Tales from the Short Sale Side

A n agent in our Anacortes office received the following email from an attorney client of ours who represents an Estate, we’ll call it the Estate of John Doe, to protect the innocent/dearly departed (I knew him, he was actually “dearly”). I share this email with you for two reasons, first, it’s hilarious and well written. Second, it’s very indicative of the ridiculous hoops folks who are dealing with selling their home short must deal with. The banks, the asset managers, and the government are so backwards and behind in this process it makes it very difficult to get through the process and get the asset (house) back into circulation. Here’s to hoping they get some processes and systems in place to make this easier on the underwater homeowners, or like in this particular case an owner who is no longer with us and whose estate is such that it will not be making any payments, ever.  Here is the email from our friend and client with only the names changed:

“Paul,

I am on the phone with B of A right now. I called at 12:00, and waited on hold for twenty minutes, listening to the most awful music I have ever heard in my life. When someone finally answered, I told him how long I had been waiting and how bad the music was. He said, “Yeah, lots of people tell us that.”   Why don’t they catch a clue?

After a bunch of personal identification information, and telling him that I was the executor of the Estate of John Doe, he asked me, “Is there some reason why John Doe can’t call?” I must say that this stopped me cold. Then, I told him that I didn’t think he took his cell phone with him.

It is now 12:40, and I have been transferred to customer service he couldn’t help me. I have just answered a bunch of questions that have no relevance at all. Now, I have just been told that I am in contact with a debt collection service. Back on hold, but the music is a little better.

12:42: “Please wait.” x 4. Now, the music is back with the message “Please stay on the line. We’ll assist you momentarily.” Time now is 12:45, and I am now being transferred to the short sale department. Back on hold, better music. I seem to be working my way up the music list. Maybe they’ll get to some jazz if I wait long enough. “Please wait.” x 5.

12:48: Live person. Speaks English. We’re making progress.

“What’s the state of this account?”

“Washington”

“No, I don’t mean what state is the property in. I mean what is the state of the account?”

“Its delinquent.”

“No. What is the state of the account?”

“Its past due. Its delinquent.”

“Let me put you on hold for a moment.”

“Oh, this is in an estate. That’s what I was trying to say . . . what is the estate?”

12:58: He is transferring me to someplace where I can give my email address so they send me a temporary I.D. and password.

Back on hold. Aha! Nice piano music. That’s because I am at www.equator and not B of A. You won’t believe this, but “All of our representative are currently assisting other customers.”

1:23: I give up. And, I thought our government was inefficient.”

Frustrating to say the least, more importantly it’s damaging to our economy and slowing a recovery. If these asset managers, banks and the government would operate as if they ran a real business and this inefficiency would allow their competitors to knock them out of business, things might get better. Right now however, our government doesn’t have any competition, and the banks are losing competition each day, so why innovate and excel when mediocrity will do.