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Real Estate Front Lines

By Leila S. Mortaz | Real Estate Pro in Los Gatos, CA

Short Sale challenge for US Banks! Bank is still a 4 letter word!

Banks have a very strange nut to crack with their attempts to romance Homeowners to participate in Short Sales. After all, these home owners have been ignoring the banks letter for the past 2 years and longer while living FREE at their home.  But who can you blame the homeowners?!  The relationship between bank and the homeowners got nasty when majority of the so called Loan Modifications failed.  There is plenty of blame to go around for the failure of these Loan Modification, but suffice is to say that majority of home owners who attempted a loan modification are now convinced that Bank were not not sincere in their attempts to modify the home owners loan to help them avoid an eventual foreclosure.

Now the banks are hoping they could solicit help from the Real Estate Agents to convince home owners to try a Short Sales.  Short Sale is a process where the bank approves for a sale of the home at a price that will not cover all the mortgages on the property.  (For more details visit (http://www.homestretchproperties.com/ap.aspx?p=12607&page=What-is-a-Short-Sale%3f)

But this time again, the banks want to partner with Short Sale Agents to collect and maintain accurate finance and hardship information from the homeowner.  Banks require all this information to process a Short Sale which in most cases would require an approval from an investor who is holding the Note as a security against the home.  

Last month 2 of the largest US banks hosted seminars where they were quite blunt about their inability to gain the confidence of the homeowners to talk to them!  The relationship between the banks and the home owners are so dysfunctional that the banks want the Real Estate agents to play Dr. Phil, literally!  

In one of the seminars, one speaker was coaching the Short Sale Agent to give the homeowners a Shoe Box (yes, you heard it right) a Shoe Box in order to coach the homeowners to encourage the homeowner NOT to trash the communications and mail they receive from the bank during the Short Sale process.  

It was a strange feeling, but the presenter even mentioned the word "partnership" when referring to Real Estate agents.  That's like the HMOs calling the Doctors their partners.  I think some of the doctors might have a different opinion.  

The question remains if the homeowners will TRUST the agents in this process where the banks again are controlling the valuation and the the approval process to a point that even they are NOT willing to share the value assigned to the home with the agents.  What kind of a partnership is that where one side gets to shield and hide the most valuable and material information to a negotiation.  

Our last short sale took more than 450 days and during this process we discovered that our negotiator was withholding information about the Buyer's middle name which was referenced differently in 2 separate documents.  So, they kept rejecting the final HUD without telling us what was the real reason for rejecting the documents.

I am reminded of the recent TV Commercial I saw for a California Credit Union which was tagged as "Not a Bank"! When a bank does NOT want to be called a bank, you know there is something wrong with this 4 letter word.

If you would like any help with your dysfuntional relationship with your bank or don't want to talk to them anymore, give us a call.  We speak their language.


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