This is Part 5 of an on-going series documenting my most recent experience attempting to use Bank of America's Equator system to complete a short sale. You can find earlier posts in this series at:
Short Sale - Week 1
Short Sale - Week 2
Short Sale - Week 3
Short Sale - Week 4
December 10, 2010
- I send an email to Merna asking for an update on the file. I receive an email telling me the file has been referred to the HAFA program.
- HAFA, or Home Affordable Alternative Program, is part of the government's Making Home Affordable program. HAFA is designed to streamline the process of going through a short sales or foreclosures. It has some real benefits to the seller, but there are specific requirements the seller and the home must meet in order to qualify.
- I email Merna asking why the file has been referred to HAFA without notifying me or the seller.
December 15, 2010
- Merna responds to my email telling me that files are automatically sent to HAFA and I am to contact them for more information. I contact HAFA and am told that some of the documents submitted by the seller are now out of date. Of course, these documents were not out of date when submitted, but because the short sale process takes many weeks, they are now too old. Updated documents must be submitted in order for HAFA qualifications to continue.
December 16, 2010
- HAFA contacts the seller directly and explains the program. They tell her that she must fill out additional documentation and must do so today. The seller explains that she can not possibly get all the documents to HAFA that same day. HAFA tells her she has 24 hours to get the documents into the system.
- I contact HAFA and ask for a list of documents that must be resubmitted, as well as some new forms specific to HAFA. I contact the seller, provide the specific HAFA documents, and discuss the list of additional documents. She and I begin to assemble the documents.
Analysis - Days 29 - 35:
Prior to this week, I felt we were moving through the process at a reasonable pace. In a month we had submitted a deal, completed all of B of A's document requirements, and gotten an appraisal. Transferring the file to HAFA has stopped the negotiation process. There will now be a minimum of a 2 week delay before the file moves forward. However, if it is accepted into the HAFA program, and if HAFA approves the deal, the benefits to the seller are worth it. The question is, will the buyer hang around long enough to close.
As the process drags on, communication is vital. Keep the seller and especially the buyer up to date on what's going on, even if there has been no progress.