Since 1934, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has insured more than 40 million mortgages for single family, multifamily, and residential care facilities nationwide. Today, as millions of Americans face continued difficulties from the COVID-19 pandemic, the FHA has taken proactive policy steps to assist homeowners facing hardships, including options such as: forbearance, partial claims and streamlined loss mitigation options. For those impacted by COVID-19, this has stepped up mortgage servicer and housing counselor engagement to manage forward and reverse mortgage loans.1
As of September 30, 2021, FHA had active insurance on more than 7.8 million single-family, forward, and reverse mortgages, with a total unpaid principal balance of more than $1.2 trillion. The percentage of first-time home buyers using FHA insurance reached a new high of 84.61 percent of total FHA forward mortgage purchase endorsed in FY 2021.1
As the importance of servicing these loans and the potential for more defaults increase, so has the complexity of managing the process. There are several activities working in parallel while servicing a default asset, and the FHA has provided several beneficial options for dispositioning of an asset. In many instances, there are different vendor partners assisting the servicer for each of these disposition options which branch across multiple departments.
Auction, property preservation and title play a key role in the success of managing the asset and mitigating losses. These products and services have historically been divided and spread throughout multiple service providers. This can create the need for numerous points of outreach to determine a strategy for resolving potential or existing delays. With these numerous touch points come an increased chance for failure or delay within the process. This can make it challenging for a servicer to have a clear line-of-sight into the successful path.
Finding an experienced and reliable servicing partner is crucial to ensure a streamlined workflow. Getting as much of the auction, property preservation, and title components under one roof allows for consistent communication, faster turnaround and accurate resolutions.
”ServiceLink has developed an inclusive FHA solution,” says Matthew Rogina, Vice President, National Sales Executive for ServiceLink. “Through data integrations, shared quality control metrics, FHA expert training, strategic internal collaboration and our expansive product, service and geographic footprint, we’ve brought these areas together and aligned with our servicer clients.”
ServiceLink’s focused approach with an end goal of effectively and efficiently mitigating issues, keeps the process moving in the right direction to successfully dispose assets. By centralizing efforts through a single service provider, servicers can meet timelines and minimize losses.
“When we have a servicing partner that has all products with ServiceLink we take much of the handoffs in communication in-house at ServiceLink to lessen our partner’s hands-on involvement in day-to-day activity,” says Anthony Scotese, Vice President, Operations at ServiceLink. “This can range from notification from Auction to Field Services that an Asset is under contract or Field Services notifying Title that a property is a mobile home and providing them with the necessary photos of tags and data labels from within the mobile home to streamline de-titling. By ServiceLink taking on these processes our servicing partners have more time to perform more valuable oversight and decision-making functions.”
ServiceLink’s nationwide asset marketing and auction services, along with best-in-class portfolio analytics, move auction assets quickly from foreclosure through second chance or REO into streamlined closing. Offering third-party sale and second chance auctions, the ServiceLink auction process helps to minimize unnecessary preservation spend on loans with accepted offers, as well as escalating loans that may take longer to convey due to damages but are still eligible for second chance.
ServiceLink Title has access to preservation systems of record to identify dwelling types and HUD tags to decrease de-titling delays. From pre-foreclosure to the industry’s first “one-stop” FHA post-sale title solution, ServiceLink ensures efficient outcomes.
Synchronous property preservation services along with title and auction, expedite timing and reduce risk. ServiceLink’s property preservation and title teams each leverage dashboards to prioritize and show which loans are certified in conveyance condition (ICC) along with title status to decrease conveyance timelines. Once in auction, the ServiceLink property preservation team can identify severely aged, high-risk FHA files to bring forward the best course for disposition.
Providing a solution that brings comprehensive and holistic services paired with expertise in FHA requirements positions ServiceLink as the most qualified partner to lead the industry through this unusual time in history.
To learn more about the services that are part of ServiceLink's streamlined FHA strategy, visit https://www.svclnk.com/servicers/default/
1 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, November 15, 2021, FHA Releases 2021 Annual Financial Report to Congress, [Press Release], www.hud.gov/press/press_releases_media_advisories/HUD_no_21_187 1 https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/Housing/images/MMIQtrlyQ12021.pdf