Sunday, May 23, 2010

BofA: Lenders getting better on short sales

by J. Craig Anderson The Arizona Republic May 23, 2010

Hundreds of real-estate agents in Tempe on Friday witnessed a rare guest appearance by the boogeyman.

While only willing to accept partial responsibility for past misdeeds, he reassured the group gathered at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel for a short-sale conference hosted by Distressed Property Institute LLC that he had seen the light and was mending his ways.

The boogeyman was Bank of America, represented by Matt Vernon, a personable and wholesome-looking fellow in charge of foreclosures and short sales.

His message was simple: The lending industry realizes it has done a poor job of processing short-sale applications, but don't judge it too harshly, because short sales are complicated.

Part two of the message was that banks are getting better at short sales, and Vernon presented some data to back him up.

In April, Bank of America approved 18,000 short sales, compared with just 12 short sales in November 2007, the month in which home foreclosures first showed a noticeable spike.

"The industry I work in was not set up to facilitate short-sale transactions at the scale we have to (in the current housing market)," he said. "You've got a complex transaction, with many interested parties."

Those parties often include multiple lenders, mortgage insurers, private investors and others, he noted.

Vernon admitted the banking industry was slow to assemble a short-sale bucket brigade once it was clear foreclosures were about to explode.

It has dramatically shortened the amount of time short sales take - from an average of 89 days to 52 days.

Read more:

BofA: Lenders getting better on short sales

Real Estate News

HootSuite - Social Media Dashboard