamant from the start that the seller should have been negotiating directly with BoNY rather than CW — CW had nothing to do with this deal in his opinion (which, of course, was wrong, but we kept him on anyway). So when the CW acceptance letter came, our attorney likely made certain that he underwriter at the title company followed through on this. Another realtor specializing in short sales suggested to me immediately following the Dec 30th postponement that the firm/attorney handling the foreclosure for BoNY/CW was the key — it took the title company 10 days to figure this out, and then got it wrong. Based on information from the seller and her realtor, we got the title company talking directly to the foreclosing attorney's office, and within the hour, our closing was scheduled for the next morning.
    VA Loan Guy is correct about the CW standard acceptance letter and their servicing agreements with investors (and we had no reason to not trust it). In our case, however, a conservative title company didn't trust this CW/BoNY relationship until that relationship was explained sufficiently by the foreclosure attorney (or so we believe).
    One more point: based on earlier posts here, I sent an e-note off to [email protected] explaning our difficulty in getting the title company to accept the acceptance letter on its face. After some more research, I came across a few more e-mail address at Countrywide, and sent similar messages late last week, then again on Monday. 20 minutes after our closing was scheduled, I received a phone call from someone claiming to be in the Office of the President at CW, telling me that they had also been in contact with the title company closing agent, and gave me her direct number in case there was any further difficulty with the closing. I don't know what communication prompted that action, but I did find it interesting.

    All more than a little frustrating, but, in the end, we made it work out.

  • John

    I would be looking at a shortfall of 60K on a HELOC (2nd) and 130K on the 1st (owe 480 – worth 350). Has anyone heard of a short sale where CountryWide would be willing to forgive this much – or would foreclosure be my only option?

    Thanks in advance for the responses.

  • VA Loan Guy

    @ John –

    130k is a pittance compared to some of the losses I've seen recently on short sales. Really, what is an 'acceptable loss' is relative to many factors including the original loan amount and current local market conditions. The fact is, foreclosures cost lending institutions like CW a lot of time and money to process and liquidate. You should open the dialogue with them today and find a competent, short sale savvy real estate agent to help you negotiate an agreement with your lenders.

  • John

    Appreciate the comment!

  • Gary

    Great information folks! I started searching the net last night about Countrywide short sales and found this wonderful blog. I will be submitting an offer early next for a property that is a Countrywide short sale and I should be the first to submit. The agent representing me is also the selling agent…she is great. She also recognizes that she is not an expert in these and has a specialized short sale broker that is working for her behind the scenes.

    On some other blogs, I have read conversation that it is Countrywide's policy to have my lending (the buyer's lending) through Countrywide in order for the deal to work. Can anyone confirm or refute this information? The house on the propery is an incomplete remodel and the lending has to be a construction type of loan. I have secured the funding however it is not through Countrywide as most people are not writing these types of loans today.

    Thank you in advance – Gary

  • Nvywhyf

    Hi All,
    Here is the latest on our saga. Got a new very proactive agent 2 days after our other lacking agent and buyer walked away in late October. New agent is great and got us an offer within 2 weeks of listing it. Offer accepted/signed Nov. 17 and submitted to CW. CW uploaded in their system on Dec. 4 – so far we are told as of Jan. 20, 2009 that it's going to 2nd level negotiator level and then onto investor level with no guarantee of approving the short sale. Crossing fingers/toes etc. it does – as we are one month behind, military family and have been paying rent + mortgage and utilities for both places (short sale in CA – military relocation sent us to MD). New offer is with our listing agent who is representing buyer and us(sellers) . After calling CW again to check status and try to speed things along…they say it takes up to 75 days from when they receive the offer in their system to get an answer (75 business days) Ugh! Owners of house we are renting want to put on market next month….CW – Please make a positive decision for those who serve and defend this country.

  • Tired

    Gary, I'm not so sure about that. My pre-approval was thru CountryWide and 5 months later I'm still waiting. Last week I was so annoyed at how the long the process was taking I took $10,000 off my original offer. Something tells me I've just added 5 more months to this already drawn out process.

  • HELP_pls

    Hello..
    I've recently submitted an offer on a short sale 1/20/09.. The Owner has signed the contract and is working with a facilitator to negotiate the short sale with Countrywide. I did my homework and found that the property was well into the foreclosure process, the hearing for the foreclosure was on 1/30. I made some calls and got the judge to allow me to sit in on the hearing, which I then found out exactly what was owed on the property and when the county auction date would be… i.e. March 3….. The auction requires you pay for the home in Cash by the close of the day… (not an option at the price the bank will most likely be approved to bid to) I have tried multiple times to get information from CountryWide, but I don't have authorization from the Seller to release the status information and they don't seem too willing to give me this authorization. This is really holding me back from pushing Countrywide…. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get CW's attention before the Auction??? Or if there is anything else I can do??? (p.s. I was able to get out of them that they have 3 steps in which negotiators are involved and that there is a negotiator assigned.. but that was it)

  • VA Loan Guy

    @ Gary –

    There is no truth to that rumor and CW is in no position to make such demands. I would also advise you to be extremely vigilant when dealing with an agent that is not short sale savvy. Be sure that you have all of the addendums applicable in your State. They will save you much grief and thousands of dollars. If in doubt, post here and I will help you.

    @ Tired –

    Regrettably, I have to say that you probably did add more delay to the process. Any time something changes, the paperwork has to be scrutinized further. Unless CW has rejected your offer or the property simply does not appraise well, it does not serve you to alter the deal. Having noted that, your frustration is understood and shared by many on this board.

  • VA Loan Guy

    @HELP_pls –

    There is little that can be done about gaining access to someone's credit account if they don't want you to have it. By your outline of the events, the deal rests almost entirely in the seller's hands. A seller who is 60 days away from total credit ruin should be highly motivated to help you, the prospective buyer, to get the deal done. Likewise, the listing agent should be compelled to move forward — if the property goes to a trustee sale, the agent walks empty-handed.

    The afore mentioned aside, you can contact CW expressing interest in the property and request a postponement of the trustee sale in order to provide ample time for them to review your offer. CW and most other lenders do so on a regular basis. Chances are good that the negotiator is unaware of the rapidly approaching sale date.

  • Ned

    The short-sale process seems pretty unnerving for both buyers and sellers alike. Based on a lot of the feedback that I've read, it seems like Countrywide has little interest in the short-sell.
    I spoke to the VA about my loan and they mentioned that they don't really get involved anymore unless it reaches the foreclosure process (and it sounds like they're an arbitrator more than anything else).

    I wish I had known about Countrywide when my loan was sold to them… I would've refinanced with a different company.

  • Gary

    VA Loan Guy-

    Thanks for the input. What do you mean when you say?

    "Be sure that you have all of the addendums applicable in your State. They will save you much grief and thousands of dollars."

    Thanks- Gary

  • VA Loan Guy

    @ Gary –

    Addendums are clauses which either add to or alter the terms of the purchase contract. They are used for special situations, some of which are fairly common, such as short sales, estate sales, unfinished homes and the like. Most States have some type of 'Short sale addendum', the purpose of which is to protect the buyer and seller from some of the common pitfalls of this type of transaction. Amongst other notables, it typically contains a clause –
    1. advising that the contract is contingent upon acceptance by the seller's lender — translated; no approval letter, no deal.
    2. stating that the seller intends to excersize due diligence by providing the lender with all required documentation in a timely manner. I refer to such terms as a 'kick in the butt clause' — a reminder that all parties share some liability for non-compliance.

  • VA Loan Guy

    3. stating that the date of 'contract acceptance' shall be the date on which the buyer's agent receives the acceptance letter from the seller's lender — this clause is extremely important because you need not waste your money on inspections and appraisals until the bank has approved the deal IN WRITING. I don't even put up earnest deposits without the all-important approval letter in hand and neither should you. Some addendums already provide for deferred earnest deposits. If not, you can write it in as an additional term.
    4. waiving any type of seller's warranty of the premises. In some States, this may be part of a seperate 'As-is addendum' . If this is so in your State, make sure you have one completed and signed by all.
    5. allowing buyer's cancellation of the contract at any time prior to seller's lender's acceptance without penalty — another extremely valuable clause when a short sale is dragging on into eternity.

  • highlndr

    VA Loan Guy, cg, and Mieks –
    I actually signed my doc's last Saturday – and no payout!!! What a wild ride!! We presented and were appproved three times for my short sale with CW – and lost buyers 2x.
    Since April when I first requested consideration for a short sale, CW drug their feet on approval, lost dozens of doc's, phone rep's repeatedly lied to us about the progress/status. So, in October I got the attention of the office of the Prez, and they worked with us on my sale(s).
    I moved out in Nov., but kept the place clean, the HOA account current, and utilities on so it could show in its best light. Ironically, from Dec. 1 to Jan 10 (when one buyer walked, and the next one came along…) the accepted sale price dropped $20k; but CW approved it – again.
    I've actually signed my doc's – I have no payout – I can't believe it!!
    I get exhausted just thinking about it. My average credit score has dropped about 80 points in the last 5 months – so now I need to request a "rapid rescore" to get that addressed.
    *** sigh *** What a nightmare! But it's almost over!!!

  • highlndr

    Hi All,
    I think I can shed some light on a few of the concerns posted here. I had stayed off this site for a while b/c of the stress associated with my short sale. (Longest 8 months of my life – Yech!)
    Office of the Prsident is becoming more swamped with handling/coordinating problem situations, and their phones & personnel are much busier. BUT the good thing with getting on their radar- when you call in and enter your accoutn #, call goes straight to Office of the Prez. You do get this preferential treatment.
    As recent as 2 weeks ago, CW negotiator still would not share with me who our 3rd party investor was. Interesting that someone was able to find that out.
    Whether you finance with CW or not makes no difference. I had a buyer pre-approved WITH CW FOR ALMOST 2x my sale ammount, and they ended up walking b/c of the long delay.

  • highlndr

    My account was watched over by Office of the Prez since early October, and below are my time frames.
    I'd like to add a note about how the "investors" look at buyers' financing: My condo ended up going to a $350k all cash sale. I asked the negotiator – will this be a slam dunk now that we have an all cash offer? Her response was "no – absolutely not. Cash only makes no difference to them – they are ultimately looking at their loss on the deal. But, they do want a strong offer, of course." I, as the seller, had to submit updated and thorough personal financial reports with every offer considered.
    The offer that was considered before this one was a LosAngelesUSD financing, offering $370k with a larger down. That offer was selected over another buyer's offer of $375k with a smaller down. They preferred the lower loan to value ratio, so it was the way that offer was written. And, that buyer walked Dec. 1st – theirs was a 2-month wait to approval.
    And, it did finally sell for $350k cash – submission of offer to escrow signing took 4 weeks. I wouldn't wish this experience on anyone.

  • VA Loan Guy

    Way to go, highlndr! Perseverance pays. You saved your credit from total ruin and gained valuable wisdom in the process. I hope you'll stay around and share your insights with others here.
    Well done!

  • highlndr

    Thank you for the kind words, VA Loan Guy!!
    I just checked my True Credit 3-score report subscription. (An investment I promised myself in the midst of this)
    It's not as bad as I thought – my range among the 3 scores is from the 740's to the 670's. I am going to submit a packet to all 3 bureaus, including printouts of when my mortgage was in "Collections Suspended" status, so I can get a boost back into those scores. My agent suggested the Rapid Rescore request, and I documented it all – so I'll try it.
    Whew – I definitely learned a lot through this process.
    Thanks again to all for your support. This site was definitely a blessing, with all the info posted here.

  • highlndr

    As the buyer, I think you're limited on who you can reach out to for info. The seller has to submit updated personal financials on every offer, and whenever CW asks for it. It gets very frustrating, and makes you question what they're looking for; but CW has a method they follow. The seller should have access to the dates related to the sale, and that info is accessible online on their account log in. I was at this point 3 times on the same property: every time the seller gets approval on the negotiated sale, it should be finalized 30 days from the verbal okay.
    I was the seller, but I sent faxes to the B of A home retention team whose offices happened to be in the same town as me, and 4 other executives at B of A and Countrywide. I used a site that listed executives for different companies, and selected any one who was listed as "real estate – consumers". It was a fax to a B of A exec that got my file into the president's office at CW.

  • lee

    My house is at a market value of 176k. We bought it 5 yrs ago. The loan was 153k and now it is down to 146k. We are paying PMI too on the mortgage. We have countrywide as the lender. We are thinking of doing a short sale on the house because we lost one of our job. We are thinking of doing a short sale at 100k. Do you think countrywide will approve it? Should we go through the hassle or simply just foreclose it?

  • VA Loan Guy

    @ lee –

    Did you mean that the current value is 176k or that you purchased for 176k and it's now worth less than the mortgage balance?

  • slo

    gabriel, I have been negotiating short sales over a year now. Typically if you are not the high bid on the property the lienholder does not want the offer submitted. I tell my buyers right away to make their highest and best offer because it won't be submitted if it isn't the best on the table. He shouldn't have told you he submitted it though, and left you hanging like that. Although, he really doesn't have to tell you anything at all if he doesn't want to.

  • steph

    Does anyone know if my short-sale approval will be affected if I have better finances now then when this whole process began almost 8 months ago?

    We have lost 3 buyers during this time because CW was taking so long to approve the short sale. The reason that my finances are better now is because I was in a car accident a little over a year ago and I got a settlement for it 3 months ago. Regardless of the money I have in the bank now, if we keep the property we will most likely be facing the same scenario later on and we would rather just take our losses now.

  • highlndr

    Steph –
    As a seller, you will be asked to disclose to CW your actual, current finances (probably 2x) every time you have a potential buyer. CW asked me for my current finances at the beginning of each offer submittal, and at the end when the third-party investor reviewed the offers for final approval (to determine what the seller's pay out amount may be.)
    When I complained that I had already given them my current finances for the existing offer, they responded that they want as current as possible, and the ones they had were more than 45 days old. (They had the file so long, the process had passed their own guideline of what is preferred as "current.")
    I hope this info helps clear it up a bit.

  • Steph

    I understand that we should provide our most current financials. My concern is that the fact that we have more money now than we did before (when we initially asked for a short-sale 8 months ago) will prompt them to deny the short-sale, especially since we are now on the third buyer and coming close to them sending it into forclosure if they dont approve it soon. Like I said it was a settlement from a pretty bad car accident.

    I just dont want them to ask for us to pay up leaving us broke again and still not being able to make the mortgage payments (we also owe more than our house is worth so it is not worth keeping it).

  • highlndr

    Current Short Sale timeline from CW site: (Sorry – you may want to Copy & paste to a new doc to read this better)
    Part 1
    Call (800) 669-6650 Please have your Loan Number and Property Address ready when you call

    Additional Useful Information To Have Ready When You Call:
    *** A brief explanation of your circumstances: Include Recent income documents (such as Pay stubs; Benefit statements from Social Security, Disability, Unemployment, Retirement, or Public Assistance. If you are Self-employed, have your tax returns or a Year-to-Date Profit and Loss statement available for reference); Bank Statements and Tax Returns for Past 2 Years

    *** Property Disposition Options: If you are not interested or are unable to retain homeownership, the following programs may be available: Short Sale / You may be able to sell your property at its fair market value even if the sale's proceeds are less than what is owed on your loan.

  • highlndr

    Current Short Sale timeline from CW site: (Sorry – you may want to Copy & paste to a new doc to read this better)
    Part 2

    *** How the process works: This option provides you with an opportunity to sell your home quickly, while attempting to preserve your credit rating. At the close of escrow, if the short sale is approved, the proceeds are wired to us. Documents that are required: Updated financial information for all parties on the loan; Completed short sale documents (i.e. Purchase Agreement, HUD Documents etc.); Verification of income; Interior appraisal
    *** Estimated Timing: The short sale process typically takes 60 days to complete, but may take longer.
    The primary stages are: Determination of value – 2 weeks;
    Negotiation and approval of offer – 2-5 days;
    Transaction approval – 2-5 days;
    Escrow closing – 2-4 weeks
    * All plan options may require investor/insurer approval. All time durations listed are estimates only. ** This option may have tax implications. Please check with a financial or tax advisor.

  • Chris

    Thank God this is finally over!!! I have been reading this site for the past few months as my husband and I awaited anxiously for our shortsale to go through. I have held back posting comments b/c I was so angry with CW that I couldn't bring myself to even describe my situation. I would like to encourage all of you sellers (and buyers), CW is slow, but patience is definitely virtue. I was fortunate enough to have very patient buyers, who made it very clear that were willing to wait as long as it took. Here's the rundown of my situation:
    -09/29/2008 received offer for $200k (list price was $205k, outstanding loan approx $260)
    -11/24/2008 CW assigned a a representative (this was not the negotiator)
    -01/2009 Negotiator assigned
    -01/26/2009 Shortsale and offer was approved
    -02/2009 CW appraisal and buyer's appraisal completed
    02/27/2009 WE CLOSED!!!!!
    It took 5 months to close. Keep in mind, the timeline does not reflect a lot of back and forth, back and forth, between myself and CW. They lost/did not receive some of my documents more than twice.

  • Chris

    I would also like to point out that it is VITAL to have an agent that is knowledgeable of shortsales and who will call CW to ensure things are moved along. My agent did much of nothing when it came to that (he is a whole other story). But I was so desperate to keep the buyers and sale the home that I called CW at least 2x a week (sent a letter to BOA and escalated to supervisors) to ensure things would not fall thru the cracks. If you don't call them, your file will be pushed to the back of the bunch! When you call them, please ensure they confirm that you are talking to the shortsale dept and NOT the workout dept b/c it will cause delays. After my file was assigned, I got them to give me the email address of the person handling my file and I began contacting her as soon as I could. She was very responsive.

  • Chris

    Also, if you are checking the workout notes on under your account that tells you the progress of your SS, CW will give you a date that something will be complete and instruct you not to call them before that date because it will cause delays. THAT'S A LIE! First, the date they give you means absolutely nothing because they never complete anything by the dates they tell you. Call them whenever you feel you need an update or if too much time has gone by without your hearing anything. I'm sure CW is busy with tons of SS's, but you have to be persistent to get things moved along. I was amazed that it only took 5 months for me after I read many of the posts on this site. But please stay encouraged, I know it's VERY frustrating. My closing even took 3 and 1/2 hours b/c the CW funder kept disappearing (maybe went to lunch or something) and claimed she didn't receive the title company's paperwork more than once, so that was even frustrating, but nonetheless, it's over!!!

  • highldnr

    Chris – I know exactly how you felt – I couldn't post here during my last two sale proceedings; just thinking about it would make my shoulders and neck feel like they were on fire.
    You're right about the dates CW gives you – if they say something takes 2 weeks, you can count on that they don't look at it until 2 weeks and one day. And, they do seem to misplace about 50% of the paperwork – constantly. Persistence, knowledge, and patience are essential to get through this process.
    My buyers' final walkthrough was Saturday. All the doc's are signed, I have my amended "Demand Letter", stating escrow is to close "on or before March 6", but I want to see and hear "IT IS OFFICIALLY, HONESTLY SOLD" before I really believe it.
    Why? Because I received in the mail – yesterday, the same day as the Demand Letter, a letter from CW stating my short sale was denied b/c the offer is too low. Thank God I have spoken to the negotiator enough to belive the short sale is almost finished!! They honestly don't know what's going on there!!

  • Chris

    Highldnr – Yes, their processes and communication are completely broken. I hope your closing is still set to go for tomorrow and I hope you don't have to go thru the drama I did at my closing. It was taking so long that both attorneys had to leave to go to other appointments and the title company had another group to close sitting in the waiting area. Hope everything works out! BTW, do you know if there CW is suppose to send out additional paperwork outside of the closing paperwork?

  • Chris

    Highldnr – Also, how long did you wait before checking your credit scores?

  • highlndr

    Hi Chris,
    I have checked my scores all along. About a year ago, CW sent out a letter offering their customers a free 2-yr membership to ConsumerInfo (Experian) because of a security breach by an employee. I have that and a subscription to TransUnion. I got divorced almost 5 years ago, so I've been very aware of being a newly single mother and focused on maintaining high scores as an individual. I have one score under 700 right now, and there is misinformation on that report about the mortgage, so I need to address it directly with that company. I printed out every time my sales were approved and fell apart, b/c the loan is "no payment due at this time" or "payment due" based on the status of it being in the "considering offer" stage. I plan to send the bureaus a summary of the short sale saga with a request for a Rapid Re-score.

  • highglndr

    Sorry – I don't know anything about any more paperwork than what I've got. I've spoken to my agent 2x since my last posting, and she says it's a done deal. As for paperwork, I have my escrow docs that I signed, and the demand letter. There was a possibility of a request for a one-week extension from the buyers, but they didn't need it after all. So, it's done!

    I can ask my realtor if I'm expecting any more paperwork, and let you now later today. I'm with you – It's such a weird process compared to "normal" or "traditional" home sales, that you really don't know what to expect.

  • BWAT

    Hello all,

    My wife and I are hoping for a faster result than the experiences I’m reading about here. We are in the early stages with CW. We had our offer on a short sale home accepted by the seller on Feb. 11 09, so we are 3 weeks into the process.

    Our agent told us that the negotiating with the lender has to be handled by the sellers agent and the title company. He said the title company being used is very proactive and will be contacting the lender a couple times a week.

    We have a deadline on the offer contract for mid-March for the lender to respond to our offer. From what I’m reading from others experieces we shouldn’t be too optimistic about hearing back by the deadline?

    We’re suppose to get an update about where we are in the process from CW on this upcoming Monday. I’ll post back with updates on our process as we go. If any of you have any advice on how to get the offer into the negotiator’s hands more quickly, please let me know?

  • BWAT

    Any advice? My story is a couple posts above on 3/5/09.

  • highlndr

    Hi Chris,
    I contacted my agent today. She said I should expect my closing paperwork from the escrow company in the mail next week at the latest. At that point, there is nothing else for me to sign, receive, or file. I will officially be DONE with this nightmare!!

  • Chris

    Awesome!!!!! Thanks so much for all the information you've provided! Good luck with everything else going forward!

  • Stephan

    Hi Chris. This process should have taken no more than 30 days to get approved. Like everything their are certain shortcuts your realtor could have taken…The problem in taking too long is that all documents have to be refreshed..ie. last 2 months bank statements, paystubs. Value was also different when you started and the house may not appraise for the buyer…Dealing witha knowledgeable realtor makes a world of difference.

  • Chris

    You are absolutely right. I wish I'd read these posts before I selected my realtor. He pretended he had a world of experience in SS, etc, but I ended up doing most of the work (with my attorney's secretary). He provided no guidance whatsoever; all he did was call the buyers' attorney and give them updates that I worked to retrieve! If this weren't a SS and time wasn't so sensitive, I would have fired him. And you are very right about the 30 day approval. Their website even says 30 days to process I believe. This was very frustrating, but nonetheless, I'm ecstatic that it's all over! Thanks for your post.

  • BWAT

    I was told this week by my agent that the lady at the title company who is handling the process with Countrywide on this deal, who does SS all day every day, says that her experience with Countrywide right now is 2-3 months from the time they accept the package, which they have in my case. So I guess I need to just sit and be patient.

  • Small World

    I would like to make a short sale. We are 150.000 upside down on a 320k mortgage. Ive been out of a job but my wife works. We want to get out. It is a 1br condo in great shape. We have been using our savings to pay the monthly mortgage and has run out and next month will most likely begin to miss payments. We also have credit card debt and leased cars. If we go for a short sale, should we continue making payments on our credit cards? .. From reading the posting on Debtkid it says keep paying on the credit cards to keep your credit active, but wont the lenders see that and decide that your paying on your credit cards and not the loan. ( they will then not accept your need for a short sale) ?
    also, when you file for short sale when will your credit become effected? If you have 0 % aprs presently, will these cards then become higher interest rate automatically once you file for a short sale or during. Ruining your chance to pay off the debt while going through this hard time.

    Can anyone give advise as to what steps to take so that you are not running in the hole in the long run. ??
    and that you don't end up in foreclosure or bankruptcy.

    Thank you.

  • VA Loan Guy

    @ Small World –

    We should begin by noting that a short sale will only remedy your mortgage woes. Consumer tradelines such as credit cards, installment loans and the like are an entirely different matter. Lenders like CW are only interested in whether you can pay your mortgage. If the answer is no, then you have sufficient cause to pursue a short sale. You need not demonstrate abject poverty, only the inability to keep up with mortgage payments. If you wish to protect your good credit, missing payments on credit cards and auto leases would be the wrong way to go.
    Simply beginning the short sale dialogue with CW will not wound your credit. It is only affected adversely when:
    - you start missing payments
    - a short sale is closed (the damage can be nominal depending on the # of missed payments)
    - your property is foreclosed on by the lender either by trust deed or deed in lieu

  • VA Loan Guy

    The APR on other credit tradelines should not be affected as there is not actually any type of recorded public notice for short sales, only the associated credit reporting to the Big 3 bureaus after closing. The only fundamental difference between a short sale and any other residential real estate transaction is that your lender has agreed to accept a payoff which is less than what you owe them.

    One other note. A competent, proactive, short sale savvy agent is the key to making your transaction go. You cannot expect to effectively screen and identify good realtors from bad unless you familiarize yourself with the entire process. Read this thread from beginning to end and take notes. Interview realtors like you would a nanny for your kids. Your financial future relies their performance and you cano't afford to pick a loser.

  • http://360realty.com/360blog/ Stephan Sabbah

    Dear Small World,

    Your credit becomes affected as soon as you become late on your mortgage. Based on the fico score your credit started from, i.e. someone with 780 fico will probably get hit about 200 points whereas someone with a 600 fico will probably get hit about 100 pouints. The issue right now is getting out of this property and having you be in control of how it will be done as opposed to the lender foreclosing on you. you will then be able to rebuild your credit and based on current fha guidelines, be able to purchase again in 24 months. My company and I have over 200 active shortsales in California with a team of seasonned negotiators working on your behalf. No up front cost to you. If your lender is countrywide, i can get this done in 60 days or less as we arte in a preffered program with them. None of the horror stories your hear about on all the bloggs. The key for you is asking a lot of kestions and you'll be able to know exactly what route to take…..

    My company's website is http://www.360realty.com

  • Small Word

    Thank you for your response. I am definitely interested in finding a Short Sale Agent. Do you Recommend a company in N. VA area. Will I need to work on this quickly because as of present I am current but will most likely fall behind next month and does this qualify us if your starting only at the beginning of the process?

    Other Questions:
    1. How would we qualify for the short Sale? Do we need to submit any paper work, bank statements etc. ?

    2. Your stating that if we keep current on all other credit co. ( cards, Car, etc.) that our credit would not be hit until the date we actually sell the house short ?

    3. We do have our 1st with CW. If we are current as of present and we call them to discuss a short sale would it be best to have a legal attorney or agent represent us with the first process or start it ourselves. I would not want to have an issue with CW just because we were representing ourselves.

    4. From what I hear you submit an offer say our house will only sell for 160,000 presently ( this is the amount a Realtor expressed it would sell for) . Will the lender accept that much for the short sale and absorb the rest of the cost ? or will they say we need to sell it for more. And then if we cannot, we end up in foreclosure after trying for 4 months and not making payments. Then we will be in more of a disposition.

    I have read most of this blog and it seems that many people have different issues, although some relative. It is hard to get personalized info. I appreciate your help, it has been encouraging.

  • Stephan Sabbah

    In response to your post. Yes I can recommend an agent there for you. You should start on it now but you have plenty of time as you have not become late. It takes a minimum of 6 month for the property to get foreclosed on.

    1. Who are your lenders and how much do you owe on each?

    2. Your credit will get hit as soon as you miss your first mortgage payment.

    3. 360 realty can do all the paperwork and negotiation on your behalf. The agent on the ground in VA will take care of marketing the property and finding a buyer.
    With Countrywide 360 realty deals directly with the office of the president with a dedicated team of Countrywide representatives. We can get this done in abou 60 days… Countrywide will also pay your property taxes and up to $8,000 to satisfy the second lien holder. 360 realty would represent you in negotiating this.

    4. It all rest in the offer being about 10-15% of the market value, not what you owe…. I will help you determine what is acceptable to the lender.

    If you need to email me confidential info use [email protected]

    4.

  • VA Loan Guy

    @ Small World –

    1.CW will require several documents, collectively referred to as 'financials'. When you contact CW to start the process, they will tell you exactly what they need (i.e. recent paystubs, bank statements, etc.). It would be a good idea to already have these papers together in-hand.
    2.Unless you start missing payments — mortgage or other — there is no penalty to your credit until after closing.
    3.In my view, attorneys just get in the way and add a higher degree of difficulty to an already stressful process. CW may be less willing to work with you if they believe that you are angling for some type of civil case against them. One need not speak 'Legalese' to converse with their lender. When you tell them that you can no longer meet your payment obligations to them, they'll get the picture right away. CW is not in the home ownership business and they don't want to foreclose if they can avoid it.

  • VA Loan Guy

    4.CW will want your agent to submit a 'BPO' — a broker's price opinion. Based on that figure, CW will weigh offers from potential buyers. It is in everyone's best interest that the BPO be a reasonable figure for a quick sale. Lenders gain nothing by insisting on a higher price — such is a good way for a lender to become a homeowner. Again, a competent — and persuasive — agent is the key.

    Disregard anyone who suggests that you leave it all to them and just wait for the phone call with the good news. Your knowledge, vigilance and direct participation are required to assure success.

  • stephan Sabbah

    Cw does not ask the listing agent to provide a BPo which is a borker's price opinion. They will order their own through Landsafe which is a third party. Va is right in your being proactive and not letting the lender take your property….

  • CiCi

    Hi all –
    What an impossible journey this sounds like. We are trying to do a short sale on our house which we are severely under water on. (It's listed now, no offers yet.) If we succeed, do any of you know how long we'd have to wait before buying a new house somewhere (assuming we could get financing)?

    TIA,
    CiCi

  • VA Loan Guy

    @ CiCi –

    Recovery time will depend on many factors. Monitor your credit closely, paying particular attention to your fico score. With credit as tight as it is, a score below 680 will keep you out of the game. Also, be prepared to put 20% down on any conventional loan. The days of 90-100% financing are gone and will be for a while. Beware of sub-prime lenders who say they can work with bad credit. Such is the genesis of the problems many Americans are now facing.

