In the News
For servicers seeking to differentiate themselves with mortgage investors, the ability to quickly resolve a delinquent loan has taken a backseat to demonstrating a strict adherence to the swath of new compliance requirements that have transformed the industry.
Establishing strong compliance and audit programs "can be a real differentiator out there in the market and can help the strong servicer actually save money," said Scott Samlin, a partner with the law firm of Alston & Bird, at an industry conference earlier this year.
A decade ago, the servicer's main objective was speed, with the government-sponsored enterprises grading them on how quickly they could get the ball rolling on a foreclosure, Samlin added. But now, servicing is under more regulatory scrutiny than any other segment of the mortgage business, including originations. Companies must make compliance a focal point of their operations in order to survive the intense regulatory scrutiny permeating the business.
And it may not be long before individual states start coming out with more stringent regulations than what the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has put forth, Samlin declared.
At Bayview Loan Servicing, "we talk about compliance being at the top of the waterfall," said Michael Waldron, its chief compliance officer. Compliance needs to be woven in the fabric of a company's servicing platform.
When a servicer meets with outside parties, no matter if they are regulators, clients, potential clients or investors, "the focus of those meetings is in and around compliance," he continued.
It's the regulators' job to ensure servicers maintain compliance with regulations, particularly those that affect consumers, said Loren Morris, the executive vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer of Fay Servicing. But it's up to servicers to find cost effective ways to implement those requirements into their processes.
However, many organizations do not devote sufficient resources to appropriately build out a compliance management system, Waldron noted. No matter if an organization services 10,000 loans or 300,000, the compliance function's foundation and framework are the same.
So in determining the appropriate amount of resources to devote to compliance, he said companies need to understand how the department will interact with the rest of the business and then align the framework in a way that allows the business to easily digest what the compliance unit