Tuesday, July 28, 2009

From the Trenches - A Letter to the President & CEO of Bank of America

July 28, 2009

Kenneth Lewis
President and CEO
Bank of America

cc: Timothy F. Geithner
Secretary of the Treasury
United States

Mr. Lewis:

I am sure you are aware of the myriad of complaints lodged against banks regarding the short-sale process. As someone who has run residential lending divisions of banks and savings and loans, been involved in the closure of lending institutions in the 1980’s, and has held a California real estate broker’s license for 25 years, I am very familiar with and sympathetic towards the lending problems Bank of America inherited from Country Wide. But I wanted to relate to you my most recent experience in an attempt to help you understand why your institution’s short sale program is inefficient.

I listed a home as a short sale in March, 2009. Because this is a condominium, setting a fair market value was not too difficult. In this same complex, there is an identical unit that has gone into foreclosure. I listed our subject property $9,000 above this foreclosure.

Careful to submit all required documents, I had the bank’s approval to move forward with the sale within a month. In May, the seller declared bankruptcy, but in June I received permission, both from the Bank as well as the seller’s attorney, to move forward with the short-sale.

In the middle of June, I submitted an offer to your short-sale department. The offer was at full list price. On July 24 I called to get a status update. I was told the buyer’s offer was rejected. I requested an explanation as to what was wrong with the offer as presented; no explanation was given. I requested a counter-offer; I was told no counter-offer would be supplied. I was simply told to submit a new offer, and the review process would begin again.

Mr. Lewis, I cannot understand how your short-sale department can claim to want to sell this home, yet respond in this manner. This listing is now unsalable. If I raise the list price, I will be so far above market value that, even if another offer comes in, it will not appraise. I can only assume that the bank wishes to foreclose.

Please let me know if the Bank, in fact, prefers to allow the home to go into foreclosure. If that is the case, then I will return the listing to the seller.

Thank for your consideration,

Ida Abelson
Brickyard Realty

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