The interesting thing is that we seemed to have come full circle in processing short sales -- it's become a puzzle, once again! The first short sales were a process of trial and error as the banks were overwhelmed and did not have a process, or trained personnel, in place. All documents pertaining to the short sale had to be faxed to them -- and the whole file, including tax returns, offer docs, financial docs, etc. could easily exceed 100+ pages. Fax numbers changed frequently, and the negotiator with whom one was dealing often changed, and without any notice. And to add to the frivolity, the banks often "lost" one or more of the documents, or several critical pages of the documents, so they would need to be re-faxed, and it took a couple of weeks for their document imaging system to catch up. And of course each lender had their own process, and their own phone/fax numbers, all of which created the need to be extremely organized when listing and selling short sale properties. To keep things interesting, there was the constant threat of foreclosure on the property as well.
After a couple of years of chaos, a few of the major lenders began using an online portal called "Equator". At last there was some organization and process to short sales. Documents could be uploaded directly into the system, and negotiators would email all requests, all of which was documented in the Equator system. Tasks were assigned to parties, and all was very efficiently tracked. In most cases, over a period of several months, one would never speak with the negotiator -- the entire process was conducted via email and uploaded documents -- it actually worked well.
So awhile back I listed another short sale property -- something that I hadn't done for a year or so. My first surprise: No more Equator! I missed the deadline by about a week -- apparently the lender had discontinued use of their service. But at least they had a central place to which to email documents -- while a step down from Equator, it was a step up from having to fax documents (I use an electronic fax service so it's essentially the same process, but seems to be less reliable at the receiving end). So all was proceeding reasonably smoothly when I ran into another glitch: Now they no longer accept emails -- all of the documents have to be faxed in again! Seriously? We just rolled back about 7 or 8 years (and to a technology from 30+ years ago!).
I'm grateful that at least that they're not going back to quill pens, carrier pigeons, and stone tablets -- although it wouldn't surprise me!