MReport June 2018

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44 | TH E M R EP O RT SERVICING 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 DIVERSITY SPOTLIGHT Responsible for servicer performance management at Freddie Mac, Yvette Gilmore leads a team that provides the strategic direction and policy to support the performance of the com- pany's $1.8 trillion single-family guarantee portfolio. Her day- to-day also entails the administration of the Servicing Success Program, which monitors and reports the performance of more than 1,400 servicers. We recently sat down with Gilmore to get her take on industry trends and hot topics. M // What are the trends currently impacting the housing industry, and what challenges are you looking to tackle at Freddie? GILMORE // What we've heard from our servicers is that their costs are increasing, largely due to a high regula- tory environment. They've told us that they want to see greater alignment both on the federal and state level, even though we're in a low delinquency period. In fact, Freddie Mac celebrated getting their seriously delinquent loan level down below 1 percent, which we hadn't seen since before the crisis. However, even in a low delinquency environment, it's still costly to service a non-performing loan. Servicers would like to see Freddie Mac give them greater delegation and make sure that we deliver tools that enable them to manage our business. They also want us to standardize certain pieces of the data so that they have an easier way to report to us. I've heard a couple of our servicers talk about the customer experience—that is their primary focus, and Freddie Mac shares that. M // What are some of the things that servicers can do to make work- ing with Freddie and ensuring com- pliance is a smooth process? GILMORE // What we want servicers to do is to make sure that they are taking advantage of the opportunities to have feedback with us, making sure that they are adding their voice into the process as we work to make their jobs easier. We will continue to make sure we have aligned GSE policies. We know that makes servicers' jobs easier and allows them to be more compliant because they have a set of similar standards—not fully aligned, but similar. We also want to be their investor of choice, so we want to en- gage with them on what it's going to take for them to do their jobs better, and how we facilitate that. M // What are some of the ways you are working to make those commu- nications easier and more efficient? GILMORE // We want servicers to be able to get the details of how we view their performance, and Manager Series reports allow them to do that. It gives servicers details into the loan level of how they can manage performance. We're reimagining the mortgage experience, and a key piece of that is reimagining servicing. We want to take a customer-centric approach to how we look to develop tools, how we look to augment or change processes, how we interface with cus- tomers. We haven't innovated in the space in a long time, so this is a great opportunity, while delinquencies are low, to sit and think about how we should embark on this work from a customer service perspective. We've identified numerous pain points that the customers have told us about, so we have some significant starting areas, but we are going to reimagine the servicing experience. It is a multi- year process, and it's getting kicked off right now. In the beginning, we're going to concentrate on a few key pain points and work with our servicers on some quick pilots that will inform our process, so the idea with something like this is not to rebuild everything at once. First of all, those kind of initiatives are not customer-centric, and they don't set you up for success because you bite off too much. So what we're going to do is concentrate on modernizing pieces of our servic- ing toolkit, based on existing pain points. The key for us is to have a high impact very quickly. M // What are some of the techno- logical developments that could have a significant impact on what you do and how you do it? GILMORE // Being able to automate as much as possible and alleviating multiple touch points are critical. Making sure that you understand, from a process perspective, what you're solving for. When you haven't innovated in a space, sometimes you have processes and policies, but you don't know what your original prob- lem statement was in the beginning, so we want to get crisp about what those problem statements are. What are we solving for? Beyond automation, what servicers have asked us for is to have the deci- sions pushed to them. So, rather than them telling us what they think the de- cision should be, they want us to have our own business rules and be able to push those decisions out to them. M // What is something that you wish more people understood about your job? GILMORE // Well, first of all, I love my job. I love the mission. The goal of providing homeownership opportuni- ties for the American public is key. It is the basis of everything that we do, and we are serious about it. I think the next one is the fact that we are very customer focused. With servicing, even in a negative circum- stance, the goal is to solve problems. You solve problems on behalf of your customers, and the borrowers they serve. That is the crux of what I do. I don't think that people understand that enough. There are certainly bad outcomes, but it doesn't have to be a worst-case scenario. You need to be able to provide great customer ser- Freddie Mac's VP of Servicing Performance Management shares the trends she sees in the industry and the ins and outs of a day at the GSE. Catching up With Yvette Gilmore

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