DS News

DS News December 2022

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

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Page 61 of 99

60 come up with fixes and workarounds just to get things done on a day-to-day basis. A servicer's software partners need to understand the business and have experience in consistently innovating through market trends. A servicer's internal teams and outsourced developers may not be fully up to speed on what technologies are already available. Even if they are, the best technologies are not necessarily agreed upon by all parties involved. e teams and developers also may not know how to be inclusive of the customer journey or how to use seamless integration APIs that make mortgage servicing boundaryless. ey may not have the capabilities to use what works from a proven process library, or the ability to add, change, and manage processes on their own without their software partner's help. e impact of such activities isn't lost resources or dollars and cents—although it can contribute to higher costs. e bigger problem is that when productivity slows and your staff are continually being drained of energy because they are too focused on creating and fixing inadequate technologies, it ultimately shows up in poor customer service, leading to reputational harm and possibly enforcement actions. All negatively influencing the bottom line. Despite the challenges, there is a better way to manage the build-buy relationship. HOW TO HAVE IT ALL Regardless of what options they choose, ultimately, a servicer's technology should pro- vide real-time access to borrower information, enhance workflows, and utilize automation wherever possible. It should also create trans- parency and visibility into servicing processes to enable constant process improvement and drive compliance. Fortunately, technology already exists that has these capabilities and more, including preset workflows and 24/7 borrower digital access to critical information, workflows, and respon- siveness. Even better, servicers can leverage this technology to accelerate their strategic initia- tives while retaining full operational control by tailoring it to fit the needs of their business. However, servicers first need to evolve past their "buy versus build" ways of thinking about technology and embrace a buy and build approach. at's because it's completely possible to buy pre-built technology and strategically enhance and customize it in order to better service loans more digitally, cost-effectively and efficiently, regardless of where borrowers are in the loan lifecycle or the evolving mortgage ecosystem. With this approach, servicers can easily and readily change processes and workflows as new market challenges emerge, such as the ability to bulk process forbearance requests or provide instant relief to homeowners who have been impacted by a recent hurricane, wildfire, or another natural disaster. is is made possible through cloud-based software delivery that al- lows a servicer's analysts or processors to access, configure, and manage workflows no matter where they are located or what device they use. Servicers could also take the full SaaS approach and have their process expert software partner make these changes for them. e end result of this approach is more innovative, progressive, efficient, and seamless servicing that produces the highest level of re- turns. Keep in mind that originators are trying to optimize their costs and retain customers too, particularly in today's increasingly difficult mar- ket. ey obviously favor servicing partners that incorporate proven, process-driven technology that enhances the borrowers' experience. Simply put, there is no better way to achieve this level of innovation than buying technol- ogy that is already proven and building upon as necessary, based on ever-evolving industry scenarios. NO TIME TO WASTE Regardless of what path you choose when implementing technology, this is no time to make costly mistakes. Servicers can have both pre-built proven processes, robust features, in- tegrations, smart data integrity, and the ability for their teams to build new workflows that they need from easy-to-use interfaces. But they ought to act soon. Servicers spent the past decade heroically navigating historic levels of mortgage defaults, soaring refi volumes, requests for assistance from an endless procession of natural disas- ters and a pandemic, and a relentless wave of new complexities to their businesses. With an increase in borrower defaults coming in the months and year ahead—as more Americans grapple with rising prices and an economy on the verge of recession—it's not going to get any easier. As the landscape shifts, servicing costs can only rise from here on out, and the impact will be much more severe for companies that fail to take a proactive approach to their technology. However, that proactivity should not go as far as taking on the entire burden of building and maintaining technologies on one's own. Such a burden is simply too great and too risky in today's rapidly changing environment. Instead, servicers should be spending their resources carefully by leveraging innovation that brings all parties into a cohesive, connected, and proven way of doing business. Imagine providing today's increasingly impatient consumer with any request they need at any time, through any device, within a personalized user-friendly online portal, while lowering costs and improving customer retention. ese things are already possible. To achieve them, servicers first need to embrace a buy-and-build approach, and the best time to start is now. Jane Mason is CEO and Founder of Clarifire and the original architect behind CLARIFIRE, an applica- tion that brings all parties within mortgage servicing operations together onto one secure platform. She is a recognized leader in technology solutions for the financial services and mortgage industries. With over 15 years' experience in financial services technology, Mason started her career in business operations, quickly becoming an executive of an international law firm. As an entrepreneur and innovator, Mason has received numerous awards and accolades for her service in local business and the national mortgage stage. By: Jane Mason Feature

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