Friday, November 6, 2009
BofA Implements Equator (REOTrans) Platform, as Short Sales Gain Ground
10/22/2009 By: Carrie Bay, reporter for DS News
California-based Equator (formerly known as REOTrans) says it has launched the industry's first-ever short sale module for a large national lender.
Although Equator declined to name the lender, the San Francisco Chronicle has reported that Bank of America is the company in question. A representative from BofA recently told the paper that they were using the Equator platform to manage the short sale process. "This is the first time that short sales have been handled through an electronic platform," said Equator CEO Chris Saitta. "With our new system, everyone works together in real time, dramatically improving communication and approval timelines for our client, its borrowers, vendors, and real estate agents."
Short sales, in which a lender and borrower reach an agreement to dispose of a property threatened by foreclosure at a price that is "short" of the amount owed on the mortgage, have become more popular among lenders lately as a viable method for dealing with distressed properties. According to Equator, the number of successful short sales has increased spectacularly across the country in the wake of the foreclosure crisis.
Kevin Kieffer, a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Danville, California, told the Chronicle, "A year ago I wouldn't touch a short sale. It would be random prices banks wouldn't agree to, you would be tied up six months hoping to get a property sold. But now we're seeing banks up front negotiating prices and giving us criteria. They're getting creative to make things move."
Equator says the keys to a successful short sale are accessibility, responsiveness, communication, and fulfillment. By adopting its short sale platform, the company says large lenders, such as the unnamed Bank of America, can ensure troubled borrowers have 24/7 access to a portal through which they can provide the necessary information to process a short sale and receive real-time status updates electronically.
"Short sales can be a daunting, complicated, frustrating task for everyone involved," Saitta said. "This fresh approach using our sophisticated platform makes it fast and efficient for all parties involved."
Equator's short sale module also automates decisioning for the lender, handles approvals for faster turnaround, provides quick fulfillment, and assures full compliance with government programs, Saitta said.