Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Countrywide: Just the "FAX" Please!

Remember when you were little, there was a game when you'd whisper something in someone's ear, and they would whisper it to the next person, etc, and by the time it got to the last person, the story had changed? Well, it still happens in the grown-up world, and it's pretty scary when it happens with something as important as a Short Sale approval. Here is an adult story of how the most careful communications can go awry, threaten closings and impact moving vans and people's lives....

Scenario: Countrywide Short Sale, four months after initial offer submission, 40 phone calls made by listing agent following up on status during that time period... ( I counted them).

Monday: I finally have the negotiator tell me she will approve the Short Sale. She says I should receive the approval letter on Wednesday. I report this to the wearily waiting buyer's agent so he can calm his anxious buyer. The buyer wishes to close immediately.

Wednesday: I call Countrywide to see where the approval letter is, as it was promissed today. The rep says the notes in the file read: "Short Sale approval sent" on Monday! I told him I did not receive a fax. I verified the fax number, and he said he would have it re-faxed. I tested my fax machine to make sure it was working. I checked my e-fax queue to make sure I didn't miss anything. Nope. No fax.

Thursday: I still do not have the approval fax. I call Countrywide and provide an alternate fax number.

Friday: I still do not have the fax. I call Countrywide and provide my email. Meanwhile, the buyer is getting upset, and leaves messages on my voicemail. He tells his agent he has been waiting long enough. He has to cancel his moving truck by 3:00 p.m. I call Countrywide back five times. They said they will "escalate" the problem to upper management, as only the negotiator can fax the approval.

Saturday: Still no fax. I call Countrywide. They are closed.

Monday Morning: Negotiator finally calls my office and speaks with my office manager. She says, "File is NOT approved." She will call me tomorrow. Oh no! How could this be such a serious mistake? I have my sellers moving furniture out the next weekend, and the buyer saying he'll walk if the promissed letter is not delivered and his closing is put off one more time.

Monday Afternoon: I call Countrywide and re-question, how could they tell me the file was approved, when the negotiator says it was not? The new rep checks deeply. She says someone mis-read the notes. She says the check-box in their system where it shows "Approval Letter Faxed" has NOT been checked off. She says the file was only being sent on for final approval. She says each rep I spoke with only looked at the notes from the previous rep's conversation with me, stating the approval fax had not arrived, and it needed to be re-faxed. The rep states she is sorry, and they were in error.

Tuesday: I finally personally talk to the negotiator and explain the can of worms started by her company, the seller with the furniture to move, the buyer with the final closing date and moving truck. She says the approval letter will be faxed, hopefully today. Here I sit, waiting... it is almost 6:00 p.m. Still no fax. I am sure I'll get it tomorrow....

Wednesday Morning: I call Countrywide asking where the approval letter is. They say they need my FAX NUMBER! I am not kidding.

Wednesday 5:02 p.m.:
Approval received!

Best of luck with yours!

It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, CRP, CRS, GRI, ABR Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Specializing in SHORT SALES and FORECLOSURES on the Emerald Coast of Florida: Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, Sandestin, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Crestview, Inlet Beach, Rosemary Beach, Seacrest Beach, Blue Mountain Beach and vicinity.
Call 1-877-487-9639 or 850-650-7883 ext 204

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Anonymous dave said...

I am negotiating short sales and have at least 10 files with C-Wide and every single one has gone to the expedited status but not a single one has closed or been approved. It obviously has something to do with the merger and it ain't getting better any time soon. 3 of these deals are over 1 mill and the loss to the lender is minimal and they still wont execute. My frustration grows as my pocketbook shrinks. All my other deals are going fine and the lenders are taking as low as 60% of what is owed. I feel your pain. C-Wide sucks!


July 15, 2008 at 9:21:00 PM CDT  

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