Bank of America short sales: navigating Equator

March 21, 2012

A different kind of equator

If you hear the word ‘equator’ associated with a real estate transaction, this does not mean that the property in question is located somewhere near the middle of the globe. It simply means that the short sale transaction (perhaps the property that you are listing, buying or selling) is being processed through an online (Internet-based) platform called Equator.

As of the time of this writing, the online platform, Equator, is used by Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Nationstar, GMAC, and Service One. While each of these banks uses the system differently, the bottom line is that the use of an online system for communication between real estate agents and the bank aids significantly in facilitating communication. Historically, the banks are notoriously slow and inefficient in processing paperwork and approving short sales. Through the online platform, documents are uploaded and messages are sent. There is no need to send faxes or make toll-free calls, and those two facts alone improve efficiency.

How Bank of America is different.

One of the unique attributes of Bank of America’s short sale processing via Equator is with respect to the buyer. At the beginning of the processing sequence, the individual (usually the real estate agent) who is processing the short sale receives a request for the first five digits of the buyer’s social security number as well as other personal information about the buyer (birth date, address, phone, loan information).

When Bank of America added this tier to their short sale triage a few years back, we were advised that that this new step would help to assure that any transactions entering their system were not fraudulent in nature. And, believe it or not, Bank of America actually does verify the information you provide.

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If you are buying or processing a Bank of America short sale in Equator, be prepared to provide this personal information along with your offer. If the buyer is unwilling to provide the requested information, that’s a tough nut to crack. Bank of America is generally unwilling to move forward without the buyer’s personal info; it doesn’t matter whether your offer is all cash and hundreds of thousands over asking price. Rules are rules, so be prepared to play by ‘em when it comes to Bank of America and the Equator system.

Her royal hat-ness You can say toe-may-to, and I can say toe-ma-toe, but we both need to spell it properly unless we want to come off like morons, no? Well, you decide. The MLS apparently has come out with a new dictionary I didn't know about: The MLS Garble Edition. Read it…
Sales down this moth, up over the year After signs of improving, existing home sales (completed transactions) fell 0.9 percent in February from January, but remain 8.8 percent higher than February 2011, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Sales rose in the South and Midwest but were unable…

Melissa Zavala is the Broker/Owner of Broadpoint Properties and Head Honcho of Short Sale Expeditor®, and Chief Executive Officer of Transaction 911. Before landing in real estate, she had careers in education and publishing. Most recently, she has been able to use her teaching and organizational skills while traveling the world over—dispelling myths about the distressed property market, engaging and motivating real estate agents, and sharing her passion for real estate. When she isn’t speaking or writing, Melissa enjoys practicing yoga, walking the dog, and vacationing at beach resorts.


  1. Common.. the “Bank of America”, lets be more efficient. Make us feel proud to be with you

  2. Money creation whenever a bank gives out a loan in a fractional-reserve banking system, a new sum of virtual money is created.

  3. Credit card companies in some countries have been accused by consumer organizations of lending at usurious interest rates and making money out of frivolous “extra charges”.

  4. Why is it that so many sets of documents need to be uploaded many times? Many people are seeing that the bank “never receives” documents that have been uploaded to equator, even 2 or 3 times!

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