Providing you with the knowledge and tools needed to succeed with Short Sales
Over the past year I have been engaged with Bank of America (“BOA”) in efforts to complete a Short Sale of my home. The Short Sale participation was approved August 23, 2012 and an “estimated closing date” of December 6, 2012 was conveyed. The continuous lack of communication, delay in communication, contradicting/incorrect information has made my experience in this process far less than favorable and severely stressful. This imposed stress was only exacerbated by the sudden and unexpected loss of my Fiancé on November 20, 2012. After your review of the documentation below, I look forward to your immediate attention to this matter and your assistance in the completion of the Short Sale that was approved by BOA.
I am desperately seeking your assistance with the closure of my short sale. I strongly feel, as you will see documented below, that I am being treated UNJUST as I attempt to pursue the short sale of my property to avoid a possible foreclosure. Since my file has been assigned to Kim Foster, BOA Short Sale DIL Specialist, and/or Ebony Bonner, BOA Customer Relationship Manager in the October/November 2012 timeframe the processing of my file has halted, there has been a lack of communication and no sense of providing any type of assistance to complete and close the short sale but rather a sense of making every effort terminate the file.
Due to a hardship, I initially reached out to BOA and requested to participate in the FHA-HAMP in January 2012, approximately a year ago. Deborah Linzer was the Customer Relationship Manager that was assigned during the HAMP process. Shortly thereafter, I decided to put my house on the market for sale. My debt far outweighed my income and due to reduced monthly income and increased financial responsibility, I was becoming overwhelmed. I received a ratified offer for my home on March 3, 2012. In March 2012, I completed and submitted a BOA Third Party Authorization form for my Agent, Dashaun Lanham, Long & Foster Real Estate, to negotiate and correspond on my behalf with BOA. In March 2012, I notified Ms. Linzer that I was interested in selling my home, and had received a contract for the sale of my home that yielded less than the full amount owed on the mortgage. I continued to provide monthly updated financial information, paystubs, tax information as well as a hardship letter to BOA. In April 2012, I was withdrawn from the HAMP and my file became active in BOA's Short Sale Program. On July 17, 2012 I was assigned and contacted by Sonia Rivera, Short Sale DIL Specialist, to begin the initial review and determine my eligibility for the Short Sale program.
On August 17, 2012, I received an email from Sonia Rivera stating Phase I review of my file had completed and I qualified to participate in the Short Sale Program. On August 23, 2012 I received the HUD Form 90045, Approval to Participate from Ronaleigh Ramp. During this time, BOA’s secure email system used to grant access to my agent to obtain and upload the HUD Form 90045 was NOT customer friendly. My agent had major problems with getting access in addition to it taking almost seven days to get BOA to resolve the access issues. During this time, even though it was documented that my agent was having access issues with BOA’s system and trying to provide the requested documentation, BOA still declined my file on August 31, 2012. My agent then spoke with Ms. Rivera who was aware of the complications and issues surrounding the access, and she was able to escalate a request to her manager to reopen the file and proceed. At this time, all of the documentation requested by BOA was submitted as well as the HUD-1 and Purchase Contract for the 1st buyer.
On September 26, 2012 my agent spoke with BOA regarding the status of my short sale and was advised that I was in Phase II of the process. BOA also advised that my short sale was approved to be reviewed by a closing negotiator on September 17th and it should have been assigned to a negotiator seven days later. Since we were already past that timeframe another request was made for a closing negotiator to be assigned. On October 2nd I contacted BOA for a status. I was advised by the Customer Service Team that they saw an estimated closing date in their system for December 6, 2012 and they also sent a message to Omega Thompson, Closing Negotiator, to return my phone call regarding more details of the status of my file. On October 2, 2012 I received an email from Mr. Thompson advising that I was still in Phase II of the program, Review and Negotiations, and Phase III would be closing. Mr. Thompson requested an addendum (for the seller to forfeit the $1,000 Seller Incentive to be credited towards the shortage) be signed by me and the buyer of which was returned to BOA on October 3, 2012. At this point, there was further communication from Mr. Thompson. I sent emails to him requesting the status towards the end of October and the beginning of November and there was never a response. I later learned from Customer Service that Mr. Thompson was no longer in the position.
Towards the end of November, my agent contacted the newly assigned BOA Negotiator, Kimberly Foster, requested a status and NEVER received a timely response. In December 2012, the buyer’s contract that I submitted to BOA in August 2012 was withdrawn by the buyer and this was reported accordingly to BOA. On January 17, 2013, my agent sent an email to Kimberly Foster requesting a status AGAIN. Kimberly Foster then responded stating that the short sale was declined due to the Approval to Participate expiring. However, she did also state that “once a new offer and HUD-1, that meets the required net, was submitted, a request for the Short Sale to be reopened could be honored”. My agent then responded to Ms. Foster with concern because according to communication received in November regarding the expiration of my Approval to Participate, Ms. Foster would request a 60 day extension. This would allow for the new contract HUD-1 to be submitted to BOA since BOA’s delayed processing of the Short Sale caused me to lose the first buyer. It was also stated during that communication that a variance, for the BOA home appraisal conducted, would be requested. In this same email communication my agent asked if I would have to go back through the entire process to reopen and get approved to participate in the Short Sale Program again. Ms. Foster responded in her email, “NO, I would not have to go back through the entire process, once the new offer with the HUD-1 met the net requirements the loan could be reopened”.
On January 18, 2013 BOA mailed correspondence stating that “The current offer on the property is no longer being reviewed because you have requested a different workout option. If you wish to proceed with a short sale, please submit the purchase contract, HUD-1, and supporting documentation so we may reconsider the short sale transaction”. I am not sure what was meant by “you have requested a different workout option” but I assume that BOA is speaking of my contract for the 1st buyer being withdrawn because I didn’t request any other workout options.
I have made several attempts to contact Ms. Foster via phone and email regarding the status of the 2nd purchase contract, HUD-1 and supporting documentation which was submitted to her on January 19, 2013. To date, I have received no return phone call or email response from Ms. Foster. Due to no response from Ms. Foster and the receipt of the January 18th BOA letter, I placed a call to BOA’s 800 number and spoke with Ebony Bonner, Customer Relationship Manager. She stated that I was NOT active in the Short Sale Program, I had been declined, she wasn’t sure why any other guidance would have been provided to me that I could continue in the Short Sale Program and she could only offer that I begin with the HAMP. Of course, this did not make any sense to me! After all that I have been through with BOA, beginning in the HAMP and ending in the Short Sale Program, as well as the email trails and correspondence that my agent and I have kept throughout my participation in the Program, her conversation did not mirror any recent communication from BOA
In summary, I am hopeful that BOA will honor its commitment to providing excellent customer service. Please note also, that during this very stressful process and due to BOA’s delay in processing the Short Sale, the original buyer was forced to withdraw their contract on the house. It is imperative that your immediate attention is given to this matter to avoid the loss of the SECOND buyer whose contract was submitted on January 19, 2012!
Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!