I do short sale negotiations for other people, including real estate agents who need assistance for their own personal properties. Over the past several years, I've encountered several problems that make my life more difficult. I have to believe that if the same people were sending information to the lender, instead of to me, the lenders would have the same difficulties. As we know from observations of human nature, the difficult stuff usually gets put on the bottom of the "to do" stack. So, here are a few observations about scanning that I think will make your short sale easier, if you adopt them. I'll included other suggestions in later posts
- First, always scan and electronically transmit whenever possible, rather than fax. It makes document management and tracking much easier. I use PaperPort for my scanning software. It has the advantage of letting me import any form and, with a click of a button, turn it into a fillable form on which you can type your information. What a time savings that has turned out to be. Plus, my info is READABLE by the negotiator! .
- Second, NEVER scan anything as a jpeg file. That's a picture file. For many scanners with only built-in software, that is the default scan type. A picture file is not crisp when it comes to words and letters, and the file is huge. Most negotiators will not even accept a jpeg scan of your documents. .
- Some call center operators will TELL you that all documents must be faxed and cannot be emailed. What they mean, is, "We have no particular person assigned to this file to whom you can send an email." Ask them: "Is there a 3rd choice, such as a specific email address for all document uploads?" Citi, for example, has such an email address at firstname.lastname@example.org. If they indeed have only a fax number, then invest in an e-fax service that lets you email documents to a server, which sends your docs electronically to the specified fax number. That way, you have good tracking information and you preserve the clarity of your documents. .
- When you scan documents, scan each type of document separately (tax returns, 4506T, bank statements, etc) instead of all lumped together in one or two scans. The document processor will have to separate them, anyway. Why not cut out a step? .
- After scanning documents, give them names that indicate what they are. Example: "Denise Evans 2011 Tax Return.pdf" If you send files with strange names, or the name assigned by your scanner, then the negotiator has to look at each file, rename it so he/she can tell what it is when looking through their files, and then save it to their system. Extra work for a document processor means extra time and trouble for you! You can sometimes lose weeks while your documents languish in the Imaging Department of a lender's short sale division. Your negotiator will not see those documents until they Imaging Department puts them on the system. Yes, you might have emailed them to the negotiator, but they don't officially exist until the Imaging Department is finished. That's why people tell you, "We haven't received your tax returns," when you know good and well you sent them and you have proof of receipt. .
- If you are uploading stuff on Equator for Bank of America, take the time to read the Bank of America "Standard Document Naming List" They feel pretty strongly about their "suggestions." .
- Your scanner probably has a default resolution of 200x200 dpi. Change that to 400x400 for better readability and less "fog" around the words. I'm sure there's a technical term for that "fog" but you know what I mean--the clutter of tiny dots that look like toner dust. .
- Do not scan at any higher resolution than 400x400. It doesn't help you at all, and it makes the pdf file huge. Huge files don't send very quickly through the Internet, and some of them don't even get through the firewalls. You never know, though, because you don't get a bounce-back in that situation. You think you sent the file, but the lender never received it. .
- Your scanner might have a default scan of "color." Change that to "b&w." If your document is a printed document (even if there is a logo or something in color) there is no need to scan in color. It makes the writing less crisp, and it makes the scanned file huge. .
- For heaven's sake, after you scan something, open it and make sure: (a) it's readable and (b) it's right side up. This is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves. Yes, I can rotate the view and read it, but it will still "save" upside down. In order to get it right side up so it is easy for the negotiator, I have to rotate and then print to a pdf file and then save again.
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