Previous month:
February 2011
Next month:
April 2011

March 2011

Bank of America Changes to Short Sale Initiation in Equator effective March 11, 2011

In case you missed this recent correspondence from Bank of America - here is an update on recent changes changes when initiating a transaction in Equator, beginning March 11.

Bofa home loans

What Is Changing:

New fields will be required when initiating short sales in Equator. Agents should be prepared to provide the following information regarding the loan and the homeowner's situation:

  • Loan Number
  • New: Borrower First Name
  • Borrower Last Name
  • New: Property Best Contact Telephone
  • Reason for Default
  • New: Do you have a signed purchase contract?
  • New: What is the property's primary purpose?
  • New: Who currently occupies the property?
  • New: When was the property last occupied by the homeowner?

How This Change Will Improve the Short Sale Process:

Providing this information upfront will help Bank of America identify if the homeowner is eligible to participate in the federal government's Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative (HAFA) program. If the homeowner is eligible, Equator will generate a message informing the agent that the homeowner must contact Short Sale Customer Care at 866.880.1232 to discuss their interest in the HAFA program. Although several attempts to contact the homeowner will be made, agents are encouraged to ask the homeowner to contact Bank of America as soon as possible, which will speed up the process.

Actions for Agents:

  • Complete all required fields in the Initiation task of Equator.
  • Agents who receive a "HAFA Action Required" message in Equator should inform the homeowner to call Short Sale Customer Care at 1.866.880.1232 as soon as possible to keep the process moving.
  • If there is an offer on a HAFA eligible loan and the homeowner decides to opt out of HAFA, the homeowner will still need to contact Short Sale Customer Care at 1.866.880.1232 to confirm this decision, so the traditional short sale process can continue.

Additional Information:

For HAFA eligible loans, agents cannot move forward in the process until Bank of America has established contact with the homeowner. The traditional short sale process will continue for loans that are not eligible for HAFA. Although agents may be an authorized third party, per Treasury guidelines, the HAFA program requires the homeowner to independently acknowledge interest in a HAFA short sale.

Once contact has been established with the homeowner, they will be asked additional questions to confirm their eligibility for HAFA. These questions include: whether they have participated in a modification program, have a desire to sell their property and if they agree with the short sale program they are pursuing.

HAFA has many benefits for homeowners including:

  • $3,000 assistance in relocation
  • Deficiency waived and
  • No promissory note/cash contribution

It is recommended that agents discuss all options, including HAFA, with the homeowner before marketing the property. If interested, homeowners should contact Short Sale Customer Care at 1.866.880.1232 to determine HAFA eligibility.

Please view the updated HAFA guide for enhanced information regarding the HAFA process.


Real Estate Professionals - Don't Miss the Next Las Vegas Live Short Sale Training

Learn more about the CFAC Designation (Certified Foreclosure Alternatives Consultant)


Las Vegas Homeowners and Buyers:

Jan O’Brien is an expert with the Las Vegas short sale process.   She is the co-author of the Certified Foreclosure Alternatives Consultant designation course.   Call Jan direct at 702-858-9191 to schedule a Foreclosure Alternatives Consultation today.

Considering a Las Vegas Home purchase?  Search all Las Vegas Homes for Sale using our free, interactive map-based search.

Search all Las Vegas Foreclosures, including Henderson, Green Valley and North Las Vegas bank-owned homes.


Join the WBNL Coaching Wanderers Club - The online, virtual coaching and training platform for Real Estate and Business Professionals.

Your basic, FREE membership includes:

WBNL Coaching Real Estate Business Plan Online Course and Downloads

Earnest Money Disputes in Las Vegas Real Estate Transactions

An icon from the Crystal icon theme.Image via Wikipedia

As a Broker-Manager with over 18 years experience, I would have to say that the one issue I deal with most often is earnest money disputes.  The challenge with earnest money being released after a cancellation of escrow, is that the Escrow Company will not release the funds without mutual, written agreement by both parties.  Many times after a cancellation of escrow, one or both parties are upset and disagree as to who should have the earnest money. 

The purchase agreement may contain language stating the earnest money to be refunded to the buyer in the event they do not qualify for the loan. 

Even the GLVAR Short Sale Addendum clearly states:  "Buyer may cancel the Purchase Agreement for any reason and without penalty any time after 45, 60 or 90 days  from Acceptance if Lender Approval has not been received. Upon Buyer's cancellation, Seller agrees to execute cancellation instructions with ESCROW HOLDER and return EMD to Buyer."

Another trend I am seeing recently:  Listing agent/Seller counters the purchase agreement to remove the contingency for loan approval after a specific number of days or the earnest money to become non-refundable after the due diligence period.  While I believe this to be a sound technique to support the seller and strengthen the transaction, it goes without saying that buyers should not enter an agreement to purchase a property if they are not 100% certain they want to purchase.  And of course, they are 100% qualified and approved for financing.

Even though that language is clear, the specific circumstances in the transaction may lead the Seller to feel that the buyer did not act in good faith.  Or conversely, the buyer may feel the seller did not perform to the contract specifications.  There are always two sides to the story.
This contract language can ultimately support the buyer or seller in prevailing in a mediation or court action if there are no other issues.

One solution to consider is to negotiate and perhaps split the EM.  Often times, this is the result in mediation or court action, if there are clearly equal points for both sides.

The following information is taken from a form we provide our clients at Realty ONE Group to explain Earnest Money disputes and the steps to take/ things you need to know:

1. Your earnest money deposit will be deposited with the Escrow Company or Title
Company handling your transaction. The escrow/title company is a neutral third party
that follows the buyer and seller’s joint escrow instructions.