    Another knowledgeable poster here by the name of highlndr has written of a credit monitoring service which she used to keep on top of her credit scores. An excellent plan. In the meantime, plan on being a renter for a time. Regroup and get your financial status healthy again before heading back out into the wild.

  • VA Loan Guy

    I, myself closed on a CW short last September. They did take a BPO and later ordered an independent appraisal which actually came in about $15k higher than the BPO. They accepted the BPO any way and I closed about 3 weeks later. The listing agent — whom I know pretty well — is a genuine short sale expert and really went to bat for his client.

  • Kelly

    I dont understand CW – Do they want to keep the properties? Will they benefit from not doing a short sale? Do they legally have to try to short sale the property? They are not acting in good faith.

    -09/28/2008 received offer for $430k (original loan$580)
    -11/24/2008 CW assigned a a representative (this was not the negotiator)
    -01/2009 Negotiator assigned
    -02/5/2009 CW contacts my realtor says Shortsale is approved if I (seller) pay CW $20,000. Realtor tells CW she will get the 20,000 from buyer – CW says NO must come from seller!!!! WHAT???

    So my realtor said CW doesnt want to sell your house I cant help you.

  • AJC

    We are trying to purchase a short sale home. It has been a month now with no response from the sellers lender CW. We hate all of this waiting around, as the buyer is there anything we can do to speed up this horrible process? Also the seller accepted our offer, but we now have to wait to hear from CW? Why would the seller have any right to accept offers if its not there decision anyway?

  • http://www.360realty/360blog.com Stephan Sabbah

    In a short sale the seller (the owner of the property) not the bank decides who to sell the property to or whom to accept a contract from with (secondary) the approval of the bank.
    Make sure the lisitng agent is experienced in short sales or this purchase will never happen…..

  • AJC

    Thanks Stephan. The listing agent is experienced but we our still confused about this entire process. We really love the home so hopefully it will pay off to be patient. 299,000 asking price. 285,000 offer (accepted). Appraisal from our lender 325,000. Can the appraisal give CW the right to go after the full 325,00 or just the 299,000? Thanks for any help.

  • BWAT

    From what I’m reading the listing agent plays a big part in getting a SS done, but my realtor told me that the title company is the one who keeps pestering CW weekly to move things along, and that it will take an average of 2-3 months right now with CW to get an answer back on our offer? Does this sound right?

  • Jessica Oliveras

    My Fiance and I put an offer in on a short sale from Countrywide back in October of 08. It is now the end of March 09 (5 months later) and we still have not hear a thing. About a month and a half ago we got a call from the listing agent asking us if we were still interested b/c the lender is ready to move on it. We said yes we are still interesed and even drew up an addendum re-instating the October offer. We gave them 30 days to reply. 45 days later we still have not heard a thing. Our agent has called the listing agent for a status but the listing agent says she has NO IDEA when we will hear anything. Apparently the file went to a negotiator but then was re-assigned to another negotiator b/c the orginal one has way too much work. We are ready to pull the offer. This is holding up my fiance and I to become a family. VERY FRUSTRATING.

  • VA Loan Guy

    @ AJC –

    The appraisal ordered by your mortgage lender is never shared with the seller, CW or anyone else. Therefore, CW will not be advised of the appraised value unless they order their own independent appraisal — which they will likely do.
    I cannot repeat this often enough: until you have the written approval letter from CW, you have no deal. What you have presently is, in essence, an offer on a short sale. Nothing more.

  • VA Loan Guy

    @ BWAT –

    Your agent mistaken. Escrow officers have little vested interest in making the sale go and they aren't in the pestering business. Realtors are. Any seasoned escrow officer knows that a short sale contract without a written approval letter from the lender is NOT an active contract. Frankly, aside from a prelim title search, there is little to be done as far as title work is concerned until the approval letter is issued. The listing agent will need to take the point in pursuing CW as will the seller.

  • BWAT

    @ VA Loan Guy

    Well someone’s doing something right it looks like. We got news yesterday that CW will assign a negotiator by the end of this week, and that things should move along quickly then.

    So just to recap our timeline so far:

    2/11/09 – Made offer on SS, which was accepted by seller
    3/10/09 – Got word that the CW accepted the package and that assigning a negotiator would be the next step
    3/15/09 – Extended contract offer on house for another month
    3/30/09 – We got news that CW will assign a negotiator by the end of this week

    So all and all it seems that progress is being made little by little, and I’ll post again when we have news. We are using a VA loan, any advice on anything we need to do with the VA in the case of a SS?

    Thanks in advance!!

  • Ada

    Don't be so sure. I am been waiting since November 08 and the appraisal was done two months ago. This is the second house that I try to buy wich is own by CW. I gave up with the first house after waiting 9 months. Nothing seems to work.

  • http://www.360realty.com/360blog/ Stephan Sabbah

    Fred is absolutaly correct. The payoff is worth the effort you put into closing the purchase. if you can get authorized to speak to the seller's lender things will go a lot faster as most listing agents do not have the time to call in to the bank in the frequency that they should. Hang in there…..

  • VA Loan Guy

    @ BWAT –

    Make sure you have your current VA Certificate of Eligibility in hand and ready to go. Many lenders can now handle this for you quickly and easily via the ACE system. Also, the home will need to be in decent shape and move-in ready. The VA is not fond of "fixers" and the appraiser will note any such serious deficiencies. Be sure to keep your loan officer up to date on the events as they unfold. CW typically does not allow for lengthy escrow periods, so your lender will need to assign an appraiser and move quickly for a timely closing

  • BWAT

    @ VA Loan Guy

    I’ve have the VA C of E and we are pre-approved with 2 different banks, so we are good to go on that front. The home is move-in ready so we should be good there too.

    One reason I think we are having slow but steady progress is that the Lady assigned to our case at the Title Company is calling CW every other day. We are a week behind when CW was suppose to assign the negotiator, but we are suppose to find out something tomorrow 4/14.

    I’ll post an update when I hear something new.

    Thanks,

    Barry

  • highlndr

    Just fyi info re: After the short sale… It's been 4 weeks since my short sale closed – and I monitor my credit weekly. 2 bureaus are now showing notes re: CW other than the payment being late – notes are "Improved" on Transunion and "Settlement" on Experian. My scores are still 2 – mid 700's and a 694. A little lower than before, but not horrible.
    Please note – even after it closed; CW called me to ask when I would get the account current. (Arrgghh!!) I repeatedly told them my condo had sold. I tried to be proactive in working with them, but was told it could take up to 30 days for all their departments to be advised of the final SALE. I finally contacted the negotiator who handled my sale; and she updated all their info systems. No more calls for over a week now!! Yay!!.
    By not paying my mortgage while waiting on the short sale, I didn't have the interest to write off on taxes, so I owe over $3000 combined for state and federal. That's it – I hope this info answers some q's about AFTER the short sale nightmare.
    Best wishes and good luck to all of you ~

  • VA Loan Guy

    @ highlndr –

    Congrats again. It was a long road, but you got through it with minimal collateral damage. Well done.

    @ BWAT –

    Your escrow agent is going way beyond the call. You owe her a gift certificate for a couple of dinners at her favorite steakhouse. I have an escrow officer who went the extra mile for me once recently, now she get's all of my closings — 5 and counting. A rare find indeed.

    Where is the listing agent? He/she should be on CW like white on rice — and the seller, as well. Several posters here have had success contacting the CEO of B of A. It might be worth a try to kick your deal into high gear.

  • grace

    to highlndr:
    "By not paying my mortgage while waiting on the short sale, I didn't have the interest to write off on taxes, so I owe over $3000 combined for state and federal. "
    how many months have u not made your payments prior to short sale closing? how does one figure out the state and federal taxes payable?
    thanks.

  • highlndr

    @ Grace –
    My taxes were done at the end of the year, as normal. I didn't pay the mortgage from August through the end of the year. Also, the propery taxes were included in the mortgage, so I didn't pay the Dec. 10th installment.
    I'm a single parent, and this was the first year in 5 years that I wasn't able to claim either one of my children's college tuition & education expenses. So, I didn't have the same deductions as in previous years; which certainly contributed to the total taxes owed, too.
    I stayed in contact with my CPA/taxman throughout the short sale process, and he advised me early on that it was going to be a painful income tax situation without the mortgage interest or education expenses. But, I was lucky and had no settlement payout on the short sale.

    @BWAT – Definitely do get in touch with anyone you can contact in the president's office at B of A. The contact that worked for me was an e-mail to a VP in their Consumer Mortgage division. I used "Spoke.com" and a few other sites to get executives' email addresses and fax numbers.

  • highlndr

    @ VA Loan Guy and others I have communicated with along the way,

    I would just like to say thank you one more time for the information, encouragement and support you provided to me, and continue to provide – to everyone on this site. I can't imagine going through this ordeal without the support and information sharing here. It was one year ago this week that I found out my condo would have to be listed as a short sale. It was "sold" two times before the final sale finally went through, and it finally closed, just one month ago.

    I'd like to add, To any sellers who are totally stressed and feel like your sale will never happen – Hang in there!! It's only been a month since my sale closed, and it is such a huge relief!! It already feels like it was a lifetime ago. :)
    **Thanks and Good Luck**

  • BWAT

    @ VA Loan Guy & highlndr

    Thanks for the advice on contacting B of A, I’ve done so and I’ll post any response.

    I’m not sure how active the listing agent and the seller are in contacting CW.

  • BWAT

    @ highlndr

    I contacted an Assistant VP in the mortgage loan department at the HQ for B of A named Anthony Ebright. He wasn’t much help and wrote back the following:

    “I would love to help you, but there’s nothing I can do. You will have to deal with the long wait until the banks get caught up. ”

    Just wondering if you had the name of the individual who helped you out @ B of A ?

    Thanks in advance!

  • highlndr

    I am so sorry you are having to deal with this, and I totally understand.
    [email protected] was the name referred to during their initial call to me, but I had sent out quiet a few emails and faxes from pure frustration. I can't confirm her title right now, because I maxed out Spoke on the free look-ups they offer. I also accessed the BofA main site, and submitted a request for help through their mortgage menu's "Contact Us" communication tool; and sent a fax to the local B of A Home Retention office in Brea, CA.
    I originally tried all the names I could find in California, especially So Cal, (hoping they would be more inclined to help, if I kept close to where I lived) and CW's offices in Calabasas.
    And this was back in September, before the CW/BofA merger really gelled, but I was really anxious and willing to try anything.

    Good luck!!

  • BWAT

    @ highlndr

    I tried contacting the e-mail you sent me, but it got bounced back saying that address no longer existed. Thanks again for trying to help, this process is so frustrating.

  • BWAT

    Update:

    Well after 70 days since our offer was accepted, I found out this morning that a negotiator was finally assigned yersterday. The lady at the title company who is the one staying on CW to keep things moving said that CW is now suppose to have 30 days to either accept or counter our offer.

    I ‘ll update again when I have something new to report.

  • lafonda

    I have just purchase dean Graziosi profit from real estaste book with no money down. How do you go through these short sales with the bank if you have no money down or any purchasing steps I need the 1-2-3- and a-b-c- because the book goes all around this step.

  • BWAT

    Well finally last Thursday, 85 days after our offer, CW had a BPO done. They should have it in hand now, and we should here something in the next couple weeks. They’ve also asked the seller for a few more documents, so we are encouraged that we may be coming close to an end of this process.

    I’ll update again when we hear more.

  • Jeff

    Wow! And I thought I had it bad! Reading all these comments is making me more sick.

    The taxpayers are being looted trillions of dollars and I can’t even get a measly short-sale home because Countrywide … I don’t know! I don’t know what they are doing. I can’t get any answers and I’m fed up!

    We put an offer on a short-sale in January 2009 and it’s been on a mystery negotiator’s desk at Countrywide for almost 30 days. My agent is supposedly an experienced short-sale person and they can’t get any answers.

    What is the problem? I don’t believe the lines that I’ve been given about Countrywide being overwhelmed. There are a thousand excuses out there. Is this amusing to them? Or are we dealing with B of A?

    Thanks for reading my rant.

  • Eric

    I’ve submitted a solid offer for a CountryWide property that’s listed on the MLS. Countrywise is the only note holder for this property.

    It’s been a few weeks with no word. Feeling my real estate agents aren’t following up well or asking the right questions.

    How can I jump start the process to make sure my offer is being considered?

  • Highlndr

    As a seller, I have been very concerned about the hit I would take on my credit scores. I just checked my credit report tracking sites. My short sale closed 9 weeks ago, and this is the first month since October 08 that I have no negative entries or comments on my credit report, so this is great news!! If my credit scores have already hit the bottom after the short sale, I don’t have much to complain about. The worst hit to my credit report was about 40 points, and I’ve just sent letters to the 3 bureaus re: the short sale. So, maybe now I can breathe again…

  • Highlndr

    @ Jeff & Eric,
    My experience was CW doesn’t look at documents much until the 30th day, or the 31st – when it’s on someone’s desk. They were overhwelmed when I dealt with them, and I can only imagine that it may be worse now. Keep calling, and make copious notes about your efforts at communications. Try to get on someone’s radar – pls look back about 6 weeks as I wrote about my efforts & experience at contacting people there. I suggest you try for both – contacts at BofA AND CW. Good luck, and don’t give up!

  • Jeff
  • Highlndr

    Jeff – Here’s a fax # 800-658-9364 – that worked for me.

  • Jeff

    Call it a coincidence…I don’t know. 20-30 minutes after I emailed the CEO of Bank of America the head of the real estate company I’m using for the short sale called me.

    He said that he talked to the negotiator at Countrywide and they are now countering. They are countering $15,000 more than our offer! After all these months they are countering that much over?

    Our offer was definitely NOT a low-ball offer.

    I would definitely say that I don’t believe that is an accurate BPO that they conducted.

  • Eric

    Highlndr – are you recommending that I email the presidents, send fax, etc eventhough this property hasn’t been assigned to anyone? Guess it can’t hurt.

    We tried to get the seller realtor get us a letter of auth for my buying realtor to gain access to CountryWide…. but he won’t let us do that…for some reason. And the seller realtor isn’t pushing them AT ALL.

    We’re considering hiring an external negotiator with CountryWise experience to help us. Is this a good idea? Anyone have any contacts?

  • BWAT

    @ Jeff

    What was the email address of the CEO of Bank of America that you used?

    We are close to being in the same situation as you, a negotiator has been assigned and they did the BPO on the house a week ago. We’re expecting word back on our offer any day now.

    Thanks,

    Barry

  • Jeff
  • Becca

    Wow, this website has been eye opening, and overwhelming to say the least. Even after spending hours reading post after post of how much CW sucks, I can honestly saw I am a bit relieved its not just me going through hell. So maybe since we’re all in the same boat some of you can shed some light on my situation.

    My husband and I stumbled upon a house in Georgia, It was supposedly foreclosed, but when we made the offer at the beginning of march, we found out CW never actually followed through foreclosure with the previous owner, so after coverting to short sale, the previous owner accepted our offer, but we all know with CW that doesn’t mean JACK.

    In April we were assigned a Negotiator, the property was appraised, and now halfway through May I just found out they have ordered a BPO. I really don’t have any experience in real estate, and this will be our first home, so I’m really not sure where to gauge our progress, and if we’re anywhere near an accept/counter situation. Does anyone have experience with BPO’s?

    We are dealing with an agent who says she calls CW once a week for updates, I call her about twice a week to make sure she’s actually doing her job AND send her emails. I hate feeling left in the dark, which seems to be Countrywide’s MO. We are holding on the the fact that we are the ONLY offer on the house.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!

  • BWAT

    @ Becca

    A BPO is a “Broker Price Opinion” and as I understand it this is an independant appraisal by a broker, so I’m a little confused as to why they did and appraisal last month and are now doing a BPO. Seems like overkill on their part.

    In our situation they only have done a BPO, and we should hear soon what CW’s decision is based off of the BPO.

    Good luck!

  • Highlndr

    @Eric,
    That fax number was from when I dealt directly with CW Ofc of the Pres staff in the Calabasas office – five months into the process, and in the process of losing my second “buyer”. It was a blessing, because the communications I sent there always got into the right hands. I can’t say it was always the news I wished for; but it was current info, and I actually rec’d follow-up calls. So, they “coordinated” things for me. The staff there are not “financial” or “mortgage” people, but they run the administrative offices for the executives. So, you might not get miracles, but it’s a step…

  • Highlndr

    Also, when you do get “on the radar” with the executive offices, it changes how things are handled for you. When you call in, and enter your account number on the keypad per the automated menu, your call gets routed to someone who is assigned to and is actually familiar with your account / sale. (It’s great! Weird, but great!)
    I tried hard to be an informed, pro-active seller on my short sale. I had a smart, honest, communicative, hard-working agent, but my short sale was poorly handled by CW.
    I really feel for each of you currently in this situation, and wish you the best.

  • Becca

    My husband and i are currently feeling the crunch as our lease is about to run out and are hunting for a quick place to move until CW makes up their mind. Its been 10 days since our last update from CW, no word on the BPO. I’ve been putting the pressure on the real estate agent but doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere.. Frustrated, needed to vent, not sure what else to do

  • Marcus

    Looking for an opinion: We made an offer on a San Diego home we really love in early November 08. Short sale with Countrywide, of course. Month after month, file is being sent on for “final approval” probably 4 different times. The property auction date was postponed several times. The BPO came in at $545, our offer is at $530, a model match came on the market and closed 2 months ago at $525. The latest phase was the negotiator II who had not gotten back to us within the “30 days” we were told. Friday before last (May 15th, 45 days) the negotiator 2 said she had finally received her p/o demand and would finish processing the file. Last week we were told it was sent on for “final approval”. Again. So today we hear that now the file is going to the “investor” who will get back to us in about 2 weeks. The investor doesn’t have the file yet, no, they will get it in the next couple of business days. So… probably monday June 1st, and we should hear back maybe by June 15th. Maybe. So the question is… it’s been over 6 months now, we are living month-month at a premium rate in a tiny 2-bed apartment (family of 5+dog), and now we’re told there’s yet another layer of approval to this process that could take weeks… so… should we stick it out? Do we give our notice and go find a more permanent, larger residence, or do we suck it up and wait out the next few weeks? How many fricken phases are there? If the “investor” approves, then what happens? Open escrow, or wait for Countrywide to shuffle the file to another previously unmentioned list of people? I guess you can say we’re frustrated beyond anything we ever could have imagined. Why can’t somebody lay out what the actual steps and timelines are? When does it actually END? Thanks.

  • LoganT

    Marcus,

    I’m attaching an email from Countrywide with the steps and approximate time frame that was emailed to me. We have an offer in a home in San Diego and were lucky enough to have a friend high up in the company so it was escalated right away. I’m not sure what that means but our offer went in mid April and the appraisal has been done and submitted and it is now in phase 2 assigned to the next negotiator.

    1. Fax packages to 888-491-4947, no cover sheet required, account number on every page.
    2. CW receives 10-30k faxes per day
    3. Any packages between 50-100 pages are overloading their server and are automatically get dropped, we will still receive confirmation on our side however it will not be received on their side
    4. CW requests that we send 10 pages at a time and fax after 5pm local time
    5. Packages should include the following: offer, hud, listing agreement, hardship letter, 2 years taxes, 2 months bank statements, and auth letter
    6. 7 business days to receive a fax
    7. If there is no foreclosure status a BPO will be ordered TAT=13 days, if there is a foreclosure status, file is assigned to Phase 1 and negotiator will manage BPO
    8. Receipt of BPO valuation will take 10 days to log in their system
    9. Phase 1 negotiator assigned in 10-17 days. Phase 1 reviews docs received and ensures that the BPO is in. Phase 1 TAT= file for 15 business days
    10. Phase 2 negotiator ensures that the transaction is an arm’s length transaction and double checks the docs. Phase 2 TAT= 15-30 calendar days
    11. File then is with Manager for approval for 5 business days. If it has mortgage insurance, the file is with M.I. company for 14-21 days
    12. File then goes to the investor. TAT=30-45 days
    13. If approved, TAT=7 days for a final approval letter

    **Please keep in mind that if there are any changes to the transaction even with the same buyer, the file is returned to Phase 1.

  • Becca

    Marcus,

    My husband and I are in the same boat, as you’ve probably read the previous posts, alot of us are in it! We made an offer in the beginning of march on a short sale home and were told 12 days ago we had been assigned to a phase 2 negotiator who then ordered ANOTHER BPO. We are facing the exact circumstances, in that we too are living in a tiny apartment with an expiring lease and are looking doomingly at the whole month to month thing while we throw our money down a rat hole while CW makes up their mind.

    I have often wondered in the grips of frustration if a threat to withdraw our offer will get things moving? Thanks Logan for your post- it looks like we’re in for another few months of agony.

  • Marcus

    Thanks for the replies, both of you. This is so frustrating… my wife is flipping out and wants to move NOW… I hesitate to go through the pain and hassle of a move only to have the property suddenly come available in 4-5 weeks…. Ugh. After sticking it out for over six months it would be a total waste of time, money, and energy to bail on it now. But again, my wife has had it.

    My general feeling is that a threat to walk would simply kill the deal altogether.

    Unreal.

  • LoganT

    Marcus I do think it would kill the deal if you threaten to walk. They could care less. I agree it is very frustrating and now with the rates going up it’s more frustrating. Hang in there you might here soon. There is a great forum for San Diego that seems to be very helpful with this whole process and a great place to ask questions and vent. Piggington.com

    Becca, good luck with your offer. We are also renting and our lease will be up in September. If we have to go month to month we are ok with that. It is predicted that prices will go down further and I do think we have plenty of time. I like to check patrick.net everyday and keep up with the housing news.

  • BWAT

    Update:

    Got word today that CW has all the docs they need from the seller, the BPO was done a few weeks back, and that everything has been turned over to the “Final Negotiator”.

    Which we were told means that we should finally have an answer in a couple weeks. We better because our rate lock expires June 29, so we need to close by then to not lose our 4.5% rate.

    See my posts above to see our entire timeline.

    Thanks for listening. aaaAAARRRHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • LoganT

    That is great news BWAT

    Keep us posted and I hope you hear soon.

    I wish we had locked in the 4.5 rate. We have been told we need an accepted offer before locking.

  • CaliShan

    We put an offer on a short sale property 7 months ago and still have not received a written approval from Countrywide! The short sale process is so frustrating! I would never recommend buying a short sale!

    BWAT- I hate to burst your bubble and I hope you have better luck than we have had, but, our BPO was done at least 3 months ago and our offer has been with the “Final Negotiator” for about 2 months. This is a never ending mess and I feel like we are getting the run around.

  • Century21 Souzan

    Hello
    I am a Short Sale Listing agent
    I have been on the listing side of shortsale with most lenders including Bank of America (FKA Counrtywide) many times.
    If the process if taking more than 90 days then something is not right. Maybe a few weeks long if there is mortgage insurance. IF the lender is delegated on the loan it can take less than 90 days. I have never had a short sale with any lender take 7 months from the time and offer and complete package is delivered . Even on the deals with 2 or even 3 lenders (YES 3!!!) it did not take 7 months!
    Of all the lenders Bank of America does have the longest time frame . . phase 1 phase 2 and phase 3 . . . almost feels never ending

  • Century21 Souzan

    @ BECCA
    a threat to withdraw the offer will not get things moving from Bank of Americas stand point but if the listing agent takes that to Bank of America they will close down the file which will really slow things down.

    The question is . . IS the listing agent following up at least weekly?

  • phyl

    Woh,

    This blog have been really enlightening. I made an offer on a cuntrywide ohome on the 1st of may and did not even realise what a short sale was. Its may 30th, no word heard, seller have signed but from countrywide its complete silence. I was not expecting 4-7months wait like I have been reading here. Please somebody advise me, should I quit right now and go look for a different property that is not a shortsale?

  • phyl

    Also please I am a novice in realestate purchase is anybody kind enough to list the process of buying ass from cw for me? Below is where I am right now.

    Found house May 1
    Made offer May 1
    seller signed May 6
    Approval certificate form B of A may 22
    titlework completed may 29th.

    I am told to wait for phone to ring or go look for something else. Pls do u know the steps till I can move to theis dream house?

  • AJC

    3/1/09 made offer
    3/1/09 seller accepted offer
    3/13/09 bpo was ordered
    4/12/09 assigned to negotiator (easter sunday)?????
    5/17/09 in the neighborhood visiting friends and stopped by to talk to seller. This is where it gets interesting. Seller says she having a very difficult time with CW. Every time her agent calls in they seem to have lost files or pages and then everything has to get resent. Also when she calls in herself the people handling her file continually ask her about us the potential buyers. Not sure why any of that info would be relevant. Our first and last name, our current address etc…. kinda weird. If this house wasn’t something we both loved we would have walked already. Feeling like this whole proccess is very wrong in so many ways. Sellers who want out can’t really get out, and buyers who want in our strung along for months on end. I know CW gets alot of of SS or foreclosures daily but c’mon already. Sellers agent deals with SS all day, he is doing his job according to the seller and our agent. Calling at least twice a week etc…

    This website has been a great source of info, and I hope we all eventually get we want in the end. Thanks to everyone for sharing. Just don’t hold your breathe anymore.

    5/30/09 still have heard nothing from the bank.

  • WETSU

    Hi All,

    My wife and I put in an offer on a SS last week. The listing agent said there were already two offers in and the negotiator was being assigned today… My questions is: will CW negotiator look at all offers in hand at once or do they go down the line until they find one they like?

    Also, what does anyone know about sellers assit on a short sale? Will CW do a seller assist? The list price is 188900. We offered 191000 with 6% sellers assit.

    Thanks in advace,

  • WETSU

    Also, does the way CW works differ market to market… sounds like a lot of these post are from folks on the west coast… I’m looking into one in Pennsylvania… does this make a difference?

  • LoganT

    From what I understand CW will only take one offer at a time. They do not want multiple offers being submitted. If a negotiator is being assigned it would be to one offer. Not all banks work this way but I’m almost positive CW does. The selling agent will try to get many offers and the higher the better for his commission. It’s the sellers agent who submits the offer. If you read my post above of what the steps are for CW you will see an offer is not assigned to a negotiator until 2+weeks after the offer has been submitted.

    Also I have learned that with any short sale they will not always take the highest offer but they look for the strongest. Sometimes if the house appraises lower than your offer they might not accept it or require you to change it. Strange but this is what is going on out there.

    I’m not sure if the location of the property matters or what area of the country it is in. Do all offers go to the same office? I know there is one in Simi Valley, CA and one in Texas. That might be worth researching.

    After months of looking and researching homes I am using a method that works best for us. Going directly to the listing agent to put our offer in. I found the house we wanted and called the listing agent to put the offer in for us. This way he has more reason to put our offer in right away and not wait for others offers to come in as he will get the sellers and buyers commission from us. I also let him know we will be using other agents if this does not go through. I have never met him and he has only submitted our offer. We had a contact at CW and had the short sale moved along so I do not feel obligated to stay with this realtor. The market is crazy right now with more buyers than homes for sale in our area.

  • BWAT

    Update;

    Well that was quick, I wrote last Thursday that a “Final Negotiator” was assigned, and we received our counter offer yesterday (Monday) only 4 days later.

    Listing price = $429k
    Our offer = $365k (accepted by seller on 2/11/09)
    CW counter = $395k (6/01/09)

    Now the bad news, we decided to have the VA appraisal done for our bank to speed up the closing once we heard back from CW. Well that came back yesterday too, with a price of $370k. Why this is bad is because with a VA loan the VA won’t finance over their appraised value, which in this case is $370k.

    Our next step is to use this as leverage with CW, and see what they say.

    What do any of you think CW will come back with?

    I’ll continue to update.

    Thanks!

  • LoganT

    Congrats BWAT

    I would counter at $665 and see what they say.

    We also heard last Thursday that our offer was with the 2nd Negotiator or in phase 2. I just got a call that they came back with a counter offer and we have 72 hours to respond.

    I’m really irritated with the listing agent. They listed the house at $629. Our offer was $630 and we cannot go higher, this house has Mello Roos and HOA which adds up to almost $500 a month in extra payments and it has to be paid monthly.

    List price $629
    Our offer $630 (was put in mid April)
    CW counter offer $700

    We also just found out the lowest a home has sold for in the past three months in this neighborhood is $725 and the house we want has a big lot with a view. It’s so frustrating that the house was listed this low and we went through all of this only to find out it was listed $70k less than it should have been.

    Good luck everyone.

  • AJC

    Update;

    Found out today that our SS with CW is going to have a 2nd appraisal done. LOL you would think they only needed one. Anyway we expect to hear something soon or so the listing agent says. We are keeping our fingers crossed. News of the GM bankruptcy has housing falling even further or so I’m hearing. Can any real estate pro confirm this?

  • HT

    My wife and I are in the process of trying to buy our first home in the SF Bay Area and lucky us it is a Countrywide SS. Our offer went in over a month ago and they had the BPO done last Thursday. Does that mean that a Negotiator has been assigned and hopefully the situation is progressing? Our offer is exactly what we were told CW wanted and matches fair market value according to the comps.

    Our Agent has been trying to call daily but they never return her messages. They do sometimes return the sellers messages but it is always the same “tell the buyers to be patient, it takes time.” Citibank is the 2nd and they will foreclose if CW doesn’t accept by the end of the month or we pay them (which we had to do last week). Based on others experience, what is the likelihood of having an accepted offer before the end of the month? Any suggestions for trying to speed up the process? I hope this doesn’t take six months like some people here have experienced here and thanks for everyone’s comments/suggestions. It feels a little more like we’re not in this alone. Good luck to everyone else.

  • Steve

    LoganT, what does TAT stand for?

  • Steve

    Nevermind, I just found Turn Around Time elsewhere on the web.

  • Jag

    This message is in reply to HT – dated 06/03/09 at 6:37 p.m.

    Be 100% assured you will NOT and I repeat NOT get an answer from Countrywide by July 30, 2009. Be assured junior -Citibank – will foreclose on the property if they have already indicated by the end of the month. I have been waiting on a short-sale approval from Countrywide since March 2009 and let me tell you the long sale is not short sale. Lucky for us the junior was Bank of America and they signed off on the short-sale while the assholes in Countrywide are sitting in Hawaii.

    Rest assured that you HT will not get the property unless you buy after foreclosure.

