InsightsTop 5 Considerations when Evaluating a Servicing Partner

by David Lee, Vice President of Business Development, ServiceLink Default Services

The climate of today’s default mortgage servicing industry is complex. New regulatory and policy updates have many lenders, servicers, and investors of all sizes struggling to keep up. Add to the mix the large number of mortgage forbearances currently in place that are due to come to an end at the beginning of 2021, and you have a simmering pot ready to boil over. Now is the time to engage a servicing partner positioned to help servicers assist their borrowers as loans exit forbearance plans and, in the event of increased default, help them navigate those challenges. How do you find a default servicing partner ready to help you meet this approaching wave and who will step up to the default servicing challenge with you? These are the five factors I recommend considering:

1) TRUST

My military background taught me that when you're being led into battle, you must know the individual who is leading you and know you can trust them. You should always look to individuals and organizations with integrity and a good reputation. When you know and trust that a partner is going to do their job and get the job done, it allows you to focus less time managing your vendors and keeping them on track granting you the ability to focus on your core competencies within your business. And by doing that, it increases your efficiency and profitability.

2) COMMITMENT

What kind of commitment is your partner willing to make to you and the industry? Are they able to step back with you and look at the big picture to provide tailored solutions for a better overall outcome? For more than fifty years, ServiceLink has invested significantly in default innovation – bringing solutions that span the entire default lifecycle to servicers. The end-to-end solutions ServiceLink provides reach beyond the servicers in the default space, but to the attorney firms and investors as well. You want a partner that is committed to the default industry.

3) STRENGTH, STABILITY & SCALABILITY

Mitigating risk is essential to any effective partnership. By finding a stable partner that brings incredible financial strength and industry experience, you build a foundation that can weather any storm. A true effect in the industry right now, particularly in default, are the moratoriums that have been in place for the past six months and have been extended to the end of the year. This puts a halt to foreclosures for three quarters of a calendar year. As a result, less stable service providers who focus solely on one product or service find themselves exposed to financial risk, which in turn creates risk for their clients. ServiceLink’s diverse suite of services including title, auction, field services, and valuations keeps the company strong through the most challenging economic circumstances. Not to mention ServiceLink is the leading default service provider, backed by a Fortune 500 holding company, Fidelity National Financial (FNF).

The ability of a partner to scale to specific business needs is also beneficial, particularly as servicers and their borrowers face growing uncertainty in the coming months. A service provider that is able to scale up or down to the level desired by their clients, helps the customer achieve their unique business outcomes.

4) INNOVATION and TECHNOLOGY

The world is moving at a high-speed – and the default landscape is right there in the fast lane. Now is the time to find a partner that has the technology to stay ahead of this quickly changing climate. ServiceLink supports strategic servicer initiatives with EXOS One Marketplace™, the only AI-powered asset-decisioning tool of its kind. It’s been a game-changer for clients. It provides visibility of assets through the entire default lifecycle, using predictive modeling to determine the optimal disposition strategy for properties in default.

5) RESPECT

When the industry respects who you are and what you do, that speaks volumes. You want to work with people who have the experience and reputation to back it up. I look at ServiceLink as the gold standard in transactional mortgage services, particularly in the default space. It’s a large company, but it operates with a boutique-type style. Every ServiceLink client has a client manager, a business development representative, and a dedicated operational team assigned directly to them. It allows a customized approach that meets the unique needs of each client. That's part of the respect that ServiceLink already enjoys in the industry, and it’s the level of respect you deserve as a client.

David Lee recently joined ServiceLink Default Services as Vice President of Business Development. He’s been working in default services for more than 14 years, joining the industry after serving for more than 22 years as a United States Marine. He finds the principles and tools that drove his military career also come into play in business and life, especially when it comes to evaluating servicing partners during this critical time in our industry.

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