While nearly all government-backed mortgage guarantors provide a wide range of disaster relief programs, perhaps none are quite as unique and diverse in their offering as the Small Business Administration (SBA). Most mortgage lenders and servicers have been working hard to stay abreast of updated disaster relief requirements for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), but not as many are aware of the extensive options available to SBA customers, not to mention that the SBA administers their programs directly.
Two years ago, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) finalized an expansion of successors in interest (SII) protections as part of a larger package of new mortgage servicing rules. While the majority of the final rule required implementation last year, the successors in interest provisions only took effect a few months ago. The BCFP completely re-envisioned the coverage of SII and it is imperative mortgage servicers understand their extended compliance responsibilities in order to avoid having costly errors uncovered in regulatory supervision.
Just last week, Freddie Mac issued a press release advising mortgage servicers to prepare to assist borrowers whose homes or places of employment were impacted by Hurricane Florence. Likewise, they directed homeowners to pursue disaster relief once out of harm’s way. Freddie Mac said, “We strongly encourage homeowners … to call their mortgage servicer … to learn about available relief options,” adding, “we stand ready to ensure that mortgage relief is made available.”
As Hurricane Florence tests the preparedness of state and local governments up and down the East Coast, Fannie Mae servicers must similarly ask themselves if they are prepared for revamped disaster relief requirements this hurricane season and beyond. Fannie Mae’s disaster assistance requirements span more than a dozen chapters of the Seller/Servicer Guide.
From loan origination to loan payoff, there are multiple paths that a loan can take throughout its lifecycle. The best performing loans will follow a clear, straight path with no hiccups along the way. All payments are made on time. This path is the easy street for loans, and the servicers servicing them.
When a disaster strikes, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is ready to respond to the needs of American farmers with a vast toolbox of disaster assistance programs, from emergency loans to crop insurance. In the mix of a wide range of programs, it can be difficult for servicers of Rural Development (RD) mortgages to see where they fit into the ‘farm safety net.’
When it comes to disaster response, the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) is one of the more responsive federal agencies. Servicers of VA loans should be prepared to closely monitor the needs of distressed homeowners in disaster-stricken areas and provide timely and flexible relief.
Three of the top five costliest hurricanes on record occurred last year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), resulting in an estimated $306.2 billion worth of property damage. That shatters the previous record of $214.8 billion worth of damages in 20051. In a world of billion-dollar weather events, mortgage servicers face the challenge of managing hundreds of thousands of hazard insurance claims, repairs, foreclosure moratoriums and relief programs. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is particularly vigilant in managing its portfolio and exposure to loss, and expects servicers to stay on top of fluctuating timelines, priorities and policies that apply to recovery areas.
You’ve heard the saying, “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. The mortgage industry has definitely seen its fair share of changes in the last decade, brought in part by the financial crisis of 2008. While the landscape may have changed, the pain points that servicers experience remain essentially the same today.
Lenders prefer that foreclosure be the last resort when it comes to recovering the remaining balance of a home loan. Many offer forbearance plans as an alternative to foreclosure to help keep borrowers in their homes. These forbearance plans provide servicers a temporary solution to keep borrowers out of foreclosure when they are experiencing a short-term financial hardship.
Last month, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Housing rolled out extensive amendments to its Technical Handbook for the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (HB-1-3555). These updates were particularly concentrated in Chapter 18, Servicing Non-Performing Loans - Accounts with Repayment Problems, which serves as the primary guidance for USDA default servicing.
Today’s technology news is filled with references to artificial intelligence (AI)—the latest in Robotics Process Automation (RPA)—but what does this mean for your organization? How difficult is it to access the opportunity and how quickly can your organization realize benefits? What do you need to know?
The regulatory landscape for mortgage bankers continues to touch every phase of the mortgage lifecycle. Whether it’s the prospect of ongoing regulatory implementation or the assimilation of change from deregulation, servicers need to be prepared to continue managing through transformation as discussed in our recent blog on deregulation.
