Clarifire Conversations

April 18, 2019

The Disaster Response and Relief Dashboard is Ready - Are You?

With nearly a dozen different disaster relief specific programs and constantly changing foreclosure moratoriums, mortgage servicers shouldn’t need another reason to take disaster preparedness seriously.  If you’re still trying to catch up to the pack in deploying technology-enabled workflow and workout solutions to manage the varied rules and requirements tied to disaster relief, Ginnie Mae is making a case for proactively tackling the effects of natural disasters that you can leverage.

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April 11, 2019

How to Use Automation to Drive More Business to Your Organization

The industry continues to hunger for technology to improve workflow, as well as streamline and automate operational efficiencies. While these investments promise a competitive edge in a challenging environment with tight margins, other factors, outside of a servicer’s control could also have a big impact on business profitability.  

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April 07, 2019

The Top Challenge Facing Hospital CEOs

In today’s healthcare industry, hospital CEOs face numerous challenges that can disrupt the balance between providing patients with exceptional quality of care and maintaining financial solvency for the organization.  In a recent survey by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), they presented the top challenges cited by community hospital CEOs.  For the tenth consecutive year, financial concerns was number one on the list.  While hospital operating expenses increase, reimbursements and volume of patients continue to decrease.  Managing and overcoming financial concerns while providing communities with the services they want and quality they need proves to be the most challenging for CEOs.

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April 05, 2019

Making "Cents" of Buy Versus Build

With record low profitability in the mortgage space, lenders, servicers, investors and government agencies alike need to aim for maximum resource efficiency. This approach extends to your technology and software strategy as well. When margins are stretched, and manual operations no longer cut it, industry participants must ask themselves whether it makes sense to build or buy their technology solutions.

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March 28, 2019

Missed MBA Tech 2019? We've Got You Covered

Last week, Clarifire told you what to expect from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) annual Technology Solutions Conference and Expo in Dallas, Texas. But if you didn’t have a chance to make it down there, we’ve got what you missed. In addition to a showcase of new advancements, the conference explored the tradeoff between upfront investment costs and long-term efficiencies, drags on innovation, and the trajectory of the Mortgage Industry Standards Organization (MISMO).

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March 21, 2019

Upcoming Conference Builds on Industry's Continued Partnership with Technology

The Mortgage Bankers Association has promised “big solutions” and “big things” at this year’s Technology Solutions Conference and Expo in Dallas, Texas. As the mortgage industry continues to embrace technology solutions in every aspect of the business, the conference next week offers an opportunity to expand the dialogue between lenders, servicers, and vendors to uncover new areas in need of innovation and improve on existing services.

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March 20, 2019

3 Tips to Improve Patient Experience Today

Has your team struggled with improving the patient experience at your hospital?  Are you overwhelmed by the possible strategies to employ in order to improve your quality and HCAHPS scores?  Many organizations labor over which strategies or data is the most important to analyze.  Don’t get caught up in analysis paralysis!  With so many options available, here are 3 things that you can do to continue improving your patient experience.

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March 13, 2019

Living in the Now at MBA Servicing Conference

Mortgage servicing is at a point of inflection, as this segment of the industry becomes more innovative and customer centric. The focus at this year’s Mortgage Bankers Association National Mortgage Servicing Conference and Expo highlighted this element, hitting the present and ‘the now’. The industry event in Orlando, Florida, appropriately themed “Servicing NOW!” explored the lessons of the past and the promise of tomorrow. 

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February 28, 2019

Rounding on Patients - How Do You Make Them Feel?

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Let’s pretend we’re having a conversation, and you can see that I’m not giving you my full attention.  Maybe I’m looking across the room, or I’m distracted by my cell phone or watch.  I look up and say, “Go ahead and talk. I can listen while I do this.”

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February 28, 2019

How to Make it Through the Maze of Multiple Modification Options

Most servicers’ portfolios include a mix of mortgage programs, reflecting a diverse origination market. Last year, the government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, represented the largest sector having purchased roughly 40 to 50 percent of new originations. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are responsible for a little less than a quarter of the market, with private securitizations accounting for a small 2 percent of new originations, Small Business Administration (SBA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and portfolio loans withstanding.

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February 22, 2019

The Ongoing Challenge of Collateral Rehab on Disaster-Stricken Properties

Over the past few months, Clarifire has published meaningful discussions on the numerous requirements mortgage servicers have taken on to manage disaster relief programs and support homeowners experiencing related financial hardship.  Amidst financial remedies, such as forbearance and disaster relief modifications, there is another critical area that servicers look out for in times of disaster…. ensuring property repair doesn’t financially burden borrowers or impair collateral.

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February 14, 2019

How to Stop Operational Disruption from Disasters in 2019

The extent to which natural disasters are hitting the United States is beyond historical servicer casualty planning.  The three costliest natural catastrophes in the world occurred here in 2018. As all servicers can attest, navigating record-breaking natural disaster has epitomized operational disruption.  This year is likely to produce a whole new set of homeowners in need of disaster relief, continuing to put the onus on servicers to triage these issues in real time.  As this trend continues, servicers should take the lessons learned from 2018 to rethink and strategize how to more effectively manage the effects of future occurrences.

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February 06, 2019

Regulatory Roller Coaster - The Ongoing Ride For Servicers

Over the past decade, mortgage servicers have had a front row seat to a dramatic transformation of the regulatory and investor landscape. Just about the only thing that has been consistent since the financial crisis is change. Simply identifying and staying abreast of ongoing updates has been an enduring challenge for servicers, who are trying to make the most of available resources.

