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Short Sales and Bank of America Policy Statement

February 13, 2013  |  by Michelle

Some Real Estate licensees have received correspondence from Bank of America regarding the entering of Short Sales in the MLS and the marketing of properties. Certain policies proposed by Bank of America violate the MRIS Rules and Regulations and, in certain circumstances, may violate the Code of Ethics and state licensing law. A number of MRIS customers reached out to us with questions regarding Bank of America’s new policy statement and compliance with MRIS Rules and Regulations.

Bank of America, as well as other lending institutions, may not be aware of the legal and ethical obligations that Real Estate professionals must adhere to. As a result, some policy decisions by the lending institutions are made in a vacuum. The National Association of REALTORS® reached out to Bank of America to educate them on REALTOR® obligation to the Code of Ethics and to their MLS policy rules. Lending institutions are also subject to regulation and ethical behavior, which should make it easier for those institutions to understand the Real Estate profession’s obligations.

Based on this new information, Bank of America is going to review their policy on the listing of short sales in the MLS.

**MRIS blogs on a variety of subjects. Not every blog will affect or is intended for every MRIS customer. This blog was intended for those customers and their sellers who received correspondence from Bank of America. If you do not currently have a seller who has been contacted by Bank of America about a potential short sale, then this blog does not pertain to you.

Posted in Blog, Compliance, Industry News

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9 responses to “Short Sales and Bank of America Policy Statement”

  1. David Zadareky says:

    What are the policies?

  2. Glenda Cherry says:

    Why would you write a blog post about new policies and the legal and ethical issues but not describe the policies or the issues? Do you guys understand the purpose of a blog? What a total waste of time …

  3. jennifer boyce says:

    But can you still alert us to what BoA is telling agents and sellers? This is the reason most people probably clicked onto this blog link. Thanks!

  4. Christie Lane Craven says:

    Here is what the email I received said. The big problem with it is that they are asking us to hold properties in the "Active" status category when we have already received an offer and are still waiting on bank approval. Clearly, this is a violation of our MRIS rules. –

    In our continued effort to ensure acceptable and fair marketing activity for all short sales, this is a reminder that Bank of America requires all properties to be listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

    The property must have been listed prior to the acceptance of an offer. All offers must be submitted by the buyer subsequent to the listing date, and the property must be marketed on the MLS until a short sale approval letter is issued. Any property not listed on the MLS may experience processing delays, and/or the Short Sale file may be declined.

    The following actions can help prevent processing delays and/or file declines.

    List the property on the MLS and include all basic property detail, including:

    Number of beds/baths, square footage, lot size, year built, location, interior features, etc.
    All known property information used to market the property to prospective buyers.
    Alternative language such as "unknown" or "unavailable" should be used – instead of leaving fields blank – when you encounter certain property characteristics that may be unknown via public record (e.g., Property taxes, deed information, and other fees).

    Ensure the MLS remarks and/or comments do not reflect unacceptable language such as:

    "Do not disturb homeowner, property not available for viewing"
    "Bank has already approved the short sale"
    "Cash offers only"
    "Preapproval through listing agent lender only"

    Ensure the listing status is current and active on the MLS until a short sale approval letter is issued
    Per investor guidelines, additional documents may be required and will be communicated, as applicable, by the Short Sale Specialist."

  5. Stacy says:

    I agree with my peers. This was the most least informative Blog that I have ever come across. How do we police ourselves, become informed, help each other if the information isn't shared. Really?

  6. Dave Ingram says:

    Is this the same MRIS that helped us with showing instructions last week? Thanks for the non useful clicks.

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