Who is Your Short Sale Bank POC?

Sparked in part, no doubt, by the National Mortgage Settlement, short sale banks have appointed a Point of Contact (POC) for most short sale negotiations. These individuals are generally the go-between for both the Sacramento short sale agent and the short sale seller, but they can also be appointed solely for the benefit of the short sale seller. And I use the term “benefit” loosely.

The short sale bank POC is a person — God knows where the bank found them: sleeping on cardboard under a bridge, leaning up against the wall in a soup line — who acts as a liaison for the borrower, typically a person of whom the seller can ask questions. And, if the POC doesn’t know the answer, the POC will make it up. Hey, that’s what they are here for. I will gladly pay you on Tuesday for a hamburger today.

They are also responsible for reading the notes in the file. Notes are generally as good as the information supplied upfront by the real negotiator, the person which some of us are not allowed to speak to anymore because some short sale agents have not been that polite, I suspect. If there are no notes in the file, it becomes even more difficult for the POC to soothe worried souls. Or, the POC could also read another file and pull information from an unrelated situation because after all they are all the same, aren’t they?

None of these POCs ask for permission to contact the borrower. They pull the borrower’s personal information and phone number from bank records. If a seller has changed any of this information or put a “do not call” into the file, the POC either cannot figure out how to call or is prohibited from calling. One of such individuals called me as I was heading out the door to catch a matinee in Chicago of Million Dollar Quartet during my holiday vacation. Said he could not find the seller’s phone number and asked if I would be so kind as to pass along his contact info to the seller. Yeah, I’ll get right on that. I’m not about to ruin her holiday, too. She can hear about it during banking hours.

This is a guy who could have looked at the listing agreement to get that information. Note to self: stop putting that info on the listing agreement because these guys might actually catch on. The last thing a Sacramento short sale agent needs is for the POC to call the seller to call to ask why the bank doesn’t have the . . . you fill in the blank of the name of the document. In most cases, the docs are in the file and the short sale bank POC is mistaken. Maybe some short sale agents fall down on the job, but let me tell you, this Sacramento short sale agent ain’t one of ’em. Being a POC, I suspect, is a thankless job because it deserves to be a thankless job.

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