MReport October 2020

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18 | M R EP O RT COVER STORY With the changes in borrower's finances, and the foreclosure/ forbearance/moratorium rules, PennyMac Loan Services is reevaluating its financial review methodology, said Jennifer Gordon, VP Vendor Management. "We're also taking a look at our attorney network, which I think is a very solid network. We're taking a look to make sure we have appropriate backups in place in every space." Sharing Servicer & Government Outlooks T he second day of the Conference began with an em- phasis on the mortgage servicing landscape's current state and what the coming months could offer. Ann Thorn, EVP and Chief of Operations and Servicing at Caliber Home Loans—as well as this year's Five Star Lifetime Achievement Award recipient— observed that the stress of the pandemic created a new sense of union as lenders and servicers "banded together a lot more than we have in the past." And while the current crisis has only been in motion for a matter of months, Thorn admitted "for servicers that have been on the front lines, it felt like a long time—and the first few months were very difficult when trying to explain to our customers what is going to happen." Wes Isley, Senior Managing Director at Carrington Holding Co., noted that servicers man- aged to maintain high levels of quality customer service while undergoing their own operational difficulties. "During this crisis and its peak call volumes, we moved from centralized call centers—which we never would have thought of—to working from home," he said. "And we did that in a week and a half— the industry as a whole. You didn't hear stories about major problems." Robert Caruso, CEO at ServiceMac LLC, gave kudos to the vendor community for supporting servicers during this unprecedented period. "They were looking at things and trying to monitor it," he noted. "The technology enhance- ments that had to be done to help meet the COVID-19 components were done quickly and efficiently by the vendors. I was thrilled that we got it done so quickly and were ready for it." Servicers spent much of early pandemic weeks trying to absorb shifting rules and mandates, according to Scott Arnold, SVP at Wells Fargo, who added that "keeping up with it was a chal- lenge." This was a situation that ran against the basic tenets of mort- gage servicing, as noted by John Dunnery, VP at Bayview Loan Servicing. "For most servicers, change is not a good thing," Dunnery said. "We want changes locked down. We don't want changes to go on and on as we're trying to implement and be compliant with the rules and regulations that are coming out." Still, Dunnery praised the manner in which "servicers have been able to be nimble and have been able to address most of the regulations and rules that come out." At this point in time, Dunnery noted that most ser- vicers are focusing on maintaining contact with borrowers. "We're building into our servic- ing systems an array of ways for us to track those customers," he continued. "First off, are they impacted by the COVID-19 pan- demic? If they are, are we making sure that we have that noted in the servicing system? Are they experiencing financial hardship? Do they need that forbearance and for how long?" The conference's second day also included input from officials Above right: The Hon. Brian D. Montgomery, Deputy Secretary, HUD; Ed Delgado, Chairman Emeritus, Five Star Global, LLC. Below, top row: Daniel Thain, FSO Strategy and Business Transformation Principal, Ernst & Young; Stanley Middle- man, CEO, Freedom Mortgage; Terry Smith, CEO, Rushmore Loan Management Services; Eric Anderson, Associate Merchant, Single-Family Turnkey, Home Depot Below, bottom row: Jack Konyk, Executive Director, Government Affairs, Weiner Brodsky Kider PC; John Bell III, Deputy Director at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; Leslie Meaux Pordzik, SVP, Ginnie Mae; Mark McArdle, Assistant Director, Mortgage Markets, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

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