  • Becca

    Update:

    We received word at the end of may that our file had been sent to the “Investor” and we would have our next update today. I can only hope we are nearing the end of this rollercoaster from hell. We are not about to threaten a walk as we have already invested months of waiting and are scared to death of stalling our offer. We are still the only offer on this home, and hope this will be leaverage for negotiation.

    I also was curious about market differences and how CW does business… I am in Georgia and my experience appears to be very similar to you guys in SF area.

  • BWAT

    Update:

    PATIENCE FINALLY PAYS OFF!!!!!!

    After almost 4 months after our offer, we got the house. At last I reported that CW had come back at $395k, which was $30k over our offer. However our VA appraisal came back at $370k, so we sent that back to them, and they came back last Friday at $375k, and we took it.

    That’s an incredible $175k below what the house was originally listed at before the housing market fell. We couldn’t be more happy and satisfied, we got a great deal and that 4.5% interest rate that I locked into last month was perfect timing.

    I hope all of you have a happy ending too, this process was long, but for us it was worth the wait. We close on June 17th, the last hurdle is the home inspection this Thursday.

    I’ll report back with a final update after closing. All of you hang in there, not all these stories end up bad.

  • Becca

    @ BWAT

    I am so glad it worked out for you! It is quite refreshing to see it work out when we are going through the same process!

    Update:
    Received word today our file has been with the investor for one week and he has until the 25th of june to send a counter-offer or approve our offer as it is. I can only hope we are nearing an end and it works out! If so, it will be worth the wait.

  • Becca

    @ BWAT
    One more question… How long did it take throughout the counter-offer negotiation process? We are almost sure we too will receive a counter-offer and just want to get a time frame of how long this process takes.

    Thanks!

  • LoganT

    Becca,

    I know you asked BWAT but I will tell you what we have experienced.

    Once we heard our offer was with the second negotiator (same day as BWAT) we had a counter offer within less than a week. We countered that last Thursday and we are still waiting to hear.

    Our offer $630
    CW counter $700
    Our counter $675

  • BWAT

    @ Becca

    We received their original counter on June 1, and their 2nd counter back 4 days later, Friday June 5th.

    Good Luck!

  • AJC

    @ BWAT

    Congrats!!! Hopefully our SS has a happy ending also. Going on 3 and a half months now, looking forward to a end here real soon.

  • Jag

    Need advice – Short Sale:

    Submitted Offer – March 14, 2009.
    The junior lender signed off – Bank of America – May 19, 2009
    Senior lender – Countrywide has yet to sign off on the short sale and it is now June 11, 2009. Was told (a) all documents have been submitted by the seller for the hardship including our purchase agreement and (b) the short sale is sitting with investors. Our agent keeps calling and each time his told by the negotiator of Countrywide it is with the investor.

    However, in meantime the 30 year rate just went up. Do we wait or lock a rate for 30 days and hope the investors sign off within the 30 days??????? OR will it be sometime in July or August when we hear from the investor? Advice … !

  • Becca

    Thanks BWAT & LoganT~ Sounds like I can be expecting a call any minute now with the counter offer. I am deeply encouraged by all of the happy endings!

  • CaliShan

    @JAG
    We are in the exact same boat! Except we submitted our offer November 3, 2008. We have been told our offer was with the investors for the past 2+ months. Now they say it is with the final approval person but that also has been going on way too long. Our agent and our negotiator have both said numerous times “we should hear something within the next week” only to hear nothing! We got our verbal approval 3 months ago but we can’t do anything with that! This is our first attempt at buying a house and it has really turned me off to the whole process. We have looked at other houses and made other offers but this is our favorite house by far. That’s the only reason we are hanging in this long.

  • Jag

    Hi CaliShan:

    WOW… since November 2008 … ! And you wonder why the real estate is losing value. Banks are just sitting on the offers. Well CaliShan … I am in the same boat in the sense my wife and I love the house. As stated before it has gone through all three stages of Countrywide process and is sitting with the investors for 3 months. I have even threaten to walk away but investors don’t care. Walk and they’ll find some other sucker. But the problem is that I already spend money in the appraisal, pet inspection and the escrow is already opened. And that means absolutely nothing to them.

    But I don’t blame Countrywide because they are only the intermediary between the investor and collecting mortgage payments. They do not have the ultimate say on the loan. The final investors are i.e., Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Bank of America, Chase … etc. The problems lies with the investors not Countrywide.

    I wish there was some legislation which imposed all investors on a short-sale to respond within 2 months of receiving the short-sale. The problem with unrestricted time to respond on the short-sale has negative consequence such as: (a) the property remains empty potential for being broken in, items stolen, drug spot to shoot up, .. etc and (b) the surrounding homes also lose value because the grass is growing, unwanted bugs have moved in and made it there home .. etc.

    But the realistic of it is that we have to wait. Anyways recently I have heard that in June of 2009 Countrywide started an online case management system whereby agents can follow the process of the short-sale online. Do you know if this is true and what is the link for it? Thanks.

  • confuzed

    I am confused as to what role my realtor (I am the buyer) should be playing in the shortsale that we are trying to buy. She is not the listing agent for the property. Countrywide recently ordered a BPO, I asked her what the property appraised at, and she said that she didn’t know. Is that reasonable? Should she be able to find out? I don’t want to get aggrevated at her because I am frustrated with the looonnngg process of a shortsale.
    Thanks for any advice.

  • AJC

    @ confuzed

    In most cases the listing agent doesn’t even know what the BPO comes in at. We had our own appraisal done we are the buyers (hopefully). That’s the only way we were going to find out the actual value. You can’t get upset with your realtor, she really plays a very small role in this whole thing. The listing realtor needs to be on his/her game though. Our realtor is family so I don’t feel bad calling her 2x a week to bug the listing realtor for updates.

    I am very disgusted with this waiting game….rates are climbing and it’s going to cost us more in the end. If there ever is a end, we were supposed to hear something last week then this week……ARGHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! wife and I are so jaded right now.

  • Becca

    @ Confuzed

    I completely understand your frustration, and it makes me fume to read comment after comment of the endless countrywide waiting game. We were told by CW that our “investor” had until the 25th of June to make a decision on our offer- we have been waiting since March. We love the home, and have stuck it out- We have had an appraisal and two BPOS and have never been told what the home appraised for, and its almost like being kept in the dark. It is true that your realtor has a very little role, if any, in this process. The listing agent is the one that has to go to the banks for updates and information, which is EXTREMELY frustrating for the buyers. We hope that we were told the truth, and will have some sort of news by the 25th. There has been some happy endings, so sticking with it, at some point, has to pay off.

  • confuzed

    Thanks for the info. It is definitely a long and frustrating process. Do you think it is a smart idea for us to just go ahead and have our own appraisal done? The housing market in our area (southwest Ohio) has taken a hit, although nothing like the rest of the country.

  • http://www.CF-Realty.com Bob Picheny, Realtor

    Working with Short Sales is difficult to start with and as a Real Estate Professional let me tell you that not only are the people involved with the mortgage company inexperienced or lacking in caring, but many real estate agents without any experience believe that it is quick money for them (as they did selling Buyers homes that they could not afford in the first place) and they take on short sales believing that they are “quick and easy money”. Since the listing agent has the job to convince the mortgage company that the short sale is their best way out of the mortgage you really need to choose one with experience and who is not lazy. There is a lot of work to be done in order to get the sale closed. — Bob Central Florida

  • confuzed

    Thanks Bob, I agree there is a lot of work to be done! I don’t know that my realtor is not doing the work required, its just that after we decided to put an offer in on this house, she has not been the most pleasant person (she did not want us to put an offer in the house). She is very curt and doesn’t offer any more info than I ask for, and I just don’t know if I am asking the right questions.

    I have seen advice about calling CountryWide and sending letters to upper mangement there. Is this stuff that I can do?

  • Jag

    @ confused and Bob Picheny, Realtor

    I think (confused) you are asking the wrong question and Bob Picheny, Realtor is addressing another question. I am in the similar situation as you are confused. I am the buyer similar to you and have been waiting since March 2009. Mr. Picheny is talking about sellers point of view.

    A buyer has his own agent and a seller has his own agent. A house is placed on the market as a short-sale by the sellers agent NOT BUYER’S AGENT. Confused you are the buyer not the seller. All the leg work in fighting the bank is done by the SELLERS AGENT and not the buyer’s agent. As a buyer you could have an agent who has done 1 zillion short-sale and he has been successful 100%. But it means nothing. All the fighting needs to be done by the Seller’s agent. Mr. Picheny is addressing the point that you need a good agent who has done short-sale before. As a buyer dealing with a short-sale you DO NOT SELECT THE SELLER’S AGENT. The agent is already selected by the seller. As a buyer you pray and pray the agent the seller selected has done some short sales. Mr. Picheny comments focuses on the sellers point of view and not buyers point of view.

    As a buyer your listing agent only gets the news when the sellers agent receives the news from countrywide. 9.999999/10 usually there is no news and there is nothing for the buyers agent to report to the buyer.

  • confuzed

    Thanks Jag. We put in our offer in the middle of April. Countrywide countered three days later, we responded that day. A week later we heard that Countrywide ordered a BPO. The BPO was completed about two weeks ago, but we have not heard anything yet. So we sit and wait. Well, not completely, we jump every time the phone rings hoping it is them.
    How is your short sale going?

  • No Way Out

    I have been working with some various loan folks and with HUD/Hope who were all in agreement that a modification would be the way to go. I currently have a 1st and 2nd (received from the beginning) both through CW. Was told through HUD that they faxed over their documents and had me do the same.

    Finally got a person at CW who said nope, nothing on file and then the stuff mysteriously appeared. CW had all the info HUD and I sent wrong so I had them correct it and them am told there is no programs for me and to just short sale it.

    I am in for a shade under $335,00 and comps are $165-184. Just seems odd that CW would just up and say short sale when a modification, if such a thing even exists, of say the HELOC would get me in range of being able to afford the mortgage. I lost my job and found another only at 38% less income.

  • Jag

    @ confused

    Wow confused you actually had a response so quick from Countrywide after putting an offer in April. I placed my offer on March 14, 2009 and the junior lien holder – Bank of America – signed off on the loan in May 2009 but the senior lender – also Bank of America – is yet to sign off on the loan. We have been assigned a negotiator/BPO has already been ordered/it has gone through all 7 million stages of Countrywide and they have signed off on it and forward to the investor to sign off. Unfortunately the investor – Bank of America – is sitting in Hawaii drinking mai mai and could careless how the housing industry is doing. The senior investor received the short-sale on May 10, 2009 and is just sitting on it.

    How about you Confused?

  • confuzed

    Wow Jag, I am so jealous that you know so much what is happening with your short sale. I have told you all I know. Actually, I don’t even know if there is a junior lien holder, or if there has been a negotiator assigned to the case. Nothing. Our realtor is not the friendliest kid in the playground. Everytime I call her to ask her how its going (and I only call once a week) she gets snippy and says that SHE will call ME if she finds out anything. I probably am being annoying, but I am just excited. We love the house and would really like this short sale to go through.
    How did you manage to find out all your info?

  • confuzed

    No Way Out – does HUD/Hope offer any help with mediating between you and your lender?

  • Jag

    @ confused

    In a week I email my agent about 15 times and I call sellers agent twice a week. I really could careless who the sellers agent is working for. The end result is the sellers wants to get the house sold so he does not have a foreclosure on his credit history and both the sellers agent and my agents wants to get paid. MONEY MONEY MONEY. And lucky for you Confused you control the dice. Ask this question to yourself – What if you walked away from the sale. The dice falls.

    Built your self esteem and ask questions from your agent. Learn to harass your agent – minimum 600 calls in a day. He/she could careless if you get a house or not. That’s how I got to know information about my short-sale. HARASSING REAL ESTATE AGENTS IS SOCIALLY AND LEGALLY ACCEPTABLE SO LONG AS IT GETS THE JOB DONE.

    And for god shake Confused get the sellers agents email, phone number where he lives so you get to talk to that person yourself. 99.99999% of real estate agents are short of few brain cells. If you want things done do it yourself. Now having said that let me give you few questions to ask both the listing agent and your agent.

    1. The seller has how many loans?
    2. When was the BPO ordered?
    3. What was the BPO price?
    4. When was the file submitted to the investor?
    5. If a junior lender exists, has the junior lender signed off on the loan?
    6. If the junior lender exists, has the junior lender indicated whether they will foreclose?
    7. If the loan is with Countrywide has a negotiator been assigned?
    8. If the negotiator been assigned of the three stages which stage is your file at?
    8. Ask what is the name of the negotiator?

    Once you ask these questions from your agent he/she will be shocked that you have been doing some work and the agent will get his/her ass of the chair and actually do some work.

  • No Way Out

    @ confuzed

    They did assist us with a hardship package for CW which CW 1st said they didn’t have and then said they did have but said the information was incorrect even though I was looking at the exact copy HUD sent them. I had the agent with CW I spoke with update my file with the correct information and then was told that short sale was it, no other options.

    What do I look for in a short sale agent? How do I know who is experienced, etc…

  • JM

    I am new to real estate and am a first time home buyer with a good, steady income. I have prequalified for an FHA loan with an experienced broker who has worked with my Realtor many times in the past. I have put a couple of offers on 2 different foreclosures in the S.F. Bay area, but my offers were blown out of the water by other cash and conforming loan offers with large down payments. My Agent mentioned he was experienced in short sales, but we had not come across any listings that were worth while, either because the selling agent wasn’t experienced or I just wasn’t interested. I have found a property that I fell in love with and it happens to be a SS with a CW. I have been researching and stumbled across this feed and have mixed feelings about the deal. I made my offer on Tuesday of last week 6/9/09 of 396k (property listed @ 395k, lowered from 425) asking for 3% back to pay for closing costs. It was accepted by the seller and submitted to the bank. I am not sure how much is owed on the loan, but fair market value is at about 400k. The house is scheduled to foreclose this Friday. My Agent said he would be in touch with me to let me know the status, am I too late?? Should my realtor have told me?? What can I do now to be more proactive?? Any advice??
    JM

  • Becca

    Just a quick update…. our short sale offer is going nowhere, we stumbled upon another comperable home in a great location/upscale neighborhood and have put in an offer. THank god the second home is no where near countrywide, and we hope to move much faster as this home is not a short sale. Good luck to the rest of you who are sticking it out, unfortunately, we don’t have anymore time to waste.

  • Jag

    @ JM

    Rest assured JM you will not get the house. 101% it will be foreclosed this friday. Please re-read the strings of comments above about Countrywide. Short-sales takes 8 to 9 months with Countrywide.

  • confuzed

    Hey Jag, well I sent your suggested questions to my realtor. Now I guess I’ll just wait to see if she responds before CountryWide ;)
    Thanks for your help, I’ll let you know what she says.

    JM- Can you go to the sheriff’s sale? You might get a better deal than CountryWide would ever be able to work out with you, and you will definetly get a better deal on closing costs. My brother tried for months to work out his shortsale, it did not go through. So he went to the sheriff’s sale and purchases the house for 30,ooo less than what the Bank had agreed to before the deal fell through.

  • CaliShan

    So we still haven’t heard back from CountryWide yet (and it’s only been 7 1/2 months) but we put an offer on a bank owned house Saturday and our offer was accepted today! Goodbye CountryWide short sale! That was a complete waste of time! We will be just as happy in this new house and won’t have to deal with CW again! :)

  • LoganT

    More FRUSTRATION!

    We got the ball rolling by having a contact at CW May 8th with a $630. We were countered a few weeks ago at $700. We countered that offer 2 weeks ago with $675.

    We just today found out that CW or the negotiator accepted our offer last Friday!?! WTF?? Our agent who is the listing and selling agent did not tell us. We found out from our contact.

    We called to figure out just why we are not being informed about this and the answer was they can not get ahold of the owners of the house. They need to sign off on this and they are not answering their phone? This sounds so fishy and we requested all the information to be emailed to us. The offer, counter offer and accpeted offer from CW. Right on the offer is the address of the owners of this home. I am going to knock on their door on Saturday and ask them if they are going to sign off on this.

    Just another twist in this whole frustrating short sale process! I’m very confused as to why the realtor would not let us know that this was accepted.

  • WETSU

    @ LoganT

    LoganT, you mention that “you found out from our contact.” How did you go about making a contact? Is there a number to call? and if I reach someone, what information do I need to try for some answers?

  • LoganT

    @Wetsu

    We are very fortunate to have a friend who is very high up in the company. We lived near one of the main offices of CW for many years. I wish I had a number or name to pass along but this person reached out for us as a personal favor.

  • LoganT

    We got the house! I suppose letting our realtor have it did the trick.

    We need to close by 7/27.

    Another happy ending!

  • BWAT

    Final Update:

    After over 4 months our story has finally come to an end. We closed last Wednesday June 17th. The house is ours, we moved in over the weekend. We were in the situation where we could wait, but I know alot of you aren’t as fortunate. There were times when we wanted to move on, but we are so glad we stuck it out and couldn’t be happier with the place we got.

    Good luck to all of you, hope you’re as fortunated as us!

    One last IMPORTANT tip: It’s extremely important to have the seller’s agent or the person they hire to do the legwork with CW to be very diligent about contacting CW at least twice per week. In our case the seller’s agent had a lady from the title company take care of this responsibility, and I can’t say enough about the job she did, she was fantastic!!

  • Matt A

    WHat should I offer??? I’m reading all theese horror stories about short sales from Contry Wide…I found a home listed for $750k as a short sale, the origional loan amount was 1 million in late 06. Does anyone have any idea as to how many cents on the dollare CW might accept. We are a qualified buyer who can close as fast as they can produce paperwork.

  • LoganT

    @ Matt A

    Where are you looking? It all depends on the area. The house we got that was just accepted was purchased and built in 06 for over 1 million w/out landscaping. Our offer was accepted at $675.
    Have your Realtor run the comps in the area. You can also do some work yourself. I used redfin.com, cyberhomes.com and zillow. Redfin you have the option of putting in what has sold over the past few months. CW will accept an offer that is fair market. Ours was a bit under but they accepted.

    It all depends on how much prices have dropped in the area you are buying. If it’s coastal prices have not dropped too much depending on what city.

  • Dave

    A heads-up to all:
    Even if you do manage to get your CW short sale approved, be aware that they issue approval letters with verbiage that makes the title likely uninsurable. Specifically, point #10 on their approval states “There are to be no transfers of property within 30 days of the closing of this transaction”.
    Most people on here appear to be “retail” buyers and sellers versus Realtors or investors who are flipping property; however, the verbiage still puts a restriction on the title that an informed insurance company won’t insure.
    Yes, you may be able to get insurance or may have gotten insurance, but that’s likely because your underwriter didn’t notice or failed to disclose point #10 to the insurer. If you ever need your title insurance, it’s likely not worth the paper it’s written on and the person you’ll have to track down to hold responsible is your underwriter.
    Disclsimer: I’m not an attorney. Just some guy involved in short sales. So you don’t have to take my word for anything. But now you’ve been forewarned.
    Bottom line: I’d advise complete avoidance of any Countrywide homes.

  • LoganT

    Thanks Dave,

    I just read our approval letter and it’s right there #10

    Even after having our offer approved we are still in a nightmare. This is all dealing with the Realtor. Now I am worried about this!

  • HT

    Update: 2 months after submitting the offer and hoping for the best, we were told that the investors decided they actually wanted 450K on a house listed w/ asking price of 270K so they are letting it go to foreclosure. I feel bad for the home owners who have no choice but to deal with these morally bankrupt criminals. At least my wife and I can walk away and move on to something else. I sincerely whish everyone the best of luck and can assure you we will no longer be looking at any short sales.

  • confuzed

    I am even more confused than ever. I was on the realestate site last night, and noticed that the house we put the bid on is no longer listed. I checked a few other sites, and they all said the house is no longer on the market. I frantically emailed my realtor, who said that she spoke with the listing agent and they said we should have an answer this week. She also said that she checked the site and it said that the house is listed as sale pending. I did not see it anywhere listed as sale pending. What do I believe?

  • Dave

    LoganT
    Sorry.
    This is where you need a talk with your attorney and make sure the phrase is pointed out to your title insurer. Countrywide has recently come up with some alternative wording for #10 if you/someone complains, and thus far, title insurers seem to be accepting that wording. Some, though, think the alternate is still an un-insurable clause/stipulation.
    Oh, and make sure your attorney really is knowledgeable about what’s going on with short sales and foreclosures. There’s tons of attorneys out there (and realtors too) working in real estate, but only a few are really up to date.
    Again, I’m not an attorney, but I believe the full answer is, “We don’t really know for sure because this is brand new territory that hasn’t been tested yet in the court of law. But such and such is what I think; there are similar transactions occurring nation-wide; most people don’t need their title insurance; and somebody has to be the test-case but odds are that it won’t be you.”
    Sorry, Logan, I’m a bit upset with Countrywide.
    In your case I’d either: 1. Roll the die and get the house and look at my title insurance as a likely useless piece of paper; or 2. Insist Countrywide completely remove #10 and don’t release your contract on the house so that Countrywide’s only other option is to take the house back in foreclosure. In option 2, thus far, Countrywide forecloses, but if it happens enough times, eventually they’ll have to remove clause #10. Maybe you get to be the lucky first.
    Let us know how things go.

    HT – try REO’s. Some great deals to be had there — just use a knowledgeable real estate agent. Or, look at short sales that are pre-negotiated. These are often cash investors who have already gotten the bank to accept a number; for all their hard work they’re putting in a bit of a profit; and they’re looking for someone to re-sell it to in a back-to-back closing. (These are the people that Countrywide et al are unwisely and illegitimately targeting.)

    Confuzed: often “Pending” sales don’t show up on the level of MLS access that the public has. If your realtor says it’s there, it is there. The sites you access say it’s Not on the Market or don’t show it because it is no longer available. You have it under contract and nobody else can buy it. The MLS that your agent can access will show it as a Pending sale.

  • confuzed

    Thanks Dave, seems to me that you have been around the shortsale circus for quite sometime. I heard back from the realtor, seems that the bank has unoffically accepted our offer. They have pulled the listing and we are waiting for them to sign the papers. From the postings I have read, the deal often falls through at this point, but I still can’t help getting exciting. It seems that all I do is wait around every week to hear something from CountryWide.

    Does anyone have any advice/experience about waiting period for CountryWide to sign papers after they accept an offer??

  • Jag

    @ Confused

    Countrywide un-offically accepted my offer in May 10, 2009 and the listing on the MLS changed from active to pending release. Now it is June 26, 2009 still waiting on Countrywide to officially sign the papers. As of yet, no indication when they will sign.

  • confuzed

    Oh no! Guess I shouldn’t start packing.

  • AJC

    Question for anyone who has recently had success buying a short sale. Just got word today that CW has sent ss package to Fannie Mae for approval. Does this mean that CW has accepted the sellers ss package and our offer? Thanks.

    Congrats BWAT!

  • BWAT

    @ confuzed

    I guess every one is different, we had our offer accepted and then closed within 2 weeks.

    Good luck!

  • confuzed

    Do you think it matters what part of the country you are in? Seems that from most of the bloggs I’ve read, the western part of the country moves much slower with the short sales. I am in the mid-west. Of course, there is not a set in stone pattern, but its just something I’ve noticed.

  • BWAT

    I’m in Colorado, I think it depends more on the people involved at every level being proactive, from the realtors, seller, title company, to the CW negotiators and staff involved in each individual SS deal.

  • LoganT

    I agree with you BWAT

    We are in San Diego and from the time we put our offer in to acceptance was around 6 weeks. The hold up now has been the horrible job our Realtor is doing. It took him a week after CW accepted our offer to get the purchase agreement in order. It also took a week before he told us the offer was accepted.

  • Jag

    Location … Location … Location…!

    Lets assume they are 50,000 short sales a month in California being submitted to the Banks and 5,000 short sales being submitted to the banks from the midwest. Who do you think will get their short sale reviewed first?

    Second … lets assume California, Las Vegas, Arizona, and Detroit were hit hardest with foreclosure and short sales. Where do you think majority of the long sales … ops short sale are going to come from? Is it going to be from the Midwest?

    Third … ask yourself where majority of the people live? California vs Missouri? Las Vegas vs Iowa City? Arizona vs Oklahoma? Detroit vs St Louis?

    Fourth … Location … Location … Location …! Why… It is more expensive to live in San Diego than Denver. Trust me. It is more expensive to live in San Francisco than St Louis. Trust me. Is it more expensive to buy a Penthouse in Las Vegas than in Oklahoma city. Trust me. There is a reason why more short-sales and foreclosure are visible in California, Arizona, Las Vegas … etc because it took more to buy something than in Denver.. than in St Louis .. than in Oklahoma City.

    Fifth … Yes the individuals involved in the game also plays a role… Realtor, Banks, Listing Agent and you. If the listing agent has never done a short sale … take a wild guess … how long it take you to get the house. If your listing agent in not proactive (2 calls a day to Countrywide) Countrywide could careless.

    Just a thought why the process of short sale is faster in some locations than in others.

  • John

    Hi everyone! I’ve been reading this blog over the past several weeks while our own Countrywide short-sale purchase was creeping along at a slower than slow pace. Yesterday, our offer was accepted by Countrywide…for the second time…and it looks like this will finally be the end of over 5 months of wasted time and money.

    To give you an overview of my case, we bid $339,000 (list price plus $10,000 back on closing costs) on a home in the East Bay Area in California on January 26 of this year. On April 10, Countrywide accepted our offer. A week later, we had inspections done and a buyer appraisal. The appraisal came back at $290,000. I was not surprised when Countrywide decided to challenge the appraisal as I, and my realtor, thought the price was low. 2 weeks later, we were told by a Countrywide rep that we should fax in an addendum of our purchase price down to $290,000, as they were likely going to go with that price. This was on April 28.

    Six weeks later, after hearing nothing and watching interest rates soar to a full percent higher, we found out that they did do a second appraisal and a backgroud check on my wife and I. We were told that a backgroud check was to make sure we weren’t related to the current owners (for fraud reasons) because the loan value loss was in excess of $300,000 ($360,000 to be exact). At that point, we were given the ol’ “7-10 days” for investor review/approval. Taking advice from previous posters here, I sent an e-mail to Mr. Ken Lewis, CEO of Bank of America. 4 business days later, I got an e-mail from someone in the Office of the Chair. She asked me for the listing agent’s name and phone number. She said once she was given loan information that she would see that the file was escalated in a timely manner. I had been told that our file was being escalated three different times during this process, but not by someone who worked for the CEO. Last Friday, she took the file out of the negotiator’s hand, who was extremely slow with the process, and would have it submitted for rush approval.

    Yesterday, we finally got that phone call we’ve been waiting for. I am hoping to hear from my loan agent at anytime and get the go-ahead to put in our 30 day notice at our apartment complex. We should be able to close in about 2 weeks because we’ve had all our paperwork together for the past several months. Our credit file expires in about 3 weeks because it was pulled in late March (B of A gives you 120 days before you have to pull credit again).

    So, in closing, if you have a great piece of property, hang in there! We’re going from an 800 sq. ft. apartment to a 2,400 sq. ft. home. Hopefully the listing agent isn’t as crappy as our’s was and if you’re not getting anywhere, fire an e-mail to the CEO. Your file will pick up steam. You don’t have to kiss anyone’s ass in the e-mail but express frustration and understanding that you’re not the only distressed property on the market.

    GOOD LUCK!

  • Jag

    @ John

    I am in the same boat as you are with Countrywide. What is Ken Lewis email address?

  • John
  • Jag

    Thank You John.

  • confuzed

    Geezz, you would think I would be used to the waiting and waiting, but its still frustrating. Waiting for Countrywide to sign papers. You would think that picking up a pen would be the easiest part.

  • shortfuze

    I would love to see your email to Ken Lewis at BofA. I have an offer on a short sale that’s been moving so slow legislation moves faster…it’s very frustrating.

    I made my offer the last week of January 2009. A short sale file was opened the 2nd week of February. We had three Phase 1 negotiators. We were assigned a Phase 2 negotiator in May. We’re now on to the second Phase 2 negotiator. This one has not responded to any phone calls or emails. The file was escalated again, and the Seller’s agent received a response that she would try to get the file reviewed. The updates I receive are no more than the Sellers agent’s emails begging for status on the file. Each time the file is reassigned it appears timelines start over.

    It would be helpful if their process would automatically escalate a file once hit a certain time frame. I realize the whole process is broken, but this is really awful.
    It’s been five months heading into six months with no end in sight. I’m thinking sending an email to Mr. Lewis, but I’m not sure what kind of information to include to direct him to our particular case. Possibly the seller’s name or the address? Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • confuzed

    What about the buyers realtor in all this? I feel extremely let down and disappointed in our realtor. From comment to comment it remains clear, we are working hard to secure homes for our familes, and realors are getting commission for….what?-all our hard work and worry?

  • Eldemila

    I have a question I haven’t seen addressed yet. I’ve just started looking for more in depth info on shortsales since we put in an offer on a house last week. Trust me, I’ve been doubtful of us getting this house before I signed papers but figured I had nothing to lose if we didn’t get it – I’ve been looking in this area for a while and don’t have a time constraint on when I have to move/buy, nor on having to qualify for a mortgage as my parents are writing me a mortgage (so I can close quickly- a plus??).

    My question is – the house I put an offer on needs a LOT of work (plus previous people have left a LOT of stuff aka garbage/junk/drek/crap behind). The asking price that’s been placed on it is $129,990 – I offered $101,990. The house FMV from the county is $169,000 (the county has NO idea of it’s condition)

    There are 2 homes in the subdivision for sale, of course, for more money, but they are move-in ready. My reasoning for offering the price I did was that I figured, from what I know, it would take about $40K for upgrades (possibly more) and repairs and I don’t want to go over $150K total. Whoever set this price of $129 – if an appraiser – do they take in to consideration all the work that needs to be done? If they do comps – how can they even compare houses without knowing what the inside looks like? Or does the listing agent make up this price with knowing the interior condition? Or did the current owner put this price?

    I didn’t want to go for a house that was SS due to what little I had read, it just so happen that it was a SS. First they told me it was a foreclosure – some people think they are one in the same, but I knew they weren’t, taking on a short sale was a long sale process with lots of headaches and has many have said, little chance of it going through. After I did some “digging” I found it was a SS, not a foreclosure.

