DS News

DS News December 2020

DSNews delivers stories, ideas, links, companies, people, events, and videos impacting the mortgage default servicing industry.

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Page 47 of 100

46 When COVID-19 reached and spread across U.S. soil, it shocked every sector of American industry. e default servicing business was no exception—albeit several high-level executives say its collective response was nothing short of exceptional. e pandemic sent servicing workforces and their customers, like the entire country, into an initial panic. Delinquency levels spiked, and the government changed rules on the fly. Health and federal agencies compelled brokers, agents, lending staff, and consumers alike to stay home. However, from that place of perturbation emerged new perceptions and processes. Looking back on 2020, there is enough concrete and anecdotal evidence to suggest that the housing market has been a bright spot in an economy tattered by a national health crisis. Leaders reacted to the global disaster by revolutionizing everything from how employees do their jobs to the homebuying process itself. Housing-finance professionals have swiftly implemented systems to address distressed borrowers. What they are building, they believe, is a foundation that can withstand anything the coming year throws their way. As 2020 becomes 2021, we find these captains of industry training for the marathon ahead. PANDEMIC PANIC ENSUES Americans' way of life changed in March 2020, as the global pandemic became the mortgage market's most significant challenge since the 2008 financial crisis. At once, lenders had to shift focus from current projects to deliver organizationwide responses to the virus and its implications. For servicers like Bob Caruso, CEO at ServiceMac, "the first thoughts were focused on how to best support our employees, Cover Story By: Christina Hughes Babb THE LONG ROAD AHEAD From the confusion of the initial outbreak, on through forbearances and internal challenges, here's how default servicing set the pace for the most challenging year since the last housing crisis.

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