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Servicers Must Ensure Compliance Under Regulatory Spotlight

regulationsNew regulations and federal oversight have servicers constantly under the gun. They must learn the rules of the road for creating effective compliance and business development strategies in today’s evolving servicing market.

As the practice of mortgage servicing continues to undergo sweeping changes—from SPOC to consent orders and everything in between—servicing finds itself in a near constant state of evolution, mired with rules and policy that make today’s practice more complex than ever.

In the 2015 Five Star Conference Servicing Lab, a series of panels and speakers addressed topics such as complaints, regulation, and compliance surrounding the servicing industry.

The lab was directed by David B. Little, EVP of Servicing at US Bank. It was hosted by ServiceLink, a Black Knight Company and co-hosted by Home Servicing, Stewart, Safeguard Properties, The Collingwood Group, and Seneca Mortgage Servicing.

Eric Selk began the lab discussion by explaining the communication gap that servicers face with borrowers.

"It's all about creating the best relationship and creating action with the borrower," Selk noted. "This is done by simplifying communication between servicers and borrowers."

The next topic addressed was borrower complaints. Paul Nagai, Principal, Ernst & Young kicked off this intense conversation by differentiating inquiries or actual complaints among consumers.

"Correctly categorizing complaints is a big issue in the industry," Nagai said. "The key is figuring out if the customer has an inquiry or an actual complaint."

"Think of yourself as a customer, how would you want to be treated," he added.

Ramie Word, VP of Foreclosure, Nationstar Mortgage added, "Complaints are not new. One of the new things is sorting through these complaints."

John Kennedy, Director, Credit Portfolio Management, Fannie Mae threw in the importance of creating a single point-of-contact when borrowers submit complaints.

"Fannie Mae is passionate about customer service," Kennedy said. "We have a philosophy: Treat customers like family. They have a serious issue and they need you.

"We do our best to face this everyday with open arms to help them," he added.

Nick Volpe, Vice President of Product Management, First American Mortgage Solutions also noted that "communication can be confusing for borrowers, they don't understand. It's inherently confusing if they are they are not in our industry."

Danielle Johnson-Kutch, deputy chief, Homeownership Preservation Office at U.S. Department of the Treasury provided an update on the Making Home Affordable, Hardest Hit Fund, and Home Affordable Modification Programs.

Meanwhile, Meg Burns, Managing Director, The Collingwood Group provided a glimpse into the politics surrounding Washington, D.C., and how this affects the mortgage industry.

To wrap up the lab, a panel discussed servicing transfers and how to handle these within the industry.

About Author: Xhevrije West

Xhevrije West is a writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas. She has worked for a number of publications including The Syracuse New Times, Dallas Flow Magazine, and Bellwethr Magazine. She completed her Bachelors at Alcorn State University and went on to complete her Masters at Syracuse University.
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