    I’m sure an investor could do everything cheaper and thus, pay a little more for the property – they put in the cheapest of everything it seems whereas I am going to live in it and want to make my investment livable with what I want in it. I can’t see paying more for this house when I can probably find a house that needs less work for a bit more. I went ahead and placed the offer with the idea that I was leaving to go back home and wouldn’t be back for at least a month to look at more homes. There is a timeframe for my offer, so it can either be extended or withdrawn when the deadline comes up -which I’m sure the lader will happen.

    I’m a firm believer, if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.

    FYI I just found this after typing the above – it “seems” they request an interior appraisal – so if they take the counties FMV into consideration and they too think there’s $40K worth of repairs, I guess that may be how they came up with $129K? I’d much rather go with a house that needs less work=less headaches and spend a bit more. House would be nice once done, but I’m sure as there are many fish in the sea, there are homes to be bought!

    https://customers.countrywide.com/secure/FHAStart_login254.asp

    Thanks for any input you may have.

  • confuzed

    Its pretty standard for the bank to requrie a BPO of the property. Usually its a sign that they are concidering your offer. Seems to me that your realtor is as good as mine at keeping you up to speed on the process. Most of what I learned I got from this site and my own detective work.

  • Eldemila

    Thanks for the reply confuzed – I think we should ALL adopt your name!

    Wouldn’t the bank have a BPO before putting it on the market? I’m trying to figure out exactly who set the price of $129K and their reasons for setting it at that price. I know my reasons for making the offer I did.

    I know now, with more certainty than before, this deal will never go through, I put no hopes at all on this one, not after reading so much more about SS and Countrywide. There’s a reason for everything, I believe.

    Thankfully, I’m only locked in to this deal for 2 weeks than I can get out of the contract. It’s up to me if I want to extend it or not – since I won’t be back up to that area until sometime in Aug. I can let it sit til then, but afterwards, I’ll just look for something else. No more SS for me!

    I wonder when/if it goes in to foreclosure – do prices go down from what they’ve listed as a SS, meaning, is a foreclosure priced lower than it’s previous SS price if it didn’t sell?

    Thanks!

  • confuzed

    I think that they rely on the listing agent to price the property reasonably. What a joke, because the only thing they care about is their commission. If you like this house, a ss is possible but the key is waiting. Our ss is in the later stages, but we started in Mid-May. We low balled and had to wait almost a month and a half to hear that the bank has unoffically accepted our offer. Now we are waiting for the bank to sign so we can close.

    Not to get your hopes up, but a friend of ours put an offer in on a house; the bank did not accept. He did not alter his offer. Four months later, after no additional bids or activitiy on the house, the bank called him and asked if he still wanted it. He did. He got a heck of a deal. But patience is the key.

    Good luck!

  • Eldemila

    Thanks Confuzed!

    Can you tell me what they were asking on the house and what you offered? What kind of condition is the house in?

    I’ll probably wait it out unless they say otherwise, at least til I go back up there the end of Aug/early Sept. (I live out of state) I have nothing to lose unless I see something on line that I just HAVe to send my Mom to go see. Not sure how many times and for what length I can keep extending the contract.

    As for the listing agent – he told my realtor that they had another offer on the table, and investor who came straight to him – which equals a 6% commision vs a 3% splitting it with my realtor. He’d def. make more going solo unless this investor goes a lot lower than we did. I was told realtors know who to call when listing like these come up. Makes it hard for us “regular folks” to get a good house with people going in and trying to flip homes.

    I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens, at least for now.

    Thanks!

  • confuzed

    They were asking 180,000 and we started at 115,000 (2/3 b/c thats the price they begin with at a sheriffs auction.) They countered our offer and then we re-countered; final is 135,000 and they pay closing cost. The house mostly needs cosmetic repairs. Paint, polish, and cleaning. (Our contract is contigent on passing inspections as well)

    I agree that if there is nothing else on the market that you like, why not let this ride? I personally have nothing nice to say about realtors, especially after our experience. You can write in the “right of first refusal” on the contract. Esentially this means that the bank can not look at another offer until they deside on yours.

  • Doug

    Made 150k offer for property listed 239k on 4/1/09, house needs new boiler and cosmetic work.
    Citi approved offer 6/1/09 and was bumped to Fannie Mae for “final approval”.
    We’ve been told every week since that final approval letter should come next week.
    Anyone know typical timeline for Fannie Mae final approval in Maine??
    If nothing in two weeks, looking for something else for kids before school starts.
    Thanks in advance.

  • LoganT

    @ Eldemila
    The listing agent and sellers list the price. They can list it for whatever they feel like. In our situation the listing agent lists all their home around 70 – 100k below fair market value. This attracts tons of buyers and bidding wars. We are now at the end of escrow with one hurdle left… the appraiser has to clearly let the lender know why we are purchasing this house for so much more than the listing price (Countrywide would not accept our first offer @ 70k less than the appraised value) but our offer was accepted at 25k less than the appraisal. This is the only thing holding us up and all because a home can be listed for whatever price. We will be selling a home in Ventura county as soon as our tenants leave and we are planning on using this same tactic to attract buyers.

    I’m just going to tell you how I went about getting the house we really wanted. After tons of research and endless hours of searching I decided to end my relationship with the Realtor we first started with and just go directly to the listing agent of the SS I wanted. I was clear with the Realtor and told him we will only use him for this offer and I’m going to use other Realtors. They do not get 6% with CW it’s 4% and many Realtors, especially where we live, will sit and wait for that opportunity before submitting an offer. It has been a nightmare with this Realtor but at least we got the house. We are set to close escrow next week. Every time I go over to the house I’m kicking people out of it because the Realtor has a 1-800 # for this home and it says it’s still for sale and gives the code to the lock box.

    @ Doug
    Every situation seems to be different. We had our offer countered, and then approved within a day or two of CW sending it to the investor. Now things might be different with Fannie Mae. If you really love the house I would say try to hang in there.

    We moved to SoCal 10 years ago from Portland, Maine. Good luck and I hope you hear soon.

  • confuzed

    @ Logan T- I am totally admiring you for ditching your realtor. I wish I could. Although the listing agent is quite a piece of work too. She works for a national chain, but does a side thing with her son of buying distressed properties, fixing them, and then offering them up for lease to buy. The house we bid on has been pulled from the MLS, but after that the listing agent put it up on her own site!!! I told my realtor and she acted like it was no big deal. I feel like I am suck with this idiot who could give a shit less whether or not we get this house.

  • LoganT

    @ Confused

    I would be beating my head against a brick wall. The realtors could care less, they are out for their commission.

    I’m not sure what state you are in or what the laws are but here in Cali you can use an agent for both sides. I would not recommend it for a regular purchase but for a SS I would highly recommend it. We had an offer in with our first agent, I did my homework and then called the listing agent. I had him put our offer in knowing it would go through. I then called the first agent and told her to remove our offer and that I was not using her anymore.

    Here is the worst part. The listing agent can tell you they put your offer through to CW but they never really did. They can say whatever they want. I’m almost positive ours tried to slip in a higher offer with the investor after CW and the investor accepted our offer. We found out it was accepted from our contact at CW. It had been accepted 1 week before we found out! We threatened to press legal charges against them and I could use up three pages of this forum to list the nightmares and lies that happened daily after that. I strongly feel other people think they are still waiting to find out if their offer is accepted with our house.

    Call another Realtor and ask about the property. If it has been pulled from the MLS what does that mean? I would assume it is off the market? Who knows? I don’t trust any realtor anymore.

  • confuzed

    OMG, I feel so horrible for the lies and backstabbing you had to endure. I feel like lawyers and realtors belong in the same pile. I forgot to mention that ours told us we couldn’t afford the house because the yearly taxes were to high for us. I thought the number was high, called the county auditor and found out her number was wrong-by almost half. She has been less than honest the whole time. Thank God that my parents are savy and have helped us the whole time. I think I will definetly use your advice. I’ll let you know what happened.

  • AJC

    We have finally received a verbal acceptance of our offer. About how long does it take to receive the written highly coveted approval letter? We are the buyers but after reading some of the horror stories on here especially about clause #10 that Dave mentioned above, are we getting excited for nothing? Thanks for any advice on this matter.

  • confuzed

    We too received a verbal acceptance on June 26, but as of today have still not heard anything more. I don’t really know how it effects buyers in different parts of the country, California seems to be the worst.

  • confuzed

    Jag, did you send an email to Ken Lewis, and if so have you recieved a response?

  • Eldemila

    Thanks for the replys again.

    Okay, so, I just got a call from my realtor who said that the listing agent says the deal is “looking good.” This is 2 days after I wrote them (it’s a pair that work together) a letter telling them of all I’ve been reading about the nightmares of trying to buy a SS, esp. one through CW, and how I’m not hopeful at all that this will ever go through. BUT, since I wasn’t going to be back up there looking for a home til the end of Aug. I wanted to go ahead and extend the contract from the original 2 weeks we put on it previsouly. Figured I had nothing to lose, time is on my side for the moment.

    It seems the listing agent requested a few more days, so we extended the contract til the end of the month.

    Am I any more hopeful now – no. I just think it’s delaying the inevitable. How could something like this go through so quickly when everyone else is having such terrible delays? Why not just tell me the truth and what to expect?

    I signed the original contract July 1st – I just can’t see where the listing agent is being on the up and up about all this “looking good” with all I’ve read. Really, what’s the possibility of this being “the one” that goes through. Again, I’m being VERY skeptical about this. I know, at the time I signed the contract, the listing agent mentioned to my realtor that the owner still had papers to sign, one being the hardship letter. How could this all be put through so quickly.

    I feel a bit of a fool in more ways than one. If this is “the one” that goes through, the email I wrote made me look foolish, but on the other hand, if they are lying to me and jerking me around, I’ll feel like a fool for making me think that maybe, just maybe, this may go through in less than 6-8 months, if at all.

    Really, what possible magic wand would this man have to get something like this through quicker than 99.9% of all the other deals? Of course, the possibility of him saying “it’s looking good” may mean that my paperwork is looking good to getting on to someones desk at CW and sit there until they reject my offer.

    So, can anyone tell me why bother saying what he (the listing agent) is saying to me about it “looking good?”

    Thanks!

  • confuzed

    “Looking good” could mean a variety of things. With a short sale, it could mean that the agent thinks it has a good chance of happening. Will it happen before the 6-8 month standard?-I don’t know. But just the fact that it happens in that time frame could be seen as “looking good”-I mean we are talking about CountryWide here.

    I would not regret writing a letter. You have to hold the agents feet to the fire so to speak. But, remember that they can only work so fast as the negoiator. I would just tell your agent that this is their only oppurtunity to work with you (and make money). If they can’t close this deal, you will be looking at other properties, without them.

  • Eldemila

    Honestly, I can’t even imagine that they are going to be making that much money on this sale if it does go through. I don’t know what the fees are for a SS, but I’ve been working with these 2 ladies for quite a while now and they’ve definitely earned their money just driving me around looking at homes. Whatever commisions are made to the realtors involved, it can’t be much, especially when you start splitting it among those involved.

    So Confuzed, if you got a verbal, what are they saying about why you haven’t received anything in writing yet?

  • AJC

    FINALLY!!!

    Our verbal agreement with CW/BOA and FNMA turned into a actual letter(1 day of waiting) that stated we could close as soon as possile. I’m still shocked it’s all over, besides the actual close. It took 4 and a half months but well worth the wait. Another success story, we are blessed to be in the financial situation we are in and although we felt like moving on many times patience did FINALLY pay off.

    If you love the house hang in there we only lost time, oh and .875 on rates but in the end we are estatic. March 1st 09′ we put the offer in, found out 7/13/09 verbal approval and last night 7/14/09 got the letter. Alot of frustration in between, after 3 months of waiting and not hearing anything it gets hard to think it will happen but they sometimes do.

    @confuzed

    were in Illinois, not sure if location matters. Can’t say enough about the sellers agent he said many times just be patient and trust the process. We felt like killing him at times but in the end it was his hard work and due dilligence that made this happen. Buyers realtor really can’t do anything to speed up the process, it’s all on the sellers realtor. Good luck!

    @eldemila

    if you love the home hang in there if time alows you. Good luck!

  • confuzed

    I honestly don’t know why. The sellers agent says its the negotiator that is taking so long. My realtor calls her at least 3x’s a week just to check in and see how things are progressing. So far its our third week since we heard we have a verbal agreement. But there is nothing else on the market in our target area that we like, so we don’t mind the wait. Well, we don’t mind the wait as long as we get the house :) .

  • confuzed

    Congrats AJC!!!
    I love to hear successful stories, it makes me feel a little more hopeful that we will be able to close. We are in Ohio, the sellers agent said that our negoiator is handling somewhere around 300 short sales.

    Again congrats to you and your family, I hope you have many happy memories in your new home.:)

  • Eldemila

    Congrats AJC – it gives many people hope to know there is hope out there. You know that old saying “Good things come to those who wait!”

    Confuzed, hope you are the next to post that you got your letter!

    Will post with any updates – and hope others do to, it helps to keep people updated on similar/familiar situations.

    CONGRATS AGAIN!

  • Eldemila

    CONFUZED, I just saw that you mentioned previously that the house needs some work – have you guesstimated what you think it would need in dollars? Have you done a home inspection yet or are you waiting for the approval letter? I’m trying to line up a home inspector should the slim .01% chance of us getting the house come about, along with finding a real estate attorney – since I don’t live where I’m looking and don’t know anyone, it’s hard to figure out who to go with – and it’s not always good to go with people the realtors recommend I’ve been told.

  • confuzed

    No, I haven’t really guesstimated. Mainly because the things it needs are all cosmetic and not things that need to be fixed before we move in. There is wall paper and paint in the house that is not my taste. Same with some of the flooring, although it is newer. I would like to re-do the kitchen and bathrooms, but that because I watch way to much HGTV :) .

    We are wating for an approval letter before we do inspections. I don’t know much about real estate law, but I would definitly get title insurance for your own peace of mind.

  • Eldemila

    I am definitely going to re-do bathrooms and kitchen, that’s for sure. Not sure how sound the cabinets are, but if it’s a lot cheaper to reface them and they are in good condition I’d just get new doors and drawers, as the layout is just fine, big kitchen that I want to keep big. Bathrooms thankfully aren’t over-sized so doing them over shouldn’t be too costly, I think the worse will be replacing the tub in the master with a shower stall. Needs all new flooring too.

    I don’t watch HGTV (no cable) BUT I do rip out pages and pages of ideas from magazines – I’m armed, and dangerous! The costliest thing for me will be the kitchen I believe. Of course, that’s IF we get this house.

    Even though I’m getting a mtg through my parents I still will get title insurance, an appraisal and a survey – whatever I need to protect myself.

    I just read somewhere, if the seller has any liens, even from the HOA they can’t get a short-sale approved. Any idea if this is correct? I know there’s about a $600 lien on the house from the HOA, but they didn’t disclose this info – I found it on the public records.

  • confuzed

    I tried to post some info from a website that suggests that HOA fees will not make a big difference in closing a short sale, but for some reason this website is holding my comming in “moderation?”

  • Araceli Rivera

    OMG! I feel better after reading the success stories here. I have been under contract on “my house” since March 1st., and according to the agents, it was sent up to the bank that following Monday. I am not sure how the listing price was come up with, but it was listed at $119,900, when the comps in the are are in the $140′s-$160. We put in our bid at $142,500(trying to be as close to FMV as possible) asking for closing costs. Long story short, after a hiccup with the seller (mid June, after BPO was ordered), and the house being postponed from an auction sale on 7/13/09(very frustrating), our file is with the negotiator to review and get sent to the investor. It has been a very long process, but it’s starting to get to the point where my husband and I are getting a bit frustrated. We are expecting our 3rd child in October, so our search really began when we found we were having #3, we had time to spare then, but now, our time seems to be ticking by faster and faster. We know we’re going to get this house (just being positive), but we don’t know if we can wait much longer. I hope we don’t have to wait much longer. I am 6 months pregnant, due Oct. 14th, and it would be nice to be in our house by then. I am considering the idea of writing to the CEO, any samples of letters out there that I can get ideas from?

  • LoganT

    We signed docs last night. We should close on Tuesday.

    We paid around $3,500.00 in HOA fees. The sellers had not paid in about a year so we had to pay plus all the late fees. Countrywide will not pay HOA fees. They split escrow fees with us and $500 for termite.

  • Msscorp1

    I stumbled upon this website and found that we are all having the same dream, ooopppps I mean NIGHTMARE. I signed my contract in April 2009 and I am too still waiting. Today, I am considering walking away. In general I have the patience of a Saint, but now I am ready to fling a few choice words directed at CW. Sure I understand SS are a process, however I would be less willing to walk if they didn’t change the how things are handled from week to week.

    Everyone that’s working with me, with the exception of CW is feeling frustration. My true frustration is not only the waiting, it’s the cryptic responses they provide. Who gives direct responses anymore? So 50% frustration @ waiting, 50% frustration for lack of direct responses from Countrywide. BTW I am in Chicago.

    Not the best experience for a first time home buyer. OK enough nagging from me (for now) because I absolutely love the Condo, my team is great. Everyone is ready to close with the exception of CW. To date we are at phase 3??? I did not make that up. I am claiming success and can’t wait to see other success and for Eldemila to let us know how the kitchen and bathroom transformation goes.

  • LoganT

    We closed on our house yesterday! We put in our offer in April and finally it’s ours! There were still people driving by and trying to get in last weekend and I’m so glad we were able to take down the sign. The realtors were too cheap to put up pending or sold on the sign out front.

    The house was built in 06 and is totally upgraded with wood floors and high end appliances. Some of our neighbors paid twice as much in 06 with smaller yards. We have a big backyard with a view of a golf course and the hills so we can’t wait to design a lagoon style pool!

    Hang in there everyone. Our experience was horrible and mostly because of the listing agent but in the end it was worth it!

    Good luck to all of you.

  • KuKu

    @LoganT

    Congrats!! Another successful SS story!
    I have a question… do you still believe that CW only look at one offer at a time? Our offer was the first one in and then a second offer higher than ours sumitted a month later, what happened then? FYI.. both are cash offers. We are in Nor Cal. What I heard is that there was a negotiator assigned and BPO was done. Our offfer was made in May. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

  • LoganT

    @KuKu

    It is my understanding that CW will only look at one offer. The whole process would have to start over from the beginning with a new offer. Why would the listing agent submit another offer? I would call them.

  • KuKu

    @LonganT
    We have never talked to the listing agent. Everything I heard is from our agent. I guess we are in good position if CW only look at one offer at a time. Thanks for you input. I guess patience is the key now…..

  • confuzed

    Congrats! I wish you and your family all the best in your new home!!

  • Frustrated Firefighter

    Its a pleasure to see success stories of short sale nightmares.

    I seem to be in the same boat as everyone else. My offer was submitted early March. Since then we have received the same run around that everyone else seems to have received. We were tricked with hope in early June with the request to sign an addendum to the close date which put it at on or before August 7. To our dispair, no one was “actively” working on the case and we were informed on July 10th that we should close in 45 days, now that someone was “actively” working it, there words not mine. We were informed on July 23 that our file is ready for phase 2.

    In the mean time we have been looking for other properties but are not as satisfied as the SS property. I assume we will continue waiting and looking until something better comes along or we get an answer. I have also recently obtained our negotiators name and email address and sent him an email informing him of our situation and threatening to walk. That was Friday and of course nothing was heard from him.

    Has anyone experianced how long Phase 2 lasts? Any other success stories to get my hopes up? My fiance’ and myself are on the brink of taking a more expensive house that is nothing close to the house we want and have the offer on.

    Thanks a lot

  • confuzed

    I really don’t think that there is a set turn around time on anything. Most of it determines what part of the country you are in and how many cases each negotiator is working. California seems to be the worst. Short sales can take 4-6 months on average with Countrywide. Also, threatening the bank generally doesn’t work, since they don’t care anyway. If they did care they would have closed your offer, my offer, and every other offer. I find that the most frustrating part of the process, the fact that they don’t give a crap. One more thing, although the bank is technically losing money, they also have the mortages insured and are not losing money like you would think.

  • Jag

    @ Frustrated Firefighter

    I am in the similar boat as you Frustrated Firefighter….! I submitted my offer to purchase a long sale …. ops short sale … on March 14, 2009. Received Information that the Phase 2 negotiator was assigned on June 23, 2009 who has 30 days to review the file. Well its July 28, 2009. Do your math …! (ummmmmm it has been more than 30 days)

    So this is the problem I am having and would appreciate a response from readers. I have phase 2 negotiators phone number and email address. I have her managers email address and phone number. Yes, I have emailed and called both of them… and lucky me neither were a success. Both bitches are screening calls. Only the listing agent (not me) is authorized to obtain status of the file from Countrywide. The listing agent is 98% incompetent. Yes 98% brain cell dead. I cannot fire the listing agent. As a buyer I can only fire my buyer’s agent. My (buyer agent) keeps telling me that she cannot do anything because they will not release information to her because she is not authorized. I don’t think the listing agent is following up with the negotiator as often as I think. He does state that he is calling them regularly but I think it is a white lie.

    So what should I do? If I call and leave my name on there voice message they (Phase 2 negotiator) will not call me back because I am not on the authorized person. I am merely the buyer. I have called the listing agent and emailed that fucker but no response from him either. What should I do?

  • Frustrated more than the Firefighter

    Soooooo…after reading everyones good and bad comments on Countrywide, I get to tell our comment on them. My wife and I are celebrating our 6 month anniversary on the signing of the contract of a short sale home. Within the 6 months of waiting we have found out that short sales suck and are full of suprises. House had two loans on it and was through Aurora Loan Services. Received verbal acceptance on both loans at the end of May. Month later first loan written approval in the sellers hand but not the second. Found out that Aurora sold a BAD LOAN to COUNTRYWIDE during the process and no one had a fricken clue. Selling agent who is dumber than fu$#@ing bricks finally took over the file from the seller. He says he has been in contact with Countrywide and they are epediting everything…that was 3 weeks ago. Ohhhh…and both banks according the the selling agent says they are fighting over $500.00 …We said shit we’ll give you 500+an extra 300 to get the letter overnighted. Again we sit here in frustration continuing to look for other homes and somehow still get drawn to this SS house.

    For all of us out there trying to help the economy by buying up these overpriced/crappy built homes, and getting screwed left and right by these banks just drives us nuts. Now I am not a huge fan of Obama whatsoever, but to hear him finally call out the banks the other day put a smile on my face, because YES the banks are the ones still screwing over the American people and the economy and they should be called out on it!

    Ok enough of my rant. Just another frustrated homebuyer here.

    PS: I thought buying a home should be simple like it used to be. You find a house, you put an offer on it, seller accepts, you get an appraiser, they come out and says ok price and comps are good(Another rant I can get on thanks to Mr. Cuomo), you get an inspector, get your financing, and close………..move on with your lives…

  • confuzed

    @ frustrated more than the firefighter; I feel your pain. There are those easy house deals out there; but they aren’t short sales. We are in the same boat. We put in an offer on May 13, recieved verbal acceptance on June 26, and here we sit July 28 not a step closer to closing. Why? Because CountryWide could give a F**k less whether or not they sell this property because all of us tax payers just bailed their asses out big time and unlike the rest of us, they aren’t concerned about lossing money. I would totally buy another house; but there isn’t one that I like. I keep looking though. If one comes up, I will make an offer on it.

    Oh, and sellers agents do suck in this whole process. I get the impression that they simply do not care. They aren’t making the money that they would from a normal sale, so they don’t try as hard.

  • confuzed

    You know, I knew from the get-go that this would be long process. I was prepared for the wait. I was not, am not, prepared for all the sneaky, shadowy dealings that are the underbelly of short sales. A friend of the family who’s wife is a realtor, called us last night to tell us the house that we recieved verbal acceptance on is now relisted on the local MLS as active. Our realtor called the listing agent and she said the listed was about the be pulled because it had been listed as sale pending for so long, so she had to relist it as active. What? Why!!! I don’t get this at all. Any help from out there as to why from the purgatory that is short sale land?

  • Wasted Youth

    This house we are trying to buy has a 500k 1st mortgage with CW and 250k with a second bank. CW is willing to pay the second $4,000 but the second wants $24,000. The seller’s agent want us to put up the $20,000 without telling CW. He is telling us about sending 2 different HUDs to the two banks. I am a complete rookie on this but it all sounds very fishi!

    Does anyone know if the one can pay the second mortgage without telling the 1st? At the end, will there be ONE document showing all the financial dealings or would we end up with two?

  • confuzed

    The sellers agent smells like a rat, looks like a rat, and I’m guessing he is a rat. What did your agent say? I would contact a real estate lawyer and get some advice before I proceed. What happens if CW finds out, will they pull the contract?

  • Wasted Youth

    My mortgage broker adviced strongly against it. Said monetory dealings outside the buying contract is legally dubious at best!
    I did some searching online and others seems to agree that this is not within law but also says that this is becoming a common practice! I wonder if all those regulators would even care if they knew about this-as long as the banks are turning profits, right??

  • John

    Hello everyone!

    I just thought I’d chime in on all the frustration with a happier note. My wife was handed the keys to our home 4 days before we hit the 6 month mark of putting in our original offer. I am writing this from the kitchen of our 2,400 sq. ft. home, up from the 800 sq. ft. apartment where my wife, 2 -year old daughter, and myself had been for the last 2 years.

    In the last 2 months, I had wanted to strangle everyone at Countrywide/Bank of America for their lack of urgency and carelessness. In a way, I still do. It was an unneccesary waste of time and money and they have a long way to go before people respectfully start looking at them.

    For those who have been waiting months, try to hang in there. It’s frustrating and mentally draining, I know. The bottom line is that we are right at the floor point of this market and if you can snag a home in the next couple of months, you can truly say you got the best possible deal, especially if it’s a distressed property. We bought our home for $365,000 less than what it sold for brand new in late 2005. The home is in immaculate shape and once the back lawn comes back, I will be very happy!

    For those of you who plan on or are thinking of e-mailing Ken Lewis, do it as soon as you can, especially those who have been waiting 4 months and beyond. I just told him our situation, how long we’ve waited, and our desire to help the troubled real estate market while also making a dream a reality. Don’t write a sob story or kiss butt. Just be real, straight, and honest without directly ripping the company. I doubt you’ll get a response from Mr. Lewis directly, but there is a good chance you’ll get contacted by a representative of the Office of the Chair like I did. My guess is that she was either forwarded the e-mail by Mr. Lewis, or she is his personal assistant who reads his e-mails. Either way, she expidited the file for approval within 48 hours and we officially opened escrow.

    Hang in there, folks. You’ll get the key eventually, even though it may never seem that way (that’s what I thought).

  • confuzed

    Thanks John, your story is uplifting in so many ways. I find that my story is very similar to yours. We are waiting, and waiting, and waiting, to close on our first house. We have recieved unoffical verbal confirmation, but that was on June 26, and we have not heard anything since. I will have to remember, if we are able to close this house, to get back on here and encourage those in their stuggle with short sales and countrywide. Thanks again and congrats to you and your family

  • Frustrated Firefighter

    I like to hear a successful story through all of this garbage we have been fed. Thanks for your story and congrats!

  • Frustrated Firefighter

    I cant tell you exactly what your situation is about but i know realtors do have to occasionaly relist the property before it expires. But once they do relist it they are supposed to change it to contingent. I would talk to your realtor or the listing agent. I dont think anything has changed with countrywide. The MLS listing has nothing to do with whats going on at countrywide, thats the listing agent.

  • Frustrated Firefighter

    I have also sent an email to the negotiator with no response (which i wasnt expecting). I have just sent an email to Mr. Ken Lewis, CEO of Bank of America, on a suggestion by John who recently had a success story. I am hoping for the best but again, not expecting anything. Thats the only way i can see your problem working, try going to the top. Maybe it will shake somethings up.

    [email protected]

  • Jag

    Emailed Ken Lewis – No Response

    Emailed and Called the Negotiator – No Response

    Emailed and Called Negotiator’s Manager – No Response

    Any suggestion Folks?

  • corine couch

    How did you find out the negotiators number and name? I want to do that. The listing agent will not talk to us, only our agent.

    I would email them again, this time put kens email in the CC area so that they can see. If they think their managers and big bosses are watching, that may give them the incentive to look into your case.

    Also, try Tammy Orcutt; [email protected]
    MLO-SR LOAN SVCS SPECIALIST
    EXECUTIVE CUSTOMER RELATIONS
    SHORT SALE DEPARTMENT

  • Frustrated Firefighter

    Well I would be looking for new houses, as I have been doing with no success. I also like to live by the rule of the “squeaky wheel gets the grease”. I would continue with the emails everyday. If i do not recieve an answer by next week, i will be sending emails everyday until i recieve something. Thats my plan. No guarantee either, but if i could find another house i actually like, i would jump on it.

  • corine couch

    I absolutely agree. Thats what we have decided to do as well. The problem with our area (Ohio) is that its the same old houses for sale that we don’t like. Maybe 1-3 new houses will come up every 2weeks, and most of those are short sales too.

  • John

    Jag – It took about 4 business days to have the rep from Mr. Lewis’ office to contact me.

    Corine – Tammy was the one who was feeding us information when we couldn’t get it from the crappy listing agent of our property. The only reason we got close with her was because my loan agent from B of A found out that the house was being short-saled by Countrywide (same company). About a month before we closed, Tammy got her new position and she ended up approving the sale of the home. It was like it came full circle.

  • confuzed

    Is tammy a regional negotiator? Do I need to find the MLO for my area?

  • Jag

    Some Progress Finally…..!

    Received email from Phase 2 negotiator that Countrywide needed (a) buyer’s proof of income (b) updated HUD statement and (c) Sellers recent paystub. They gave us 2 days to submit these documents or else the file will be closed. Absoutely NO EXTENSIONS. Let me tell you I was faster than speedy Gonzalez in getting those documents. My problem became how do I get the Seller to submit his share of documents….! That’s when I learned HOW TO HARASS REALTORS….! Everyone should do it….. BECAUSE IT WORKS.

    So where we stand … Submitted Offer in March 14, 2009 and went to Phase 2 on June 23, 2009 and submitted updated seller information and buyers ability to pay statement on August 3, 2009. Now we wait ….. and wait …. ! Hopefully we are getting close.

