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Servicers Boost Employee Productivity

Small and mid-sized mortgage servicers have been increasing the number of loans handled per employee. Net income per loan serviced swung from a loss to a profit, and firms are seeing big benefits from economies of scale.

Surveyed firms serviced an average of 30,291 mortgages for $4.388 billion in the first quarter, less than the 34,505 loans serviced for $5.286 billion in the fourth-quarter 2011.

The average portfolio was 36,769 loans for $5.597 billion in the first-quarter 2011.

But the difference between periods narrowed when only considering servicers that were surveyed in both the current and prior quarters, according to the Quarterly Mortgage Bankers Performance Report Q1 2012 from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The average portfolio was 31,849 loans for $4.752 billion in the first quarter compared to 32,150 mortgages for $4.746 billion for the same servicers in the final quarter of last year.

The report is priced at $650 for members of MBA and $1,100 for non-members. It was prepared using data derived from the quarterly Mortgage Bankers Financial Reporting WebMB Form submitted by 173 small and medium-sized independent mortgage companies and subsidiaries.

Mortgages serviced per full-time employee climbed to 980 from the fourth quarter’s 967. In the year-prior period, the total number serviced per employee was 959.

The increase was greater when comparing periods for firms surveyed in both the first quarter and the fourth quarter of last year, with the average climbing to 993 loans from 925 average loans serviced per full-time employee.

Total net servicing financial income swung to a 2.73-basis-point profit from a 3.52-basis-point loss in the fourth quarter but fell short of the 3.67-basis-point profit a year prior.

Companies that serviced fewer than a thousand loans had a loss of 20.41 BPS, while the total net financial income swung to a 3.79 basis-point profit when servicing portfolios were between 1,000 and 5,000. The number was 8.93 BPS for firms servicing between 5,000 and 50,000 mortgages, and it jumped to 10.21 BPS when servicing portfolios exceeded 50,000 units.

On a dollar basis, surveyed servicers earned $40 per loan, swinging from a $54 loss but trailing $65 per loan in the first quarter of last year.

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