How to beat a bank in 5 days: Part II
The following is the second part to the blog series “How to beat a bank in 5 days: http://movetobend.com/2011/03/how-to-beat-a-bank-in-5-days-part-i/
Day 3: Day 1 and 2 consisted of mad scrambling to get each and every document to the lender. After running around town and a tremendous effort by the owners of the home, the bank received the last document they needed last night at 6pm (my time). I called in the morning to verify receipt only to find out the gentleman handling the file and his boss/supervisor were both out of the office for the day. Luckily, the woman I spoke to was the same one I spoke to the day before. She not only confirmed receipt, but had her supervisor (as I am typing this, I just realized this bank has a ton of supervisors) help escalate the file and get it to the loss mitigation department (insert ominous music here). She told me I should be able to get some info by the end of the day around 5:30pm my time.
I called an hour early just to make sure I could reach her and I couldn’t get through to anyone except voicemail. When I heard the voicemail I started pushing buttons trying desperately to get a human. After the 3rd voicemail, I hit the zero key one more time and punched in an extension previously given to me. Someone answered. The connection was terrible and I could barely hear him. I asked for her, told him the extensions I already tried, etc. He tried to locate her but couldn’t, and then asked if he could help me. I went through the normal routine and gave the account number, my name, the property address, borrower’s social security number, and favorite color (other than the favorite color, this is usually what banks ask to make sure I have authority to discuss the account and that a stranger isn’t calling to steal the identity of the person losing their house). After confirming I was me and he was him, he proceeded to tell me that the request for extension was rejected by guess who? Yep, a supervisor.
“Why?” I asked.
The man replied “…because we can’t get a broker price opinion done before the foreclosure auction date.”
My heart sank. If at first you don’t succeed…. I pleaded with him. He asked the offer price. Instead of asking what the (insert superlative) does this have do with the auction being delayed, I composed myself and said “$x thousand”. Before he had time to respond, I started in explaining how long this home has been on the market, how this was a miracle offer given property condition, the tragic state of our real estate market, and that the only reason we received the offer was because we found the one person in the world who would have interest in this “unique” property. I finished with “Trust me. You guys don’t want this one back.”
He said he would transfer me to the gentleman responsible for the denial (supervisor, in case you forgot) but explained I would have to leave a message and wait for him to get back to me. I thanked him and waited for voicemail. Then what to my wondering ears should appear…a live person chimed in and said “Hi, this is Aslan. May I help you?” (To protect the privacy of the individual, I have selected a fictitious name).
I started over. “Aslan, my name is Josh Hansen and I am trying to find out why the request for a short sale was denied for this file. Can you help me?”
He replied “We just don’t have enough time…I mean, it’s 6pm my time, 5pm your time…and the sale is less than 2 days away. There is no way we can get a value prior to the auction time.” Composure is key with these people.
Instead of duh, I have a clock and duh, I know your time is 1 hour ahead, and duh, the auction is on Friday, I kindly replied with “I know, Aslan. That is why it is so important we talk about this now.”
He continued “If we had this paperwork 30 days ago, it would be…”
I interrupted “30? How about 60? Trust me, Aslan, If we had received an offer earlier, I would have gladly submitted it (courtesy chuckle). Problem is, we didn’t.”
“I know, I know…” he said and then paused. I had him. “Well” he continued, “What is the offer price?” (Seriously, what is the deal with the stupid offer price?).
“$x thousand” I replied. “Look, I’m not asking for an indefinite postponement, just long enough for you to evaluate the value so everyone involved will know this is a great deal for your bank. Trust me; you don’t want this one back.”
After stammering for an eternity of 3-4 seconds (which, given the hour difference and short time frame, seemed like forever), he said “Well” he sighed and then continued “It’s about 6pm my time and I doubt the person who can help us is still in the office, but I will call him. Is it okay if I call you back in about 20 minutes? Is the number you called from the best one to reach you at?”
Again, composure is key. Rather than “Don’t end a sentence in a preposition” I said “Absolutely, Aslan. You can call me anytime.”
He finished with “If I can’t reach him, I will call you in the morning.”
I responded “Oh, thank you Aslan, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your help”. To be continued….
Note from the author: For what it’s worth, even though this post is laden with sarcasm and seemingly insincere gestures, I am very thankful for how this bank is treating me on the phone and everything they are doing to help the borrowers avoid foreclosure (if they don’t postpone, I won’t be surprised and I assure you I will broadcast their ineptitude via every outlet I can find). But, at least they are kind. End of rant.
Other parts of this series: