Ponies That Were Actually Harmed in the Writing of This Post: 0
Insane Bank Reps That Were Harmed in the Writing of This Post: 3 (just kidding, none of those either, not that I didn’t want to)
Continued from Part 1.
After I had sufficiently exhausted my tolerance for conversations that make no sense (and mind you, I have a two year old, so my resources for dealing with nonsensical conversations are considerable) and given up all hope that anyone who worked for the lenders even knew what HAFA stands for I went back to my clients with my tail between my legs and explained that as of now, HAFA wasn’t going to help us. In retrospect, I probably should have made those calls in the opposite order. As it was, it went a little like this: Hey, Little Girl, would you like a pony for your birthday? I think I can get you a pony for your birthday! There’s just this very perfect one I know of, let me go get it for you… Oh wait, that pony died in a horrible, gruesome accident with a wood chipper. Sorry, you can’t have a pony.
This all went down over three months ago, and since then, I have continued to get the flashy glitter emails from title reps and the like about what a great, sparkly, cancer-curing program HAFA is, but have yet to hear from another agent that it has been successfully navigated. In fact, lately, whenever anyone brings it up in a room full of agents (because you know we like to gather in large groups together in a room like a herd of Realtors) it’s an excuse to see who can guffaw the loudest. I never checked back in with the agent I overheard demanding a lender follow through on her client’s right to be enrolled in HAFA, but I have this feeling the yelling didn’t get her any farther than the rest of us did.
Recently, though, my faith in the government’s ability to produce programs that actually help was renewed. A few weeks ago I called to check in on one of my short sales and was told, “This borrower has been identified for prequalification in the HAFA program, so this file has been transferred out of our division and into the HAFA division. I can give you that number if you like.”
To which I replied, “Purple chickens arrive in the moonlight of the first February in the pumpkin?” because I thought we were playing a role reversal game. We were talking about HAFA and the bank rep was making sense and moving forward, so I thought it was my turn to act insane. Or maybe it went more like this:
Me: So wait a second here… I called three months ago and asked if my client was eligible for this program and was told no, and that, in fact, your company doesn’t even work with HAFA. But now you’re telling me that not only is my client qualified for HAFA, but you have a whole HAFA division? What?!?
Bank rep: Oh no, ma’am, I didn’t say your client is qualified. I said they have been identified for potential prequalification. This is the step before prequalification, which is the step before we determine actual eligibility. But regardless, you’ve been transferred out of my division, so all that I can do is give you the new number to call.
And at that point I realized that no, we weren’t playing role reversal. It was just crazy-pants business as usual. I called the new HAFA division and was told to have my client call to activate the system. I had learned my lesson and not called to get my sellers all excited about this new development, but of course I was thwarted again. I had to call them to even move forward. Luckily, these people are not a slow study either, and had learned from the past not to get excited yet. The husband called and pulled the trigger to start the HAFA pre-pre-pre-before you actually get to know anything-prequalification process. The new rep told him they would be sending a packet of info for him to fill out and send back and that he should receive this packet in 7 to 10 days.
In about a week I called to check in with my clients and they told me that they had, indeed received something from the bank that day. It was a thin envelope with a note asking them to call back into the system. Of course, my clients had tried to call the number immediately. The number had gone only to a voicemail box that was full. After two hours of attempts to get through to someone, they finally reached a rep who informed them that because they had vacated the property in question, they were not eligible for the program and would need to be transferred back to the original short sale division. Just to sum up the situation, we’d lost two weeks and gained nothing but more raised hopes and shattered expectations.
Oh, honey, I think your pony had a sister that I actually can get for you for your birthday! She’s so pretty and nice, you’ll just love her! Oh, wait… sorry, she was eaten by a rabid mountain lion, I forgot. So sorry. No ponies for you.
“I have HAFA mind to punch you in the face,” I like to think the little girl eventually responds.