SO, we are working on buying a house out in CA... it is a short sale too, which they handle very weirdly in CA... the "homeowners" get to approve or disapprove offers on the house before the bank even sees them. Odd, but whatever. They liked our offer, signed the paperwork and now it is off to the bank for approval. No biggie.
Wait, did I say no biggie? Wrong, the selling realtor calls our realtor and says that she needs our birth dates and the first five of our social security numbers in order to fill out the on-line paperwork in the program that Bank of America requires for all short sales. Hmmm.... um, NO!
My realtor, bless her heart, is fantastic. She listened to me rant a little - things like "I am giving them money, not borrowing money. I do not want to give out this information, with the first five to them they will have my whole social once they receive the paperwork from my lender that has the last four on it and, my favorite, are people rally stupid enough to give it to them?"
Think about it - with your name, date of birth and social security number someone can definitely steal your identity. Granted, there are times you do have to provide this information, but not to a financial institution you are BUYING something from. Bank of America can only be doing one thing... building a database. Now, I know I am in many different databases... we all are. It is a fact of life these days. However, these are databases I am AWARE of being in. How many people who do not bank with them are in their list?
How awful would it be for this to be stolen... and we all know it happens. If this database of non-customers is violated is Bank of AMerica even required to disclose that information? How would they explain it? And how many people actually know what financial institution they are dealing with during a short sale of foreclosure?
So, my realtor, again, bless her heart, kept me on her cell while she called BofA from a land line and put it on speaker. Let me say this, even if I did deal with this bank I would make other arrangements for my money after hearing how that "customer service" rep spoke to my realtor. Nasty doesn't cover it. But Julie (my gal) plugged on in her polite way and finally got the answer.
"Have the listing agent call us and we will walk her around it."
"So, it isn't actually required?" asks Julie.
"No. Just have her call us" (I really wish her nasty tone could be conveyed with the written word)
"Okay. Well, thank you very much for the help" says Julie.
Dial tone. You got it - she hung up without saying anything else. Unbelievable.
Needless to say, BofA will not be getting the first five of our social security numbers and the on-line paperwork will still be filed.
Here' to common sense and knowledge of rights. Just wish more people had them and then businesses like this wouldn't be able to get away with things so easily.