  • confuzed

    @ Jag,
    Where in the process did they give you “verbal acceptance” if any? Just wondering because we recieved verbal acceptance on June 26 and haven’t heard anything since.

  • Jag

    Hi Confused:

    I don’t think there is anything as verbal acceptance. Countrywide CANNOT give verbal acceptance if the investor (Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac/Other Banks) hasn’t signed off on the loan. What good is a verbal acceptance from Countrywide if the investor has not said anything. Countrywide could give 100 people verbal acceptance but it means nothing if the underlining investor has not given its approval. If the investor say NO and Countrywide said YES … Guess who will win…..!

    As indicated before we submitted our offer in March 14, 2009 and never received a verbal acceptance from Countrywide. Just remember with Countrywide there are three phases:

    Phase 1 – Submission of documents to Countrywide – Negotiator is assigned to make sure all the documents are there.

    Phase 2 – A different negotiator is assigned which requests updated paystubs, buyers ability to pay, orders BPO, looks are sellers fiancial and submits the offer to the investor approval…. etc.

    Phase 3 – A different negotiator is assigned to deal with the closing once the investors ok’s the deal.

    So I don’t see how can Countrywide give a verbal acceptance before phase 3.

  • confuzed

    Jag, thanks so much for sharing your experience. I must admit, I am more confused now than ever. Our agent said the sellers agent told her we had verbal acceptance. I am so dumbfounded. I don’t know what to do. We have consistantly kept an eye on the market, but there is nothing else we like. Threatening to walk does no good, since they don’t care. I have emailed everybody that previous posters said to email, all to no avail. I am at a total loss of what to do; other than twiddle my thumbs.

  • Jag

    @ Confuzed.

    Can you answer these questions and I can give you an idea where you stand:

    1. Offer was submitted when?
    2. Do you know which phase are you in?
    3. If you know which phase you are in has the seller already submitted there papers?

    Based on these questions I think I can give you an idea where you stand.

  • Frustrated Firefighter

    This is getting more irritating by the day. Here have been my email updates and i have no idea how much longer it will take.

    Offer submitted- Mar 7

    BPO’s done- Early May and agian Early June b/c they sat on it so long.

    June 7- Signed closing date addendum to recieve answer by July 7 and close date of August 7 per countrywide. Countrywide also requested sellers information.

    July 10 email update-

    “Please refer to my previous email for the information I need to help you
    move this along. As for a time frame, now that I am actively working
    this case it should hopefully take no more than 45 days. I apologize for
    the delays on this case, but looking forward I will do everything I can
    to get this to closing for you.

    Thanks!”

    July 23 email update-

    “All docs requested for this have been received. The BPO’s have been
    delivered. All info has been updated/uploaded to our database. This file
    is now ready for phase 2.

    Thanks! ”

    August 4 email update-

    “This case has been submitted to phase two. In phase two another
    negotiator will be assigned to this case and it will be submitted to the
    investor for an approval request. There has been some delay in this
    assignment process due to the amount of other cases. Thanks for your
    continued patience.

    - Mark :)

    How much longer do i have to wait? This is beyond rediculous. They just keep telling us the same thing over and over again! Is there a light i should be looking for?

    Someone please give me some hope.

  • Jag

    @ Frustrated Firefighter

    I am in the same boat as you. Submitted offer on March 14, 2009 and case transferred to Phase two on June 23, 2009. Received update from Phase 2 negotiator that file is ready to be submitted to investor. So hopefully within 45 days.

  • Frustrated Firefighter

    @ Jag

    When did you get told it was ready to submit to investor? And did the seller have all there paperwork turned in during phase 1?

    For me they have all the paperwork they need. So i have no idea what else the phase 2 neg. will need to do except submit the package.

  • confuzed

    @Jag, sellers agent is very elusive and won’t come right out and say what phase we are in. Just found out that a second BPO was completed. Is it standard to do 2 BPO’s?

  • Jag

    @ Frustrated Firefighter

    Was told the package was ready to be submitted to investor August 4, 2009. Yes the seller did submit all there paperwork during phase 1.

    Frustrated Firefighter see my response to confuzed (August 5,2009) and it will answer some of your questions and confuzed.

  • Jag

    @ confuzed

    Confuzed I am going to break down the process with Countywide in stages.

    1. Stage 1 – offer given on the property which the seller accepts
    2. Stage 2 – Seller’s agent prepares a short sale package which includes (a) Past 2 years of Sellers income tax, (b) 2 months of bank statement, (c) hardship letter, (d) YTD paystub, (e) purchase agreement, (f) .. etc.

    ****Since alot of documents are needed and multiple parties are involved chances are time may have been waste in gathering the documents ****

    3. Stage 3 – All the documents are submitted to Bank of America.
    4. Stage 4 – It takes 15 days for Bank of America to scan the documents into there system.
    5. Stage 5 – Usually wait 1 and a half month to be assigned Phase 1 negotiator.
    6. Stage 6 – Phase 1 negotiator ONLY reviews that all the documents are in file. This will take 30-45 days.
    7. Stage 7 – Phase 1 negotiator then submits the file over to Phase 2 negotiator.
    8. Stage 8 – Phase 2 negotiator has 30 business dates to review the file. (If no response within 30 days than instruct sellers agent to have the file esclated for review) Negotiator 2 orders the BPO and if one was ordered before he/she will again order a new BPO if it is older than 60 days, requests an updated: (a) sellers past 2 month banks statement, (b) YTD paystub (c) 2 years of income tax documents (AGAIN) (d) buyers – bank statement – ability to pay, social security number, date of birth, agents license number .. etc.
    9. Stage 9 – Buyer and seller submits the requested documents

    ***Although you can submit your share of the documents you cannot be sure the Seller will submit his documents on time. So usually time is waste until the other party submits the documents – 1 to 2 weeks ****

    10. Stage 10 – Takes 15 days for the documents to be scanned into the Bank of America system. On the 16th day the Phase 2 negotiator then reviews the file again.
    11 – Phase 11 – Negotiator than submits the offer to the Investor for review.
    12. Stage 12 – Investor has 45 days from receiving the offer to approve or deny it or counter off it.
    13. Stage 13 – If approved then must close within 30 days.

    As for us we are in Stage 12. Frustrated Firefighter and Confuzed chances are you are in Phase 2 and still awaiting for updated documents. Because a new BPO was ordered for you Confuzed and Frustrated Firefighter the updated documents have not been requested including your social security number you are still going through Stage 8.

  • confuzed

    @Jag, I really don’t know how to thank you enough! You have definitely opened the process up and allowed me a peek into what is going on behind the slow, slow process. Again thank you so much for taking the time to lay it out so clearly.

    I am frustrated to know I am back at Phase 2 again after having been there once. This is starting to remind me of Monopoly and I keep getting sent back to jail without passing Go!

    Thanks again and be sure to keep us posted with the process on your house.

  • Sarah

    Hi. Just curious – do you know if the same timeline occurs when Countrywide is the 2nd lender? The first already approved giving $15k to the 2nd (Countrywide).

  • Jag

    @ Sarah

    If ANY lender on the loan is Countrywide (irrespective of 1st, 2nd, ….9th lender) the process is still the same. Countrywide has to still approve the 15k that it will accept. If not the junior lender (Countrywide) will come after the buyer/seller for deficiency judgment. GOT-TO GOT-TO MAKE EVERYONE HAPPY OR ELSE.

  • confuzed

    Just got word that the investor has our offer. I guess now I will be waiting 6 weeks to hear a yes or no. Crossing my fingers for a Yes!!

  • Jag

    @ Confuzed

    (1) How did you find out if the package was submitted to the investor?
    (2) When did you initially sign the purchase agreement?
    (3) Do you know or read up on how long the investor has until he makes a decision on a short sale – your mentioned 6 weeks – where did you get that information?

    I am in the same boat as you are…My package was submitted to investor August 4, 2009 and had signed the purchase agreement on March 14, 2009. So curious to see if the time frame was the same.

  • confuzed

    @Jag,
    My realtor called today after speaking with the listing agent who said that the investor has it now. My realtor said that shes had responses in as little as 2 days and as long as 6months. I got the 6 weeks from your posting above:). I do not know when it was submitted. We initially signed our offer on May 14.

  • Msscorp1

    Hello All –

    Finally closed on my condo, SS with CW took four months. In the end, I received lots of credits at closing. Condo sold to me for $7,000 less than the asking price! I got lots of perks on the deal. I was as patient as I could be, this forum definitely helped me through the last four to six weeks of the SS process. CW is a mess, but now I am soooo happy!!

  • confuzed

    Congrats on your Condo! If you don’t mind sharing, what kind of perks did you get?

  • Msscorp1

    @ confuzed….

    I received well over $6,000 in credits. Was able to walk away with over half of my downpayment, two months association dues, 105% real estate taxes and a few other things that worked well in the end. Four months of frustration….I am pleased with the end result!!!

  • KuKu

    @Msscorp1

    What State are you in? I am in California. I hope I will be as lucky as you are…

  • Msscorp1

    @KuKu….I am in Illinois. If the place is worth it, stay with it. My attorney and real estate agent were great. I voiced my concerns (gripes) with this process to them every week. Whenever they received information, they made it a point to let me know. Pretty much we were at the mercy of CW the whole time. Keep getting those updates even though the update will seem cryptic. I don’t think I’ve done anything too much different than everyone else in this forum!

  • confuzed

    Wow, those are some great perks. I just have one more question, how long did you have to wait to hear from the investor? Just wondering because thats where we are now. Thanks.

  • Jag

    Normally how long does it take for a decision from the investors once the short sale has been submitted?

  • Jag

    Well I found out some new information which I would like to share with everyone…!

    If the investor is FannieMae/FredicMac (Affiliates of the U.S. Government) ONLY then does your short sale package gets submitted to the investor – FannieMae/FredicMac – for approval.

    If the investor is equity firm or banks the short sale packages DOES NOT get submitted to the investor for an approval. Countrywide makes that decision based on guidelines the equity firms/banks had given to them.

    How did I get this information – I call Countrywide and simply asked if our package had been submitted to the investor and was explained as follow.

    So whoever is your Phase 2 negotiator that person makes the decision based on guidelines it had already received from the equity firm/investor.

    Thought I share this with everyone.

  • confuzed

    @ Jag, just wondering, but are you a private detective? :) So, I guess our house must be with fannie may and freddie mac since we are waiting on the investor. Agghhh, the government! This could be a very long wait!

  • jw

    @Jag

    Are you the buyer the seller, can the buyer call up countrywide to ask for status? I thought only the seller ‘s agent was allowed to call for updates? Thanks.

  • Msscorp1

    @ confused

    The same day I threatened to squash the deal was the same day I received notification the file was with the investor. I suppose once they saw how frustrated I was, I only waited 2 weeks from that point.

  • confuzed

    @ Msscorp1
    Wish I would have thought of that. I have felt pretty helpless since the beginning of this process. I know that shortsales are long frustrating ordeals, but its one of those things no one can prepare you for; you just have to experience. I hope that we hear back from the investor as speedily has you have, but I am truly not anticipating that. As far as I can tell, there are only 2 more hoops; investor and inspections. :)
    Thanks for sharing your experience!

  • Lynette

    How do you determine who your investor is?

  • confuzed

    Jag posted above some info he found out on investors.

  • Jag

    Sorry for the late response.

    I see I have alot people asking questions so let me answer them.

    1. I am the buyer and not the seller. True … only the seller’s agent can call Countrywide or the negotiator and get update. There is a form which countrywide needs to authorize the agent to act on behalf of the seller and as such seller’s agent can then talk to Countrywide … common sense. But what if your agent – buyers agent – also has that authorization? Wait a second are you telling me both the seller and buyer’s agents have authorization to speak to Countrywide and the negotiator? YES. How can that be? Very simple … look folks …. Countrywide could careless if you walk or not. They have 10 million short sales to deal with. Your short sale is meaningless to them. You need to put presure on Countrywide to act on the file. How can you do that? Have both buyer and seller’s agent HARASS THE NEGOITATOR. How badly do you want the house? If you do, then have the buyer’s agent obtain authorization from seller so that your agent puts presure on the negotaitor along with sellers agent. This way you are informed of what is going on rather than waiting on sellers agent to update you on it.

    2. @ Confuzed no I am not a private detective just a mild manner buyer looking for a shetler over head.

    3. @ Lynette – If the investor is a government agency (Fannie Mac and Freddic) then by law they can disclose the agency. If the investor is a non-government agency they do not have to disclose it. Chance are your investor is BONY – The Bank of New York Mellon – Countrywide was heavily involved servicing there loans.

    4. I have learned something else which I would like to share with my bloggers. If you submitted offer on a short sale between March – June 1, 2009 chances are that you are still waiting for approval. Why? As you know Countrywide was bought by Bank of America. Countrywide used a different system for data entry then does Bank of America. The information they had entered at the Countrywide between March -June 1, 2009 had to be re-entered starting June 2, 2009 with Bank of America on there system. Your file probably had to be closed with Countrywide and reopened on the Bank of America system. So what does mean to you? Nothing was being done on your file while the merger was being completed. So the time spend waiting for approval between March – June is not counted toward your short sale. Since nothing was being done on your file.

  • confuzed

    Once again Jag you awe and amaze me with you persistent and unrelenting search for information. You know what frustrates me, all of the excuses the bank has for why they are rediculously slow on the process of approving short sales. Ugghh, there I go complaining again.

  • Honiee

    @Jag: thanks for posting the investor info. My husband and I made an offer of $305K on a Countrywide short sale back in mid January 2009. We got word approx a month later from the Phase 1 negotiator that our offer was rejected so we bumped it up to $315K. Our $315K offer then went to Phase 2. On Wed, Aug 5th we were contacted by the Phase 2 negotiator with a counteroffer of $325K and instructed to submit an ammended purchase contract and new HUD by Fri, Aug 7th. We accepted the counteroffer and everything was emailed that Friday morning and the seller’s agent got a “Thank You” email from the Phase 2 negotiator acknowledging receipt of the documents. We haven’t heard anything since. Since the Phase 2 negotiator counteroffered, does this mean the investor is not federal? Do you know approx how long we should expect to wait for the final approval? They counteroffered, we accepted… are we at the end now?

  • Jag

    @ Honiee

    You raised several questions which I will break it out for you.

    1. Does this mean the investor is not federal? Yes, chance are the investor is not federal but rather BONY – Bank of New York Mellon or one of other banks. As mentioned earlier, Countrywide is a loan server for other banks and investor. It receives mortgage payments on behalf of banks holding the note. Majority of Countrywide business was with Bank of New York Mellon. In addition to BONY they also serviced other banks but not to the level it worked with BONY. If you received a counter offer chance are that it is NOT Fannie Mae/Fredde Mac rather a private Bank or investor.

    2. How long will it take after submitting the counter offer? Good new is that there is communication between the negotiator and you. Bad news is that it could take 1 day to respond to the counter offer or up to 30-45 days to respond to the counteroffer. Why? Once the counter offer is submitted it needs to be reviewed based on the guideline it has received from the investor. As talked about it in my earlier blogs investors have given Countrywide specific quidelines in apporving the loan or offering a counteroffer. Although Countrywide will make that decision on behalf of the investor, however, they still need to ok it with the investor. So chance are time will be wasted while they communicate with one another. But rest assured you are in good hands. I suspect keys will be in your hands in September or sooner. I recommend you start packing and CONGRADULATION FROM ME.

    I am in a similar position as you Honiee. I submitted my offer in March 2009 for $320. It was forward to phase 1 on June 2009 and elevated to phase 2 on July 2009. On August 7, 2009 they requested an updated HUD, Seller/buyers bank statements, hardship letter, Seller pay stubs … etc. However, we have not received any counter offer yet. So we wait UNPATIENTLY … !

  • Honiee

    @ Jag: Good Luck! I’ll keep you posted on our progress… hopefully we hear something soon. :o )

  • WorriedVetWife

    I’m so glad I’ve found this blog. Thanks Jag for the Phase process above. It really helped! I have a question though, hopefully someone might know the answer.

    I submitted an offer on June 3rd for a single home for 430k. When I check zillow today, it ranked the house at 592k. Should I be worried that my offer be rejected?

    The condition of the house isn’t perfect. I was given a 75k quote for renovation for move-in condition, that was why my offer was 430k. Does anyone know how does the investor calculate the offer? Do they base it on zillow rank at all? Also, how long will the BPO take? Will the BPO person check everything in the house? Will they know if the roof need to be replaced?

    Thanks so much!

  • Christina

    I have a question. We put an offer in on a short sale, the bank counter and we accpted the counter we are waiting on the bank sign off on the offer we accepted how long do we have to wait.

  • Jag

    @WorriedVetWife

    If you are using Zillow to judge the strenght of your short sale offer then you may be misguided. Countrywide DOES NOT use Zillow to determine the market value of the house but rather use a private company called LandSafe, Inc.

    2nd question – when will they order the BPO? You submitted your offer on June 3, 2009. Chance are you are probably still in phase 1 and may recently have been appointment a negotiator who will make sure all the documents are there and will order a BPO. Just remember by the time it goes to Phase 2 negotiator they will order another BPO if the time period from the first BPO and second BPO is more than 60 days.

    3th question – Will they check everything in the house to determine the value? No. WorriedVetWife this is where you need to be smart. You have seen the house. You know the condition of the house. You know where the repairs are needed. THEY DO NOT. Make a copy of your repair costs, contractors estimates, pictures showing condition of the house, type a letter arguing repairs needed and GIVE IT TO THE SELLERS AGENT TO BE GIVEN TO THE NEGOTIATOR. If they can’t see it they don’t know. BUT WHAT IF YOU MAKE THEM SEE IT?

  • Jag

    @ Christina

    A counter offer is a new offer which needs approval from the investor. You could receive a response as early as within a day or within 30-45 days. Christina can you provide a dateline when you submitted the offer including dates when things transpired.

  • greg

    This is a great site and I am learning things here that my agent could not explain to me. We made a cash offer on a house in AZ. (Only 115,000). Offer was 5K over the listed short sale price. We were told our offer was excepted. The was 10 weeks ago and according to our agent things still have not progressed to being assigned a negotiator.negotiator

    I was warned on the short sale process but I was not ready for this. We do have a second offer which is not with CountryWide and that has been a negotiator but according to the agent they can’t contact the negotiator.

    It is all a mess and no wonder why Countrywide and others were in trouble.

    More than likely we will end up walking from both of these houses and they will stand vacant for another 6 months or a year.

    I would think on my cash offer that it could be expedited with just accertaining that I could pay cash at that the house was priced right.

  • Frustrated Firefighter

    Well i just received word that country wide countered our offer with an offer 30k above our original offer. Well the listing agent was so mad that she started yelling at country wide about how they just sold a house right down the road for a lot cheaper. So while I was on the phone discussing what we were going to do with my fiance, country wide called the agent back and offered a price 15k over our offer. We now countered that with a slightly lower offer and i hope to hear back today but you never know. At least something is happening.

    Oh and all those emails i wrote to the CEO and all the other execs. I just got an email back yesterday that said they cant discuss anything with me unless i get a letter from the seller stating that thet are allowed to discuss it with me. So it seems as if nothing really helped except for time. I sent at least 4 emails over the past two months to the CEO and just now receiving a response and then to all the execs with no response.

    Well, we continue to wait with a slightly better outlook. Thats our update. Anyone else hear anything?

  • Honiee

    Today is exactly 3 weeks since we accepted the bank’s counter offer and the seller’s agent emailed the Level 2 Negotiator our ammended purchase contract and new HUD-1. Still no word.

  • Frustrated Firefighter

    @ Honiee

    Do you know when the agent sent in the HUD and purchase contract? It turns out that our negotiator went home early so we couldn’t receive and answer but the country wide people told the agent to start drawing up the paperwork under our counter offer price. So I hope to hear on Tuesday.

  • Honiee

    @ Frustrated Firefighter:
    The agent emailed the HUD and ammended purchase contract on Fri Aug 7th… he forwarded my agent the email and it was then forwarded to me. Seller’s agent has been emailing and leaving voicemails for the negotiator and she won’t email or call back – have’nt heard from her since the “thanks” email she sent to the seller’s agent on Aug 7th after receiving the ammended documents. So frustrating!

  • vicki

    How do I get on this website?

  • http://[email protected] vicki

    I have a shortsale also. Can I join this?

  • Georgepa

    I also am involved with Countrywide on a short sale. This website has really helped with additional information. I was told by the realtor I am in Phase 2, my offer has been sent to a second negotiator and we should hear back in three to five days, that was the first week of August. Last week my realtor was told not to call back until after Sept. 14th.
    There was an appraisal of the property done in March 09,(I beleive that is the same as the BPO) countrywide stated what they wanted for the property, at this point the buyers walked away because it was 7 months later. Thats when we came in and made an offer May 09, close to the asking price.
    I was wondering if the home is appraised for less then the offer, does countrywide allow you to purchase for the appraisal amount? Does anyone know?
    Does it sound like we are getting close? This is a very frustrating ! Thank you to anyone who can offer any advice.
    georgepa

  • Frustrated Firefighter

    @ georgepa

    My fiance and me wondered that ourselves because we didnt want something that couldnt be insured for the entire amount that we paid. My realtor told us that a BPO (what the mortgage company looks at) and appraisal (what your insurance looks at) are two different things. Countrywide will not tell you what the BPO came out as. Thats part of there negotiating strategy to try and get the most money they can. The only protection that we have is an addendum in our contract that states if the appraisal that we pay for or the inspection are not what we expected, then we can either make a counteroffer or walk. If you show countrywide the appraisal that you paid for then they might go back and do another BPO to determine if it is resonable. Just make sure that your realtor has that in the contract.

    If you are in phase two and were told not to call back then your getting closer. The listing agent was told not to call back until Aug 28th and thats when they made the counteroffer.

    This is a long patient game and it just taks time. Good luck!!

    Any other updates from people getting close to done or have closed?

  • Frustrated Firefighter

    Now I understand that everyone has beed waiting awhile to close after receiving verbal acceptance. Well our offer was accepted yesterday and countrywide informed the realtor that it will take 2-5 days for the contract to go to fannie may for there approval and then it would come to me for my signature. As soon as I sign, they said i have 30 days to close. So i have 30 days to get a inspection and appraisal. I ‘m not expecting it to happen too fast so i am wondering if anyone else has heard this or has a timeline for how things are going for them.

    Still want to here some updates.

  • Jag

    @ Frustrated Firefighter

    I am abit confused with your approval process Frustrated Firefighter. How can Countrywide/Bank of America say that they approved your offer when the investor Fannie Mae has not approved the short sale?

    Countrywide is the servicer of the loan. All they did is collect your mortgage payment on behalf of the investor and then give it over to the investor and in this case Fannie Mae. Don’t you think before Countrywide could accept your short sale that it needs approval from the investor first. What good is Countrywide approving your short sale if the investor has not ok’ed the deal. This is based on your statement that ” … Countrywide informed the realtor that it will take 2-5 days for the contract to go to Fannie Mae for there approval …. ” Please clarify. Thank you.

  • Pamela George

    My real estate agent also informed us if we receive an approval we would have 30 days to close.

  • Frustrated Firefighter

    When our offer first was submitted, it did have to go to Fannie Mae for the short sale approval. They approved and 4 months later is where we are. To my understanding they are sending the negotiated price to Fannie Mae for approval. I have no idea. The way it was presented to me was that this is a typical procedure and that it will most likely get approved. We have to wait 2-5 days and the paperwork will be brought back to us. I will find out more next week if this timeline is actually accurate.

    Have you heard anything on your house?

  • georgepa

    We made an offer on May 12th , as far as we know we are in Phase 2, the second mediator was suppose to contact the real estate agent within a couple of days that was the second week of August. When the agent called the mediator, he was told not to call back until Sept. 14th. My agent was the one who told us we are getting close, once the offer is accepted, we we have an inspection done and then have 30 days to obtain a mortgage and close. I don’t really know if it will work that way, I hope so. We are running short of time for the tax rebate , which is Nov 30th.
    We are just about at 4 months since we started this process, very frustrating.
    georgepa

  • Honiee

    Bank counter offered on Wed Aug. 5th, we verbally accepted the same day. Ammended documents were emailed to the Phase 2 Negotiator on Fri Aug. 7th – seller’s agent got email response from negotiator of document receipt. No communication from negotiator since Aug 7th. Seller’s agent called the BOA short sale dept on Aug 25th. Was instructed to fax ammended docs to the dept. Docs faxed on Aug 25th. Short sale dept says they will respond within 15 business days from Aug 25th… that puts us at Sept 16th. We shall see if we actually hear from them by then. :(

  • Chris

    Has anyone here Sold a home using the Countrywide short sale process? My wife sold one a couple of years ago, and the second chunk of the 80/20 is still on her credit. Countrywide says they have no paperwork, but it must be correct… The Company that worked the shortsale went under, so no paperworking coming from them. Anyone had any issues, or better yet found a solution?

  • Jag

    Received confirmation from Bank of America that our file was FINALLY submitted to the investor 9/9/09 by the manager. Will keep the bloggers posted as we hear any news. Original offer submitted March 14, 2009.

  • WorriedVetWife

    @Jag
    Thanks for your comment. Reading others comment and shortsale experience helped me lots!

  • WorriedVetWife

    My real estate agent forwarded me an email that the listing agent’s broker sent to a Countrywide Executive asking them to escalate the matter. Reading the email made me realize that I’m now in Phase 2 of this shortsale process. Some detail of our shortsale experience:

    9/11/08 – The house we offered was listed. Got an offer in a few weeks.
    4 months later – 1st buy didn’t hear anything from the bank, they withdrew their offer.
    6/3/09 – We made an offer.
    7/09 – First BPO was ordered, price was higher than our offered price.
    8/31/09 – Broker emailed CW Executive to escalate the shortsale process.
    9/3/09 – Second BPO was ordered for interior/exterior appraisale.
    9/9/09 – I’m… waiting…. and waiting….

    Does anyone have any idea how much longer do I need to wait if everything flows smoothly from now on? Will I make it before the $8k first time home buyer credit program expire in Nov?

    Good luck to everyone that’s going through shortsale, especially you Jag! Keep us posted with your shortsale :)

  • Jag

    @WorriedVetWife

    Would you believe we have been waiting since March 14, 2009. We must have asked to escalate our offer about 70 times. We kept pushing and pushing to the point we began to harass the negotiator. Legally and mentally we are guilty of harassment. Unfortunately it still took that long.

    Now WorriedVetWife …. I am going to be honest with you and tell you up front that you will NOT make the November deadline. Why? Based on your date schedule it is still tooo early in stage 2. No New HUD statements have been forwarded to the negotiator, no updated bank statements have been forwarded, buyers information has not been forwarded, buyers preapproval letter has not been forwarded and on on. This usually occurs at the end of stage 2. After all that then they start to review the file and then you enter counteroffer/ then 30 day closing which put you into December.

    I will keep everyone as we head toward a answer.

  • Tired of waiting

    hi, I believe that Im on phase 3. My realtor said that they are done with the BOP/appraisal and that they’re in the negotiating stage. How much longer do I have to wait? Realtor said that we can probably close by mid October. Does any one think that I can actually close by then? my offer was accepted on July 9 subject to lenders approval. Can anyone help???

  • Jag

    @ Tired of Waiting

    If your short sale is subject to lender approval then how has it been approved? According to your statement ” my offer was accepted on July 9 subject to lenders approval.” Confusing. If the underlying investor has not approved the short sale than who has accepted the short sale? Bank of America/Your Seller/Countrywide/Your Agent means nothing if they accepted the short sale. ONLY WHEN THE INVESTOR SAYS YES AND ONLY THEN YOUR SHORT SALE HAS BEEN APPROVED. Bank of America/Countrywide are servicer of the loan. They cannot approve the short sale. Your Seller nor your agent can approved the short sale. So who’s left? INVESTOR.

    Typically Bank of America orders two BPO’s based on my experience. First when the short sale is submitted at stage 1 and then reorders the BPO in stage 2 if the first BPO is older than 60 days from second BPO. If Tired of Waiting Bank of America has ordered only one BPO then you still have a while to go.

    But stay in there. I know you are upset that why is it taking this long. Based on what you said chances are things will pick up within couple of weeks when they start to request revised HUD statements, buyers information … etc.

  • Frustrated Firefighter

    @WorriedVetWife

    I have to agree with Jag and say that your not going to make the cut-off. Unless something miraculous happens with C/W and they get there head out of there butts, I dont see your house closing in time. Heck, i’m worried to see if mine will close in time. I’m pretty sure it will, but you never know with this company. If the credit is a big concern then i would def be looking for another house that is not a short sale.
    Good Luck! Keep me posted!

    @ Tired of Waiting

    It sounds to me that you werew told that the seller has accepted the offer. This is the first of many more steps. Like Jag said, it now has to go to the investor, which could be countrywide, BOA or any number of other organizations that hold the loan. You are just strating down the long road of waiting and it is very frustrating. You have to evaluate if the house is worth waiting that long. I put my offer in on Mar 7. and I still haven’t closed. We have looked at many other houses in the mean time but nothing seems to intrest us. If you really like it and really want it, hang in there.

    As for me, nothing back from Fannie Mae yet. That blows the 2-5 day timeline.

    Any other updates?

  • Surferscca

    Hello,
    My Fiance and I put a offer in on a countrywide shortsale on April, 25. W have been very Patient with this whole process thinking theres no way we could miss the nov, 31 deadline for the tax credit. Now were getting worried, our agent is not experinced in shortsales and we are gerrting mixed information from her.

    1. our agent says we are in contract with countrywide and cannot make aany other offers without looseing our contract.

    2.We’ve tried to find out what phase of the process we’re in but all we get is phase 2, we’ve bee told were in phase 2 since june.

    3. the sellers agent says our negotiator has sent the offer to the second mortage and investors.

    My question is, how much longer do we have to go and how can we speed up the process.

  • Nicole

    We (the buyers) just received the short sale approval from the sellers bank with a closing date of Sept 21st– however we were just told about the second mortgage of 75,000 and the first mortgage holder is willing to give the second mortgage people 3,000. will they release the lien? Its National City Bank I believe. Thie first mortgage is through wells fargo.

