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Webinar: Freddie Mac, Sagent Discuss Digital Servicing

When the pandemic hit, the world was turned upside down. But as we adjusted to the new normal, exciting changes started taking place which includes new tools for loan servicers to connect to lenders. 

Servicing is going through a transformation, and B2B integration is emerging as a new normal for conducting business. The past year brought to light how paramount it is to have automation built into digital platforms. The mortgage servicing industry needs the tools to be responsive to homeowners, especially during times of elevated delinquencies. B2B integration boosts efficiency and provides value where organizations need it the most. The webinar, hosted by DS News and sponsored by Freddie Mac, featured industry two leaders discussing this trending dynamic in mortgage servicing.

You can view the full webinar recording here.

Moderated by David Wharton, Editor-in-Chief of DS News, webinar participants included Uday Devalla, Chief Technology Officer for Sagent; and Cecelia Raine, VP of Servicing Strategy and Integration for Freddie Mac. 

Devalla has led engineering, digital transformation, information security, and regtech strategy in housing for more than two decades. Prior to joining Sagent, Devalla led technology transformation as CIO at Stearns Lending. He also served as a technology executive at Bank of America (and its predecessor organization Countrywide), where he helped build and run the industry’s first non-agency automated underwriting system and proprietary loan origination system. 

With more than 34 years of industry experience, Raine’s current responsibilities as VP of Servicing Strategy and Integration for Freddie Mac include the implementation of the strategic plan to modernize several technology platforms, as well as the future reimagination of the servicing continuum at the GSE. Prior to joining Freddie Mac, Raine held several leadership positions at Black Knight Financial Services and as a portfolio manager and special projects leader at Fannie Mae. Raine has also held leadership positions with several servicers, transforming default areas through process overhaul, leveraging technology and vendor partnerships, and participating in the development of new and innovative loss mitigation tools.

The first question posed to Raine was on the topic of B2B integration in servicing and why it is important in the current market. 

“I really hope what we take away together is to find ways and share experiences on how to have seamless servicing and really dig in and uncover the value that we can bring with new opportunities and working together,” Raine said. “We're doing this through B2B integration. That's one opportunity. And I think a key to all of this is, and as Devalla knows, we work closely with Sagent, it's collaboration and working together.” 

Devalla agreed with Raine’s remarks and said that even though he is relatively new at Sagent, he is heading a number of initiatives with Freddie Mac.

“The most recent example of that is our integration what the Freddie Resolve platform, The new Resolve platform that just came out. We worked with Freddie's team very closely,” Devalla said. “Again, when we talk about B2B integration, that's a great example of B2B integration. We quickly did the integration, made it available to a couple of our clients on a pilot basis and they're about to go live on that … that's a great partnership between Freddie and Sagent in terms of making solutions available to our clients, our collective clients.” 

Raine also believes that integration and digitization, along with e-mortgages, will lead to more efficient closings for servicers and customers. 

“In our view, B2B integration is what enables that digitization,” Raine said. “So you can see in the lifecycle where already things have been happening in the digital space in origination, and we can't have integration and digitization one without the other, so they really do go hand-in-hand. And the parallels between the two, automation of task and workflows. Data from internal and external sources are so important.” 

“If you think about the pre-qualification process in origination appraisal and what we've been able to do in that space and what we've learned from income and asset assessment, what we're doing in underwriting, and also eMortgages,” Raine continued. “What's going happen with those? How can we enable more efficient closings for not only our servicers, but the homeowner? And then we pull that all the way into servicing."

"So we're talking about how do we enable digitizing the servicing process. And there's many ways to do it. Integration is definitely key. It's really looking outside ourselves and what are others doing where they're successful in this kind of activity and how can we learn from that? Many people I'm sure that are listening today, we've seen this at Freddie Mac and I know Sagent has, is homeowners are looking to self-serve. "

Devalla said that it is no secret that digital evolution that happened on the origination side in the past few years, which has been one of the key drivers for B2B integration. 

“Now when you're coming to servicing, we're obviously starting to look at servicing quite closely now,” Devalla said. “And I think what we are trying to provide to our clients is a platform or an ecosystem that has all the integrations with providers, with the different types of providers and B2B integration is a key par That's definitely been a big success for us. It's a great example of how two organizations can work together to bring solutions quickly. Another example like that, which is not necessarily related to Freddie Mac, is our recent integration with a partner called FinLocker—we just actually announced— and that's an integration to provide consumer engagement capabilities on our CARE platform.” 

Devalla agreed with Raine and said that the industry is moving toward more self-serve options and eventually instantaneous decisions at all levels of the process and sees this trend continuing into the future. 

“It's about consumer expectations. Consumer expectations have changed in the last, I would say, 7 to 10 years,” Devalla said. “Servicing has become more about the consumer than just about a ledger-in-the-back kind of thing. That consumer expectations is about transparency. It's about anytime, anywhere access to information and the ability to do self-serve functions on any platform, right? So I think those kinds of expectations are what is driving the industry forward.” 

About Author: Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography including best newspaper design by the Associated Press Managing Editors Group and the international iPhone photographer of the year by the iPhone Photography Awards. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at [email protected].

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