How to get a Citimortgage short sale approved?
Citimortgage is one of the two major U.S. banks, the other being Bank of America, that processes and services more loans than they have in house. This means that the Loss Mitigation Department, and the short sale negotiators within Citimortgage do not have much authority when it comes to making decisions on short sales.
The loss litigators must adhere to certain guidelines as to how to proceed with a Citimortgage short sale. Like most banks, the seller must prove a serious financial hardship. The short sale hardship letter is critical when submitting the short sale package. It should be handwritten and each detail expressed in the letter should be backed up with documentation, demonstrating a hardship situation truly exists.
How much will the bank approve for a short sale? Most banks will not approve a short sale unless it is within 10 percent (10%) of the appraisal value. Banks build in an additional 5 to 8 percent (5 to 8%) for closing costs. So in total, the Citimortgage wants to net within 15 to 18 percent (15 to 18%) of the appraisal or Broker Price Opinion of the property.
With the new HAFA rules, Citimortgage is supposed to tell you what the BPO is that they got for the property, so the short sale listing agent knows upfront the value that the bank is looking to get to approve the short sale. Sometimes, however, banks will send over realtors from other counties who are less familiar with values, and if they over appraise the value of the property, it is your job to prove to the bank that their appraisal is too high, and the house is unlikely to sell for an inTXated, above market price. You can ask the seller to pay for a Broker Price Opinion or Appraisal to disprove that the bank’s appraisal is high, or request that they bank obtain a second opinion of the value of the property.
The steps for getting your Citimortgage short sale approved are very similar to getting your Chase short sale approved. To ensure expediency with Citimortgage, it is best to follow these rules when submitting a short sale package:
- Keep a written log of everything – dates, people’s names at Citimortgage, actions. Advise your seller to do the same.
- Send in the authorization to release information and call within 3 business days to make sure its logged in the system. Introduce yourself and confirm that Citimortgage received the authorization. Inform them that a short sale package will be forthcoming. Submit a complete package. Follow Citimortgage’s checklist exactly. Do not bother submitting the package if any documents are missing or omitted.
- Authorization to release information for your REALTOR to communicate with the lender – use Citimortgage’s form
- Financial worksheet – use Citimortgage’s form
- Listing History from the MLS
- Listing agreement
- Purchase contract and pre approval letter from a buyer or proof of funds
- Comparative sales – active, pending, sold’s from past 3 months
- Hardship Letter
- Last two years tax returns
- Two months bank statements
- Last 30 days proof of pay stubs or self employed (bank statements and profit and loss, if self-employed)
Within 3 days after sending the full short sale package, call Citimortgage to confirm they received the package and logged it into their system. Ask about the timeframe for them to assign the case to a negotiator. This will usually occur in 2 to 4 weeks.
Communicate with your buyer each step of the short sale to keep them on the hook. Ask if the buyer is still ready to move forward with closing. And if they buyer wants out, work your back up list of short sale buyers to secure another contract the bank can review.
Continue to follow up if the bank is slow. Citimortgage is another large bureaucratic bank, where no one person will take responsibility for the file. This is why your log is extremely important to hold people accountable.
Do not hesitate to escalate if Citimortgage is not meeting the timeframes they gave you for approving the short sale.
Don’t give up. Just keep following up until you get answers or get your short sale approved.
Citimortgage is much more efficient at approving short sales than Chase and some of the other large banks out there. They are very organized and their staff is great at following up. The 90-day rule for Citimortgage short sale approvals is typical.
Make sure that when you need your Citimortgage short sale negotiated that you hire someone who has the inside track with getting your short sale approved quickly. Some of these banks are offering generous seller incentives, which won’t last forever. So it is best to get the process started as soon as possible.
Contact Numbers for Citimortgage Short Sale Department (800) 753-3673
General Info: 866-704-8050
Home Equity Dept: 800-685-0935 & 800-283-7918
Short Sale Dept: 866-713-4785
2nd lien Short Sale Dept: 866-520-5499
Short Sale Dept: 800-695-0384
Email Your Short Sale Package: ShortSaleDocuments@citi.com
If you have any further questions about your short sale, please contact us.