Creating Homeowner Satisfaction Amidst Mounting Regulatory Complexity

The mortgage industry has seen a flurry of new regulatory announcements, whereby simply keeping up with the myriad of deadlines will be a challenge.  Starting with forbearance extensions, the duration of forbearance based on start dates, as well as required actions, documentation, and new programs expanding eligibility…. wrapping up pandemic relief is no joke. 

Finish with interim guidance intended to bridge the gap between the end of eviction and foreclosure moratoria at the end of this month, and implementation of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Final Rule at the end of August.  All this equates to mortgage servicers once again facing unprecedented regulatory strain.

Foreclosure Moratoria & The Final Rule

During the last two weeks of June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the final extension of the eviction moratorium through July 31, 2021, with the White House following suit on the end of the foreclosure moratorium.  The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that the Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) are going to proactively support the CFPB new Rule that goes into effect on August 31st.  A key element of this Rule is the prohibition of foreclosure filings through yearend. Per FHFA, GSE servicers cannot initiate a foreclosure, move for foreclosure judgment, order of sale, or complete a foreclosure sale during the interim gap from July 31 to August 31, 2021.  Any loans that potentially violate the Final Rule are prohibited from delivery to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the gap timeframe, and these are just the federal changes to foreclosures.

Exiting Forbearance?

On the forbearance front, the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Veterans Affairs (VA) and Agriculture (USDA) have announced that homeowners impacted by COVID-19 can access forbearance programs through September 30, 2021. This covers Federal Housing Administration (FHA), VA and USDA Rural Development loans. Additionally, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have updated COVID-19 guidelines that state they will continue to purchase loans in forbearance through the end of this September. Although the number of borrowers in forbearance continues to slow, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported an estimated 1.9 million homeowners are still in forbearance and undoubtedly this includes a growing number of seriously delinquent loans.  

Expanding Relief Eligibility

As the industry grows closer to expiring pandemic relief, several of the agencies have also issued new loss mitigation criteria and programs.  FHFA just announced the expansion of GSE Flex Modification terms that will allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to offer interest rate reduction without loan-to-value restrictions for many distressed borrowers.  The FHA just introduced the COVID-19 Advance Loan Modification (ALM) program.  This is a new home retention option for borrowers that are exiting forbearance or are more than 90 days delinquent.  Although these programs are timely, and certainly needed in order to assist homeowners that continue to struggle as a result of COVID-19 hardship, all of these related guidelines must be incorporated into loss mitigation communication and operational processes, as well as corresponding technology and delivery platforms.  

Your Servicing Resources

As servicers work under the duress of this most recent maze of regulation, requirements, and guidance, it is crucial to maintain borrower satisfaction and confidence.  A task made exceedingly more difficult, as servicers strive to implement changes to timeframes and programs, as well as manage employees that are now split between working at home and the office.  Borrowers will also become more stressed as they are moved out of forbearance, fear that they face near-term foreclosure, and/or do not fully understand the options available to them at this time.  If your team is not fully prepared to assist these homeowners, if your resources are tied up addressing regulatory change, onboarding new originations, or otherwise utilized, your borrowers may become further unengaged and disgruntled.  With the CFPB still reporting a large percentage of complaints from delinquent borrowers, now is the time to leverage an easy to deliver, value-added service like HomeBinder.

“Clients for Life”

HomeBinder builds meaningful client relationships on your behalf, with little to no effort on your part.  We offer a sophisticated home management platform that provides your borrowers with the opportunity to centralize all aspects of homeownership, including storage and access to key documents such as mortgage, financial, title and insurance records.  HomeBinder utilizes the corresponding data, and leverages relationships with industry professionals, to create an interactive digital experience for the homeowner.  Driving homeowner education, timely activities, and projects, as well as active engagement with servicer-driven actions, HomeBinder helps empower your borrowers as successful homeowners.  This experience generates borrower satisfaction and retention, branded by you and delivered by you, throughout the life of the property.

Use your resources where they are most effective and let HomeBinder engage your borrowers, creating “Clients for Life”.  Connect with us today to find out more about this progressive approach to homeowner engagement and retention. Visit www.homebinder.com, contact us directly at 800.377.6915, or Book a Demo today!

HomeBinder Expected by Homeowners Driven by Lenders

Do You Have a Plan to Engage Borrowers Post Forbearance?

