MReport March 2019

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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46 | TH E M R EP O RT O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T SERVICING LOCAL EDITION Cascade Gains Cred FITCH RATINGS AFFIRMS MANUFACTURED HOUSING SERVICER. ARIZONA // Fitch Ratings, a credit rating agency, released its affirmation of U.S. servicer ratings for Cascade Financial, an Arizona-headquartered residential mortgage loan origination and servicing company. Cascade Financial Services was assigned a primary Manufactured Housing (MH) specialty servicing rating of 'RPS3-'; Outlook Stable. Cascade is also the only MH- focused servicer rated by Fitch. The affirmed ratings are reflec- tive of the company's modest but established position within the MH sector and recent portfolio growth, its experienced manage- ment team, adequate risk control framework, and technology up- grades, Fitch said in its statement. It also took into account the company's financial condition. The release also pointed out that MH accounted for approximately 10 percent of new homes in 2018, as it makes up a meaningful part of residential housing in the U.S. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have recently introduced MH products and programs, Fitch noted. Fitch last rated a new issuance of MH in 2008. Cascade was founded in 1999 by industry veterans George Dover and Cody Pearce. It is licensed in 48 states and headquar- tered in Arizona. The company initially offered financing options to buyers of MH. In 2007, Cascade became a Ginnie Mae issuer and established its servicing department for the loans they originated. Cascade has focused on hiring management and staff experienced in MH as it grows its portfolio. In August 2016, the com- pany was acquired by affiliates of Centerbridge Partners, which drove the development of new loan products in addition to providing a full suite of loan services to existing borrowers. Most recently in 2018, the company began expanding its third-party subservicing operations. The ser- vicing portfolio had 18,680 loans as of Dec. 31, 2018, which totaled $1.3 billion in unpaid principal balance. While still relatively small, Cascade anticipates meaningful growth in 2019 from additional third-party servicing of seasoned MH product and its retail originations. Cascade has serviced retail originations since 2007. "Loan originations differ in underwriting standards for chattel (home only), land-home, FHA, and community chattel financing. While this product can be chal- lenging to originate and service, the market has begun to focus on opportunities in this sector. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have recently introduced MH products and programs," the report reads. The servicing of manufactured homes can differ from typical site- built homes in that chattel loans are treated as personal property. Chattel loans are not restricted by the typical longer legal actions of a traditional residential mortgage. How Technology Is Enhancing the Borrowing Process APPS CAN PROVIDE CONSUMERS WITH REAL-TIME LOAN INFORMATION. PENNSYLVANIA // Cloud-based digital technologies are chang- ing the way lenders and servicers interact with borrowers. From loan origination to servicing, technology—whether it's via the web, mobile, voice, or even artifi- cial intelligence—is being used to enhance the borrowing experience. One example is the EXOS Servicing platform from ServiceLink's EXOS Technologies, which provides an intuitively designed, market-proven mobile app that offers digital touchpoints throughout the life of the loan. It is these features of the platform that led ServiceMac to choose the EXOS platform for its digital consumer solution. "As an innovative, customer- focused company, we need digital solutions via web/mobile/voice/ wearables that would elevate con- sumer satisfaction, provide a high level of self-service capabilities and the market maturity to understand the overall customer experience," said Bob Caruso, President and CEO of ServiceMac. "We believe the EXOS platform will deliver on this strategy and we're excited to work with EXOS to provide our omnichannel digital strategy." ServiceMac provides technol- ogy, products, and services for the mortgage industry backed by personalized service and support. Its offerings comprise personal- ized solutions across the mortgage space along with enhanced secu- rity and customer satisfaction. Some of the features in the EXOS platform include real-time loan information for customers such as account status, state- ments, and payment information that can be accessed through the mobile or a wearable device. The platform was developed by EXOS Technologies, which is a part of ServiceLink. "ServiceLink is focused on transforming consumers' experi- ences and expectations around the digital mortgage process," said Chris Azur, CEO of ServiceLink. "Our EXOS technology provides a new level of transparency and accessibility that will help ServiceMac engage its customers now and in the future. We are thrilled that ServiceMac chose EXOS Servicing as its consumer digital platform." EXOS Technologies provides cloud-based digital technologies to real estate lenders and ser- vicers. Its services include mobile apps, voice interaction, APIs, and Predictive Analysis.

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