Bank of America and Equator Make it Personal. So prepare your buyers.

Hi Folks. Recently I have had two Buyers balk at providing me personal info I need if they want to purchase a Bank of America Short
Sale. I really do understand where they coming from but....most of the
big lenders including Bank of America and GMAC are now running most of
their short sales through

Supposedly the Equator system will help to shorten the time involved with getting these Short Sales approved. From what I'm hearing Bank of
America is giving approvals in 60-90 days as opposed to the 6-9 months
they were taking. That's a good thing.

The Equator system is asking for some personal Buyer info. I
assume this is to make sure transactions are "arms length". If the
Buyers want to purchase a Bank of America Short Sale then we have to
enter the data.

The reality is it's less data than what the closing agent will want and far less than they would have to provide if getting
financing. What Equator is requiring is simply:

  • Date of birth
  • The first 5 digits of their social security number.
  • The Buyer's address.

That's all we need. No big deal. Of course the Buyers always have the option of just not buying a Bank of America Short Sale. I just hate to see them
miss out on a good deal over something so minor. What say you?

Here's the screen shot from Equator.

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Comment by Vanessa Calhoun on October 6, 2010 at 7:11am
So, do the "0's" work. I absolutely dread having to ask people for this information because I know that I wouldn't want to provide it myself. It's a bit intrusive.
Comment by Michael Schneider on May 14, 2010 at 7:19am
Yes, Karen, agreed. It's on my SSA. Of course BofA is "entitled to the info".

I don't think this is related to bureau pulls, btw. I think BofA can only pull a bureau for the Seller, not the Buyer. Need permissable purpose plus permission, by FCRA, and I'm pretty sure they only have that for the borrower, meaning Seller.

More likely for fraud detection, to verify bona fide buyer, I think.

Soft pull, hard pull, all the same, I think.

Just means that the inquiry is posted by the bureau as an "account review", not "credit application", hence does not enter into FICO's score calculations.
Comment by Karen Radzinski on May 14, 2010 at 6:26am
I have entered 0's in for the social security and made up phone numbers for buyers. However, when B of A has gotten to the soft credit pull, it takes them longer to complete their tasks. Now, I tell buyers agents ahead of time and if they want to purchase the property, then they will give me that information. I also talk with the buyers lender and let them know as well.
Comment by Keli Amparan on March 26, 2010 at 8:26pm
I have heard that BoA is requiring this information to do a soft pull on a buyers credit, before they accept the offer. I'm a buyer on a s/s (or at least I made an offer 8/09 and am still waiting to hear if I'm a buyer) and I did give that information before I found out what it was for. It would have been nice to know why they needed it, I just assumed it was to link us somehow to the offer or to possibly give us access to information on how the short sale was progressing.
Comment by Michael Davis on March 25, 2010 at 2:30am
I don't belive BOA or Equator is entitled to the info you cite. Just insert "0"'s in where the number are supposed to go. Don;t think you will hear anymore about it from them. This is stuff left over from the REO format where the bank is the direct seller. Not their business in a short sale as far as I am concerned.
Comment by Zia Montesi on March 21, 2010 at 1:52pm
Gee, these are the questions I need answered from my sellers not buyers. I see it is BOA yet please explain to me why? What does Arm's Length have to do with it; if related they don't have to be livng together, or in the same state or SS #s were not issued at the same time? I'm confused? z
Comment by Meir Aloni CDPE, CRS, RECS&Team on March 20, 2010 at 12:52pm
I agree; everywhere you turn, you are asked for personal info; to do any harm with only few pf SS#, one needs access to full blown data pools. So the reward (buying a good deal) vs. potenial damage (ID theft, etc) is, in my mind, a non issue
Comment by Greg Traub on March 20, 2010 at 8:45am
I say, they didn't need the info before, why do they need it now. And what's the deal with needing the first 5 digits? What good does that do?

Yes that is less info than the buyer would need to give at closing and for financing, but those entities have a business relationship with those parties and a certain level of trust. We're asking them to give us all the info someone would need to steal their identity and send it over the internet, through a third parties system, into the hands of who knows how many people at the SS bank to which they have no direct business with. I understand the apprehension.

I agree with you though that they always have the option to not buy a BOA Short sale. If it's a good enough deal, the information shouldn't be a deal breaker.


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