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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.


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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.

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