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Bank of America's Equator

Mark Cappel
UpdatedJun 28, 2010

Is Bank of America's Equator system working properly? What can I do when it doesn't?

I had was doing a short sale on my investment property in Las Vegas via the Equator system with BOA since 1/10. The agent received the approval letter for short sale on 6/1 but was allowed only 5 days to close. The title company couldn't do it in such a short notice so we missed the deadline. I emailed the bank's vice president and asked for an extension to close the escrow. On 6/4 I received a letter from the negotiator saying the short sale was declined by Fanni Mae, and they may reconsider the short sale if the buyer can increase the offer price or the home owner can make a cash contribution. On 6/7 I was contacted by the Client Relationship Advocacy department of the president's office. I was told that the foreclosure sale date was postponed to 6/21 and that I have to fax them the listing and purchase agreement, required financial docs to their office. Then they will assign a senior negotiator and the short sale will not be done via the Equator System. And that 5 days before the foreclosure sale day I should call and request to postpone the date. But the buyer walked. Starting on 6/14 I had been calling CRA dept multiple times to extend the foreclosure date. Their associates left the advocate in charge the messages, but she never got back to me. On 6/17 we received a new offer and the agent faxed the offer and the docs to the CRA dept. When I called again on 6/21 their associate relayed to me a message from the advocate that she's aware of the foreclosure date and needed time to work on it. On 6/22 the advocate finally returned my calls and said the house did go into auction and was sold because we didn't initiate the short sale via the Equator System. I was really upset and frustrated with the whole situation. I put in a lot of energy and time to try to avoid foreclosure. Since then I have been looking into filing personal bankruptcy to protect the $200k equity on my primary residence in Seattle. WA state allows homestead exemption $125k. What are the chances of the bank serving me a deficiency judgment? Can I still unwind the foreclosure? Can this be a wrongful foreclosure? Is there anything else I can do at this point. Thank you very much for your help in advance.

Equator is a computer database and workflow system developed by a third party and implemented by Bank of America to handle short sales. One of its purposes is to prevent foreclosure on a property that is in the midst of a short sale. Your anecdote illustrates several points: A computer system like Equator is only as good as the people who run it; and Bank of America damaged itself and its customer by foreclosing when you had a short sale offer in hand.

Equator has not solved all of Bank of America's problems. To be fair to Bank of America -- and I have been very critical of Bank of America's performance in handling short sales and foreclosures -- I only hear from readers who have problems. Equator may be a roaring success. Unfortunately, we may never hear how successful and efficient Equator may be because by touting Equator Bank of America will only reinforce how abysmal its performance once was.

Consult with an Nevada or Washington attorney about the possibility of unwinding the foreclosure. Also, provide all of the information you have regarding the sale of the property, and in particular the excuse you were given regarding your property not being in the Equator system. You may have a cause of action against Bank of America for negligence.

In our opinion Bank of America Mortgage appears to be a good choice for many folks looking for a loan, but check our our review and see if you agree.

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