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Servicing Tech Targets Agency, Non-Agency Issues

Recent servicing technology improvements

Sept. 28, 2009

By SAM GARCIA


Many recent improvements to servicing technology have been made to meet the needs of secondary mortgage agencies and the servicers who handle their loans. Other enhancements address new escrow account requirements for non-agency mortgage servicers that previously had no escrowing capabilities.

New Truth in Lending Act Regulation Z rules require an escrow account for taxes and insurance on home equity loans, according to Fiserv Inc. -- which said last month that its loan servicing platform now helps servicers comply. The new requirement becomes effective on April 1, 2010, and requires that higher-priced lenders understand basic procedures including escrow account analysis, escrow statement preparation and escrow record-keeping.

"It is crucial that lenders are aware that the functionality that used to be exclusive to the traditional mortgage market -- such as escrow -- is now required on the consumer loan side," Fiserv executive Cathy Martin said in the statement. "When Fiserv developed its single-platform servicing strategy several years ago, we took into consideration that escrowing on non-mortgage loans might be necessary at some point."

The Brookfield, Wis.-based service provider said in May that it had begun providing ongoing, real-time, secure data updates directly to Fannie Mae on loans guaranteed or managed by the secondary lender. Fannie hopes to use the additional data, including borrower contact activities and payment behavior, to review borrowers' credit capacity for loan workouts.

Financial Industry Computer Systems Inc. announced the introduction of eMessaging Service in August. The new offering enables servicers to deliver legal disclosures, regulatory updates and service-related information by e-mail to borrowers who have elected to go paperless and receive bills electronically. eMessaging enables branding and personalization with individual names, hyperlinks, logos and graphics.

Paul Milburn Acreages implemented FICS's residential mortgage servicing system in April, FICS said in an Aug. 11 news release. The manufactured home lot sales firm cited FICS's ability to easily automate and streamline crucial functions like escrow tracking. Easier data retrieval and reporting was also highlighted.

In addition, the FICS servicing system, dubbed Mortgage Servicer, was implemented at Cascade Financial Services -- which also specializes in financial manufactured home lots and only recently developed a servicing department -- according to an April press release. Cascade made the move in an effort to transition from a firm that originates loans on a flow basis to a correspondent model where they sell closed loans. With FICS, Cascade hopes to take advantage of its status as a Ginnie Mae issuer.

"We selected FICS because of their ability to interact with Ginnie Mae, their ability to comprehensively answer our questions and because they have clients that are successfully using the Ginnie Mae reporting feature," Cascade Chief Executive Officer George Dover was quoted as saying in the release.

More than 160 FICS customers attended a Dallas user conference in April, FICS reported. Another Dallas-area conference is scheduled for April 2010.

GCC Servicing Systems reported in July that its servicing platform was one of the first to go live with Ginnie Mae's business process improvement -- an initiative to reduce risk and obtain more timely loans details from issuers. GCC noted that the initiative is a major task but praised Ginnie's flexibility in working with the Mortgage-Backed Securities Administration Agents.

RxOffice from IndiSoft LLC has been implemented by default service provider Prommis Solutions LLC, an announcement last month said. The service enables Prommis to manage its loss mitigation portfolio and maintain good communication with delinquent borrowers. Prommis reported that it successfully processed almost 20,000 loss mitigation files through RxOffice since its May implementation.

In May, OpenClose announced a venture with CCMC Inc. that enables users of OpenClose's loan origination software to book closed loans directly to servicing systems.

Also in May, BLC Servicing unveiled a new Web site that it says provides "vital and timely information" for borrowers and investors on loans its services. Among the information provided is loan status and portfolio data.


Sam Garcia worked in mortgage lending for twenty years prior to becoming publisher of MortgageDaily.com in 2000.

e-mail:
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