  • Nicole

    We were told by the sellers realtor that the second mortgage approval will take 5-10 business days. The second mortgage is for 75,000. Would they really take only 3,000?? We waited 30 days to get the first mortgage short sale approval.

  • Jag

    Hi Nicole:

    First buy a gun and shoot the inexperience Seller’s agent. Second buy a second gun and shoot the inexperience buyer’s agent. Why? Let’s work with common sense. If the property had two mortgage with two different banks unrelated to another than don’t you think they both need to approve the short sale. Most likely YES. WHY? If does you no good if one approves and the other does not. One mortgage is probably the senior and the other is probably junior. If senior approves and junior does not then junior could buy out the senior and foreclose on the property. It does you no good if the senior has approved and the junior has not. So why do we need to kill the Realtor?

    The Seller’s agent should have submitted a short sale package …. should I say it … a short sale package to both banks at the same time. Common sense. Now you have to wait even longer for the junior to approve it. Assuming they do. If the Seller’s agent had submitted the package together to both banks than by now the keys would have been in your hands. But its not.

    So now why do we shoot the Buyer’s agent. The buyer’s agent should have also known this and should have requested the Seller’s agent to submit another short sale package to junior lender. Your agent also dropped the ball.

  • Jag

    APPROVED APPROVED APPROVED APPROVED APPROVED APPROVED APPROVED APPROVED APPROVED APPROVED APPROVED APPROVED
    APPROVED APPROVED APPROVED APPROVED APPROVED APPROVED

    Our short sale has been approved September 14, 2009. Our short sale has been approved September 14, 2009. Our short sale has been approved September 14, 2009. DO I NEED TO SAY IT ANYMORE…..!

    Submitted Short sale agreement March 14, 2009 was assigned Phase 1 Negotiator June 5, 2009 and Phase 2 Negotiator August 4, 2009. Submitted to investor for approval August 21, 2009 and received written confirmation September 14, 2009 short sale approval. I am the buyer and my seller are thrilled at the news.

  • Frustrated Firefighter

    Congrats Jag!

    When did you recieve verbal acceptance? When will you close? What is the process you have to complete now?

  • Jag

    @ Frustrated Firefighter

    I never received verbal acceptance. Seller’s agent received phone call and faxed letter of approval and the original is in mail. Anticipated closing date September 18, 2009. As for what process remains (a) final walk through the house (b) document signing (c) picking up the keys.

  • Honiee

    @ Jag:
    CONGRATS! We also got word of approval today! The negotiator emailed seller’s agent stating that the sale has been approved and provided a list of fees approved. She advised to fax a new HUD-1 (not back to her) with approved charges and stated written approval will arrive via email within 7-10 days. We then have 30 days to close after receipt of written approval.

  • KuKu

    Congrats to both of you, Jag and Honiee. I am encouraged by your good news.
    Did you receive any counter offer or the bank approved your orginal offer? What State are you in?

  • Honiee

    @ KuKu:
    Bank rejected our first offer – we then increased it by $10K. The bank counter offered by an additional $10K and we accepted. We are in NJ. Good Luck!

  • Jag

    I received NO counteroffer. Submitted offer for $320,000 back on March 14,2009 and they accept $320,000 without counter offers. I am in Northern California.

  • Kate

    Honiee – how long did the process take for you. We’re also located in NJ and would like to take advantage of the $8k for first time home buyers through a short sale we just found.

    How far below the asking price did you offer? We want to try and just get accepted and make this as fast as possible so any advice would be WONDERFUL!

  • Tire of waiting

    Congrats “Jag” Im happy for you. What I was talking about that you were confused on was that Im under contract on the home that Im trying to purchase. I’ve been under contract for 10 weeks now but Im still waiting for the banks approval on this sale. The sellers agreed to the price that Im willing to pay on the house, now Im waiting for BoA to approve it . A third party(quantum realestate solutions) is taking care of the short sale process and we are now on the third phase. My real estate agent said, that everything looks good and that we are waiting for the negotiators on this last phase. He also said that we can probably close by mid Oct.

  • Tire of waiting

    Does anyone know how much longer it will be after the third phase? What are the negotiator negotiating!!! Very frustrated.

  • Tire of waiting

    Congrats Again very happy for you. What State are you in? Im in Chicago I just hope within the next week I get the same news as you.=)

  • Tire of waiting

    Thanxs, for the advice. Hopefullly this gets done soon, I was told that Im in the 3rd phase. I’m calling my realtor tomorrow to see where we are at. I just hope he has good news for me.

  • KuKu

    Thanks, Jag & Honiee. All the best.

  • Frustrated Firefighter

    @ Tire of Waiting

    It sounds like you are not in phase 3. Phase 3 is the closing phase after the bank has approved the offer. It sounds to me that you are just beginning this process. I submitted my offer on March 7 and the seller accepted the offer within 1-2 weeks after that. It then had to go to countrywide for the approval process and that is where the wait comes in. There are three phases but i dont know if yours will be the same due to the third party. Jag might have a better idea. From where i sit, it looks like you have a ways to go.

    @ Kate

    It would be a pretty safe bet that any offers that are being submitted now to countrywide or BOA will NOT close before the Dec 1 deadline for the incentive. Other short sales from other companies may have a beeter chance but Countrywide is so backed up that it is very unlikely you will close fast.

    As for others that have been approved, the process doesnt speed up at all. I was approved Sept 1 and was given the timeline of 2-5 days of the paperwork coming back to me. I still have not received the paperwork. Obviously it has been two weeks and another broken promise from countrywide.

    Keep me updated on if you receive paperwork for execution and get a closeing date.

  • Jag

    Dear Bloggers:

    It literally took exactly 6 months to the date (march 14 till September 14) to get an approval. This is the trend for California. Not sure other parts of the Country. Honiee will be better to gauge for those in east coast.

    Having said that … during our ordeal like most of you we looked at other homes and put offers on other properties, were upset why did we ever saw the house we fell in love with, fought with our agents, with spouse and Ken Lewis. You name it and chances are we are probably going through the same headaches.

    It did us no good to get mad. It does good to put pressure on the negotiator. True patient is a virtue but even that got cold and old. But stay in their my flew Countrywide defectors. It will work. It will work. It will work. It will work for you. And when it does the past 6 months will seem meaningless.

  • Honiee

    @ Kate:
    Our offer situation was a bit complex ~
    When we viewed the home in Feb 2009 and it was listed as a regular sale (not short sale) for $375K with a note stating “seller extremely motivated, present all offers”. So we went in with an offer of $305K. We got a call from the seller’s agent stating the seller cannot go below $350K without the sale becoming a short sale. So we agreed to proceed and the seller submitted our $305K offer to the bank as a short sale. Bank came back with rejection of $305K in March 2009. We then resubmitted for $315K with home inspection documents to show various problems found to justify our offer price (comps in the area are going for $340K+). Bank counter offered for $325K in August 2009, and we accepted. A lil over a month after we accepted the counter offer the seller’s agent got an email from the negotiator stating the sale has been approved and the formal approval letter will be emailed in 7-10 business days, in which we will have 30 days to close after receipt of the letter. I’m hoping to have the letter by end of next week, or worst case, end of this month so we can close in October.

    If you just found the short sale, I don’t think you’ll make the November deadline for the $8K first time home buyers credit. It took us almost 8 months to get to approval – and we don’t even have the formal approval letter in hand yet.
    I think a good way to “guess-timate” a price the bank will accept without counter offer would be to get an idea of what comperable homes in the area are selling for and offer something close to it. The bank is trying to get as close to fair market value for short sales so unless you’re willing to pay for your own appraisal, it’s hard to figure out what the bank will consider as “fair market value” based on the bank’s BPO (appraisal). In our case, we did the home inspection shortly after our initial $305K offer so when we resubmitted our offer of $315K (still lower than comps in the area) we submitted the inspection report as justification for the offer since we’re agreeing to buy the house in “as-is” condition. And we ended up approved for $325K.
    I hope this helps a lil. Good Luck!

  • Tired of waiting

    GUESS WHAT PEOPLE!!!! I GOT MY HOUSE, I WAS TOLD TODAY. THEY HAVENT TOLD ME A CLOSING DATE BUT THEY SAID IT WILL BE APPROXIMATELTY THE FIRST WEEK OF OCT. HURRAY.

    @ JAG AND FRUSTRATED FIREFIGHTER, I TOLD YOU I WAS IN PHASE THREE FINALLY, IT TOOK ME TWO IN A HALF MONTHS TO GET AN ANSWER. GOOD LUCK TO ALL. FRUSTRATED FIREFIGHTER, YOU WILL GET YOUR HOUSE. GOOD PEOPLE, DESERVE GOOD THINGS AND YOU WILL GET YOURS.=)

  • Jag

    @Tied of Waiting

    CONGRAD ….! I am so happy for you. You proved us wrong. Your time line was far shorter than ours. Seems like we will be losing alot of bloggers shortly since approvals are coming left and right. Stay connected for our new comers as they will need guidance.

  • Moose

    hey guys, thought i’d join the discussion…
    we submitted an offer on a CY short sale around a month ago. we got word that “a negotiator was assigned” about 2-3 weeks ago. Not sure if that’s a level 1 or level 2 negotaitor. Since then we haven’t heard anything (not that i’ve expected to). The house originally was set to go to foreclosure on Aug 30th and they got it pushed back to Sep 30th – that’s been the main thing I was worried about. I don’t know if its typical for them to just keep pushing the date back… anyone have any experience w/ that?
    We’re not expecting to make the 8k tax credit deadline – we’re just considering that to be an added bonus if it happens, but i’m putting the changes down at 10%.

  • M&M

    Hello fellow bloggers from Florida! My wife and I made an offer on a short sale house about three weeks ago. So far we know that the home owners approved our offer and the short sale packet has been submitted to the bank. After days of searching I just found out there are two mortgages. One is with Countrywide and a junior is with America’s Wholesale Lender. I wanted to get an opinion from you all on how long it should take to hear from the bank. I know Countrywide is swamped and I know it could take a while. Oh yeah to make it fun we are wanting to get this $8000.00 tax credit before Dec 1st.

  • Moose

    Hey again! So we actually heard a response today – the bank outright rejected our offer. They had apparently ordered a BPO and said our offer was too low. Any suggestions on what to do here? I wish they had countered instead. We may increase our offer by $15-20k to give it one last shot. The only positive thing out of this is that we got our response from them about a month from submitting our offer.

  • Moose

    In regards to my comment above – does the sellers agent now have knowledge of what the BPO was and what price the bank would accept? It seemed like all they knew was that it was rejected b/c of a low price, but I’m wondering if they could ask more questions and find that out.

  • Frustrated Firefighter

    They wont tell the sellers agent the price. Most of these agents are just concerned with trying to get these houses off of their list. With that being said, most sellers agents will try to work with the buyer as much as they can to finalize this deal as it is just as frustrating for them. This is why countrywide wont tell them. It puts them in a bad negotiating position. Our sellers agent tried many times to get the info from the multiple BPO’s that were accomplished. Sorry, i would just say try to get it as close to fair market price as possible.

  • Frustrated Firefighter

    @ M&M

    I am in Northwest Florida and it has taken more than 6 months to get where we are and that is offer approved and waiting for paperwork to get completed. Now i have heard that Countrywide is speeding up on some of the processes but i have not seen this. In my opinion you will not make the cut off and your probably looking at closing between late Dec and Feb if your lucky.

  • Moose

    Is there any rule of thumb for how much of a loss banks are usually willing to take? We upped our offer 20k so it’s now slightly above the most recent listing price of the house, but that’s still about 45-50k less than the total loan on the property. How much does the foreclosure process cost the bank?

  • Frustrated Firefighter

    @ Moose

    I have not seen any rule. I believe CW is trying to sell the house as close to market value as possible. The house we are purchasing was originally sold for 235,000 in 2005 when the market was at its high point. It went into a short sale less than three years later and now we got approved at 155,000. As you can see, this is a huge difference in price but our price is what market value is now. This is just my experience. Compare the property with other properties that are for sale or recently sold and it should give you a good idea on the price you should offer.

  • Honiee

    Received formal approval letter today!!!!
    We now have 30 days to close. YAAAAAAAY!

  • Moose

    would you guys recommend submitting your own BPO with the offer? anyone know the cost of getting that done? i’ve heard some say that it wouldn’t help bc the bank would want to look at their own… i’ve heard others say that the bank may look at both or even just yours. wondering how long it takes to get a BPO done too , since we want to submit the offer quickly

  • WorriedVetWife

    Gratz!!! Gratz!!! Gratz!!!

  • WorriedVetWife

    Gratz!!!!!!!!!!!

  • WorriedVetWife

    gratz!!!!!!!!

  • WorriedVetWife

    Seeing many bloggers are getting their shortsale approved lighten my day. Hopefully and I’m praying really hard that our shortsale will get approved soon.

    My agent just forwarded me another update from “SR LOAN SRVCS SPECIALIST” at BoA today. According to the email, a second BPO was submitted for the house on 7/13/2009. They said that they’re going to work with that BPO and that my offer may be OK. They’ll let the seller know after they run the analysis. They have ordered current payoffs for the 1st and 2nd. It would take a couple days to receive that, then they can do the analysis.

    Does anyone know if BoA SR LOAN SRVCS SPECIALIST is actually an investor or is this person still a negotiator? Any idea which stage I’m in? Should I prepare a loan pre-approve/approve now to speed up the closing process?

    @Jag & @Frustrated Firefighter
    Do you guys still think I might not make it before the 8k credit cut off date? Is there a chance/slim chance/itsy bitsy bit chance I might make it? :) Is there anything, anything at all I can do at this point to speed up the process?

    Thanks all and gratz!

  • Tired of waiting

    HI, IN MY OPINION FROM WHAT YOUR SAYING, IT LOOKS GOOD. I THINK THAT IF BOA WASNT GOING TO ACCEPT YOUR OFFER, THEY WOULDNT SPEND THE MONEY AND DO ANOTHER BPO. IT LOOKS LIKE YOUR IN STAGE 2, ALSO I THINK YOU WILL MAKE THE CUTOFF DATE THATS 9 WEEKS AWAY AND IN 9 WEEKS A LOT CAN HAPPEN. GOOD LUCK

  • Honiee

    @WorriedVetWife:
    Our BOA Level 2 Negotiator’s title was “SR LOAN SRVCS SPECIALIST”. I would recommend getting the ball rolling on your mortgage. We had our application and all supporting documentation submitted to the underwritter with our offer price when we were in Level 2. The application was placed on hold and revised with our final negotiated price for processing. Best of Luck!

  • Moose

    The sellers agent can’t seem to get the 1st negotiator to respond (by email or phone). The way we found our our 1st offer was rejected was just through a generic call center and file status lookup. Any suggestions here? B/c apparently our new and improved offer is just going back to the same negotiator , so that has me a bit worried.

  • Terri

    We final received a response after 10 weeks and the appraisal was done the next week. Does anyone know how long after that folks have waited for another response?

  • Jag

    @ Worried Vet Wife

    To answer your question it will be a close call. Remember they are so many factors still involved (a) what if they counter offer you then time will be wasted (b) appraisal will take few days for the funding of the loan (c) underwriter needs time to get the documents ready for escrow (d) recording and on and on. I do pray that you close tomorrow morning. But keep in there. I have faith you are close.

  • WorriedVetWife

    @Jag @Honiee @Tired of waiting

    Thanks so much for your comments and inputs. They helped a lot. I’m praying everyday that a miracle will happen and offer got approved :)

    Do you have any idea on adding additional buyer to the contract? Say if my offer got approve but my loan fell through. I need to add an additional buyer/co-signer to the loan, what do I need to do? Do I need to start the approval process all over again? Will this give the bank a chance to reject my offer because we changed the contract? The reason I’m asking because I just got layoff, so our income changes. Besides worrying the offer getting approved, I’m also worrying that the loan won’t get approve and I might need to add my mom to the loan.

    Thanks again all. Best of luck to everyone.

  • CJae

    Add ing a coborrower to the loan should be pretty simple to do with the loan that is currently in process. However, keep in mind that, unless it’s an FHA loan, YOU still have to qualify for the majority of the loan. FHA is the only loan that allows a “non-occupying coborrower” to bear the weight of the total debt. Just an FYI…..I am a 36 year veteran mortgage banker.

  • CJae

    There is really NO way to know how long a short sale can take. It depends on the type of loan, who the investor is, if there is a second mortgage (they get a “say so”, too) and if there is mortgage insurance on the loan (they get a “say so”, too). Keep in mind that statistics from the past 12 months show that only 5% of short sales submitted actually go through…..because of the reasons above. Information no one asks, but should, is what kind of mortgage the seller has, does he have a second mortgage and is there mortgage insurance on the loan. Also, keep in mind that, if the bank “accepts” less, there is less tax benefit to them than to just foreclosure, hence another layer as to why short sales are tough to get approved. ALSO, don’t mess with a “go between” negotiator company….deal directly with the bank. It’s a waste of money and it’s a “gimmick”….I’ll bet there are alot of former mortgage brokers that are negotiators now…making money for bad advice.

  • Frustrated Firefighter

    @CJae

    You mentioned about the mortgage insurance company having a sat so. Well it just so happens that is exactly where we are right now. The seller has approved and signed off, the lender has approved and signed off, and now it is with the mortgage insurance company and CW is being optimistic about it getting approved from them and we hope to hear on Monday. Once we do we then have 30 days to close. Now why does this need to go to the mortgage insurance company for approval. This is the only step that confuses me and i just found out about it last week when i signed the addendum so it can be submitted for this last step. C/W said that once this gets back that we’re done. Just curious b/c i never had heard this before. Thanks

  • Moose

    I’m no expert, but this is what i’ve heard…
    The bank is protected by mortgage insurance (paid by the homeowner) and that protection could mean that they are better off having the loan fall through (by rejecting the short sale) since the insurance protects them up to a certain amount. The net amount they lose could be less that way than if they accept the short sale. Not sure if that’s 100% true or not, but it’s just something I’ve read before.

  • Jag

    @ Frustrated Firefighter and Moose:

    Frustrated Firefighter … Moose is right. PMI – property mortgage insurance – usually plays a roll in approving the short sale. So let me give an example.

    Suppose you have a house and the loan on it is $50. You try to short sale it for $20. The loss to the bank is $30. If the bank foreclose on the property then the PMI company MUST reimburse the bank for $30. However, a short sale is not a foreclosure but a pre-foreclosure. The PMI company is NOT obligated to reimburse the bank for $30. It is at a discretion of the PMI company to cover the bank. If the bank will not be reimbursed for the loss chances are the bank will not approve the short sale.

  • Frustrated Firefighter

    Thanks for that explanation but one has to think that the PMI company is more willing to accept the short sale offer than letting the property go to foreclosure and risk losing even more money right?

  • pgeorge

    From what the seller’s agent tells us, we are in the third stage, they are waiting to hear back from the investor. Any idea how long that takes.

  • pgeorge

    Anyone have an idea???

  • Frustrated Firefighter

    If your offer has not been approved then you are either in phase 1 or 2. If you are in Phase 2 then you most likely have at least another two months before you close. Once your offer gets accepted you are looking at anywhere from two weeks to two months to close due to the paperwork needing to get signed, depending on how many people need to sign it.

  • Moose

    “Phase 2 negotiator has 30 business dates to review the file. ”
    —- our phase 1 negotiator just got done reviewing everything and put it through to phase 2. Even though the timeline says they have 30 days to review the file, how long does it typically take?

  • pgeorge

    Our offer was approved by Countrywide, but now we are faced with a bank that has a second mortgage and they won’t agree to the payoff Countrywide is willing to pay them. Anyone else hear of this? Shouldn’t this be between Countrywide and the other lender? The realtor who represents us as the buyer and the seller is trying to negotiate with the other lender. We began this process in May, it took 5 months for Countrywide to agree to our offer, and request a closing date in 30 days, now this obstacle. This is the most frustrating process I have ever gone through. Any advice ????

  • Sue

    So after 6 months, my offer on a BofA short sale just got to level 2 and we’ve been told we’ll have an answer in 48 to 72 hours. Is that even possible or are they still stringing us along? As you can tell I really don’t believe anything they tell us at this point. I do have a back-up property where my offer has been accepted and will have to make a decision about whether or not to move forward with the back-up in the next couple of days as well (in order to meet the Nov. 30 deadline).

  • M&M

    We were told two weeks ago that we should have a response on our offer by October 16th. It’s October 18th and still no response. I don’t know why they give deadlines and then break them. All I can say is pray hard. Hope you get an answer soon!

  • shortfuze

    I am in the long process of trying to purchase a short sale. My offer was submitted and accepted by the seller on Jan 29, 2009. The 1st and 2nd mtg is with Countrywide now BofA. Went through phase 1, and I believe phase II. BPO completed (a couple times) interior BPO/Appraisal completed. The MI company has sent their approval on 9/17/09. The seller’s agent contacted BofA for status since now they have filed a Notice of Trustee Sale (auction date set for 1/8/2010). BofA finally told them yet another Negotiator had been assigned. Seller’s agent contacted the MI company who thought this file was set to close on 10/30/09. Now BofA has notes in the file stating it has been sent t0 the Investor for approval on 10/14/09. The agent says that investor is Freddie Mac and they have 10-14 days to respond. I have not had any counter-offer as yet. I’m trying to figure out how much longer before we can get this deal done….I’ve waited 10months…If I could have purchased another home I would have (3 offers submitted and I’ve been outbid on all three). Anyone have some suggestions or any idea how much longer this process takes? Am I in the final phase of this thing or what? Please advise… Thanks

  • Moose

    For those who have been through a successful short sale process …
    After the bank approves an offer, how quickly do they send a letter/contract showing their approval and the closing date, etc?

  • Sparky

    Is there any way to find out when a BPO was done on a short sale house? I’m told the listing agent would be notified. Is that true? Also do most BPO agents enter the home or are they done by a drive by basis?

  • tallyho

    Question for you – I made an offer on a short sale, BPO has been don and submitted to the lender a couple of weeks ago and they’ve confirmed that they received the BPO. I just received notice that the short sale package has been submitted to a closer for a retail market review and that the listing agent should be hearing from the closer at the bank. Is a closer someone that closes the deal or is it another negotiator to deal with and more hoops to jump thru?

    Thanks

  • HANGINTHERE

    this sounds just like ours. Listed @300K, made offer for 200K, cause of the condition, in May 09. The bank turned us down in one month. We quickly made another @ 220K with inspections and pictures of terrible condition, don’t even know if the bank got the files but the title agency at least knows the condition. It has since been in so many hands, so many ‘negotiators’, so many bankers I can’t tell you. We just got notice, 5 mts later, that the file went to the Mortgages Insurance office.

    any one know what that means?

    Thanks,

  • The Short Sale Guy

    I posted earlier this year about CW/BOA short sales. I would completely avoid them if possible.
    If I were a Seller facing foreclosure with CW/BOA, I’d talk with a bankruptcy attorney.
    Please note: I and my network do many, many short sales and with all other banks, I’d still pursue a short sale. CW/BOA is the one exception. We will no longer touch one – and that’s saying something.
    If I were Buyer looking at a CW/BOA short sale, unless I absolutely Had to have That house, I’d move on and buy something else – or, wait for it to get foreclosed on and buy it when it comes back on the market as REO (real-estate-owned aka bank-owned). I’d likely get a better price and I’ll avoid the headaches.
    However, for those of you who are already in one and don’t want to walk away, here’s a couple of internal phone numbers that might help… These came through a lot of blood, sweat and tears so you Know I’m getting out since I’m coughing up hard-earned info:
    800-669-2443
    800-601-2522 x2773 (office of the chairman, customer advocate)
    800-601-2522 x8575 (office of the chairman, customer advocate)
    Also, if you have a file in Level 3 status, here’s a supervisor:
    [email protected] — but this is only useful for files in Level 3. You’ll notice, though, that for BOA, if you have someone’s first & last name you can likely send them an email.
    Good luck.

  • The Short Sale Guy

    BOA has 3 levels so you still have one more to go.

  • The Short Sale Guy

    Yup, walk away.
    That aside, no, it’s the responsibility of you or your agent or the seller or their agent to get the second to take CW’s offer. A very common number these days is $3000 to the second.
    You can ask CW to extend, they’ll likely ask you to pay money up front – I’d suggest you don’t. They still may extend.
    BTW, make sure your title insurance company is okay with clause #10 in CW’s approval letter — if it’s there.

  • Dreamer

    Hi, everyone I just have a quick question Im going through the short sale process and my attorney called me and said that the sellers will be ready to close by November 15 but my realtor said he hasnt heard anything about the short sale being approved. So is this my house or not? Am I going to close on the 15?

  • Moose

    If the short sale hasn’t been approved then you don’t have any deal yet, simple as that. The sellers could be “ready” to close today for all they care, and you could be “ready” to move in, but unfortunately it’s a multi-step process you have to go through to get it approved first.

  • Moose

    Got the unofficial verbal/email approval middle of last week. Was supposed get the formal approval letter in the next 3-5 business days but still nothing. Is it usually the 2nd negotiator who sends this via email? Any trick to getting this sent quicker?

  • Moose

    GOT THE LETTER TODAY WOOHOO

  • HANGINTHERE

    @ Moose, way to go! how long did that take, looks like you hit it right getting one that was close to foreclosure.

  • Moose

    Our 1st offer was rejected after 2-3 weeks. We upped the offer and that one took about 1.5 months until final approval. The looming foreclosure date wasn’t necessarily all good b/c we kept having to request extensions of the date and that was a bit nerve-wracking and uncertain each time.

  • Su

    Hello….I’m from miami and i’ve been trying to buy a short sale with cw for the past 4+ months. We submitted our offer late June to the sellers and had everything turned in by July 10th. I have no idea how many negotiators have seen our file. I started to worry when the timeline that I was given and the sequence was off. To make a LONG story short, the seller’s agent went through 4 assistants in 3 months and CW lost our BPO….luckily the newest assistant gave my realtor the title company contact and she’s been great and truly helpful. After waiting for almost 2 months and no updates, we were assigned to a supervisor and it seems to be moving. We had asked for 5% towards closing costs and they said they would only do 3%, we agreed and now I was told our file was sent to the Mortgage Insurance Company. Does anyone know how long it takes to get a response from them and what the next steps are? I was told that we should get a response in a week or so and then get ready to close which doesn’t make much sense to me.

  • Stressed Out

    HI,

    We put an offer on a house at the end of August. We got confirmation back that they recieved all the paperwork 2 weeks later…(it was delayed a little because the listing agent needed to resend the HUD-1) and was even assigned to a level 1 negotiator in early to mid Sept. Now it is the beginning of Nov and they still have not ordered a BPO or an appraisal. I read the BOA site and it stated that it will only be ordered if they think a short sale can actually occur. Now we really love love love this house. We have looked at a ton of others and nothing really compares. We have tried to call the listing agent to put pressure on her and she keeps saying that she is calling a leaving messages, but never has a response. and then goes on to say how bad it is over there ect….Any suggestions? We have already asked to be added to list that can call but they have said no. We offered above the lisitng price, so it is not like it is a low-ball offer. Does anyone have any suggestions or does it look like this house won’t go through because they haven’t even ordered the BPO?
    We got a decent offer on our house and have a 2 month rent back. I just don’t know if we should sell if this house will take more than 3 or 4 months……(the pain of moving into a rental until we figure out if we will even get this house) AGHHHHHHH!

  • Surferscca

    ok< we have a huge mess on our hands.
    We recived phase 3 approval o Oct 23rd. We got a closing date of nov 13th. We where told by the sellers agent that the tennants would vacate by nov 8th. we put in our 30 day notice on our current apartment and schedualed apprasials and home inspections.
    On tues nov 3rd we arrived at the house for the appraisal, the tennants had no idea we where comming nor had they recived any eviction notice. The owner of the house had come by early to collect rent on monday and collected a full months rent and never informed the tennants of what was happening. now we have till the 29th to vacate our apartment and the tennants still have not recived notice. We have already had inspections and apprasial done and have paid $800 for them. We have also been told by our agent that there is a back up offer on the house from the tennants. To top it all off we locked in our intrest rate and have 30days to close or we are penelized 1.5 points on our loan.

    My question is, do we have any legal recourse to get our money back for the inspection and appraisal and who is legally responsible for notifiying the tennants to move. I know the tennants have renters rights and have up to 60 days to move. What are our rights as buyers and who is legally responsible for giving us false information?

  • pgeorge

    I haven’t heard of this yet on the blogs. Long story short, our offer was approved and the second lender also approved a payoff. Now we are at the stage of inspection, co, and closing. The inspection went really bad, the house flooded from the last time I saw it. The house has been empty for almost a year. Now we have flood damage, lots of mold, old electrical wiring that needs to be replaced, and the list goes on and on. So now we go back to the bank to take money off. The repairs are very costly and the price is not worth it anymore. Anyone else experience this? Are you supposed to get an inspection before an offer is accepted. Could I be the only one with this kind of luck?

  • Moose

    Typically you’d want to wait until your offer is accepted before you spend any money on an inspection, etc. This is b/c if your offer is rejected, you don’t want to have wasted money on that stuff already. Whether it was a short sale or a regular sale, it sounds like you just ran into bad luck w/ a house that has too many problems. It sounds like it’s probably bad enough to forget about that house and move on, unfortunately.

  • Moose

    having said that, some people do go ahead and do an inspection first so that they can find any problems and incorporate that into their offer price along w the inspection report…. but I’d say that’s the minority of cases.

  • lanathecat

    I’ve been reading the comments on here and thought I would add my 2 cents. We submitted an offer for a short sale on Sept 11, 09. Sellers accepted Sept 13 and it was sent to C/W on Sept 14. We didn’t expect to hear anything for awhile, but my agent notified me that we had been assigned to someone around Oct. 12 and she said the BPO would be ordered soon. I heard from her again today and she forwarded an email to me, originally sent from the Title Company to the Seller’s agent. It said that our file had still not been assigned, but they confirmed that they had all the paperwork in order for them to assign it, and they have 30 days to complete this. Does this mean that it’s finally going to a phase 2 negotiator? It has only been 8 weeks. My agent also said that part of the hold up is that although there is one mortgage on the property, the seller’s have an FHA loan. What difference does that make?

