I recently had an experience with Bank of America that really highlights why regular homeowners feel like they can’t accomplish anything with the banks. A while back I submitted a short sale to Bank of America for approval. I used the standard online system they prefer, but it gave me an error message indicating it had to be entered manually. So I called them up to do it manually, and was told that no, this submission does not need to be done manually, it has to be entered in the website. I invited him to try it himself, and he discovered that I was correct, and agreed to enter it manually. After that I was to wait for a negotiator to be assigned. I called back after the proper time had passed, and one had not been assigned, so I requested a priority, and they assured me one would be assigned in 48 hours. I gave them an extra day and called back the third day. Still no negotiator. So I put in a higher priority request, and was assured that this would go to upper management, and would definitely be done in 48 hours. After 3 days I called back again, and still no negotiator. So I put in a third request, which was ultra-high priority and they swore that it was of such high priority that nothing would stop a negotiator being assigned in the next 48 hours. I gave them a week this time, and called back. Still no negotiator. At this point I had some words with them, and was promised that this time the request would go directly to a vice president. Well finally I heard back. No, a negotiator was not yet assigned, it was a message from the vice president telling me that the delay was my fault for entering the short sale manually, instead of online, on their website that wouldn’t accept the short sale. He then promised a negotiator would definitely be assigned really soon.
I think about this kind of situation happening to me, an experienced real estate attorney, and wonder what regular homeowners are supposed to do when dealing with these guys. Every time I do a homeowner workshop that has a bank representative speaking there, they tell everyone that they don’t need an attorney for anything; the bank will work with them and give them all they need, but over and over I see them prove otherwise.
I’ve recently made plans to attend Bank of America’s shareholder meeting in Charlotte this May. I have some things to say to them.