Mortgage Daily

Published On: August 6, 2008
Foreclosure Friends and FoesRecent foreclosure prevention activity

August 6, 2008


A legal firm says it helps some delinquent borrowers stay in their homes up to eight months without making payments and helps others who have had no hardship but are upside down in their mortgages. Meanwhile, more companies are coming to the aid of overwhelmed servicers — with two recruiting displaced mortgage professionals.

Freedom Mortgage Resolutions Inc. has launched with more than 100 mortgage professionals in 16 states to resolve delinquent mortgages without a foreclosure, parent Freedom Financial Holdings Inc. announced last week.. The Fort Wayne, Ind.-based company said it has successfully negotiated a settlement for around 60 percent of its cases. In addition to settlements, it also negotiates re-writing note terms, modifications, forebearance agreements and short payoffs as well as deeds-in-lieu and keys for cash.

Freedom said it continues to recruit displaced mortgage brokers and originators.

LenderLive Network Inc. said Tuesday that under a new joint initiative with PMI Mortgage Insurance Co., it will work with servicers to identify borrowers who are more likely to default and face foreclosure. Before the loan becomes delinquent, LenderLive contacts high-risk borrowers and develops a strategy to avoid foreclosure that might include a modification or a refinance into an alternative loan program.

eZLoan Optimizer was launched by LandAmerica Financial Group Inc. to also help servicers identify prospective problem mortgages, prioritize them and develop a plan of action, according to an announcement Monday. The fully automated service analyzes 100 percent of the loan portfolio based on more than 400 attributes.

“Once this exhaustive analysis is complete, a mortgage lender or servicer receives a forecast of future loan portfolio performance, identification of individual loans with greatest potential for loss and recommendations for mitigating losses,” the statement said. “eZLoan Optimizer incorporates current programs committed to minimizing foreclosures such as ASF, FHASecure and HOPE NOW rules.”

US Loan Assist has partnered with to recruit mortgage brokers whose customers may be in danger of foreclosure, a press release today said. US Loan pays a referral to the broker while counseling delinquent borrowers and helping them negotiate loan modifications, short sales and repayment plans.

The Mortgage Default Legal Team issued a statement yesterday indicating that it assists delinquent borrowers through the foreclosure process and the transition to a new home. The firm suggested it also helps borrowers who had no hardship but just face a negative equity position. In addition to negotiating with lenders and helping with credit repair, the Oceanside, Calif.-based company claims it can sometimes “negotiate with lenders to allow homeowners to remain in their home for up to eight months without making any mortgage payments.”

Strategic Asset Solutions announced Tuesday it helps servicers comply with California’s Senate Bill 1137, which requires that delinquent borrowers be contacted 30 days prior to being served with a Notice-of-Default. Strategic explained that it handles the series of steps required when borrowers cannot be reached, saving lenders an immense amount of time, diligence and documentation.

ModCo Solutions also assists lenders in complying with California’s SB 1137, a news release yesterday said. Additionally, the Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based company said it helps servicers contact delinquent borrowers, provides property valuations and inspections, and offers other national third-party services through a network of 13,000 real estate professionals.

HOPE NOW’s Deputy Director Larry Gilmore testified Monday before the California Assembly’s Banking and Finance Committee, the group indicated in a statement. He noted how member groups have committed to timely responses to borrowers and third-party counselors and highlighted an agreement by members to subordinate second liens if their position won’t worsen. He indicated outreach efforts include early contact for subprime adjustable-rate borrowers facing resets and a letter campaign for borrowers who are 60 days past due, though “reaching no-contact borrowers remains a significant challenge.”

Gilmore reported that from July 2007 through June 2008, more than 138,000 California foreclosures were prevented. In excess of 94,200 borrowers received repayment plans and nearly 44,000 received loan modifications.

New York’s Governor David A. Paterson signed S.8143-A/A.10817-A, which requires servicers to send a pre-foreclosure notice to borrowers at least 90 days before foreclosure proceedings may be initiated, a press release yesterday said. The bill also establishes a mandatory settlement conference for foreclosure proceedings on some subprime borrowers and provides a court-appointed attorney in cases where the borrower cannot afford one. In addition, the new law requires the party filing the foreclosure to prove ownership of the note.

The announcement noted that approximately one-in-200 New York homes is in the foreclosure process, and a disproportionate share of the foreclosure activity is occurring in Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island as well as Upstate New York, Monroe and Albany counties.

In Minnesota, a network of 17 nonprofit agencies tied to the Minnesota Home Ownership Center are standing by to advise borrowers about “the new federal HOPE Act,” a statement last week said. The group, which says it helped nearly 9,000 delinquent borrowers last year, said 80,000 Minnesota borrowers are expected to default this year.

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