Bell to Hakimian

Erica Crohn Minchella

Case Conclusion Date:October 5, 2009

Practice Area:Real Estate

Outcome:Sold property on short sale after 345 days

Description:Persistence (Literally) Pays Case in point: On Monday, October 5, 2009 I closed on a short sale (see my blog on short sales) for a contract entered into on October 25, 2008. Yes, it took 345 days to close this transaction. I found it to be one of the most challenging, frustrating and confusing files I’ve ever worked on. Why would Chase Mortgage not want a contract for $800,000? Granted they were taking a $400,000 hit, but the market had tanked and even if they went to foreclosure, they could not do better than the contract we had for them. Yet they stalled. First they would tell me that they didn’t have my documents – we’d send them in again. Then they would say they were missing a document – even though the document they were missing was in the middle of a pdf package we had sent. Then they would say that they changed their forms and I had to have my client fill out a new set of forms. After months of this they said they were missing the correct form to authorize me to speak for my client (I fixed this problem - I got my client’s Power of Attorney so that they could speak to me as if I were the client!). And then I waited and waited and waited. Finally, I got tired of waiting. I called the Executive Resolution Center for Chase. They are part of the Executive Offices of the bank. I’d like to say that they help resolve the problem, but I got stonewalled there as well. After ER put me in touch with my negotiator I got approval for the closing pending certain documents. As soon as I got him the documents (via email) I got an autoresponse that he was out of the office and that when he returned he would be in a different department. I had to start back with ER again. Vocalizing my frustration to my own banker at my Chase branch, he sat down with me for an hour after closing making phone calls and looking up the hierarchy charts. He gave me the names and phone numbers of the people I needed to talk to and the supervisors one and two levels above them. The next day I called the woman in ER who was assigned to my file and told her of my problem with not having a negotiator to resolve my closing. She said she would take care of it. I gave her three hours. There was no return phone call, so I called and had to leave a message on her voice mail. I waited 30 minutes longer and I called her boss – and left a voice mail message. Within minutes I had a return phone call with her asking “Did you just call my boss???” I explained that I did, because I couldn’t seem to get a response from her. She put me on a three way call with my new negotiator. Now it still took another 60 days before I could close, but I was dogged in my determination. On Monday, October 5, we completed the closing. Those daily phone calls and emails really helped.