Thursday, May 19, 2011

Single Point of Contact A Reality!

Servicers must assign a "Relationship Manager" to every struggling borrower

Some exciting news was released by the administration of the Making Home Affordable program yesterday (US Treasury and Fannie Mae).  By no later than September 1st, every struggling homeowner that applies for a loan modification under Making Home Affordable must be assigned a single point of contact - who must be an employee of the servicer with a direct, toll-free telephone number - for homeowners to be able to communicate with about their documents, their application and answer questions.  This same point of contact, known as a Relationship Manager, will also be available for non-profit counselors to use when speaking with the servicer about a homeowner's situation. 

Servicers have until November 1st to assign a Relationship Manager to EXISTING MHA Consumers.  (Homeowners that are already in review or in a trial modification).

If implemented correctly... this should end a huge number of the complaints the Center hears from homeowners that are struggling with their mortgage:  "I can never speak to the same person twice,"  "They lose my paperwork,"  "I've had to send in the same document 3 or 4 times"... etc. 

According to the Supplemental Directive 11-04 for Servicers, released on May 18th:

The same relationship manager is responsible for managing the borrower relationship throughout the entire delinquency or imminent default resolution process, including any home retention and non-foreclosure liquidation options, and, if the loan is subsequently referred to foreclosure, must be available to respond to borrower inquiries regarding the status of the foreclosure.

For now, the Supplemental Directive will only be in effect for servicers that are participating in the Making Home Affordable initiative, and have a Program Participation Cap of more than $75mm.  Basically, this covers the largest 20 servicers in the country... and hopefully smaller servicers will follow suit.  Both GSEs (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) are currently exempt from this directive.  In Minnesota, given the partnership between Fannie Mae, the Minnesota Home Ownership Center and the Homeownership Advisors Network, there is already a single point of contact through the local non-profit counseling agency.

Will this improve the MHA program?  What other improvements do you think are necessary... leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

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