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January 30, 2019

Solving the Complex Puzzle of Disaster Relief

With an unprecedented number of US natural disasters in 2018, servicers remain in the mode of assisting borrowers that have been impacted.  In addition to handling ongoing cases, every new contact necessitates that servicers immediately begin to triage borrower circumstances. With each government entity stipulating their own unique requirements, servicers face a conundrum as they endeavor to analyze and execute on different modification options across disparate timelines and qualifying criteria.

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January 24, 2019

How Servicers Can Help Borrowers Survive the Government Shutdown

In previous blogs, Clarifire has discussed how servicers can successfully manage natural disaster relief. This month, however, servicers are faced with responding to a different kind of disaster – the government shutdown. With roughly 800,000 impacted government employees, servicers play a key role in helping borrowers navigate the challenges resulting from temporary loss of income.

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January 20, 2019

How to Overcome the Servicing Challenges of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

2018 was a busy year for loan servicers and Clarifire was there to cover all the hot topics and emerging issues. Fluctuating market conditions, regulatory oversight and policy changes were all on the radar. Clarifire will continue to cover the challenges of 2019, sharing insights and guidance on circumventing issues as they arise.  After over a decade of collaborating with servicers to identify and solve problematic scenarios, we continue to work towards ensuring servicer readiness and responsiveness in today’s evolving financial landscape.

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January 18, 2019

How to Improve Safety Performance Using a HRO Model

In the words of Florence Nightingale, “It may seem a strange principle to enunciate as the very first requirement in a Hospital that it should do the sick no harm”.1 This seems like a no-brainer, right?  Do No Harm.  Expected or not, most of us being admitted to a hospital have a reasonable assumption that we will not be harmed during our stay.  For many, that’s exactly what happens, in and out with no surprises.  Sadly, that is not the case for everyone.

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January 11, 2019

Three Success Factors Patient Experience Leaders Agree On

Three Patient Experience Leaders walk into a restaurant.  The waitress asks, “What are you having today?” They all responded in the same way, “I’d like the Patient-Centered Culture, Service Excellence, and Real-time Technology.” The waitress looked perplexed.

If only these items were made to order like a great meal at your favorite restaurant.  Creating a positive patient experience would be easier for large healthcare systems where value-based models are driving structure, profit models and clinical standards.

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January 10, 2019

FHA Servicers Find a Forward-Looking Ally in Commissioner Montgomery

Earlier this year, the mortgage industry anxiously awaited the final confirmation of industry veteran and former Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner Brian Montgomery. Montgomery is well versed in FHA issues and brings deep industry expertise to a role held vacant for too long. At a time when servicers have a real opportunity to effectuate organizational change through innovation, Montgomery may be just the ally needed in 2019.

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December 20, 2018

Is Your Rounding Solution Letting You Down?

Rounding has proven to be an effective practice in determining the level of patient satisfaction and improving the overall patient experience.  Many organizations will purchase a rounding solution to support and analyze rounding activities. Did your organization make the investment, but you haven’t seen an increase in HCAHPS scores?  Were you able to sustain the scores from previous years?  If you answered no to those questions, does that mean you bought the wrong solution?

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December 19, 2018

How Servicers Can Make the Most of the Current Mortgage Environment

Industry experts say mortgage servicing is a “bright spot” for mortgage revenues. While slowing home price growth and compounding interest rate hikes may be challenging origination profits, mortgage servicing appears to be benefiting from the current landscape. This environment offers an incredible opportunity for mortgage servicers to invest in retooling and retrofitting their solutions, compliance and rules systems. Putting revenue to work in technical infrastructure also adds scalability and efficiency that can be leveraged when the market changes for the worse.  With many predicting a possible recession at the end of 2019 these benefits may be realized sooner than we think, and will help avoid having to staff up or add manual processes if the landscape changes faster than servicers can effectively respond.

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December 12, 2018

Regulators Are Keeping a Close Eye On Loss Mitigation Practices, Are You?

Mortgage servicers, who continue to face scrutiny from oversight agencies, may have even more on their plate in the new year.  The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) examiners continue to identify errors in servicer handling of trial modification conversions. The issue was significant enough to gain mention in the BCFP’s most recent Supervisory Highlights report and will almost certainly remain an area of focus during future supervisory examinations. Being subjected to penalties, fines, or even enforcement action can be extremely costly for servicers.  Conversely, errors in loss mitigation workflow can be easily avoided with the right workout rules management and automated workflow approach.

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December 07, 2018

Consistent Rounding Leads to Increased HCAHPS Scores

HCAHPS – who knew that six letters could have such an impact on an organization? Low HCAHPS scores can result in a  loss of revenue, an unfavorable reputation in the community, public reporting of unsatisfactory scores, and potential downsizing of programs and/or employees.  Are your patient satisfaction scores lower than you expected?  It’s time to take a look at the consistency of your nurse leader rounding.

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December 07, 2018

FDIC Spotlights Nonbank Servicing as Emerging Area of Risk

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is the latest regulator to express concern over the rise of nonbank servicing. For nonbank mortgage servicers, the growing attention from regulators and other industry stakeholders, that  include Ginnie Mae, whose concerns we spotlighted recently, could mean policy changes are on the horizon, as well as heightened scrutiny of rules and operational processes that align  with mandated metrics.

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December 02, 2018

Ginnie Mae Looks to Tighten the Reigns on Mortgage Servicers

Servicers should expect to face tougher scrutiny from Ginnie Mae in the coming months and year ahead. As the interest rate and lending environment has evolved, the government-backed mortgage-backed security (MBS) guarantor has expressed increasing concern with liquidity management. Agency representatives have hinted at new standards, tougher evaluations, policy changes, and credit ratings in the works. With enhanced oversight seemingly imminent, servicers should ensure they have existing requirements under control and be prepared for a ramp up in associated agency rules, operational disruption, and the need for workflow automation.

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