I’m proud to say Nick and I was one of the first short sale negotiators in Massachusetts and New Hampshire to use Homepath when Fannie Mae rolled it out. Fannie Mae even called and interviewed me about my experience http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/about-us/media/corporate-news/2013/5925.html – If you don’t know what Homepath for Short Sales is, it is part of Fannie’s initiative to streamline short sales and BRIDGE A GAP between the negotiator and servicer. My very first experience with it was amazing. We opened a ticket, and within 24 hours were talking directly with a Fannie representative, who looked into our issue and made a determination before the servicer even knew the answer. It was quite amazing. It’s too bad Freddie Mac isn’t as progressive.
Fast forward a month. Agents are now utilizing Homepath more and more. I suspect most are challenging valuations. If you are sleeping under a rock, then you don’t know that Fannie and Freddie are under scrutiny for suspected inflated valuations in the short sale industry. Many agents have fought and grumbled in the last 6 months about the two giants holding out for unrealistic valuation amounts, but in the same timeframe their profits have soared. Many find this highly disturbing. This aside, every time we see an announcement from the giants regarding the speed up of short sale processing, we have a small glimmer of hope, but are usually 100% disappointed within months of the announcement.h
Homepath is no exception.
So what seemed like an answer to short sale prayers for short sale negotiators – WOW we can BYPASS THE SERVICER if THERE IS AN ISSUE? – has once again proven to fall short of every expectation any of us have had. My first one or two complaints with quick processing by the Fannie train only yielded about 5-10 more sales with either NO response or generic email responses. It’s funny because I’ve made a friend or two on the “inside” of the giant – well I suppose more enemies than friends, but in one particular complaint, I sat tight with my HSS number and followed up every 3-4 days with only one quick sentence back from Fannie stating the rep would address the concern with those involved. I called the friend after about 3 weeks of a run around who looked in his system and said there was absolutely note ONE NOTE on the file. Well you can imagine my frustration and if you deal in short sales, this is the norm. The servicers and now investors cannot handle the amount of files and work they have.
After a HUGE complaint about the file, suddenly there was a response from Fannie. Of course it wasn’t the response we wanted, but it was evident we were being “pacified” while no one really REVIEWED our file. I even spoke to the new Manager of Short Sales at Fannie, Albert. I was thrilled to actually get a phone call instead of some type of email message. My excitement quickly gave way to frustration, as we spoke about another file that we’ve worked on for well over a year. He was less than helpful, explaining to me that I interpreted an email from his staff incorrectly and that it was realistically an internal email that shouldn’t have been sent to me. Mind you this email has now wasted over 3 months of my time searching down insurance for a particular property. Each week we would email in with our HSS number to NEVER EVER EVER get a response. For once the SERVICER, Chase was more responsive than Fannie Mae. The negotiator was jumping through HOOPS to work with us. Interestingly he didn’t take ownership of the fact that we had tried weekly to get someone to respond to the file, but it fell into the Fannie Mae black hole. So, Homepath is just another PR ploy in my opinion. I don’t see that it bridges any gap so far. In its initial stages, before the masses knew about it, it did seem to streamline the process, but like any short sale rollout from a government-sponsored enterprise it couldn’t keep up with the influx of paperwork and barely makes it out of the starting gate. We continue to use it, but don’t hold out hopes of it streamlining any of our files.