Is there a way to determine if Bank of America is the lending institution on a short sale when you have the mls?

Asked by Ellie Murphy, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA Sat Jun 12, 2010

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Mark Smith, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Sat Jun 12, 2010
Just ask your agent to ask the listing agent. No big secret.
2 votes
Dawn O'neal, , San Jose, CA
Sat Jun 12, 2010
Not really. The listing agent will have that information from the seller but unless they put the information into the MLS comments, it is not readily publicized.

You can go down to the County Recorder's office and look at the public records for that address and find out who has a lien against the property.

If you call your agent to see the property, they can call the other agent and ask questions prior to your making an offer.

Good luck - Dawn O'Neal
Realty World Executive Advantage
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1 vote
David Chiles, Other Pro, Los Angeles, CA
Tue Nov 9, 2010
Thank you for your question about determining the lender in a short sale. A good local real estate agent should be able to get this information for you. RealtyTrac is a service that typically lists lender information for pre foreclosure properties. I suggest contacting an agent signed up with RealtyTrac because it would be very simple for them to find the information for you at no charge.
0 votes
Donna Ferrell…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Tue Jul 6, 2010

Why do you want to know this (sorry being nosy)? You can ask your Realtor to tell you this as she/he would have access to the title records. Unless you are trying to buy without a Realtor (not really very successful on a short sale.) then you may never really know until you place an offer.

But please write back and tell us why, inquiring minds want to know?
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0 votes
Deborah Brem…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Thu Jun 24, 2010
Hi Ellie;

As said different ways below, as a "non-Realtor" there is no readily accessible access to that information. The tax records, which are accessible to Realtors, will state the maker of the First Trust Deed. (That is, the lender who originated the loan at time of purchase or refinance) However, the maker of the loan may no longer hold the loan; it cound have been sold off to another investor, and is only being serviced by the originator.

For example, I have a short sale right now with a first and second made through B of A, but, although B of A services both loans (collects the payments, etc) the First Trust Deed is in truth held by Wells Fargo, to whom it was sold by B of A. So the short sale negotiations must be initiated through B of A but agree to by Wells.

I would agree with Johanna; myour question makes me wonder if you think this information is germane to the success or failure of the short sale? We have all experienced short sale nightmares, with any number of lenders, but B of A is getting a bad rap out there right now.

More helpful to gauging the success of a short sale is knowing the reputation of the listing agent. A good listing agent, experienced and certified in short sales, goes a long way towards short sale success. You (or your Buyer Agent) needs to pre-qualify the listing agent to see how prepared they are. To that end, I have developed a list of "Questions to Ask of the Short Sale Listing Agent", that will let you know their training, knowledge, experience, success and closing ratios, etc.

A good agent can close with Wells, B of A, Chase, Citi, whoever. Do your homework with the listing agent before making an offer, and a good listing agent will help you get your short sale home.

Deborah Bremner
REALTOR, 00588885
(D) 818.564.6591
Blogging at:
0 votes
Lisa Bolanos…, Agent, Lake Arrowhead, CA
Mon Jun 14, 2010
You can find the lender, generally, through the APN. On our MLS, there is a link on the APN that will take you directly to the tax record. Additionally, agents have internet access, in my area, to all tax records which contain a mortgage or loan history.

Is there a specific reason why you need to know who the lender is?

The tax records are considered public records. Sometimes you can type in an address on your search bar and get the information.

The listing agent should also know who the lender is on any short-sale or bank owned property.
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0 votes
Lynn Le Glai…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Mon Jun 14, 2010
Hello Ellie,
Real estate agents have access to the public records for all listed properties, and therefore know who the lender may be, etc. So th eanswer is "YES" , it is possible to know who the lending institution is on a short sale. Also, I'm sure if you ask the listing agent, s/he'd be happy to tell you. I don't think that guests are allowed access to information regarding public records.

If you need help or have any other questions, feel free to call me at 323-219-4480 or email me at

Good luck!
0 votes
Manu Kapoor, Agent, New York, NY
Sun Jun 13, 2010
Some times the agents do mention that the short sale is approved by the........ Lenders name.
If u see the lenders name. Not always is this case.
0 votes
Joanna Jensen, Other Pro, Livermore, CA
Sat Jun 12, 2010
Hi Ellie,

I am curious, why are you interested in this information?

What you should be concerned about when your buying a short sale:
1 ) Are the sellers going to sell or are they using the short sell to stop a foreclosure.
2) Does the listing agent know how to negotitate with the lender
3) Is there a second loan on the home
4) is there a sale date soon that you have to worry about.

I wouldnt worry too much about the fact that bank of america is the lender unless maybe they are holding the 2nd note. But you'd have to negotiate any 2nd note.

Do make sure sellers are not trying to keep the home and used the short sale to stop the sale. that does happen and that is what slows down a lot of sales most people dont know that.

Best of luck.

JoAnna Jensen
Realtor Legal Assistant
Legal Realty Volo Law Group
925 699 5041

Short Refinance, Debt Settlement, Short Sales, FHA Loans, Hard Money Loans
0 votes
Richard Schu…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Sat Jun 12, 2010
You won't be able to see just by searching on the MLS. But an agent has a more advanced version that will allow them to pull public records to get you this information. If you tell the addresses of any properties you're interested in knowing more about, I'd be happy to help you get this information. Feel free to call or email.

Richard Schulman
Keller Williams Realty
#1 Buyers Agent KW Los Angeles Region
(310) 482-0173
0 votes
Emily Knell, Agent, Huntington Beach, CA
Sat Jun 12, 2010
It doesn't hurt a home seller of a short sale for the buyer to know who the banks are that they are short selling against, it is public knowledge anyway.

That said, you can email me the MLS # or property address & I can tell you what it states. If the loans are not purchase money they may have since sold to another bank, I won't know until I see the record.

Email me directly, I won't look back on this same thread.
562-430-3053 cell
0 votes
Risa Liebster, Agent, Toluca Lake, CA
Sat Jun 12, 2010
As this information is on publicly accessible records and it is not, for lack of a better word, "confidential" I agree that the easiest route is to simply have your agent inquire of the listing agent. Good luck!

Risa Liebster, Realtor®
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes
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