2. Your agent and broker have no authority over the escrow/title company. Therefore,
neither your agent nor your broker has authority to direct the payment of the earnest

3. If your transaction is cancelled for some reason, your right to the earnest money will
depend on whether there was a default under the contract and if so, who is the party in

4. A default is defined as: The omission or failure to perform a legal or contractual duty;
failure to observe a promise or discharge an obligation.

5. Your contract contains several terms and obligations imposed upon each party (buyer and
seller) to the contract. When you do not perform the terms of your contract you may be
deemed in default.

6. Your contract contains a default provision that you should be familiar with because it
will dictate what happens in the even buyer or seller defaults under the contract. It also
mentions what will happen to the earnest money in the event of a default.

7. Neither the escrow company nor your agent has the authority to decide who defaulted
under the contract. Only a court of law can make that decision.

8. If a dispute arises regarding who is entitled to the earnest money, an escrow/title
company will usually hold the money until buyer and seller reach a mutual written
agreement or the escrow/title company is presented with a court order directing payment.

9. If, in your contract, you agreed to mediate, you must pursue mediation before the Greater
Las Vegas Association of REALTORS®. If mediation fails, you may then pursue a
court action. For more information and to download the Mediation Request form, visit:

10. If mediation failed to settle the matter, or you have no obligation to mediate you may
pursue the other party in court (usually small claims if the earnest money is under $5,000).

11. Small Claims actions are under the jurisdiction of the Justice Court. You may obtain
forms and proper procedures by visiting their office on the second floor of the Clark
County Courthouse, 200 S. Third Street. To find out more information and get the filing
guidelines please visit the following website.

12. If the court hears the matter and concludes you are entitled to the earnest money, it will enter
a judgment in your favor. Then you can present that judgment to the escrow company, which
will honor it.

This is not legal advice. If you have any questions regarding your legal rights, you should
seek the advice of an attorney.

Jan O'Brien
Corporate Broker
Realty ONE Group
Las Vegas, NV

Discover the power of business coaching – Book a Free 30-minute consultation with Jan

Las Vegas Short Sale Certification Training (CFAC) Saturday, March 26th

CFAC℠ Designation Course
Las Vegas Short Sale Training
Certified Foreclosure Alternatives Consultant℠

Trainers: Jan O'Brien, Steven Kitnick, & Attorney Robert Noggle

Saturday, March 26th, 2011 | 9:00 am to 4:00 pm includes Lunch
iMortgage 9139 W. Russell Rd., #100, Las Vegas, NV 89148

Just West of the 215 Beltway at W. Russell Rd. in the Desert Canyon
Business Park ~ Look for the Johnson, Jacobson, Wilcox Building behind
the Bank of George. From 215 Beltway exit Russell Rd., take Jerry
Tarkanian Way to W. Oquendo Rd.

$109 (Reg. $229 ~ Save $120)

Register ONLINE Now or call (702) 255-8722


CFAC Course Flyer: Download Cfac_march26_2011_flyer1

Course content includes:

  • Using the Educational / Consultative Approach
  • Advanced Communication & Negotiation Techniques
  • Current Market Trends & Stats
  • HAMP & HAFA Updates
  • Understanding all Alternatives to Foreclosure
  • A Complete Short Sale Listing System
  • Effectively Working With Short Sale Buyers
  • Loss Mitigation and Servicer Processing Tips
  • How to Reduce Your Risk & Liability in Today’s Market
  • Legal & Tax Ramifications for the Short Sale Seller
  • Implementing the CFAC Business Model for Your Continued Success

This course is sponsored by Steven Kitnick Seminars, LLC and is approved by the Nevada Real Estate Commission for continuing education credit. Cancellation/Refund Policy. There are no refunds.


Join the Wanderers Club for $67/mth membership fee to access all of the member benefits including monthly training webinars, group coaching sessions, online training courses, private Facebook and LinkedIn Groups.

FREE Basic membership is free and includes:

WBNL Coaching Real Estate Business Plan Online Course and Downloads

Short Sale Commander 5.0 - Web-Based Short Sale Transaction Management

Short Sale Commander is 100% web-based transaction management and short sale processing software for agents and brokers that negotiate short sales.

Data shows that real estate professionals utilizing Short Sale Commander as a short sale processing and negotiation tool have a closing ratio five times the estimated national average, which is 14 percent.  Short Sale Commander is more than just a database system-it's a complete management solution with the essential ingredients to work smarter, minimize risk and cut costs in today's changing market.

Features Include:

  • 100% Web based
  • MAC Compatible
  • Detailed Task Manager
  • Online Document Storage
  • Short Sale Package Creator
  • Full Email Capability
  • Multiple Offers Dashboard
  • 7-Step Progress Indicators
  • Advanced activity logs with time-stamping functions
  • Lender contact management with note capability

You can't drive your business if you can't see it. With Short Sale Commander, the nation's premier short sale management software, you always have a clear, real-time view into your business operations so you can make informed business decisions and eliminate surprises.

  • Multi-User, 100% web based login capability
  • Customization of guest access and visibility
  • Create, Assign and Track Task Management
  • Manage Pipeline views for enhanced reporting
  • Quickly filter your pipeline by any category
  • Easily see all offers and end buyer financing for each property
  • Report on estimated profits in the next 30-60-90 days

Free 14 Day Trial - Give Short Sale Commander a Test Drive!

Real Estate Professionals - Don't Miss the Next Las Vegas Live Short Sale Training

Learn more about the CFAC Designation (Certified Foreclosure Alternatives Consultant)

Are you ready for coaching? Take your business to the next level today. Schedule a complimentary 30-minute coaching session today to find out more.

Let us be your virtual coach as well.  Learn at your own pace and on your own schedule.  Our on-demand online courses integrate multi-media with an intuitive learning management system. Learn more about becoming a member of our community at WBNL Coaching.