Post HAMP, HLP to Continue Helping Homeowners File Loan Mods, Work with Servicers Nonprofit Has Helped More Than 500,000 Homeowners and Will Continue to Offer Servicers’ Proprietary Home Retention Programs
Take 5 HLP CEO Cam Melchiorre reflects on achievements in 2016 and what’s ahead for the organization in 2017 Page 2
Freddie Goes Live HLP achieved an important milestone in early December by going “live” at Freddie Mac’s Borrower Help Centers located around the country Page 3
Survey Says Counseling agencies are optimistic and expect an increase in several key activities in 2017 Page 5
With the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) ending on December 31, HLP is making changes to its communications platform to continue handling loan modifications next year and beyond. Effective January 1, 2017, technical changes to HLP’s portal will enable HUD-approved nonprofit counseling agencies and consumers to submit requests for non-HAMP loan modifications and forward them to mortgage servicers for a decision. (See sidebar story on page 4 for technical changes). Since its founding 2009, HLP has provided the technology to transmit data and documents for more than 500,000 homeowners nationwide seeking a loan modification to avoid foreclosure. Once HAMP expires, many mortgage servicers are expected to continue offering proprietary loan modifications and fill the gaps left by HAMP. …continued on page 4
HLP Seeks 1,000 Counselors to Sign Petition Asking Servicers to Use HLP Counselors: Do you wish that all mortgage servicers you work with—especially smaller, regional companies—would use HLP? Now is your chance to let them know HLP’s importance to your work and ask them to join. Beginning today through Friday, January 20, HLP is asking housing counseling agencies nationwide to sign a petition that we will present to all mortgage servicing companies. We are seeking at least 1,000 counselors to sign the petition. To sign our petition, visit https://hlp.org/counselorpetition. …continued on page 4
Cam Melchiorre has served as HLP’s chief executive officer since September 2011, and served on the board of directors since its inception in 2009. Melchiorre reflects on HLP’s achievements this year and what’s ahead for the organization in 2017.
What have been HLP’s top accomplishments in 2016? We’ve added new clients and have expanded our product line. In 2016, US Bank, Seterus, Ditech and Caliber Home Loans enrolled in HLP, and others are in the pipeline. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac selected HLP for major projects. We replaced Fannie’s Home Counselor Online (HCO) system and we’ve started building the communications interface for Freddie Mac’s 13 Borrower Help Centers. We also reached agreements to become the communications platform for several state government agencies and courts. We are providing a performance management dashboard, consumer direct portal and a case management system for the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Authority.
What are your goals for 2017? We’ll continue to expand “fee-for-service programs. For example, we’re enhancing the administrative and oversight capabilities of the counselor performance dashboard designed for Freddie Mac to include invoicing and tracking if a servicer adopts a fee-for-service program for housing counselors. Servicers can really benefit from these programs. Ditech recently leveraged HLP to help comply with the borrower outreach requirements of the FHFA principal reduction program and achieved a 30% right-party contact ratio. We also see continued growth for Homeowner Connect, our direct consumer portal. US Bank offered Homeowner Connect to its customers earlier this year and received
more than 3,000 requests for home retention programs.
Are there other goals on the origination side?
We’ll continue developing HLP into a “full cycle” business, handling data and documents for mortgage origination and servicing. In 2016, we struck agreements with Wells Fargo, Nationstar, Ditech and Finance of America to offer HLP.guru, our new tool to help declined applicants qualify for a mortgage. We are also piloting this program with GSEs and expect more originators sign agreements to use it to help more people achieve homeownership in 2017.
Will HLP offer new products in 2017?
We’re expanding our state foreclosure mediation platform around the country. Our platform will enable courts to schedule conferences with homeowners and services and ensure that all documents are submitted before mediation sessions begin. We’re also in the final stages of programming our bankruptcy mediation functions at the request of three federal bankruptcy districts in Florida. This technology will most likely rollout early in 2017.
Is HLP positioned to grow over the long term?
Yes. We are fulfilling our mission to help people achieve and sustain homeownership. We’ve helped more than 500,000 homeowners since HLP was founded and we will continue to grow and invest in new products. Our business model is sustainable and adaptable.
Freddie Mac Goes “Live” with HLP Nationwide in Borrower Help Centers HLP achieved an important milestone in early December,
ing activity for the Borrower Help Centers and create a
going “live” with its communications technology as part of
Performance Management Dashboard for Freddie Mac.
Freddie Mac’s 13 Borrower Help Centers around the country.
In second phase, HLP will enable Freddie to enhance its
Freddie agreed earlier this year to use HLP’s technology
automated underwriting tools; make potential borrower
platform to track and manage data in its centers, as well as
referrals to lenders; deliver borrower information and doc-
provide other new capabilities that will help it and nonprof-
uments to lenders and support the exchange of data be-
it credit counseling agencies be more effective in helping
tween various stakeholders’ systems.
families that want to purchase a home.
