Genworth Mortgage Insurance (Genworth MI), a division of Genworth Financial Inc., reports that its Homeowner Assistance (HOA) team has helped almost 150,000 homeowners stay in their homes or avoid foreclosure during the housing crisis.
Specifically, from 2007 to 2013, the HOA team worked with borrowers and Genworth's mortgage servicing partners to help 149,891 homeowners recover from the effects of the Great Recession or other setbacks that resulted in mortgage delinquencies.
As a result of these efforts, lenders were able to keep almost $22 billion in mortgages on their books as productive assets. This is based on the average unpaid principal balance of $185,500 on mortgages insured by Genworth MI.
‘Private mortgage insurance helps creditworthy borrowers navigate the path to homeownership years sooner than if they had to save for a 20 percent down payment,’ says Joe Hullinger, vice president of operations for Genworth MI. ‘But our mission also includes helping borrowers who encounter financial difficulty stay in their homes.’
Hullinger said approximately 79% of all borrowers who received a workout were able to remain in their homes.
The HOA team helps distressed borrowers work with mortgage servicers to obtain loan modifications or other measures to temporarily or permanently lower their monthly mortgage payments. It also helps borrowers work with servicers to sell their home to avoid the costs and credit damage of the foreclosure process, if modified loan terms or payments are not a viable option.
The team helped more than 39,000 distressed borrowers in 2010 and more than 20,200 borrowers in 2013, Genworth MI reports.
‘By collaborating with our partner servicers, these workouts create a win for everyone involved,’ said Hullinger. ‘They help the homeowner, reduce losses for investors, allow the servicer to continue receiving mortgage payments, and avoid or lessen losses for Genworth MI.’
Genworth MI reports that its redefault rate is on par with the industry average for mortgage servicers. The company uses a variety of tools to ensure successful loan workouts, including predictive analytics to identify homeowners most at risk for delinquency – sometimes before they miss their first mortgage payment. This helps mortgage servicers reach out to distressed homeowners sooner to offer workout options, which tend to be more successful when offered to borrowers in the early stages of mortgage delinquency.
Hullinger says borrowers are more open to considering workouts now, than in the earlier days of the housing crisis.
‘Distressed homeowners may be more willing to take a workout now due to a belief that there's been overall economic improvement, the existence of better programs such as streamlined modification programs offered by the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) and improvements in servicer activity spurred by new guidelines from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the GSEs,’ he says.