In a move it says will speed closings, Los Angeles-based Equator is now offering mortgage servicers a way to train real estate agents on servicers’ separate processes and requirements for handling short sales and real estate owned (REO) properties.

Equator’s software-based Servicer Specific Training program is offered through the company’s EQ platform, which is used by four out of five of the nation’s biggest banks, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and GMAC Mortgage.

As part of the new program, Equator creates and produces training materials approved by and customized to the servicer, including short sale and REO manuals, videos, and task guidelines. Servicers can change their specific certification course materials as needed, the company said.

"It’s one thing for real estate agents to have a strong track record of handling short sales and REOs, but it’s quite another to meet the servicer’s unique standards and workflows," said Chris Saitta, Equator’s CEO, in a statement.

"Our Servicer Specific Training adapts to any servicer’s program, ensuring that agents who receive certification from a particular servicer will be more prepared to handle any assignment that comes from that servicer."

For servicers, Equator anticipates the program will reduce the cost of servicing loans, reduce borrower complaints, increase agent compliance, streamline agent selection, boost the quality of selected agents, and increase the success rate of closed transactions.

"Short sales and REOs involve a lot of variables — there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all when it comes to servicers’ margins, guidelines or objectives," said John Vella, Equator’s chief operating officer, in a statement.

"Servicer Specific Training is a win-win for everyone," Vella said. "Servicers get access to agents who are more conscious of compliance issues and can often help sell their properties more quickly. Real estate agents gain the competitive edge of being knowledgeable professionals in the market, and increase their chances of closing their deals faster. Homeowners benefit from a streamlined transaction with greater speed and fewer headaches."

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