BLOG VIEW: The mortgage industry has grown accustomed to an environment where segmented processes are typical and tailored solutions are on a wish list. This means there are still large numbers of operations using manual methods to track information in the preservation phase of loan servicing. The fragmented processes and use of multiple vendor systems have spelled disaster for some, resulting in costly errors.
The increased oversight and regulatory climate have made it imperative for mortgage servicers to shift how they think about their processes and seriously consider how centralization of data within technology can help in the companies’ overall operations. Originally, technology was viewed as a “nice to have” because the cost to obtain it could not be recovered at a loan level, but now that thought process has evolved. Technology is a “must have” to help mitigate losses and drive down operational costs by eliminating duplicate overhead expenses, which, until now, many had resolved to the costs of doing business.
Pre-foreclosure management of properties – more specifically, managing the relationship with property preservation companies as they address servicing errors, violations, utilities, bids and property registration – is one area operations is looking to improve with technology. The need to be able to aggregate images, as well as track claim and inspection processes, is also important. Many times, antiquated methods are being used, such as spreadsheets and image repositories, which can only be updated one person at a time. Not only is this inefficient, but it is also a method prone to human error and synchronization issues.
A centralized system that has all of the data from multiple sources and does not require the user to log in to three or four different systems is the solution. The system should synchronize the activity among all users and increase communication among those users. Administrators should be able to configure checklists for each process, and an intuitive dashboard should provide that crucial management oversight. Users could use the system to track separate processes with separate rule sets across multiple investor portfolios, as well.
There is technology today that does just that and more.
Needless to say, implementing an easy-to-use system that integrates into existing applications is key. And being able to categorize loans and have all documentation, data and photos tied to that loan will increase efficiency. The system should also allow users to efficiently manage exceptions without having to sort through an entire portfolio to identify the issues needing immediate attention. This enables users to set standards, and loans not fitting those standards can be readily identified and addressed first.
No longer is it commonplace to accept penalties and/or fees that are otherwise avoidable using the tools readily available today. Selecting a system that fulfills these requirements enables these operations to refine their processes – ultimately reducing costs and headaches that have become commonplace.
Bill Colby is manager of product development for U.S. Real Estate Services, specializing in REO disposition and default valuations. The company’s technology division, RES.NET, offers a solution that enhances communication around the liquidation of REO, short sale and traditional real estate transactions.