In a recent HousingWire panel, LoanCare COO Mike Blair discussed strategies that should be in every servicer’s playbook.
What economic and policy trends are shaping up to impact the mortgage industry in 2022? How should loan servicers prepare to serve customers in a changing regulatory environment? A recent HousingWire panel discussion revealed several big developments that every mortgage servicer should watch.
The panel’s discussion kicked off with an analysis of macroeconomic conditions before reviewing developments in the 18 months following the onset of Covid-19.
ECONOMIC TRENDS SHAPING LOAN SERVICING
An analysis by CoreLogic revealed key macroeconomic trends that frame the larger housing market. These include strong economic growth and lower unemployment overall. Demand remains strong for single-family homes with a limited supply. For the mortgage industry, this suggests several things:
- Fewer loan originations in 2022
- Limited distressed sale risk due to increased home value
- Some risk of price declines
SERVICING FLEXIBILITY IN TIMES OF TRANSITION
For Mike Blair, Covid-19 illustrated the value of loan servicers in terms of flexibility and customer care, especially during times of uncertainty. When the pandemic arrived it became critical to address rapidly changing customer needs. This started with ensuring that call center representatives were trained and equipped for the coming changes as quickly as possible.
For the borrower: The servicer must tailor their outreach. Do they offer enough information to understand what’s available? What resources are available, and how easily can the customer find them?
Does the servicer actively work to understand customer needs? In doing so, servicers like LoanCare are in a position to offer extra support to help borrowers at each stage of the process, whether they’re entering or exiting forbearance, or undergoing a loan modification.
On the other side of the coin, how have employees fared? LoanCare paid close attention to smoothly transitioning them to a work-from-home environment, even as they prepared to manage a new set of customer and compliance requirements.
Training is critical. In times of transition, customers may be experiencing uncertainty, or inquiring about mortgage relief. LoanCare offered additional training for call center and other staff to proactively address customer questions and coach them through a changing policy environment.
LOOKING AHEAD TO 2022
How should a servicer continue to adapt to customer needs as the economy turns a corner? With homeowners coming out of forbearance, and state assistance programs coming into play, the panelists fielded audience questions on next steps for the industry.
Will the recovery in 2022 mirror that from the 2008 Great Recession? How should servicers work with homeowners entering loss mitigation to set them up for the best possible outcome? What regulatory compliance issues should servicers pay close attention to when working through these changes?
These are all trends we’re watching carefully, and we remain committed to helping homeowners — especially those undergoing loss mitigation processes — navigate this landscape.