“When the Banks Won’t Budge #1”

Monday, March 22, 2010
Master Short Sale Negotiations

The Urge to Not Judge

Tuesday, September 22, 2009
My dog, Coda, is a toy poodle. She thinks she's a mountain goat. Can climb steep rock and cliff faces, as good as any ram. Doesn't need a leash. She obeys commands and sticks by my wife, daughter, or me whenever she's out for a walk.

Four weeks ago I was walking my dog on Bell Rock Trail, just down the block from our house. Dirt trails that wind around spectacular red rock canyons.

As I was rounding a bend, my cell phone rang. I answered it. A woman walking her black lab was passing me as I talked on the phone. Coda was right behind me. All of a sudden this woman was yelling at me.

"Hey, ya Chucklehead! Is that phone call more important than your dog?! Huh? Ya Chucklehead!!

Sweet Myrtle! Where did that come from?

My first impulse, my first bodily reaction when someone attacks me like this, is to pounce on them with my words. Usually with something sarcastic or quippy. A REACTIVE retort at the very least.

However, I didn't do that. For some reason, I didn't offer a 'come back' to her attack. I didn't go to that place. My brain was working on some other plane. Neurons of compassion instead of anger were firing away.

What came out of my mouth was, "Thank you."

When I got home, I told my wife what happened. It really affected me.

For the next few weeks, I would jokingly approach my wife and refer to myself as a Chucklehead. I had no anger or animosity toward this woman, and figured something must have been going on in her life to react the way she did. I didn't judge her for it. Nor did I condemn her.

Every time I walked the trail with my dog from that day on, I wondered what would happen if I bumped into her again. I heard the word "Chucklehead" in my head. I'd never been called a Chucklehead before, but I'm guessing what I was feeling was how an actual Chucklehead must feel.

Yesterday I took my dog to the trail again. As I walked on a narrow stretch of path, guess who was coming toward me with her dog? I picked up Coda so she could pass me. As she passed, she stopped and looked at me.

She said, "I owe you an apology. I was really rude to you last month and you handled it really well, with what you said. I'm sorry. I was having a bad day."

I said, "I appreciate the apology. Thank you." As she walked away, I called to her.
"What's you're name?"
"I'm Dean."

I watched as she walked with her dog toward the main trail.

Now when we're out on the trail, we can pass each other and say hi. And I am no longer a Chucklehead.

I remember this whenever I'm talking to loss mitigators at the bank. Aware of the crappy day they may be having. To show compassion, to realize what they're going through has nothing to do with me. And by caring, you can change their day.

I Wanna Smack Seth Godin

Wednesday, September 16, 2009
You heard me. I wanna smack Seth Godin. Not because he done me wrong, or got up in my face, but because he provokes. He stirs up my soup. He says things that deep down you know you should be questioning about yourself and your business, things you cover up and hate to admit to, but never do.

The guy pushes buttons. He pushes my buttons. One minute I'm reading his blog or one of his books and get all excited about some new idea or blazing insight or unique spin on an old paradigm, and the next I'm ticked at myself for not following through on something, or zooming, or looking at my business the way I should be looking at it...like through a ferocious lens. (He'll appreciate the 'lens' reference...squidoo)

He's provoked me a lot lately. The provocation is usually a fine mix of inspiration and self flagellation. I get all hepped up about the idea, ready to implement, can't wait to show the world the light bulb glowing above my head, while at the same time saying to myself, "Well why didn't I think of that! How come I'm not already doing that? It's so darn obvious!"

I'm going to keep reading Seth Godin. He's got my attention. And that's a good thing.

Miracle of Miracles...The Short Sale Lender Called ME!

Saturday, September 12, 2009
I got a call from a loss mitigator yesterday. Did I just get punk'd by Ashton Kutcher?

When I saw the red hold button blinking on my phone, and my office manager IM'd me that this particular mitigator was on hold, my body reacted as if someone needed immediate medical attention. "Drop everything!! Get a doctor!! Code Blue!!"

You always HOPE that the bank will call you back. They rarely do, but despite the fact you still hold on to that tiny shred of hope, that morsel of divine intervention.

This was a 2nd lienholder. We were waiting on approval from them, to take $1500 on a $20k payoff. We already had approval from the 1st, and the funding close date is 10days away.

So as I stared at the hold button, I hesitated to release it. As I have a tendency to do sometimes, my mind raced to the worst case scenarios...

The mitigator was calling to say they wanted full payoff and wouldn't settle for less.

They were calling to say they knew about the simultaneous closing and no dice, they'll take the house to auction.

They needed 600 more days to review the file.

They had to do another BPO.

He was leaving the company and another mitigator was taking over the file.

The FDIC just raided them and were being absorbed by Bank of America.

The loan was bundled in a CDO and they couldn't find the note.

I picked up the phone. His name was Mark. He said he was calling to say he was writing up his review for submission, and his opinion to the investor was to approve the deal. He'd have an answer for my by Monday or Tuesday. I thanked him and hung up the phone.

I took myself off the oxygen tanks and breathed a sigh of relief. And then something happened. I felt really special. Heck, I should feel special. Nobody else gets a return phone call from loss mitigation.

Is it okay to feel cocky sometimes?

End Buyer Funding on a Short Sale

Wednesday, September 9, 2009
If you're having issues and snafus closing your short sale deals because of your end buyer's lender, you may want to look at controlling that aspect of the deal. It's becoming more and more prevalent these days that snags arise as conventional lending guidelines and seasoning issues get goofier and goofier.

I found that when I have an end buyer use my lender, there aren't any problems in closing deals. But when the end buyer uses their lender, the chance for something going haywire is so much greater.

This happened to me last week. As soon as I got short sale approval, I told my listing agent that I wanted to shuffle the buyer to my lender. She said the buyer is pretty insistent on using their mortgage broker. I called the broker and introduced myself. I explained that since short sales are so time sensitive, and had to close by a certain date, that I preferred to have the buyer use our lender, who can close very quickly.

The broker said she had 21 years experience with fast closings and VA loans. She never had a problem. The buyer was a vet. Against my better judgment, I didn't press the issue to use my lender. BIG MISTAKE. 7 days before the close date, and 8 days before the foreclosure auction, the buyer didn't qualify for his VA entitlement. I was ticked at myself for not following through. This could have been avoided entirely if I used my guy.

We immediately put another offer in to the short sale lender. The investor was Freddie Mac. They declined the offer, saying it was too close to the auction to review and they wouldn't postpone. So they took it to sale.

All I can say is: control as many aspects of the short sale as possible.