I was part of a Bank of America Webinar today during which they outlined the benefits of their new Cooperative Short Sale Program and took questions from way too many clueless agents.  To listen to the speaker, this new program is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but I think that remains to be seen.

The key difference between this new program and the traditional short sale program is that much of the work on the bank’s side that usually doesn’t begin until after an offer is submitted, can now begin before the home is even put up for sale.  This means that a homeowner with a B of A 1st mortgage who recognizes that a short sale is his/her best option can work with their Realtor and get the process started before actually marketing the property.  B of A will complete the valuation process and let the Realtor and homeowner know the suggested list price prior to listing, in theory speeding up the approval process once a qualifying offer is submitted.  In fact, with the review of the homeowner’s financials and the valuation completed prior to marketing, B of A is promising a response to an offer in 10 days.

The program is modeled to a large degree after the HAFA program, and like HAFA, the homeowner may qualify for a relocation fee in the amount of $2500, (HAFA is $3000).   Approval in the cooperative program would also halt foreclosure action and give the homeowner 120 days to find a buyer.  Unlike HAFA, the Bank of America cooperative Short Sale Program can apply to non-owner occupied properties.

While this all sounds pretty rosy, it was not exactly clear what happens when there is a 2nd mortgage held by another bank.  Are we to believe that they’ll speed up their approval processing to keep pace with B of A?  Ha!  And what about deficiency judgments?  In a HAFA short sale the bank has to agree not to pursue a deficiency judgment, promissory note, or the collection of funds from the borrower.  But in the B of A program, there are no such promises and the speaker today danced around discussion of deficiencies by suggesting that we all investigate the laws in our own states.  Pretty vague to me, and it has been suggested that B of A requires such in-depth financial information so that they better know who to target for deficiencies.

While I am hardly a fan of Bank of America, I’ll keep an open mind…but I’m watching closely.  I somehow just don’t trust that protecting the homeowner is their #1 priority.

For information about a short sale in San Diego County please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.

Here is an update on this post!

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