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Home | News | Foreclosure | Servicers Expand to Assist Distressed Homeowners
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Servicers Expand to Assist Distressed Homeowners

With delinquent mortgages at unprecedented levels, sheer market conditions command a staff the size of a small army dedicated to working with distressed borrowers. Servicers have added thousands to their loss mitigation teams over the past few years and most are still recruiting. JPMorgan Chase has added more than 10,100 new employees nationwide to the default and loss mitigation organization since 2008, almost doubling its staff. Chase has partnered with HOPE NOW, nonprofits, and state agencies conducting over 1,500 local events through April.

With delinquent mortgages at unprecedented levels, sheer market conditions command a staff the size of a small army dedicated to working with distressed borrowers. Servicers have added thousands to their loss mitigation teams over the past few years and most are still recruiting.

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""Wells Fargo"":http://www.wellsfargo.com has hired and trained 10,000 additional people to work with delinquent customers and reassigned thousands of internal team members, bringing its home preservation staff to 16,000. The company says employees who support home preservation are being utilized in a number of significant ways.

For example, in June of last year, Wells began assigning one mortgage specialist to manage a modification from beginning to end â€" a measure the company says has made ""a big difference"" for customers facing financial hardships and has been recognized as an industry best practice.

Wells Fargo has also staffed 27 Home Preservation Centers located in hard-hit communities, and has hosted 32 free home preservation workshops around the country and participated in more than 537 third-party sponsored events since 2009.

""JPMorgan Chase"":http://www.jpmorganchase.com has added more than 10,100 new employees nationwide to the default and loss mitigation organization since 2008, almost doubling its staff.

The company has opened dozens of Chase Homeownership Centers since the beginning of 2009. According to a company spokesman, by the end of the summer, Chase will have 82 of these centers nationwide, including six near large military bases.

Chase has partnered with HOPE NOW, nonprofits, and state agencies to conduct over 1,500 local events through April 2011.

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""Citigroup"":http://www.citigroup.com has a staff of approximately 5,000 employees that the company says is specially trained and dedicated to working with at-risk homeowners.

A spokesperson for Citi noted, ""As we work to improve our processes, we are currently adding and training approximately 400 to 500 new employees for homeowner assistance.""

""Ally Financial"":http://www.ally.com, the parent company of ""GMAC Mortgage"":http://www.gmacmortgage.com, has increased its default servicing staff by about 40 percent since late 2008.

Jim Olecki, Ally's spokesperson, says since the end of 2010, the company has been increasing staff for foreclosure and loss mitigation functions, in particular, and has made loss mitigation a top priority.

The company has established a GMAC Mortgage HOPE team, which it plans to expand from 16 to 22 cities by the end of the year. These employees will be utilized to attend outreach events and to support local nonprofit agencies.

""We continue to add staff and reallocate our highest performers to key areas in the loss mitigation and home ownership preservation areas, including to single point-of-contact teams,"" Olecki said.

The team dedicated to distressed borrowers at ""Bank of America"":http://www.bankofamerica.com has increased from 3,900 in 2008 to 32,000 today. BofA says its goal is to add another 3,000 by the end of the year. The company has doubled its default servicing and loss mitigation workforce since January of 2010.

Between January 2009 and June 2011, Bank of America participated in more than 750 outreach events meeting with about 100,000 customers. During the first half of this year, the company has conducted its own single‐servicer events in 14 cities with more than 14,000 customers in attendance.

During the second quarter, BofA opened 23 new Customer Assistance Centers (CACs), and is in the process of opening another five, bringing the total to 40 in 22 states this summer. These CACs have provided 8,000 distressed borrowers with face‐to‐face counseling.

The company says previously this type of assistance was centralized, but now Making Home Affordable underwriters, processors, and loss mitigation decision-makers are on-site at these centers in local communities.

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About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay
Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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