Last week I started a short sale process with CitiMortgage and decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to share my experience as it goes. Hopefully in the end, the buyer gets the house, the seller can move on and we can all learn from my trials, tribulations and triumph.
The process originally started with my client, Mr. Seller back in August 2008. He contacted the CitiMortgage Hardship Assistance department in the hopes of restructuring his loan to save his house. Paperwork faxed to a Maryland office (CitiMortgage contact info) included his financials, Hardship Letter explaining his situation and Workable Solutions Application.
Mr. Seller received a letter three (3) weeks later from the Loss Mitigation Department stating he had been assigned to a Loss Mitigation Specialist and that person would be contacting him. The "expected review time for the process" was to be "15-30 days". Unfortunately Mr. Seller did not hear from Mr. Loan Specialist and any further attempts at contact by Mr. Seller resulted in unreturned calls.
Fast forward two (2) months...and we have an offer! After numerous price reductions, I have procured a buyer willing and able to move forward with the purchase of this home. Now it's back to the drawing board with CitiMortgage.
I spent Thursday and Friday last week calling Customer Service & Loan Mitigation, neither of which could give me a straight answer about the short sale process. Both departments requested the Letter of Authorization which had been faxed in with the original package in August...hmm. Customer Service said they would fax a new one to sign within 24-48 hrs (I never received it) and Loan Mitigation said it would be 7-10 days. *** A short cut for this is to have the seller call Loan Mitigation with you conferencing and CitiMortgage will give you a 24 hr access to the account.***
Personally, I wasn't satisfied with that solution so I pressed on. I reached a Customer Service Supervisor that said I could use my own Letter of Authorization with certain language ***I/we hereby release Citi Mortgage Inc. and affiliates, employees, officers, agents and directors from any claim(s) that might arise in connection with this authorization. This authorization will remain in effect until revoked in writing.*** Done.
The entire package was faxed to the Loan Mitigation Department, attn. Mr. Loan Mitigation Specialist with calls into him as well. No response for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. (and yes, I did leave messages every day all three (3) days.) Thursday morning Mr. Seller called Mr Loan Mitigation Specialist's supervisor (notice a pattern here?) and was able to get results! Mr. Loan Mitigation could not help us, hence his lack of response.
Mr Supervisor called me within 10 minutes, stated he understood Mr. Seller's concerns and how could he help. I was (finally) authorized to discuss the account. The file was fast-tracked to a supervisor in Short Sale Mitigation who in turn assigned it to someone in the department. Mr. Short Sale Mitigator contacted me within 3 hours, another very polite and helpful person.
The entire file along with the HUD worksheet was emailed to him but in the meantime, he put in the BPO and appraisal requests...WOW! ***CitiMortgage may require up to two( 2) appraisals and a BPO***.
A broker called me by 11AM today for the BPO. It was done by 1PM with a promise to have it at CitiMortgage by this afternoon. Now the push for the next phase begins.
What have I learned thus far in this transaction? Persistence pays off. Had I waited for the original faxed Letter of Authorization, I'd still be waiting over a week later with no progress. When in doubt, ask for a supervisor. And ask, ask, ask any and all questions about the process, when steps will be taken, who can you call/email and how often. I've done a few of these over the years (I like a challenge) and the best advice...just keep going, as difficult as it may seem. Stay tuned for more!
Specializing in residential, new construction, and commercial real estate in Plymouth, surrounding South Shore towns and Cape Cod & the Islands, Samantha consistently updates her knowledge to provide better service to you.
For a professional real estate consultation with a friendly approach based on honesty, integrity and positive results, please contact Samantha Nichols direct at 508-726-1870 or email at Sam@SamanthaNichols.com. ERA Belsito and Associates is conveniently located at 100 Court Street in Historic Downtown Plymouth, MA 02360.
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