MReport October 2020

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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16 | M R EP O RT COVER STORY path to homeownership" for all stakeholders. "We've been focusing on removing the friction from the homebuying process for years now," she continued. "Automation bots, digital mortgages, eClosings, data versus documentation. The homebuyers of tomorrow grew up with mobile banking, mobile check deposits, mobile everything. They expect the same level of digitization and automation from their mortgage providers." Of course, the pandemic is still with us, and yesterday's normalcy has not elbowed the new normal aside. During the "Managing the Strain on Servicing Systems" panel, Michael Keaton, Chief Servicing Officer at Shellpoint Mortgage Servicing, praised the servicing side of the industry for being able to quickly migrate from the traditional call center operation to today's remote-work constellations. "Not only are we remote, but some of our remote associates are people we have never met in person," he remarked, noting this was a change from the traditional servicing set-up "where there really is a teamwork element to it, where folks rely on each other and lean over the cubicle wall when they need a little bit of help. There's also the camaraderie that comes from working in close-knit teams, particularly when you're a company like Shellpoint where a very small percentage of our folks pre-COVID were working from home—maybe 10%, probably close to 5%." During the "Navigating Through the Storm" session, Stanley Middleman, CEO of Freedom Mortgage, recalled how his company transitioned from "a Thursday when we were working in our office and business was as usual [to a] Tuesday the following week [when] we woke up and 98% of our population is work- ing from home." He said that he believed the nimbleness displayed by mortgage companies when taking on this abrupt shift to be the year's most important story. "The big takeaway was that not only could we survive and succeed and do our jobs, but we could actually thrive," he said. "Out of all this, we've become boundless in our opportunity. We've been breaking record after record every month in origina- tions, and all the while we were supporting over 100,000 requests for forbearance, generating huge volumes of originations and hiring 1,000 and 1,200 people a month through each of the last three or four months. The lessons learned here are multifaceted." Terry Smith, CEO of Rushmore Loan Management Services, went even further in praising the indus- try's ability to meet and overcome pandemic-era challenges. "We were able to turn the switch off from being in the office on one day and five days later we were up and running," he said of the industry's remote workforce. "I think we've done a great job. All of our employees are really the frontline heroes of the industry." The educational lineup also included the Fifth Annual Dakota Asset Services (DAS) Network Summit, the second installment of which picked up on Tuesday. The DAS Network Summit brings together invited members of the DAS network to gain knowledge and critical business insights from industry leaders. DAS executives led discussions on topics such as the state of the industry, best practices for residential agents and brokers, and network responsibilities. A Changing Legal Landscape L egal issues, including compli- ance, defaults, and the govern- ment and service sector perspec- tives were the topics of discussion during the 2020 Legal League 100 Fall Summit. The Summit provided top industry insights on various legal issues, including the latest details on foreclosures and forbearances, how the government is handling moratoriums, and other issues and how servicers are managing their pipelines in this unprecedented economy. The Summit kicked off with experts from the Legal League 100's Advisory Council discussing how it represents the member- ship in its discussions, priorities, and actions. Roy Diaz, Managing Shareholder, Diaz Anselmo Lindberg, P.A. & Chairperson, LL100; and Stephen Hladik, Partner, Hladik, Onorato & Federman, LLP discussed these items, as well as the impact fore- closure moratoriums have had on law firms. They also talked about fee parity within the industry. Following the Advisory Council's discussion, industry eco- nomic experts provided insights on how unemployment is ex- pected to impact foreclosure levels and how forbearance rates may be felt in the world of bankruptcy filings, as well as other factors clockwise from left: Jesse Roth, SVP of Strategic Partnerships & Business Development,; Steve Crocker, SVP, Pre-Foreclo- sure Title and Loss Mitigation Services, ServiceLink; Lindsey Pryor, Senior Manager of Business Development, Altisource Field Services; Ryan McGuinness, Director, Mortgage Servicing Policy, Freddie Mac "We were able to turn the switch off from being in the office on one day and five days later we were up and running." —Terry Smith, CEO, Rushmore Loan Management Services

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