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.
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