Some emails I receive are too good not to share. This is one of them. “GD” tells his story of attempting to buy a foreclosed property.

“GD” Writes:

Mish,

I had to pass this tale along to illustrate how ridiculous the housing situation is and how much of a mess Bank of America / Merrill Lynch (BAC) is right now.

My wife and I are currently looking to buy a house in hopes of finding something that has reasonably returned to earth in the last 18 months in the Bay Area. We found a bank owned property in an excellent neighborhood that had been absolutely gutted by the departing owners/tenants. The listing agreement said that all offers had to be submitted with a Bank of America prequalification. We have been working with Merrill because we have investments with them and they are willing to verify our assets without forcing to sell anything until the last minute.

Our agent contacted the selling agent to make sure that it was fine for us to submit our offer with the Merrill pre-approval. No dice, it had to be Bank of America. So we contact a B of A rep and get a quick approval ($50 for the trouble plus another run on our credit). Then our agent prepares the offer and learns that the house is actually owned by Merrill. We then contacted our Merrill rep and had him see what the story was to determine if we could perhaps deal directly with the person inside managing that portfolio.

What happened next? You probably already guessed it, Merrill couldn’t find the property on any of its books. Neither could Bank of America. Needless to say we walked away from such a mess.

This is not a “one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing,” this is a other fingers on the same hand are clueless situation. These banks are not too big to fail. They are failing because they are too big.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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