Clarifire Conversations

April 11, 2023

Are You Ready to Offer Your Borrowers New Payment Deferral Options?

Piggy-backing payment deferral success from the pandemic, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) just announced that beginning July 1, 2023, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can offer borrowers under financial duress, a six-month reprieve through payment deferral. As usual, there are nuances that accompany eligibility, but the benefit is that borrowers can continue to make the same monthly mortgage payment while deferring past due amounts to the end of the loan. Good news for servicers and homeowners alike as servicers will be able to access this program by way of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s standard loss mitigation toolkits.

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November 15, 2022

What’s Your Plan for Foreclosure Prevention?

Don’t be deluded by ongoing reports of decreasing delinquency and foreclosure. As is often the case, it depends on which numbers you’re watching. Foreclosure starts continue to increase, along with early-stage delinquencies. You can make a direct impact on foreclosure avoidance with modern self-serve capabilities that assist your borrowers in understanding their options before they become seriously delinquent. Servicers need a preventative plan now – not later – to manage a servicing landscape that is filled with potential landmines.

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October 17, 2022

CFPB Proposes Automation To Reduce Consumer Friction

What does the CFPB’s recent initiative to curate mortgage products and assist homeowners have to do with mortgage servicing? More than you think. Part of a broader initiative, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is specifically looking for “public input on ways to support automatic short-term and long-term loss mitigation assistance for homeowners who experience financial disruption.” The mortgage market sits at an unusual precipice, teetering between historic highs and lows in every area, from origination to loss mitigation and foreclosure. Yet, what makes this season even more nuanced, is the pandemic impact that has propelled our industry forward, finally forcing us into the digital age. So now, before taking a pause, the CFPB has made the timely decision to capture industry information that could assist us in driving this momentum in automation and accelerating it.

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July 19, 2022

How Do Servicers Outpace Rising Foreclosure Activity With Mounting Oversight?

Have you seen the latest foreclosure stats? The picture they paint isn’t a pretty one. The June 2022 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report shows an increase of 219 percent for foreclosure starts over the past six months! Other foreclosure activities, including filings, default notices, auctions, and repossessions have increased by 153 percent compared to last year. We are fast approaching pre-COVID foreclosure levels. Although you may remember those numbers as industry lows, this is not the same economic or interest rate environment. Many consumers are only now beginning to recover from pandemic impact, but rising inflation is making it more and more difficult to transition to normalcy.

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February 14, 2022

How Servicers Can Simplify the Shifting of Borrowers Out of Forbearance

The latest numbers reported by the Mortgage Bankers Association illustrate the volatility that remains in forbearance volume for servicers. As of December 31, 2021, an estimated 705,000 homeowners were in forbearance plans. This number increased in January as the number of new forbearance plans hit a three-month high. However, this trend appears to have reversed itself as the overall number of forbearance plans continues to decrease along with borrowers exiting plans. Of the borrowers remaining in forbearance, 63.1 percent are currently in an extension phase. Now the concern becomes how difficult will it be to transition these remaining borrowers to reinstatement or other permanent workout solution.

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