As we all watch mortgage forbearance numbers tumble, are we missing an opportunity?  The forbearance peak in May of 2020 represented well over four million mortgages, so approximately the same number of homeowners.  Here we are a full year later and we are at half of the forbearance volume, with BlackKnight reporting 2.2 million in forbearance, representing 4.2 percent of homeowners.  Approximately 2.5 percent of these homeowners have mortgages with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, 7.4 percent have Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or Veterans Administration (VA) mortgages, and 4.8 percent represent portfolio or private-label securities (PLS). 

You have to ask yourself where are those two plus million homeowners and how are they doing now?  According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Mike Fratantoni, senior vice president and chief economist, those making payments, approximately 25.3 percent, are performing at near pre-COVID rates.  As a mortgage servicer do you know who these homeowners are? This population called and queried their servicers non-stop starting in March of 2020.  They were struggling to determine “what next” when they didn’t have confidence in their capacity to make mortgage payments and keep their home safe.  For many homeowners, this was the beginning of a meaningful relationship with their servicer, and more than five hundred thousand are now performing with more to follow.  This is an opportunity ripe with potential!  

There are of course many more homeowners in forbearance, who will not be in a performing status for quite some time.  “More than 47 percent of borrowers in forbearance extensions are past the 12-month (delinquency) mark as of the end of April,” according to Fratantoni. Forbearance and payment deferral options, as well as foreclosure moratoriums will dissipate, leaving these homebuyers in your default servicing queue.  Servicers have however become extremely proficient in managing distressed borrowers, whether due to pandemic impact, natural disaster, or economic influence.  As these homeowners modify and come current, they will join the performing loan group.

These are opportunities ripe with potential!  Running a query on which homeowners have recovered from a nonpayment or delinquent status for three or more months, and then connecting with them in a meaningful way is how you build a “Client for Life”. It is also a method for instilling consistent payment habits going forward, minimizing complaint scenarios, and building rapport and referrals.  HomeBinder represents a simple process for executing meaningful engagement with these homeowners, and:

  • Is easily implemented and offered to homeowners. 
  • Provides a tech-savvy, forward-thinking benefit.
  • Legitimately helps your clients become better homeowners.
  • Exemplifies their importance to you as a client…. for life.

HomeBinder is a value-add for the servicer.  It creates a constant self-serve touch point for your portfolio of homeowners, while it educates and encourages the homeowner to maintain the collateral.  A digital platform that replaces old school file folders, notebook binders and even shoe boxes that homeowners have historically used to store the essential documents tied to their home. Homebinder replaces this antiquated approach to home management and much more – It is a gift that says “thank you” for your business and forges a sophisticated relationship between the servicer and homeowner.  Bringing together a collaboration of home service professionals, HomeBinder builds valued relationships amongst the parties that interact with homebuyers, from servicers to insurance providers.  This partnership is leveraged to promote personalized customer engagement at minimal cost to the servicer.  At the same time the servicer is able to offer homeowners a valuable automated support platform that extends throughout the homeownership lifecycle, not solely the life of the loan. 

As forbearance numbers continue to drop, make sure you have not overlooked a key segment of your portfolio.  Connect with us today to find out more about this revolutionary approach to homeowner engagement and retention. Visit us at www.homebinder.com, contact us directly at 800.377.6915, or Book a Demo today! 

HomeBinder ● Expected by Homeowners ● Driven by Lenders

HomeBinder and The Mortgage Firm Have Partnered To Accelerate Borrower Retention

Forging a unique partnership, The Mortgage Firm borrowers now have access to the revolutionary HomeBinder platform, during and beyond the life of a mortgage loan.

BURLINGTON, MA, May 18, 2021 – HomeBinder is a leading home management platform provider that centralizes documents, projects, maintenance, home valuation, access to home professionals, and more.  These capabilities are uniquely designed to provide homeowners peace of mind, maximize home value, optimize the ownership experience, as well as enable businesses servicing the homeowner to create a true “Client for Life” experience.  

Coupled with the quality and expertise of The Mortgage Firm, borrowers will have the exclusive opportunity to access the HomeBinder cloud platform to centrally store all closing documents and holistically manage all aspects of home ownership.  The Mortgage Firm is collaborating with HomeBinder to deliver a sophisticated, interactive homeownership process that is beneficial for the borrower and the lender.  The Mortgage Firm and HomeBinder partnership will instill confidence throughout the loan lifecycle, beginning with the loan officer and extending throughout servicing. 