  • Dreamer

    Hi, everyone! Does anyone know how long it takes for freddie mac to approve a short sale. Its been 4 1/2 months and my file is in freddie mac’s hands, Im frustrated and I want to be in my house for the holidays. Can anyone help?

  • Moose

    Has it been in the hands of the bank for 4.5 months or in the hands of the investor (freddie mac)? The entire process may take 4+ months, but the investor SHOULD be able to approve/deny the deal within 30 days. If they haven’t said anything, ask the bank negotiator why it’s being held up.

  • Dreamer

    Hi, Moose its been with Freddie Mac for 6 weeks. The sellers mortgage insurance approved the sale so now its all up to Freddie mac. The sellers already moved out of the house this last weekend. Im just tired just like everyone here. Its just tiring when you here the same thing from you realtor over and over and over again.

  • LONG SALE

    I have been reading through this blog for the past week or so…I submitted my offer on a short sale in late July. The seller has two mortgages out on it – the 2nd with the dreaded CW/BOA. The first bank approved the short sale real quick! I heard nothing from CW/BOA until Sept. 25th where they said that the file was given an account #. I didn’t hear anything again until the file was passed to a negotiator in late Oct….and now i’m waiting again.

    My question – Is it worth emailing Ken Lewis? Any comments would be appreciated.

  • LONG SALE

    Also, while dealing with Countrywide – My file went to a ‘Work Out Specialist’ and then three weeks later was with a Negotiator. Is the work out specialist the 1st negotiator? Does this mean I am with the 2nd negotiator now or am I being too hopeful?

  • Kathy

    I am not dealing with Countrywide but have a question I hope someone here can answer. I made a short sale offer in mid September. 2 1/2 weeks ago it got Freddie Mac approval and then they sent it to the MI company. The MI company said they needed 3 weeks. That time has come and gone (it’s 4 weeks now). The lender won’t even tell us who the MI company is. Have any of you been through this? What are the chances of them approving it? I’ve heard some horror stories about them killing short sales.

  • I hate B of A

    I hate b of A and CW

  • Mets

    If sending a email to the CEO of BOA – what information should I include about the property I am trying to buy?

  • HANGINTHERE

    We got a approval 2 1/2 weeks ago… this is after a long 5 1/2 month epic, and were told we would have a letter within 48 to 72 hours. uh, maybe they meant days. still hopeful though! anyone have this experience? a friend of mine has been waiting 2 months for his letter (:

    @ stressed out; we did the same thing… sold our house, the same week we put an offer on the house above, stayed in our sold house for 2 months, guess what? we’re renting a 2/1 w/family of 4 now, on our 3rd month. but as for us we love the house we put an offer on and are willing to take the pain and chance. I think that is something you have to weigh out. BTW we also looked at others, probably over 1000 on line, and nothing compares to the one we have the offer on. so… we wait. and wait. as for putting pressure on. in certain instances I think it’s appriate others it’s like you’re in the airport waiting for the plane, pressure all you want, it will get there when it gets there!

    hanginthere!

  • I hate short sales

    Don’t do one unless you have extreme patience and no need to move out of your current place.

  • Moose

    Closed this morning! Entire process took aboutttt 3 months. And to those who asked recently, it took about 1.5 weeks to get the written approval letter after the initial email/verbal approval. They said it would take 3-5 days… so took a bit longer than that. They were almost late approving the final HUD too… that happened literally 5 minutes before closing started… even though we sent it to them 5 days early.

  • FRUSTRATED FRANKIE

    Update.

  • Pocahontass

    I also have a short sale that just got approved by Bank of America but now the file is being sent to Freddie Mac, the investor, for their approval. Does anyone know how long investor approval takes? The bank told the agent only a few days, but I’m not sure. Does anyone have experience with this?

  • M&M

    So far it has been about three months since we made our offer on our short sale house. We spoke to our realtor two weeks ago and he said the BPO had been done and all paper work was in the hands of the negotiator. When the listing agent spoke to the negotiator he told her he had about 100 cases he had to go over on his desk. Does anyone know how long it should take from this point and also once they do a BPO don’t they have to respond within a certain amount of days before it expires?

  • Update

    Just want a update from freakin BofA

  • Moose

    Advice – have your realtor try calling the negotiator / short sale dept on Friday at the beggining or end of the end… you may have better luck getting through. Do NOT call every day bugging them and annoying them or they won’t want to cooperate. Just call once a week if you’re trying to get an update and that’s all. You have to go into a short sale process EXPECTING it to take 3 months or longer.

  • M&M

    Any info?

  • HANGINTHERE

    After 6 long months, we got a written appoval on the 11/23. I surprised my wife by having her meet me at the short sale house. We were serious about looking at yet another house in the same neighborhood. I said “well just meet me at ‘the house’ then we’ll go together from there.” She walked in, amidst all the garbage I had a little bag and inside were the front door keys tied in a bow. She looked in the bag, looked at me, she cried, it was perfect.

    Pending the inspection on tuesday, 14 days later, (yes extrememly short closing) we’ll be home owners again!

    I Learned something… Hang in there. If you do your due dilligence you’ll get your house, just takes time. Knowing that makes a whole lot of difference!

    Blessings!

  • StessedOut

    @Hanginthere Congratulations! We are definitely hanging in there for the house. There was no activity for 30 days so we had called to have it escalated and they were going to move it to another negotiator, but then the first negotiator called back and said that the file was complete and was moving it up to the phase II negiotiator and that we would be assigned one within the next two weeks. You’ve just given me some hope that we might actually get the house if we wait for it….we are going to end up renting, but our biggest fear is that we are waiting for the house and we might not actually get it.

  • Lacy

    My husband and I signed a contract on a short sale home on august 11th we were assigned to a negotiator within 30 days and the appraisal was ordered. Then 2 weeks later they got the appraisal back then it was sent to phase 2 negotiator. On oct 23rd the negotiator emailed my realtor and said she had sent it to investor for approval today is nov 28th and we still haven’t heard anything the negotiator will not return my realtors emails. We are using the sellers realtor she’s been great but I don’t know how long the investor process takes can anyone help me its been 5 wks now!

  • Dreamer

    To: Lacy for me its been 5 months and I still havent heard anything so unfornately to say you have a long time for an approval, but I think if you really like the house its well worth the wait.

  • Lacy

    To: Dreamer, thank you for your reaponse we do love the house very much! Has your total short sale process taken 5 mths or the investor review taken 5 mths? Most people tell me the investor and motgage insurance stage can take 4 to 6 weeks!

  • Lacy

    To: Dreamer, I probably didn’t explain my first comment well my short sale has taken a total of 3+ mths but the phase 2 negotiator states its been with investors since oct 23rd which makes it 5 wks now with investors! Do you know what stage yours is in? Did I mention I hate BOA lol!

  • Lacy

    Update: my realtor told me she got an email today from our phase 2 negotiator that says our file is back from investors and is being sent to another negotiator for final approval of hud and hardship! Now I’m really confused I thought once it was back from investors than we would know whether they approved our offer or denied it I am really getting aggravated I hate short sales!

  • Moose

    hmm sounds a bit weird… there should have been an estimated HUD with the initial submittal and review. the final HUD approval is done right before closing. The approval of hardship should have been done during the initial review I would think. Usually once its back from the investor it’s either approved or rejected… not sure what still has to be reviewed. But I am no expert..

  • StressedOut

    Thought everyone might find this article interesting. Its been just over 3 months now with the short sale and it just went into Phase II negotiation, but has still not been signed a negtiator. We closed on our house today as well and have a 60 day rent back. Hopefully these guidelines will help speed things up!

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20091130/bs_nm/us_treasury_shortsales

  • Lacy

    To: moose, my realtor says what she thinks is that the investors gave the bottom dollar amount they would except and now BOA has to send it to a final negotiator but she is also confused as to why they are asking about HUD and hardship! I think the negotiator never sent it to investors but my realtor has all the emails saying it was with investors but she says when she calls the main line to check the status it says no new updates since nov 2nd but she has plenty of emails from the negotiator since then! I’m ready to fly to BOA myself and demand an answer lol! Oh well it is what it is but I told my realtor it was time to escalate or talk to a supervisor no more nice guy bshit!

  • M&M

    Does anyone know what phase you’re in when your short sale goes from a negotiator to an underwriter?

  • Moose

    Well typically the only underwriter is the person approving YOUR loan to buy the house on YOUR end of things (whever you are getting your mortgage from). The BOA guys should just be negotiators who are reviewing and hopefully approving the offer, not doing any underwriting. So it sounds like there’s some missing information there.

  • M&M

    Thanks for your response Moose! Typically what happens after it leaves the negotitor who examines the BPO and other paper work?

  • Lacy

    To:M&M, in my situation the phase 2 negotiator examined my appraisal and made sure it was in line with the net proceeds the bank or investors have to receive and then supposively was sending it to investors but I’m not so sure if she did that because now she’s changing her story!

  • M&M

    Thanks Lacy! I’m just confused on why we were told our case is with an underwriter. I’ve done alot of research on countrywide short sales and I haven’t seen anything about there being a underwriter in the process. I wonder if the underwriter is actually the investor?

  • Lacy

    To: M&M, You are probably right by thinking the underwriter is the investors because I researched it to and an underwriter is the final approval on like a loan application! These banks don’t have a clue what there talking about they said mine was back from the investors but they had to review the hud and hardship again that was suppose to be done @ the beginning of the process! I’m fed up with all these games but were in a position where we do have time to wait december 11th will be 120 days of this mess! I’m praying for everyone on this blog I really hope all of our dreams come true good luck everyone and GOD BLESS!

  • M&M

    Thanks for the response and prayers Lacy!

  • HANGINTHERE

    That fear is something we lived with, and somewhat still do until I get that key!

    Try to make sure you are the only buyers. I asked time and again (and made sure) that we were the only offer and would remain the only offer. A friend of mine bought a SS with a higher offer at the last minute, kicking 4 other offers off the table who waited 4+ months.

    If you have a lot of cash from the sale of your other house, that puts you in a very good postion. Make sure the seller agent knows you are committed with a big down payment. I learned early on, cash is king!

    Blessings!

  • Lacy

    Update: My realtor called me today really excited and said that our negotiators supervisor actually called her back. My realtor explained to her that even though we have been getting emails from our negotiator that she has not put any updates in the computer since nov 2nd! The supervisor explained how many files they have and said she would look at our file and call my realtor back tomorrow. The last email we received from our negotiator said our file was going to a final negotiator and it was back from investors. I am so tired of the run a rounds they give us so to tell you the truth my hopes aren’t really that high of her calling us back tomorrow but my realtor can’t believe she called back so maybe its a good sign. Good luck to everyone else!

  • Lacy

    Well no call from the negotiators supervisor like I’m really surprised! Oh well I didn’t get my hopes up my poor realtor did though I got to where I really don’t care anymore december 11th will be four mths since we signed contract. When we first started this thing I stayed positive even after all the negative blogs I would read now I realize that its ok to be positive but you have to think realisticly and be patient because it is a very very long process! I think I went insane the first 3 mths and I just now made it to patient!

  • dmg

    the negotiator at chase bank told us she has 45 business days to submit to investors for approval or deny it.

  • StressedOut

    @hanginthere Thanks for the advice. We are definitely the only ones with offers in. We made sure of that in the beginning. We’ve told the sellers agent that we have a huge down payment ready, but she said we are still int eh same boat since they assumed we had it when we put the offer in.
    I think you are right about the fear being there until we get the keys. The good news is that they finally ordered a BPO..after 3 months! The listing agent told our agent that it went well, so I guess we just wait until the next step! How long did it take you after your BPO to get the approval? Thanks!

  • StressedOut

    @Lacy I am right there with you about learning patience from this whole experiance. I was constatly second guessing myself as to what was going on and where I was in the process depending on which blog site I read. There was more than one time where the real estate agent told me that maybe this wasn’t the house for me if I was going to stress out as much as I did.

    That being said, does anyone have any idea how long it takes after a BPO is done? This is the first one and it with the phase II negotiator. We put the offer in almost 3 and 1/2 months ago. The agent said the BPO agent was very nice and thinks it went well but I was just wondering how much longer from here…Any guess?

  • Lacy

    @ stressed out: My husband makes fun of me and calls me a short sale addict cause I’m addicted to reading blogs on ss! There is no timeline after your bpo I’m sorry it just depends every ss is different I always thought by reading these blogs I would get some sort of time estimate but unfortunately you start to realize there isn’t one! The banks are so swamped right now that there gonna lie to you just to make it through another day. I think my bpo was done in september and we still haven’t heard any reply I wish you the best of luck I hope you get your house!

  • Moose

    Lacy is spot on. There is no great estimate or timeline. I read of short sales here taking over 6 months. Ours went fairly smoothly and took about 3 months. It just depends on what kind of negotiator you get and how quickly they move the file along. I think it’s pretty much luck. You have to expect it to take at LEAST 3 months, and up to 6. It’s a good sign if – there is just one loan on the property, and if the sellers agent seems like they are responsible and on top of things. Other than that, all you can do is hope and monitor from a distance. Definitely keep your options open and look for other places in the meantime. But if you have the patience and you are able to wait it out, then don’t give up hope too early.

  • Dreamer

    Hi, everyone today makes 5 1/2 months and still nothing waiting for Freddie Mac. I dont understand whats taking so long. At the 2 1/2 month mark the mortgage insurance approved the sale. Therefore, they will pay the difference so whats the hold up. Im tired of hearing the same story over and over again. Give me some good news already ughhhh!!

  • StressedOut

    So I am hoping this is good news, but my agent says that the listing agent says that she received an approval letter but is unable to open it since the file is in a bank format. We just had the BPO done on Tuesday. Can they really move that fast? Is there an inital approval and then it gets sent to the investor? Somehow I feel like a lot of steps were missed. I think it is a miracle and want to be really happy (I know the seller can stil have issues with the terms in the approval), but I want to know if I think I see the end in sight and then it goes to the investor and they reject it….

  • Moose

    In our case, I didn’t hear any talk of it ever going to the investor. I didn’t even hear about a BPO being done for sure… after it was sent to the 2nd negotiator the next thing we heard was a verbal or unofficial email approval. Then about 1.5 weeks later we got the official approval letter (also sent by email but was in an official attachment form). So in our case, the last few steps actually did move fairly quickly. So it could be possible, but do NOT get excited until you see that final letter.

  • StessedOut

    Thanks Moose,

    You are making me feel a little more confident. I knew the BPO was done because the listing agent had to meet with the BPO officer. It was just sent to the Phase II negotiator a few days before thanksgiving and were told that it would not be assigned until at least Nov. 30. We closed on our house on Dec.1 and then found out this past Monday that a BPO was being done on tuesday the 8th. I guess I had been following Jag’s timeline from this blog and everything had been almost right on so when the listing agent said she had recieved an approval letter via email I thought that there is no way it would happen this early. The sellers agent did say that she reiceved an approval letter but in a format that she can’t open and did warn us that it could hae terms that are unacceptable to either us or the sellers.

    If it was a counter, then they would have done it verbally right, and not through an approval letter? Man, this waiting until monday is going to kill me!

  • HANGINTHERE

    @stressedout, we had two bpo’s. one in the beginning and one about where you are. the reason was b/c it had been 3 mts and the market in FLA is shifting quickly. plus the first one was a drive-by, the 2nd was a little more detailed. then we had 2 more mts before our verbal, and 1.5 mts till our written, then 14 days to close! (see below for update)

    But it sounds like you are on the right track still! so hang in there, I pray you can change your name to ‘not so stressed out’ one day!

    Lacy, sounds like you’re on the slow track too but at least you’re on the dance floor. the blogs are addicting but I think they help, this one especially.

    BOA/CW is absolutely swamped with ss’s. in the beginning or our trip, in may 09, I was told there were 100K houses in their hopper so it takes time.

    my update is a closing on Monday 12/14 (God willing)! I am so psyched about it. we absolutely love this house even though it’s a major fixer-upper! we’re on a canal, I bought a kayak today for a great deal, we bought all new appliances on BLK Friday, saved about 2K, I am wheeling & dealing with roofers, floor refinishers, kitchen ppl, bath ppl, pool ppl, you name it! but I love it! We are so blessed to be able to (OK not yet) call this house our home! Well worth the wait!

  • Lacy

    Hanginthere: I’m so happy for yall it was really sweet how you surprised your wife! I hope we get our house soon I’m guessing ours is gonna be around the 6mth spot to, that’s the way it looks maybe if we plan on 6mths it will be easier. My biggest fear is getting this far and then being told NO that would be heart breaking!

  • StressedOut

    @hanginthere – I hope your closing went well today! Hopefully everything went smoothly!
    Lacy, that is exactly the same way I feel. To have waited this whole time only to get a no for an answer. Apparently, we do have an approval letter but they are still unable to open it to see if the terms are acceptable to the seller. They have not been able to contact the closer or anyone in BOA who can resend the file! Isn’t that crazy?!?! Another day of waiting to see where we stand…its almost worse because I had written off knowing for another two months.

  • Lacy

    @ stressed out: I’m so sorry they can’t get in touch with anyone @ boa how aganizing to know there’s an email and can’t read it! Let us know what happens hopefully its good news I’m sure it is! I haven’t called my realtor since she told me about the supervisor @ boa calling her last week well of course the super never called back and I feel like I’ve been herassing my realtor I don’t know how often I’m suppose to call my realtor but I was texting her on mondays and fridays but I promised myself I would not call her again if she hears something she will call me. I feel like she was getting frustrated not being able to give me any updates I might call her after christmas maybe! Hanginthere let us know how your closing went! Good luck still praying for everyone merry christmas!

  • HANGINTHERE

    Thanks for asking. Yes we did close today, we have our house! But not without a hitch. we were on our way from closing and got a call from the lender saying they had my wife’s name spelled wrong and could not wire the funds. So we u-turned back to title and long story short (oh bad pun) we got a call three hours later saying we own the house! WOW I can’t believe it. So I went to the house, hacked at bushes and vines, scraped some popcorn from ceilings, and met a neighbor. it is weird to be a neighbor again.

    Yes the fears, the frustrations, they are real and everyone goes through it.

    Afterthefact, our title agent said she’s done w/BOA, she turns down ppl who are mean in any way, my realtor absolutely hates ss’s. It’s not their fault, it’s a faulty system that is broken. it’s a serious problem, not just for buyers but everyone involved. so be nice, firm but nice.

    I chose ‘hang in there’ b/c i had to tell myself to do just that. in the meantime I looked at over 2000 houses on line and found 3 I would be sort of happy with, so for me it was easy to hang in there knowing that this house was absolutely the best one for us and if we didn’t get it, there was no time wasted or feeling like we missed out on another one. and here’s the good part, prices are still droppping so I felt like we would eventually get something and it would be even cheaper! so time was for once on our side. but even with all that I was still frustrated every day.

    anyway That’s my story, I really hope my comments help, others who write here have really helped me, so… hang in there!

  • Lacy

    @ hanginthere: congrats,congrats,congrats!!! You sure do give all of us hope thanks enjoy your new home!!

  • Lacy

    UPDATE: Well today I decided to go look @ another house in a really nice neighborhood that wasn’t a short sale it was a beautiful home but didn’t have enough property the short sale we like has 2 acres. I was mad @ my realtor for not giving me updates when she got them so I told her about the other house we found that we liked and amazingly she tells me she received an email this morning and that we are finally in stage 3 and that we were assigned to a woman that prepares the documents for the closer has anyone ever heard of this and if so can I start getting excited now? And if they have not countered by now do you think we will get it for what we offered?

  • Lacy

    Well the lady that prepares the documents for the closer actually emailed my realtor back first thing this morning wow that was fast considering our realtor just found out her name and emailed her yesterday afternoon! She said she just needed to make sure the seller was still unemployeed and she said on the appraisal it said the house was vacant and she needed to know why. She said as soon as she received that info it was going to the closer for approval! Well the house is vacant cause the seller moved out of state because he could not find work here he had lost his job. Then my realtor dropped the BOMB he got a job as a manager of a car lot after we signed contract and because of cash for clunkers he has made $26,000 since august OMG what do we do now? I’m happy he’s no longer in really bad financial distress but that looks really bad since he’s claiming hardship doesn’t it? I need help any suggestions please my realtor has never had this happen she’s dumbfounded!

  • Dreamer

    hi everyone, its now been 5 months and 3 weeks and I still havent heard a damn thing. The sellers realtor said they need an extension till January 15, 2010. We been waiting for Freddie Mac to approve this sale and its driving me crazy. I dont know what to do anymore does anyone have a suggestion on what I can do. How much longer do I have to wait???

  • Moose

    is the seller’s agent experienced with short sales? are they checking the status once a week by phone? if the answers are no, your chances aren’t great. is your agent experienced w/ short sales? how often do they check in w/ the seller’s agent? have you got clear notification from BoA when your short sale moved to a phase II negotiator and if it was approved by them and sent to the investor for approval? If so, when did that happen?

  • StressedOUt

    @ Hanginthere , Congratulations on the house! What a great holiday gift!
    I know what you mean about looking at a lot of houses and this is teh one that we want too.
    Lacy, I dont know if it changes too much. The guy who is selling our house is employed. This was an investment property for him. Like I said we got an approval, but we still can’t open the file. So the seller doesn’t want to say anything since he is not sure he is going to accept what they tell him…i.e. that he is going to ahve to pay or be liable for the difference.
    I think something shady is going on. Maybe I am just reading too far into it, but to not get a response on resending a file and the listing agent not doing EVERYTHING she can to get it in a format that she can read. I think that maybe the seller didn’t get what he wanted and is now stalling for time. I think that is why I chose ‘stressed out’ because I read too far into things and ‘stress myself out’!

  • bank of america sucks #%^$#%

    Update.

  • StressedOut

    Well, we were finally able to open the approval letter 10 days after getting it, and it is exactly what we thought would happen. Apparently there is a paragraph in there that is holding our seller liable for the difference. So, he is not signing the approval letter and is trying to negotiate with BOA. Kindof figured this would happen since it was an investment property, but hopefully they will see that they would be liable for even more if they went to foreclosure that after they negotiate they will sign the approval.
    Has anyone gone through this? Do they only have until the deadline in the approval letter to negotiate or can they keep negotiating after that?

  • LONG SALE

    Everybody stay positive!!! Here’s some of my story and some tips that I have learned along the way of this dreadful process…

    I put my short sale contract in in late July. In late September it was given an account number and assigned to a workout specialist. In late October, it was given to a negotiator – i guess phase 1?? About two weeks ago they did the BPO’s but are still saying they are not in their system yet. The only good thing is that a friend of mine has a contact at the bank of america loss mitigation department and she is trying to help push things along. So thats where I’m at and I have no idea what is going on….but I did check Fannie Mae’s website and the loan is through Fannie Mae which means it has to go to them, the investor, for final approval. Awesome – I bet that won’t take long.

    CALL/EMAIL the CEO of Bank of America. They called me back about two weeks after I emailed them and they escalated the file.

  • LONG SALE

    Stressed Out: To me, I find it suprising that the seller didn’t know he would be liable unless the bank offered him a forgiveness of the debt. I think under most circumstances the seller has 15 years to pay off the remaining amount owed without interest. However, I could be wrong – I usually am.

  • StressedOut

    @long sale I think the seller knew that they were going to be held responsible for the debt but maybe hoped that they wouldn’t. THey ahve a few investment properties that they put up for short sale. I think (i.e. hope) that they will try to negotitate as much as they can and then in the end say ok, its better to have it approved and sell it with less debt than if it went to foreclosure. Plus they know that we need to move soon and that if they decide that they want to keep negotiating that we can and will walk. We’ve rented back our house until the end of Jan. so we are hoping to close by then!

  • LONG SALE

    @ Stressed Out
    Well, good luck! I wish you the best.

    Update on my progress. Seller’s realtor informed us yesterday that she is supposed to have a pay off for the first mortgage holder (Citi) in two days AND that that the BPO’s have not been uploaded into B of A’s system as of yet and an updated HUD which she will send as soon as the payoff from Citi is received.

    Can anybody shed any light on what stage of the game I am in? Maybe I am being too hopeful, but it sounds like B of A is requesting a payoff figure from Citi – so it sounds like I am getting near the end, right? History: Contract was signed late July, finally got to B of A in Mid-August. Citi aggreed to the short sale within a month. Late ocotober it went to Phase I Negotiator for B of A. Two weeks ago BPO’s were ordered and done. That’s about all I know….

    please say i’m right. please.

  • LONG SALE

    The more I am looking into this – the payoff figure is coming from a law firm who I am guessing is representing the Seller. So he is giving a payoff figure that the realtor will then submit to Bank of America?

    How does this work?

  • Lacy

    Merry Christmas!! All we wanted for christmas was our house I’m beginning to think phase 3 is gonna be just as long as phase 2 does anyone know how long phase 3 normally takes?

  • AC

    To everyone looking to buy a SS home it’s a VERY LONG and seemingly NEVER ENDING ordeal. Our story, we put in a offer 3/1/09 and finally closed 5 months later almost to the day. We moved in the fist week of August 09. It’s hard to explain the frustration and total understanding of the process. The not knowing was the hardest part, in our case 3 BPO’s were ordered because it took for whatever reason so damn long. Once you realize you will get the home however it’s a very quick timetable. Our situation was less than 10 days from finding out to closing. Hang in there if you really love the property you have a offer on, it’s worth it in the long run. We thought about bailing and looking at other properties (and did look) but decided to wait it out and see. So glad we did, it’s a horrible process but it can be worth it. Phase 1 and 2 are the longest when you hear it going to a final negotiator then your getting warmer until then just have some patience. I know it’s hard and I don’t mean to be redundant but if you get the property it’s so worth the wait.

  • Lacy

    I’m getting so impatient I know its only been 8 business days since we heard from the phase 3 negotiator saying she was preparing documents for the closer but I’m soooo ready to hear something! I guess the holidays probably slowed things down to but this phase 3 lady is supposively leaving soon and we haven’t heard anything from her since dec 17th wtf!!! How long does this phase 3 take and does this mean we are getting our house? Who is the closer and if they haven’t countered yet will they this is so freaking frustrating!

  • StressedOut

    @long sale,I think (i’m pretty sure I read this somewhere that BofA is actually better to deal with when they are the second bank because they actually have a policy for it. I think that they accept 5% of the proceeds from the homes selling price. I wonder if that is the payoff the lawyers are talking about… I am keeping my fingers crossed that you will get an approval soon since you had the BPOs.

    We got an approval letter in 4 days after the BPO. The only problem with ours is that the seller is trying to negotiate down the amount they owe. Apparently when they submitted the offer, they put in writing that they wanted their definiecy to be waived and since it isnot waived in the letter they want to fight it. The last day they had to sign the approval was Christmas day, but I know the sellers didn’t, so I hope BofA doesn’t close the file! Hopefully we will hear something today! We have to move out of our house on the 30th and it would have been nice if he accepted their first offer and we could have closed and moved straight into the new house…..

    @Lacy I wonder if anyone was around during the holidays! We called our closer the whole time and still haven’t heard back! Good luck!

  • Lacy

    My realtor just got off the phone with BOA and they told her our file has been with the phase 3 CLOSER since 12-18-09 and evedentally this person has 35 days to make a decision! I can’t believe this so I guess the phase 3 negotiator had 30 days and there is another person in phase 3 called the closer that also has 35 days that’s NUTS!!!

  • LONG SALE

    Hi Lacy,

    I am wondering if the “Closer” in your situation is the investor of the loan or a person at Bank of America that is allowed to make a decision for the investor.

    Usually B of A just follows guidelines from the investor (the actual backer of the loan such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mack, Bank of New York) and gets everything in a file ready to present to the investor so that they can make the final decision (approve/deny/counter). However, in some instances and with some investors, they grant Bank of America the power to approve/deny/counter based on specific guidelines and parameters – usually dealing with $.

    Hang in there. …sounds like both me and you are getting close. Hopefully we have good news to post up here soon!

  • Lacy

    @ longsale thanks for the response! Back in oct my realtor was told our file went to the investors but we had a horrible phase 2 negotiator she was still emailing us when we were in phase 3 and she never told us there was someone else assigned to our file! Very confusing I know so we still have no idea if our file actually went to investors or not! I hope they don’t tell us next that our file is going to investors after the closer jan 11th will be 5mths for us.

  • LONG SALE

    @ Lacy

    ugh, you’ve been thrown for a loop. I have no idea what to tell you – hopefully somebody else can provide some insight. There is a site you can go to that will tell you if it is a Fannie Mae loan. It’s on Fannie Mae’s website somewhere. Freddie Mac has the same thing but they ask for the social security number – so only the owner can do it.

    It sounds like we put in our offers at pretty much the same time.

    My timeline is as follows:
    late July – offer submitted to owner and accepted.
    late August – incomptetant listing agent finally gets all paperwork into B of A
    late August – 1st bank (Citi) agrees to the shortsale
    Late September – We are notified that my offer/file is in B of A’s system and has been given an account #.
    Early October – We are assigned to a Work Out Specialist
    Oct. 22nd – We are assigned to a negotiator.
    Early December – 2 BPO’s were ordered.

    The only other information I’ve received since is that a lawfirm is sending a payoff figure to the listing agent, who is going to send that to the title company. She said she would also send an updated HUD to B of A. I can’t believe I’ve made it this long without tearing my hair out!

  • M&M

    Our short sale is now going on 4 months. Our last update from the bank was December 1st. Me and my wife are really starting to loose our minds. It seems the listing agent can’t even get us another update. I wish we could find another house, but it seems every house we find is another short sale. SOMEONE HELP US!!

  • HANGINTHERE

    Hey, just checking in to see how things are going. Lacy, Stressed Out, still at it I see. but looks like you’re much closer, some glitches though. Hope all goes well!

    M&M, I remember… once I entered the SS market I couldn’t get out. I could not get used to paying full price for a house, even if I found one I liked! It’s a crazy market but I’d do it again! Don’t loose your mind though, your situation is standard operating proceedure.

    We are getting overwhelmed at the amount of work and money spent (or going to spend) on our house but still it’s worth it! We’re going to move in at the end of Jan. with half the house rehabbed.

    I ran through my notes and found this SS department phone # at BOA if any one is interested. 888-880-1232. This was last June so don’t know if it’s still a working #.

    Blessings in the New Year!

