Contacting a lender is not as easy as it once was. The bundling and selling of real estate loans on the securities markets has greatly complicated mortgage lending. It has also made finding the actual holder of a mortgage more complicated. It may take a number of phone calls to find the mortgage holder- or worse yet, mortgage holders.

Once you find the mortgage holder, you will need to find the person within that organization who has the authority to authorize a short sale. This can be a daunting and, depending on the number of lenders and their relationship, sometimes impossible task. Most lenders, however, will have a “short sale,” “workout” or “mitigation” department. In that department, once you find it, there will be one or more supervisors with real decision-making authority. These are the people you are trying to find.

The first step once you find the people you need to deal with is to provide them with a written Letter of Authorization. A Letter of Authorization is a letter from the property owner(s) authorizing the lender to disclose personal information about the seller and the property. Such letters contain the property address, loan number, owner’s name, agents name and contact information, the date and the authorization statement. Click here for sample Letter of Authorization. Offering the lender a Letter of Authorization early in the process will help you establish credibility.

Once you have found the people you need to deal with, given them your letter of authorization, and received from them any loan data you need, you can present your plan for marketing the property as a short sale. Remember, you represent the seller, not the lender. You probably won’t get any commitment from the lender at this point, but you can establish your credibility, explain the situation, set out your marketing plan and get the lender’s understanding and acquiescence. That way, when you get an offer and send it in for approval, the lender will know what is going on. Now all you have to do is market the property.
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