For lenders serving the residential homebuyers’ market, who want to deliver a true “wow” factor that will differentiate their offering, HomeBinder is an automated, tech-forward means to create immediate brand loyalty. “We instantly realized the HomeBinder difference,” said Todd Pierson, President of The Mortgage Firm. “Our partnership will enable The Mortgage Firm to easily deliver HomeBinder’s home management platform without adding any time to our loan officers’ day, and establish a lifetime loyalty campaign for our borrowers,” added Pierson. The Mortgage Firm will automatically provide a HomeBinder to all borrowers as a digital closing gift containing all mortgage closing documentation, helping to enhance the loan experience, improve borrower retention after closing, and increase referrals.

This exciting new affiliation further affirms the growing demand from mortgage lenders to achieve meaningful, long-term client engagement beyond the closing of the loan. “HomeBinder is excited to partner with The Mortgage Firm, as we both understand the value of educating and supporting homeowners throughout their journey of ownership,” said Jack Huntress, CEO of HomeBinder.  “Together we are taking a monumental step towards evolving industry collaboration and innovation.”

HomeBinder ● Expected by Homeowners ● Driven by Lenders

About The Mortgage Firm

Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, The Mortgage Firm has been providing quality real estate financing for over 20 years. With a proven track record, we serve the lending needs of real estate professionals, builders and individual homebuyers.  Our qualified and licensed professionals offer expertise in every area of mortgage lending:  We have access to a full range of mortgage sources and all of our lending specialists are dedicated to finding the right loan with the best rate, terms and cost to meet your unique needs. But that’s just the beginning. Throughout the lending process, our talented staff will provide regular updates and progress reports, so you know exactly where you stand, in person or online.

About HomeBinder

HomeBinder is a home management platform that provides homeowners peace of mind and maximizes home value.  HomeBinder is offered exclusively through business partners serving residential homeowners, enabling them to deliver long term value to clients, remain top of mind, and generate referrals.  Our select business partnerships include home inspectors, mortgage lenders, insurance providers, home service providers, property managers, builders and real estate professionals. Founded in 2012, HomeBinder currently serves all fifty States and Canada, and is based in Burlington, MA. For more information on how to create true clients for life, visit www.Homebinder.com.

Media Contact:

Contact: Peter Paglia

Email: Send Email

Phone (978) 618-0835

HomeBinder Announces Partnership with Celebrity Home Loans

Enables Celebrity Home Loans to easily deliver HomeBinder’s home management platform and enhance their “client for life” experience

Burlington, MA – April 8, 2021 – HomeBinder, a leading home management platform provider that reduces the complexity of home ownership and maximizes home value, announces an exciting new partnership with Celebrity Home Loans, whereby Celebrity will be rolling out the HomeBinder service to their borrowers. 

For businesses serving residential homeowners that want to deliver added value to their clients,  HomeBinder is a platform that improves peace of mind for homeowners and assists them in maintaining and increasing the value of their largest asset throughout the ownership of the home.

The partnership will enable Celebrity Home Loan lenders to automatically provide a HomeBinder to their clients with all of the mortgage closing documentation; lenders who offer HomeBinder as a digital closing gift to their clients find that it increases client retention post-close and leads to new and increased referrals. 

According to David Robnett, Chairman and CEO of Celebrity Homes LLC, “Celebrity immediately recognized that HomeBinder enables our borrowers to enhance their lives through financial education and literacy, thereby enhancing our ‘client for life’ experience. As an innovative and technology-forward business, we have implemented multiple fintech platforms to deliver a streamlined experience through closing, but what happens post-close?”  

Robnett  goes on to say “We see an immediate and highly complementary fit with HomeBinder to educate today’s homeowner, remain top of mind with our clients, and enhance our relationships with real estate agents. HomeBinder’s new API integration with Encompass enables us to implement their service within hours and days vs. weeks and months.  We are eager to launch this Spring.” 

This announcement comes on the heels of HomeBinder getting approved on March 26, 2021 as an official API integration partner of ICE Mortgage Technologies Encompass platform.

About HomeBinder

HomeBinder is a home management platform that reduces the complexity of home management and enables businesses serving residential homeowners to improve client retention, build trusted relationships and generate referrals. HomeBinder is available exclusively through businesses across the residential ecosystem including lenders, inspectors, real estate professionals, insurers, property managers and home service providers. HomeBinder was founded in 2012, currently serves all fifty States and Canada, and is based in Burlington, MA. For more information, visit www.homebinder.com.

Media Contact:
Contact: Peter Paglia
Email: Send Email
Phone (978) 618-0835
www.homebinder.com