  • Lacy

    @ M&M: The short sale process is very frustrating I know like I said its been 5 mths for us! We also have looked @ several houses but none compare to the ss and are way overpriced for this market. The ss home we found the guy owes $205,000 on the loan balance and we offered $130,000 that’s a $75,000 short so what keeps us going is I keep telling myself your crazy if you don’t wait out this deal its almost a brand new home hardly any repairs besides cleaning so if you love the house and you don’t have to move right away hang in there your deal will probably get done! We had a phase 2 negotiator from another planet I really think she might have been an alien lmao if the closer is from earth I think we might make it! Another word of advice email this lady she is the vice president of the ss dept she emailed me back within 15 minutes on monday telling me they would look into it [email protected] her phone # is 972-526-6970.

  • M&M

    Thanks for the responses! We actually heard from our realtor today with a new update. Apperently the bank has come back with a counter offer of 120,000. Our first offer was for 106,000 and we’re thinking about going up to 112,000. The loan on this house was for 190,000 back in 2006, but most houses in the neigborhood are going for around 130,000 today. Does anyone know how long it takes for the bank to respond to a counter offer?

  • Lacy

    Just found out some interesting news from my realtor who is also the sellers realtor she spoke to the seller this morning and he said he pulled his credit from all 3 bureaus and his home loan isn’t on there anymore does anyone know what this means? I asked her did it show paid off or paid as agreed and she said he didn’t say all he said was its gone!

  • Lacy

    Today is exactly 5mths since we signed contract with the seller. I can’t believe how long this is taking this house has one mortgage I’m really aggrivated but its been to long to back out now! The phase 3 closer want respond to any emails I can’t stand BOA!

  • LONG SALE

    So I had an update on friday from the listing agent with a new twist…ughhh.

    So now Bank of America (the 2nd loan holder) is saying that they need to send the file to PMI for approval. So far they haven’t said anything about sending to Fannie Mae for approval. However, the more I research and speak to people – I find out how odd it is for a 2nd loan to have PMI. Any thoughts, comments??

  • LONG SALE

    Listing agent told me today that it was sent to PMI for approval. WTF? Why does the 2nd loan even have PMI??? How can they send it to the PMI company when they don’t have the payoff from the first loan holder (citi()? Very fishy….

  • Lacy

    I am so worried about our ss home it has been vacant for 7 mths and no power! I live in north florida and we are experiencing the coldest winter in 25 yrs. We asked the seller to please go wrap the pipes which he didn’t do so we went over there and did it! The house is starting to look really bad I wish BOA would get off their *ss and approve us or @ least respond back.

  • Lacy

    Update: Just when I thought we were close my agent called the update line yesterday and they told her our phase 3 closer sent the file to her manager on january 8th wtf? Nobody will tell us what’s going on why does it have to go to a manager now? This woman had this file since dec 18th and now its with some manager I hope this is good news but I doubt it!

  • Lacy

    Has anyone else had a phase 3 closer send it to their manager? Do closers have to have their managers signature before producing the approval letter?

  • LONG SALE

    Hi Lacy,

    I have no idea what that means. I’m not sure if that is good or bad! I hope we both have happy endings!!!! By the way, I am in South Florida and burrrrrrr it’s been cold – but I bet you have got it worse up there.

  • henry

    I’ve been involved with a BOA ss (they accepted offer in June) on a home in Florida for exactly one year now and it has been a complete nightmare. Communication from the listing agent has been virtually non- existent (going through outside realtor) from day one and when info is provided it is usually very vage. The next problem (and the worst) began in July when the second mortage was sold to Green Tree just as we were nearing acceptance from the original 2nd lender. Green Tree has been extremely difficult to work with and from everything I could find out about them on the web it appears I’m not the only one having problems with them when dealing with a ss. It’s apparent they don’t give a damn if the home goes to forclosure or not. BOA has extended their deadline once already and now we’re closing in on their second dealine and possibly seeing the home go into forclosure. The listing agent says the negoiator is very hard to contact, but I’m not sure how aggressively she’s pushing it. We have met all their requests which started with a demand for 10% of sale price, but later accepted 5% with BOA providing 3K and the rest from the seller. Final documents requested by them have now been on the negoiators desk for 1.5 months and haven’t heard anything since. Does anyone have any suggestions how we could get the sale completed? I’ve asked the listing agent if I could talk to someone at either of the banks but was told I wasn’t allowed to. This is the most frustrating experience I’ve been involved with, especially due to no ability to be part of the process and left in the dark through the whole process. I heard a 2nd mortgage can be trouble when dealing with a ss, but never thought it would be this much of a nightmare.

  • Lacy

    @ Henry: The only advice I can give to you is ignore the sellers agent and GET INVOLVED! I starting researching on the internet and got every email address for BOA I could I went on a emailing spree and emailed the vice pres of short sales @ boa and she actually escalated my file. Don’t give up I emailed all those people again today it seems to be making some progress. My file was in phase 2 for two mths and then that’s when I took action when the vice pres got my email is when my file finally went to phase 3! I did not have a file # to give them so I gave the property address and the sellers name if you have that info than ready to start your crusade! Good luck and take charge don’t let this house go to foreclosure!

  • LONG SALE

    Henry,

    I agree completely with Lacy as I have done the same thing and have got involved. I emailed Ken Lewis, the CEO of Bank of America (althought I think by now he might have stepped down) and his office responded back to me in a week and the file was escalated.

    It sounds like you need to contact Green Tree though – thats where it seems like the problem lies since B of A is ready to go. Research the net and get emails and phone calls – you will have to be pro-active to get the ball rolling – dont rely on the listing agent.

  • henry

    Thanks Lacy and LONG SALE,
    After reading the many experiences by other readers on this site I tried to get involved numerous times, but was denied any information by the sale agents. They said they never heard of such a thing in Florida. I know realtors hate dealing with ss, but I think it is worse for the buyer when you go weeks and much longer not hearing anything about the progess. I would have dropped out of the purchase long ago if another house we liked came available within our price range, but none has. I have already sent an e-mail to Ms. Dawson at BoA and will look for contacts at Green Tree. If anyone has dealt with Green Tree I’d appreciate any contact information you could provide. Will keep everyone posted of my outcome.

  • henry

    I received an e-mail from Ms Dawson at BoA within 5 hours of sending it and she sent it on to their escalation team. My first attempt to contact Green Tree hasn’t produced a response, but I’ll keep trying. Thanks again

  • Lacy

    @ henry: I’m so glad Mrs. Dawson responded to your email! Doesn’t it feel good when someone responds @ all just to @ least know you have been heard! If the listing agent is being that much of a pain tell them how u feel he/she should be fortunate you have hung on this long don’t forget without you they don’t get paid either. I know my realtor who is also the listing agent thinks I’m a psycho and a stalker but I really don’t care I want this house and I’m gonna fight like hell to get it!!! Trust me I wanted to give up a few times but my husband is in nursing school and we can’t afford any other homes we like right now either, so we really hope this ss works its a beautiful home. Don’t give up if it goes to foreclosure be waiting on the court house steps to buy it. It will still be a good deal prob as a REO.

  • LONG SALE

    Had a email today from the seller’s agent where she forwarded a email from the bank of america negotiator. The file officially went to PMI for review yesterday.

    BUT

    Now I have the bank of america negotiator name, address, phone number and possibly email. bwuahaha Won’t bother her yet – let’s see how she does first.

  • LONG SALE

    Wow, bank of america responded back and wants the seller to sign a note for 10k. still waiting on the seller’s response.

  • Lacy

    @ longsale: I hope that’s good news for u maybe the seller will sign I hope so! I had a very interesting day today to I received an email from a manager @ boa that I emailed tuesday she gave me the new negotiators email. Remember I said it had went to a manager @ boa in arizona well I emailed the new negotiator who the manager gave the file to today literally begging for his help and so did my realtor and I can’t believe it but he emailed me back saying he was on the phone with my realtor I started crying in excitement this is the first negotiator in 5 mths that has ever called my realtor! She called me and we both were just screaming in excitement someone really does work @ boa! He told her we had to have a new appraisal because ours was so old and he told her if she hadn’t been contacted by the appraiser in 48 hrs to call him back he also said as soon as the appraisal came back he could get us an answer! I pray to GOD he is serious we have been jerked around so much! We found out the reason our file went to arizona is because the BOA in texas is so backed up! Good luck to everyone else I will keep yall posted!

  • LONG SALE

    Update: Got a email from the seller and it sounds like she is accepting. Can’t believe this – I thought it would take at least another month since my file just went to PMI for approval on Wednesday….unbelievable. I should find out a lot more today – I just want it in writing that it is APPROVED.

    @Lacy – great news, hang in there. From my past research, B of A has to do a new BPO if the last one that was conducted is more than 60 days old. So they probably just want to check the new BPO’s number against your offer – sounds like you should have an approval next week!

  • Lacy

    @ longsale: I’m so happy for you isn’t it strange that were both finally getting somewhere @ the same time! The appraisers office called today to set up a time to see the house we found out the last appraisal was $184,000 which is way to high for the home! Our offer is $130,000 so I pray this next appraisal is lower my realtor said she’s bringing comps to show the new appraiser to try to show that the house is not worth $184,000. I’m so nervous I don’t want them to counter offer! Wish us luck!

  • iwannamove

    I’ve been at this with BOA since September as a buyer. What a joke. In December, after 3 months of nothing, my realtor informed me that a new appraisal would need to be ordered and the file was being escalated so the appraisal could get done in 7-10 days. Riiiight. Here it is halfway through January and she calls me today to say that they’ve once again escalated the file and they have 2 weeks to get the appraisal done. Needless to say, we’re looking at more houses this weekend. It kinda makes me sick to think that my offer has sat on someone’s desk for going on almost 18 weeks. Really?

  • LONG SALE

    Thanks Lacy! Yes, it is strange – hopefully we can both close right around the same time. I spoke to my realtor and he thinks we should have the approval letter next week sometime. My mortgage guy doesn’t wanna move forward until there is written approval – better be safe than sorry!

    @ Lacy: Make sure they do a interior BPO! And its great for the realtor to be there to show them comps. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

    @Iwannamove: Sorry to hear about it, B of A just sucks in general. My offer (and I think Lacy’s) have been in since July so dont feel bad. Couple of things that you can do: Email call the CEO office – I did that and somebody called me back right away. Also, if you scroll up a little I think Lacy posted the email for the head of the short sale department. How is your realtor and the listing agent realtor? If they are not pro-active in getting the short sale done – your file will sink to the bottom of somebody’s desk. Don’t get discouraged though – I put my offer in in July and my BPO’s were done in Mid December and I got verbal approval this past week.

  • Ivis

    Hello,

    This is so confusing for me. I put an offer on a SS and really don’t know what to expect.
    I’m no familiar with the process, I want to follows your advice and GET involve, but I don’t even know what is happening.

    Here is the only info I have, can anyone explain to me the process, please, what is next? How long more I will take?

    Short sale is already with the second phase negotiator. Once we hear back from him, it
    will go to the final and closing phase. Once we hear back from the second stage
    negotiator, we’ll contact you so you can start inspections and appraisal.

    Someone help

    Thanks
    Ivis

  • Lacy

    @ longsale: The appraisal comp called my realtor yesterday and set up the appraisal for tuesday afternoon! They do a full appraisal inside and out my realtor said she’s going there with her guns loaded lmao she’s bringing comps and anything else she can think of. The negotiator said as soon as he gets the appraisal he sends it to pmi and should have us an answer fast! he said we should be able to close by febuary. Good luck!

  • iwannamove

    I feel for you and Lacy. I was just hoping to make the Dec tax credit deadline, so I’m glad they extended it, but at this point, I’m not even sure we’ll make it before April. I plan on emailing Kimberly Dawson if this runaround goes on much longer. She must get tons of emails with stories just like ours. Who’s the new CEO? Didn’t Ken Lewis retire?

    My realtor is okay. She’s a family friend, which is why I went with her. She has closed 2 of her short sale listing since I’ve put in my offer and she’s really frustrated with it too. She said on her listings, she called the bank everyday to make sure they were working on the file. The listing agent is a Certified Distressed Property Expert, which made me feel confident when I went into this. However, my agent informed me that she has put the title company in charge of talking to BofA. My realtor says she has worked with this title company before and that they do a good job, but it makes me nervous that I have to rely on them to sit on the phone with the bank for hours at time. I mean, do they really care? They’ve been calling on a weekly basis, but I’ve seriously thought about bringing in cupcakes to them or something so they remember me and will work on the file. lol Desperate times call for desperate measures. It just seems like so many people between us and the bank, I guess.

  • LONG SALE

    I’m going to meet the current owner, who I have become friends with, at the house today. She is great.

    @ Lacy: Great! PMI only had my file for a day so hopefully it is the same for you! If your realtor is bringing comps that support your asking price – you should be goood!

    @ iwannamove: I’m not sure who the current CEO is, Ken Lewis did retire – but just do a google search and you can find out who it is. I’ve heard Kimberly Dawson responds pretty quick also. I would nag the Title company also – give them a call twice a week and ask for updates.

    @ Ivis: Unfortunately, it seems as if there is no real time line and it really depends on who is working on your file. When did you put your offer in? Have they done the BPO’s yet? Phase II negotiator usually gets all the information gathered and then passes it along to the investor or PMI company for approval.

  • henry

    Long sale and Lacy, glad to hear you’re nearing the finish line of the ultra marathon which appears to be way too typical with ss. I may have got something going this week by contacting BoA and Green Tree. The listing agent has gotten numerous calls from Green Tree the past two days. Guess she never talked to them and were playing phone tag. Atleast the bank is making a move and hopefully the two can find some time to directly communicate and get the final approval. Things are maybe looking up, but I know not to hold my breath to long cause I would’ve been dead long ago. Maybe it was a coincident they called this week, but I bet the communication I made earlier in the week had something to do with it. Mrs Dawson at BoA got back right away and sent it on to their escalation department and Matt Soto ([email protected]) at Green Tree was very helpful. He also sent my Email to the appropraite department and said he would check on its status within a week. So you can get somewhere if your proactive, which I should have been long ago. Doesn’t appear we’ll beat the one year anniversery of signing the ss contract and now hopefully BoA will extend their deadline which is in two weeks. Thanks again

  • LONG SALE

    Henry: great news! Stay on that Matthew. I might also shoot another email to Dawson and tell her that Green Tree is working on it right now so a extension might be needed. Keep us updated!

  • Lacy

    @ henry: I’m so glad you got involved and it looks like it might be working. I’m so thankful for this blog and to all the people who have helped me through this stressful ordeal thank you! When this is over for me I’m still gonna check in to help encourage the new ss bloggers cause without this site I probably would have went insane! Just remember when it gets bad it could always be worse let’s keep the people of haiti in our prayers and if you can donate money or blood! GOD BLESS!

  • Randy

    Please help. I have been working on a short sale for almost 4 months now and just recieved a negotiator last week. I love this house but am concerned about getting it in time for the tax credit. What should i do?

  • LONG SALE

    Randy – get involved and annoy people. If you read the previous posts you will find the head of the short sale department’s email. You can also email the CEO.

  • Ivis

    Long Sale,

    Well I put the offer on December 29, the sellers are outside the country, and seem they get divorsed so each one is in a diferent country, so take more time for them to sign the paper, both sellers signed by January 4.

    I have no idea what is BPO.

    They told me the short sale is already with the second phase negotiator. But I don’t know what that means, or how many phases are, or what I can do :(

    The seller’s reator wrote :”"There is a 1st and a second both with BOA. We had the approval with previous buyer, but since there’s a new buyer they have submitted for approval with the mortgage insurance company and the investor. “”

  • Lacy

    Well the appraisal was done this morning turns out our realtor new the guy so maybe it will come in a lot lower than the last one! My realtor also spoke with the negotiator this morning and told him the appraiser would have it back to him this week! So I pray to GOD we have a answer next week and hopefully they want counter! Good luck everyone I will keep yall posted!

  • Randy

    Wow! Kim Dawson got back to me already in 1 hour. She just sent me an email saying they would have the team assist.

  • Lacy

    @ randy: that’s great she sent me that email to and they had my file escalated if no one responds in a week email her again! Don’t give up like long sale said annoy them trust us we’ve been in this game a long time to good luck!

  • M&M

    Has anyone on here ever received a counter offer from BOA. If so what was the response time once you submitted your counter offer back to them?

  • StressedOut

    @Lacy, Good Luck! We got an approval 2 days after our appraisal was done! The seller finally agreed as well and will fight the defiencency after we close. Unfortuately, they winterized the house and forgot the indoor sprinklers when they did it so we have a leak and are waiting for them to fix it before we go ahead with everything! I am hoping your approval comes through soon!

  • Lacy

    @ stressed out: thanks it sure has been a long road! The negotiator said once he got the appraisal he would have our answer fast I can’t hardly stand the wait its like when I was a child waiting on christmas to come! I love our new negotiator he’s so nice! Good luck everyone!!!

  • Randy

    Well I just got word from the sellers attorney that my file is supposed to be escaladed in 10 days. All I know is I got a negotiator last week. What does this exactly mean?

  • StressedOut

    Well, I think this deal is about in the can and the funny thing is that Bank of America was actually not the problem…THey are the ones who were the easiest to deal with. Our guy to save money winterized the house himself and turned off all the electricity and when we turned on the water, there are lots of leaks in the house and now lots of holes and the house now looks nothing like the beautiful well put together house that we fell in love with!
    Just some advice for anyone putting an offer on a short sale…make sure they leave the electricity on and lower the thermostat, or have them have a professional winterize the house.

  • Lacy

    @ stressed out: I’m soooo sorry after all that waiting that your home you fell in love with has been ruined! I hope yall can find another one! The other appraisal was sent to BOA on friday and our realtor said she emailed the negotiator yesterday and I haven’t heard anything yet. I’m sooooo tired of waiting its really getting on my nerves every week I think maybe will hear something ugh good luck everyone with short sale hell!!!

  • Ashley

    Hi all,

    First let me say thanks to whoever started this string of comments. You all have been so helpful. My husband and I have been so frustrated because we haven’t had any communication with anyone at BofA, but now that we have the contact info that you guys gave, you can bet we’ll get right on that!

    Here’s my situation: we put our offer in 3 months ago (early November) and the seller accepted immediately. The only update we ever got was in December, when the seller’s agent said she had talked to the negotiator at BofA, who said he was waiting to hear from the investor (we have no idea who the investor is). Then, yesterday, we got a call from our realtor who said the seller’s agent told her we have verbal approval and now she is just waiting for written approval. So my question for all of you is: is this common? Do you usually get verbal approval first? And if you do, is it usually legitimate? I’m kind of concerned that the seller’s agent is just saying that to get us off her back because we’ve been constantly annoying her for updates. Do you think it means that we actually will get the written approval soon? Any insight you have would be incredibly helpful. It’s pretty clear you guys know more about this than I do, becuse I don’t even know what these phases are! Thanks in advance for your help.

    Ashley a.k.a. frustrated future homeowner in MD (hopefully)

  • StressedOut

    Hey Lacy,

    Thank you. I really hope all goes well and you will hear soon. I really think it will be good news for you because I think that BofA is approving a lot these days….Our borrower owed over 200K on the house and was employed in a well paying job. This house was an investment. And it was approved in 3 and a 1/2 months. The other month and a half was the seller haggling to get out of the deficiency before the electricity was turned on. Hope that gives you hope!

    Ashley, our home was in MD as well, so I really hope you make sure tha tyour home was winterized or has the electricity on with teh thermostat on low. Some of the people on this site have gotten verbal approval and then a written approval within a week and a half later. We got a written approval before we got verbal approval so we couldn’t open the file for 10days to figure out the approval! (it took us 10 days to get intouch with BofA to findout what our approval letter said) Good Luck!

  • M&M

    Today has been 5 months since my wife and I put an offer on a short sale house. It has been really tough as I’m sure everyone on this blog knows, but today I can say it has paid off because WE FINALLY GOT OUR VERBAL APPROVAL TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Lacy

    M&M I’m so happy for u! I hope yall get written approval soon! I’m really depressed today our appraisal was sent to boa friday and my realtor can’t get in touch with the new negotiator! I know its only tuesday but our new negotiator has been good about keeping in touch but now he hasn’t answered or called back so I’m losing hope again! I really thought this week would be our week I don’t know anymore I just wanna cry!

  • M&M

    Thanks Lacy! It’s been tough and I know how you feel, but hang in there. It sounds like your negotiator is either in the middle of working on the appraisal or just really swamped. I never thought we would receive an answer, but we did. It will happen for you too, just keep praying!

  • LONG SALE

    Update on my short sale: Bank of America asked the seller to pay a 10k note along with the $9,800.00 they requested from Citi (1st mortgage holder). Seller can not pay the note so we are working with Citi to give B of A $19,800.00 so B of A will be satisfied. Ugh, you get one satisfied and now have to please the other. I hope this works…

    Good luck Lacy!!!

  • Randy

    Congrats,
    I just got a call from my realtor asking me to sign an addenum to close within 30 days. This is not approval but the negotiator is requesting this. What does this mean?

  • Lacy

    @ M&M: Thank u I’ve been praying sooo hard! I think I’m starting to get on my realtors nerves too but I can’t help it this has been going on almost 6 mths if it wasn’t for this site I would have pulled my hair out! None of my friends and family understand this process but they are being as supportive as they can. Longsale I’m sorry they are being so difficult I hope they agree to pay the $! I will keep yall posted good luck!

  • LONG SALE

    Randy: The negotiator is requesting this???? I’ve signed extensions of the contract a couple of times so the contract didnt’ expire but never had the negotiator ask me to sign anything.

  • Randy

    Yes that is correct. It is basically a document stating that when I get approval I can close in 30 days. I hope after 4 months now that this means I’m close.

  • Lacy

    @ randy: This must be new because the negotiators have never asked me for that! I hope this is good news for you good luck!!

  • LONG SALE

    I hope you are right Randy. It seems odd to me but hey, its Bank of America – ya never know!

    As for me, I found out this morning that the 1st loan holder Citi countered back against Bank of America and said they would give thme $7,900 (B of A wanted $19,000). I hope they just say yes but something tells me they wont. If they say yes its a done deal though!! Will keep everybody updated!

    @ Lacy: Any news?

  • Lacy

    @ longsale: No news yet I don’t know what’s going on I called my realtor yesterday but she didn’t answer! She’s been kinda short with me this week I think I’m getting on her nerves! Its just soooo hard being this close and not knowing anything they still haven’t countered or told us the appraisal. Do u think the realtor could of taken another offer? I don’t know why but I’ve had this horrible feeling all week! She was saying last week by law she would have to take all offers but she said she’s been telling everyone there’s a strong offer and contract on the house. I don’t know why she was talking about it and I asked her did she have another offer and she said no. I was thinking since our new negotiator said once he got the appraisal back we could possibly close by feb 11th that sounds like verbal approval to me and she shouldn’t take any other offers! I’m probably just being paranoid this whole ordeal has made me depressed and bipolar lol! I will keep yall posted I decided not to ever call the realtor again she can call me!

  • Lacy

    Well I talked to our realtor today and remember the negotiator saying last week we could possibly close by feb 11th? She has been trying to get in touch with that negotiator all week no answer, she called the update line and they told her the appraisal hasn’t been loaded into their system yet it was sent friday they said it takes 10 business days. They also said their was no way that we could close by feb and that she needs to use the new system equator. She asked the guy couldn’t that start the whole process over again and he said that’s a chance you will have to take! I’m soooo pissed off feb 11th will be 6 months that this bshit has been going on BOA are liars and I hate our goverment for bailing their sorry butts out ugh!!

  • LONG SALE

    @Lacy: Sorry to hear. This equator system is funny – Why do some files go through equator and others dont. Mine never had a mention of Equator. Must be so frustrating. I know mine is frustrating and it actually seems like I may have a answer soon.
    As far as another offer – I know my realtor put a clause in the contract of “First Right of Refusal” – I think thats how it’s worded. It basically means that other offers can come in but the bank can not look at them until the bank has declined mine. I also wouldn’t worry if I was you – there offer would have to start from the beginning of the process…

    Hang in there!!

    I didn’t hear back from B of A today to see if they would accept Citi’s payout. I hope to hear from them tomorrow or else I will be a nervous wreck all weekend.

  • Lacy

    Hey longsale: I emailed our negotiator about 4:30 his time and he actually called my realtor right after! He apologized for not getting back right away and he told her he couldn’t find our 2nd appraisal turns out stupid BOA regected it by mistake dumb butts. So he asked my realtor if she still had the appraisers contact info thank God she did he said he would call the appraiser himself and apologize and get it reordered. My realtor knows the appraiser so she called and asked him if the negotiator called and I’m so happy to say he did this evening so hopefully he will have the appraisal in his hands tomorrow. My realtor also asked the negotiator to confirm that we would have an answer by or before feb 11th and he still says he can do it so will see. I’m not ever getting my hopes up again wish us luck and keep praying I will keep praying for everyone on here thanks again for the support I will keep yall posted!

  • Randy

    Lacy, That is fantastic news. I think it sounds like you will have your answer. Only one more week of waiting and you’ll be able to get the tax credit to hopefully if you qualify. This whole process has me on an emotional roller coaster all I can doe is pray and know its in Gods hands. I don’t know what to make of this addendum I had to sign. Hopefully I get an answer in time for the tax credit. Best wishes to all and keep fighting.

  • LONG SALE

    Just found out the Citi approval letter I got is good through Feb. 26th. Come on you stupid idiots at b of a – just accept it. Will keep everybody posted. I’ve been checking my email about 45 times an hour to see if there is anything from the listing agent.

    Isn’t it going to be weird when you don’t have to worry about this anymore?!?!? It’s become such a part of my life for the past 6 months that it seems routine!

  • Randy

    Ha I know I was thinking the same thing.

  • Ivis

    I like your advice “GET INVOLVED!”
    But how? I have no information, I email everyday my Realtor asking for updates, she forward my question to the Sellers agent, No answer :(

    If I try to email BOA what I should said??????
    I’m no familiar with the process, I don’t know what to ask.

    Any advice.

    PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

    Thanks

  • Lacy

    Hey randy: I think you have until june 31st to be closed on a home in order to receive the tax credit so hopefully you will get it! We are first time home buyers so we should qualify Keep praying everytime I lose faith something happens to move it along. I sent the negotiator a thank you email last nite and he sent me one this morning saying MY PLEASURE its crazy but yall will understand that little phrase made my whole day todal lmao!!

  • Lacy

    I’m so upset my realtor just called me and said the negotiator got an email from costumer service saying the seller requested a loan modification!! I can’t believe this I’ve hung in with this seller 6 mths my realtor is trying to get in touch with him to see if this is a mistake! Please pray for me my heart is broken we were soooo close!

  • Lacy

    Well my realtor just forwarded me the email from the seller saying he did in fact request the loan modification! I’m pissed off I can’t believe this just last week he was saying how glad he was that this was almost over. He said he would know by friday of next week if his loan mod was approved and let us know! I told my realtor to tell him he can take that house and shove it up his ass!! If he would have came to us earlier like a man and said I want to try to work with the bank and get my house back I would have understood but to let this go on 6 mths that’s crool. The negotiator feels bad for us he was actually filling out our closing paperwork today for our approval when he received the email stating to stop the short sale that the seller has requested a loan mod. He didn’t even have the guts to call the realtor he emailed her that slime ball what a ***hole!! 6 mths of our lives and time waisted on this house there needs to be a law that says they can’t do this to people. Well I really do wish everyone on this blog the best BOA actually was gonna approve it who knew the seller would be the one to ruin the deal. Good luck everyone goodbye!

  • LONG SALE

    Lacy: That’s a real shitty move by the seller. Like you said, at least have the courtesy and cohones to let you know. You’ve hung with him this whole time as the buyer and he should have at least enough respect to be the one to break the news to you.

    Do you know if he is current or if he has missed any payments? Maybe they won’t even want to work with him.

    I feel so bad for you. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be……..have you had your eye on any other houses?

  • Lacy

    Hey longsale: In answer to your question has he missed any payments he hasn’t made a payment since april 09! He said he would let the realtor know next week if they worked with him but I think we would have to start the short sale all over from scratch! If it doesn’t work and the bank ask us if were still interested I’m gonna say yeah and cut our offer price by $20,000 lmao! I really hope you get your home soon I will still check in ttyl!

  • Lacy

    I’m so upset about this it ruined my whole weekend 6mths of my life I’ve been fighting for this house!! Do yall think I’m selfish for getting upset? My husband says we should try to be happy for the guy that he might get his house back. I just hate how he went about this we hung in with this man 6 months ugh! My husband and I looked at houses all day but nothing compared to our ss house all the ones we like are to expensive. We decided we are going to build a home on our family property at least that way it will be custom built the way we want it! My master bath is gonna have the biggest bath tub and closet space possible lol! To the new bloggers good luck and if there is any way to put in contract that the seller can’t back out DO IT before its tooo late! I will probably keep checking in because I really don’t know how to quit blogging its been my life for 6 mths I’m kinda addicted lmao! Have a great week ttyl!!

  • Richie

    Hi all…I’m buying a short sale and I am in my 6th month…I was just countered by wells fargo and I countered back….they wanted 10k more and i offered 5k more…has anyone here been through the whole countering stage….. if so…..how long does it take from here once we agree on a price….These short sales seem never ending….btw…I feel for lacy…after so long of a wait,only to have the seller screw up the deal….

  • iwannamove

    Just thought I’d give an update to my nonsense. It will be 20 weeks tomorrow that the sellers signed the contract. I haven’t contacted anyone at BofA because I’m not sure that they are what is holding us up at this point. I think the listing agent, believe it or not, is dragging her feet. The bank is still waiting on an appraisal and they must schedule it with her because she’s the only one with access to the house. Since the title company is the only party that can call the bank, my realtor forwards me emails that say things like this:

    Hi Listing Agent,

    Just called the bank and they don’t show a BPO. I had the file escalated and they are going to contact an appraiser again to go out there. I gave them your info to contact directly for access to the property. Please let me know once you hear from them.

    Thanks,

    Title Company

    Now, they’ve been needing a new BPO since early December. If the bank appraiser is not contacting the listing agent, then why isn’t she pestering the title company (since she can’t call the bank) to find out why? I don’t know. I just feel like this is her fault, not BofA. Shouldn’t she have more motivation t