Fastest (and slowest) short sale servicers

Lenders are taking heat from buyers, sellers and Realtors® for the length of time and complexity involved in going through a short sale. You’ve probably got your hunches about which banks are the worst to deal with and which ones take the most time to complete a transaction. Well, HousingWire magazine recently published a list ranking selected major mortgage servicers by how quickly they conduct short sales. Here’s the scoreboard:

  • Quickest: GMAC, averaging about 6 months per transaction
  • 2nd fastest: CitiMortgage, about 7.5 months per transaction
  • 3rd place: Wells Fargo, roughly 8 months per transaction
  • Last: Countrywide (Bank of America) at 13 months per transaction

Any surprises?

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20 Responses to Fastest (and slowest) short sale servicers

  1. Eileen Knode says:

    Did Housewire provide the stats for the number of homes that were foreclosed on while the property is under contract as a short sale? Just saying….

  2. Tom Duckett says:

    My current B of A Short sale was foreclosed on in June, right in the middle of the short sale. They listed it with a REO agent. I kept working on the SS contract through Equator, the investor accepted it, is going to reverse the foreclosure and we close this coming Friday, 8/27/10. But this whole thing started Dec 21, 2009. Weird, but least I’m beating the average!

  3. @Tom-Rock on!!! That is awesome!!!

  4. BoA being last is as certain as the sun rising every morning. But I certainly didn’t think GMAC would have been first. Thanks for sharing this information.

  5. Just curious if anyone has experience with banks approving short sales when the loan is NOT in default?

    By the way, GMAC… in my most recent transaction, approved the SS in 10 days; and all of the banks are working much faster than the time frames listed above.

  6. Angie says:

    Yes. I was able to get one done last year through Aurora Loan Servicing. They are excellent to work with and very proactive.

  7. Angie says:

    I just had 2 short sales and were told 7 days prior to the foreclosure date that it was going into foreclosure. This is information that Bank of America knew about but did not inform the listing agents of the foreclosure until the last minute. Foreclosure notices go to vacant properties and to renters in many cases and the owner is not aware of it. You would think that Bank of America will let the listing agent know through Equator and give a heads up to their real estate partner after working with them for 6 months.
    The 2 loans belonged to Fannie Mae and they are not delaying foreclosures anymore due to the cost involved at least in VA. Bank of America is trying to improve their process but there is a lot to be desired when it comes to customer service and sense of urgency.

  8. Lenn Harley says:

    What time frame?? Some believe that the time to approve is improving. That information would be helpful to put this information into context.

  9. BoA being last is as certain as the sun rising every morning. But I certainly didn’t think GMAC would have been first.

  10. Has anyone here had any positive engagements with the HAFA program?

  11. Ouch . . . too bad all this data will never make headlines in the mainstream press. This kind of report could rally some shareholders to make some much needed changes at these companies.

  12. Richard Dale-Mesaros says:

    Hey Josh,

    I’ve got a project for you: see if you can get Dateline or another of those investigative repoerts on TV to cover the gross mismanagement by the banks, including the above, but also why they say no to a short sale with an investor, take it back at auction (costing them $—), not even list it for six months, then finally list it for say nine months, during which time they pay a ton of expenses, then accept an offer through a Realtor for less than the investor was originally offering. Where’s the oversight in THAT?

    Hope you can pull it off….


    Richard :)

  13. I wish it were that easy, Richard! It is a mad world we’re in. Unfortunately, a few bad investors ruin it for the bulk of us; the bias against investors is so bad that few outsiders (the media in particular) can see that these people facilitate faster deals, save many from continued strife, and do an important service.

    Drop me an email – josh at biggerpockets — maybe you could help us put something together that we can get out there.


  14. I actually wrote to President Obama about this situation about a year ago. I identified myself as a full-time professional REALTOR, and described the problems that many are putting out there in this comments section, extrapolating them into what this may mean to the economy as a whole; homes getting foreclosed while short sales are in the works, neighborhood values plummeting everywhere we look because of this broken process.

    I asked him to intervene in order to create accountability on the bank’s part for the good of everyone involved. I guess I figured that while he was intervening all over the place, it might not hurt to make a personal request on behalf of all of us who feel this pain…

    A few months later I received a form letter sympathizing with me for having trouble keeping up with my payments, assuring me that in this economy I am not alone… I was sent information on the HAMP program, and saving my home from foreclosure. WHAT?? My payments are fine! Whoever was screening that mail totally missed the point.

    It was depressing, but I’m still glad that I tried – even as some were calling me naive. And I guess they were right.

    I agree with pulling the media in. Been talking with some other agents about that for a while, now. Seems to be the only way to get fire on a topic.


  15. John Clark says:

    I’m with Alex–no question about B of A being last. Worst of all, they keep changing their requirements and procedures regarding short sale approval. 13 months is ridiculous. Homeowners just don’t have that kind of time to wait these days.

  16. Richard Dale-Mesaros says:

    Thanks Shannon!

    Here’s a real example of this rubbish: one of my partners (Realtor) had an offer 0f $179k on a house that was in a short sale with $190k+ owed on the mortgage; bank denied the offer, house went to foreclosure, no-one bid anywhere close to what was owed, bank took it back. SIX months later, house goes on the market for $179k and after a further six months or so, the bank accepted an offer of $90k (less commission!)…… $89k less than the short sale offer. Who knows how many millions the banks are squandering in this fashion, it’s sad.


    Richard :)

  17. Jean Kerry says:

    The banks must be making money on this. I have a cash deal and we are nine months and counting awaiting a answer. Citi Bank holds the second.

  18. I guess I should be thankful – my Bank of America short sale listing only took from 12/7/09 to end of July 2010 to close! But the interesting thing was that when we could not originally get the sale closed by the time the original approval for the short sale expired, the foreclosure sale was scheduled & BofA would not postpone the short sale to give us a few extra days to close! The foreclosure sale was postponed, but no one told us. We had to resubmit the short sale through Equator and they “fast tracked” it and we got a new approval within a month and the transaction closed! 3 days after the transaction closed, the bank was funded, the promissory note signed by the seller was sent to the MI company, the MI company closed out the file as “worked out” – my clients got a letter that said that a foreclosure sale was now scheduled for a few days later!!! It all ended up working out, but having BofA as the slowest of all the lenders is absolutely no surprise to me!

  19. Todd Hawkins says:

    Now we know why GMAC was so fast! (They had a manager not reading through and just signing affidavits like a copier.) I think we’ll likely see a shuffling of the rankings!

  20. Doug Francis says:

    I have found that when I tell home buyers it might take six months or more and then it might not work out, well, they think I am kidding. It does sound crazy, but you have to be a little crazy to enter into this relationship knowing the other party is going to be acting… schizoid at best!

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