New technology is fun and exciting! Making the transition from manual to automated processes can be an energizing endeavor for any organization. The opportunities available are endless, which can also make the move a bit intimidating. It doesn’t have to be! It’s all in the planning.
Adopting process automation technology is more than just plug and play. It eliminates costly, time consuming tasks so careful thought and planning needs to go into your approach and implementation to achieve the best results. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your automation be. Here are 4 phases of planning to help ease your transition from manual to automated processes.
We love automated workflow! Although, we may be a little biased. It’s been our business for over a decade. We are firm believers that technology is meant to work for you. If it isn’t, then what good is it really? If you are still looking for a few good reasons why you should embrace automation, here are 10 we hope will win you over.
The servicing industry has significantly transformed itself since the onset of the financial crisis. Beginning with the tsunami of delinquencies, servicers scrambled to combat the lack of loss mitigation options, fought against the inability to rapidly scale processes and creatively band-aided antiquated technology. Those that have survived the past decade have done so with a pioneering spirit, perseverance and sophisticated workflow.
Natural disasters have an impact that extends beyond the rising waters, the scorched structures, and the scattered debris. When lives are changed and jobs lost, the impact can be felt for weeks, months, and even years after. As the impacts continue to set in from the wildfires in California and hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma, delinquencies are expected to rise as homeowners repair and rebuild. Are you ready to help them on their road to recovery?
Do you know the average number of decisions a person makes a day? 35,000! That’s the number reported by various internet sources. It’s a bit overwhelming, but when you think about the number of decisions you made before you left for work this morning it’s definitely possible. It certainly makes it easier to understand why we are all so tired at the end of the day. Our brains are working overtime!
You’ve done the research, vetted the vendors, and found the perfect workflow automation solution that will transform your existing business processes into a centralized automated structure of operational efficiency. Why haven’t you signed the contract and started implementation?
The key to a successful transfer of mortgage servicing rights (MSR) is a smooth transition of the portfolio from one servicer to another. It’s a big feat, but not an impossible task. Automated workflow is an important tool to help decrease the risk, for both the customer and the servicer, of costly missed steps in the transfer process.
Accountants have a countdown to Tax Day. Schools have a countdown to summer. Retailers have a countdown to Christmas. The mortgage industry has an important countdown of its own that’s rapidly approaching. Will you be ready to start evaluating borrowers for the Flex Modification program on October 1st?
Let’s face it, change is inevitable. Sometimes it happens a little faster than we would like. However, organizations must change too or… let’s not think about that. It’s a challenge for development teams to keep pace with change and growing expectations from the business.
Organizational nirvana: that feeling you get when you open the door to that one closet in your home. It’s okay—go ahead and laugh. We all have one. The door opens and this time, instead of dodging falling items, you can see what’s there and actually find what you are looking for without fear of bodily harm.
Through Google searches and an increasing presence of online accounts, today’s consumer has an abundance of information available at their fingertips. Having information readily available when customers want it, empowers them to be self-sufficient. With 71% of consumers wanting the ability to solve their own customer service issues, self-service technology enables the customer interaction that shapes their experience in a way that works for them.
The latest buzzword in our industry, RegTech, brings more opportunity to expand your technology strategy. Yes, technology costs money but…. coupled with efficiency through workflow you can further operationalize your organization, more effectively leverage data and reduce your costs. The latter is achieved by reducing cycle times and manual workarounds, in addition to minimizing risk of fines and enforcement action. As more RegTech firms enter the mortgage landscape, it will be important to take advantage of solutions that can help to modernize existing compliance efforts and improve your ability to manage data. Firms should evaluate a hybrid approach that embraces new technology by coupling it with workflow automation to accelerate operational proficiencies. It’s time to move beyond simply capturing data to using data to drive operational efficiency and regulatory compliance.