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Equator now used by more short sale servicers, could this improve the process?

Wells Fargo now uses Equator

A little over a month ago, Wells Fargo officially announced that it was joining the list of servicers that use Equator for the processing of short sales. For those of you who process short sales and are familiar with Equator, this news may have brought you some joy.

Since so much of a short sale negotiator’s time is spent calling the banks, waiting on hold, and confirming the arrival of ever-disappearing faxes, many short sale aficionados prefer Equator. That’s because all of the communication, document submission and negotiation occurs through the online platform. (No more singing along to the hold music)

The scope of Wells Fargo’s use of the platform does not include all loans. In fact, only the following Wells Fargo loans and short sales will now be processed through the Equator system:

  • Wells Fargo Home Mortgage conventional loans (including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac)
  • America’s Servicing Company (ASC) loans
  • Veteran’s Association (VA) loans
  • Home Credit Solution (HCS) loans

Many borrowers may have a Wells Fargo first mortgage and a Wells Fargo HELOC in the second position. In that situation, the short sale processor (you) needs to negotiate with the HELOC department separately. The junior lien would not be handled through Equator.

Is this going to make Wells Fargo short sales easier to process?

In my experience, Wells Fargo always takes exigent interest in minutiae. I’ve been told that printouts were too dark or too light, a box was missing a checkmark, a seller’s signature on page 47 did not match his signature on the Deed of Trust, the unit number was missing from the address on page 6 of the contract.

Unfortunately, this intense focus on the details has not changed when using Equator. The only difference is that instead of receiving a voice mail with a detailed request, you now receive a rejected task message in your email inbox.

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On the bright side, Equator offers flexibility. You can work late into the evening attending to tasks and sending messages so that the Wells Fargo gremlins see your work when they arrive the next day. Thus, the convenience factor is definitely considered a plus.

As you probably already know, you can use the Equator Internet-based short sale platform in order to initiate the short sale process, check the status of a short sale in process, upload documents, and communicate with short sale processors at the bank.

Other mortgage lenders that currently use Equator to process short sales include GMAC, Bank of America, Nationstar, and Service One. What’s interesting is that each bank uses the system in a slightly different manner. So, if you are new to the Equator platform and want to learn more, a good place to start would be with a few of their online tutorials. Fee-based Equator certification programs are also available for those who want to shell out some dough.  It’s a fairly easy system.

If you can follow directions, you can use Equator for your short sales—just make sure that you are not short on patience.

Photo: flickr creative commons by ashleigh290

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Written By

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.


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