DS News

DS News December 2020

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

Issue link: http://digital.dsnews.com/i/1315468

Contents of this Issue


Page 50 of 100

49 "We need to work with our regulatory partners to reach a commonsense solution to better reflect a 21st -century world, embracing the reality that COVID-19 precautions will be with us for the foreseeable future." —Michael Keaton, Chief Servicing Officer, Shellpoint Mortgage Servicing Management Services said that, in the beginning, he noticed a decrease in the number of homes for sale because customers showed reluctance, due to the contagious virus, to show their homes to potential buyers. And then there was that subsequent increase in demand, he said, due to historically low interest rates and people beginning to work from home. "People were moving from cities to suburbs and looking for larger and/or multigenerational housing," he said. "An origination boom occurred, as we all know, with record Q2 and Q3 volumes. Demand created a shortage of homes for sale, increasing overall prices, and federal moratoria further reduced normal supplies." However, some say the lack of equilibrium is nothing new. "Successfully matching the demand for their services with their capacity is something with which the housing finance industry has long suffered," Rood said. "After the industry scrambles to build capacity to meet surging demand, we are often too slow to right-size operations once demand pulls back. e result is that the profits pools earned during a heady market quickly dry up from too much capacity on the downslope." THE INDUSTRY'S 'RAPID AND ROBUST RESPONSE' Daren Blomquist, VP of Market Economics at Auction.com, says the hallmark of the COVID-19 crisis has been the "amazingly rapid and robust policy and industry response." "e impact of that response has largely overshadowed the direct impact of the virus itself," he said, "and it cushioned the negative impact of the virus in the panicky days and weeks following the declaration of the pandemic while setting the foundation for the housing and mortgage markets to quickly roar back to life and even outperform pre- pandemic levels." Technology and innovation became big players not only in-house but also for consumers. "At Auction.com, we've seen investments made in technology and innovation over the past several years help both our buyers and sellers function more efficiently during this health crisis," Blomquist said. Auction's online platform for selling bank-owned homes, for example, allows those properties to be sold and closed remotely, without in-person contact. "is platform has helped sellers dispose of many aged and rural assets while providing our buyers with much-needed inventory, he said. "We've also enabled socially distant bidding at foreclosure auctions—which traditionally have required bidders to attend in-person." THE GOVERNMENT RESPONDS In the days and months following COVID-19's arrival in America, Congress acted quickly to enact stimulus packages. e chief federal housing agencies announced federal and state eviction moratoria to help borrowers suddenly unable to make mortgage payments. Not only did leaders in the field have to account for those immediate actions, but they also began preparing for ongoing developments within the government. "We are continuing to position ourselves for an unpredictable market—with high levels of ongoing distress, extensions to moratoriums, end of the refinance wave, and so forth—that could see significant changes in policy coming from the CFPB and FHFA under a new administration," said Tim Rood. Most agreed, while a new President won't have a lasting impact on housing, there are differences in policies to consider. "I don't think, ultimately, that the election is the key thing for housing, because that underlying supply shortage trumps everything else. is election could see some near-term turmoil that will just be quickly forgotten," Defranco said. "What we need in this country would be to loosen some of the local building restrictions, certainly in California where I live. is is a major problem, but that's not something that the President has any control over." Collaborating with regulatory partners to help modernize the regulatory landscape is one

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of DS News - DS News December 2020