Setting The Stage

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 20 of 67

Th e M Rep o RT | 19 Feature "correct deficiencies in residen- tial mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure practices." The decrees required servicers to make signifi- cant improvements in practices for residential mortgage loan ser- vicing and foreclosure processing, including communications with borrowers and dual-tracking, which occurs when servicers con- tinue to pursue foreclosure during the loan modification process. The enforcement actions further required servicers to ensure fore- closures are not pursued once a mortgage was approved for modi- fication and to establish a single point of contact for borrowers throughout the loan modification and foreclosure processes. These and subsequent rul- ings found various accused "robo-signing" and various other violations and involved other steep financial compensation. One of the most recent was in December when Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and state officials reached a $2.1 billion settlement with Ocwen over allegations the com- pany charged unauthorized fees, among other issues. Under the Dodd-Frank servic- ing rules, servicers are required to make good-faith efforts to contact a borrower within 36 days of delinquency, must provide assigned representatives for a borrower's inquiries, must follow certain loss mitigation procedures, and must follow a number of other guidelines. The American Bankers Association (ABA) expressed concern that the rules are overly broad and could cause high- quality servicing to become uneconomical, particularly at small banks. Regulators continue to keep a watchful eye on servicers. In early March, Benjamin Lawsky, the state of New York's superin- tendent of financial services, re- quested details about Nationstar Mortgage Holdings' staffing levels, modification procedures, and affiliated businesses follow- ing "hundreds of complaints" from New York consumers. Just a few weeks before, Lawsky halted Wells Fargo's planned sale of $39 billion in mortgage servicing rights to Ocwen Financial Corp., citing potential conflicts of interest be- tween the firm and its vendors. The government rulings make it important for servicers to follow similar rules so as not to run afoul of regulators again, meaning more similar-looking operations and more collabora- tion, experts agree. "It used to be that once a ser- vicer sold a loan, it could pretty well wash its hands of it, but that's no longer the case," said Sanjeev Dahiwadkar, president and CEO of IndiSoft, located in Columbia, Maryland. Due to possible litigation from borrowers, servicers have an ongoing interest in any mort- gages they have ever handled, so servicers have to collaborate in order to trace the chain of ownership and responsibility for loans. Collaborating makes it much easier for one servicer to sell the business to another, with relatively clean traceability, according to Dahiwadkar. CFPB deputy director Steve Antonakes, addressing the Mortgage Bankers Association's annual servicing conference in February, said he was "deeply disappointed by the lack of Intense Regulations Sow Homogeny Where Diversity Once Flourished

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of TheMReport - Setting The Stage