December 2015 - Fortune Tellers

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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44 | 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 A NA LY T I C S S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T SERVICING THE LATEST Outreach Events Proving Successful at Connecting Servicers with Borrowers Distressed borrowers use such meetings as a face-to-face opportunity to work out a solution such as a permanent loan modification. F oreclosures have been continually on the decline nationwide for a few years. While much of the decline can be attributed to a recovering economy, another driver of the drop in foreclosures is increased borrower outreach efforts from various organizations. Borrower outreach events include HUD-approved housing counselors and mortgage ser - vicers in order to give distressed borrowers a face-to-face meeting to work out a solution such as a permanent loan modifica - tion that will allow borrowers to remain in their homes. If a home retention solution cannot be worked out, often a non-fore - closure home forfeiture solution is offered such as a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. Often, borrower outreach events include non-profits the servicers have partnered with or local civic leaders from the cities in which the events are held. On November 14, Ocwen Financial and the NAACP Maryland State Conference hosted a "Help & Hope for Homeowners" event in Upper Marlboro, Maryland; at that event, Ocwen Home Retention Agents and HUD- approved counselors met one- on-one with approximately 325 borrowers to help them avoid foreclosure and make their monthly mortgage payments more manageable. "It is important to recognize that while some have recovered from the housing crisis, many families, especially in low- income communities, are still struggling to keep their homes. Saturday's turnout confirms that fact," explained Edsel Brown, Jr., NAACP Maryland State Conference Economic Development Chair. "The NAACP is pleased that Ocwen is working with us on the local level to offer borrowers the op - portunity to meet with their ex- perienced home retention agents and HUD counselors face-to-face to explore modification options that can help save their homes." The Maryland event was the fourth in a series hosted by Ocwen and the NAACP this year (the others were in Illinois, Florida, and Maryland). Ocwen and the NAACP have met with approximately 800 homeowners in the four events. "Both Ocwen and the NAACP are committed to helping bor - rowers have every opportunity to remain in their homes," com- mented Jill Showell, SVP of Government and Community Relations at Ocwen. "Co-hosting these events with the NAACP, a trusted resource in the com - munity, adds tremendous value and ensures higher participation rates. The numbers speak for themselves." "It is important to recognize that while some have recovered from the housing crisis, many families, especially in low-income communities, are still struggling to keep their homes." Since 2008, Ocwen has com - pleted more than 520,000 loan modifications. Many of those modifications included a prin- cipal reduction for underwater borrowers or borrowers facing foreclosure. For example, HOPE NOW, a non-profit alliance between counselors, mortgage companies, investors, regulators, and other mortgage market participants that facilitates foreclosure prevention solutions, has conducted borrower outreach events in seven cities this year—Oakland, San Bernardino, Chicago, St. Louis, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Fort Lauderdale, and La Mirada (in the Los Angeles area), with an event scheduled for Queens, New York, in December. In Queens, HOPE NOW is part - nering with the Center for New York City Neighborhoods. "On the local level, govern- ment partners are focused on issues including abandoned properties, affordable housing and neighborhood stability," HOPE NOW Executive Director Eric Selk said. "At face-to-face consumer events so far this year, HOPE NOW servicers are seeing a significant number of delinquent or imminent default customers—65 percent of attend - ees—as well as a large number of first time loan mod applicants, 38 percent of attendees. Of these homeowners, at least 45 percent are reviewed for HAMP mods and 12 percent are reviewed for proprietary programs." A total of 1,636 homeowners have attended the seven HOPE NOW outreach events in 2015. The largest one was in La Mirada,

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