Fraud continues to find new ways to plague the industry

While the Emerald Coast is enjoying a strong market, fraud is still looming around the nation. Recently, Bank of America has received a large number of claims regarding fraudulent short sale approval letters that are allegedly being issued by Bank of America. In effort to prevent fraudulent letters from being released, Bank of America has released an initiative to allow verification of approval letters presented to, or in the possession of title companies.

Borrower authorization is no longer required and Bank of America does not require written authorization for you to call. All that is required is an approval letter that Bank of America can verify. If you do not have the approval letter at this point, written authorization will be required.

Approval letters may be verified by calling the Bank of America Customer Care Department at 1-866-880-1231, Option 1. Bank of America would like for you to be aware that all valid approval letters will include the following disclosure: “Bank of America appreciates all of your efforts and cooperation in this matter. If you have any further questions, please contact our Short Sale Customer Care Department at 1-866-880-1232, Option 1.” Note: letters without this verbiage are going to be seen as invalid.

Bank of America will verify the following information- please have your approval letter available during this verification process:

1. Loan Number
2. Property Address
3. Closing deadline date
4. Original borrower’s name
5. Approved buyer’s name
6. Short sale, sales price amount
7. Net proceeds amount to Bank of America
8. Note: Bank of America has agreed to add the payoff for junior lien holders, but it is not known when this information will be available. It is therefore suggested that you attempt to verify junior lien holder payoff amounts each time you contact Bank of America.

If your letter is approved, the following response will be given to you: “Thank you, the information you provided is valid and accurate. We appreciate your partnership in this effort. Thank you for calling Bank of America.”

If your letter can not be verified you will hear the following response: “Thank you for your responses. Based on the information you provided, I am not able to validate the approval letter you received. This incident will be escalated for further review. Close of escrow is not approved for this property. A representative from Bank of America will be contacting you with further information within 24 hours. We appreciate your partnership in this effort. Thank you for calling Bank of America.”