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This ad just caught my eye. It’s a help wanted advertisement on the U-T‘s web site for Chase bank, highlighting three positions the bank is hoping to fill.

Here’s what’s interesting: All three jobs advertised are related to the bank’s apparent need to ramp up its “loss mitigation” department. Two positions are flagged with $5,000 signing bonuses — one as a foreclosure specialist and the other as a loss mitigation specialist. The third position would supervise eight to 12 loss mitigation specialists.

In my story today on short sales, I outlined the process by which many distressed homeowners negotiate a deal with the lender to have tens of thousands of dollars in outstanding mortgage debt forgiven instead of surrendering the house to auction.

But a key element to that process is the representative at the bank, who talks to the homeowner’s selling agent and works out that deal. All of the selling agents I spoke to about this topic testified that they sometimes have to wait a couple of months to hear back from the banks about whether their offer was approved. These agents theorized the banks were becoming inundated by these types of requests and hadn’t adequately staffed up their departments that take those calls.

That means we might be seeing more of these ads for a while as lenders respond to the growing short sale phenomenon.


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