As part of phase two, HLP will do the following:
“We’re excited that the Borrower Help Centers have HLP’s
• Provide software that enables counselors to
technology up and running,” said Cam Melchiorre, HLP’s
determine if a family is ready to start the mortgage
chief executive officer. “It will help them better manage data,
application process and likely to succeed;
reduce costs and give them more time to help their clients.”
applicant data to multiple lenders, giving lenders
The technology will enable the centers to share information
an opportunity to compete to win the applicant’s
and interact with mortgage lenders on a secure platform. It also helps affirm the housing counselor’s role as a critical bridge between the borrower and the lender, or in the case
• Work with lenders to connect applicants denied a loan to a counseling agency, which will provide
of loss mitigation, the borrower and the servicer.
financial education needed to qualify for a mort-
Freddie Mac has 13 Borrower Help Centers in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New
• Provide counselors a secure method to send
• Utilize HLP’s technology platform to support secure
York, and the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Through
communications and transfer of sensitive information
these centers, Freddie Mac works with national nonprof-
it intermediaries to help prepare prospective buyers for homeownership and help struggling borrowers with Freddie Mac-owned mortgages avoid foreclosure.
In addition, Freddie Mac will support an HLP initiative to work with case management system providers to standardize data document requirements across the counseling
The three-year agreement between Freddie Mac and HLP
sector. Freddie will also help HLP position its technology
has several phases. Initially, HLP will deploy a case man-
platform as a national data repository for the sector, which
agement system for counseling agencies; automate track-
will assist policy makers and researchers.
Post-HAMP, Here’s What’s Next for Servicers, Counselors …Post HAMP–continued from page 1
Regulations governing mortgage loans are one reason proprietary loan modifications will continue. For example, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau requires that servicers contact delinquent borrowers within 36 days of their first missed payment to inform them that loss mitigation options may be available. “HLP is a unique platform that provides leading-edge connectivity for our major stakeholders, especially mortgage servicers and HUD-certified counseling agencies,” said Cam Melchiorre, HLP’s chief executive officer. “To accommodate everyone post-HAMP, we’ve made technical changes to our platform so homeowners can continue to seek help through proprietary programs offered by servicers and receive a quick response to their request.”
What Should I Do Now? Nothing. Most loan servicers will continue to accept the standard “Home Retention” case until they make the transition to a new post-HAMP case type. Counselors should continue to use the existing case type; there will be no changes until a servicer makes the switch. A New Case Type is Coming: HLP has created a new case type called “Home Retention—Loan Modification,” which has updated data and document requirements. These will include: • The Request for Mortgage Assistance (RMA) form will be replaced in the standard required document set by the Uniform Borrower Assistance Form (UBAF) 710. • The Question and Answer and Case Status codes will also be updated to eliminate references to HAMP that will no longer be applicable.
…HLP Petition–continued from page 1
Who Will Use the New Case Type? We expect the first servicer to
The petition will let servicers know that HLP will make them more productive by transmitting any loan modification request from any counselor across the nation. HLP will enable them to process these requests more efficiently by receiving all data and documents in a safe and secure environment.
go “live” with the new case type in early 2017. HLP will notify coun-
With the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) ending on December 31, we want all loan servicers to continue supporting counseling agencies and HLP. More than 1,100 nonprofit housing counseling agencies and 19 of the 20 largest US mortgage servicers use HLP for their home retention work. If we can get even more servicers to use HLP, we’ll all be able to help more people.
to select the “Home Retention—Loan Modification” case type when
selors when a servicer’s data and document requirements change in our system. Before a switch occurs, counselors will still see and work the old “Home Retention” cases in your HLP dashboard. Once a switch to the new case type occurs, counselors will only be able
starting a new case. What Happens Next? HLP is working to facilitate loan servicers’ needs by enabling configurable document sets inside HLP. This capability allows each servicer to meet the needs of different portfolios and investors. For counselors, HLP is working to integrate the new data and document changes for the new “Home Retention—Loan Modification” case type with case management system providers, such as RXOffice and CounselorMax. Until these platforms are integrated, counselors may need to manually enter these cases into HLP.
H L P M O N T H LY S U R V E Y
Counseling agencies expect to help even more people buy a home in 2017 Sixty-six percent of nonprofit counseling agencies expect pre-purchase counseling activity to rise in 2017 compared to this year, according to HLP’s December survey of counselors. While this finding may not be surprising since home purchases continue to rise in most parts of the country, counselors also expect a rise in financial literacy and loan modification work next year. The survey found that 55 percent of agencies expect increased activity in financial literacy work, while 48 percent predict an increase in loan modifications. The expectation for more loan modifications is interesting since the HLP survey found that 45 percent of agencies reported a drop in loan modification activity in 2016. Few counseling agencies predict an uptick in HECM or post-purchase counseling in 2017. Only 17 percent of agencies expect an increase in HECM counseling activity and only 14 percent in post-purchase counseling.
Counselor’s Activity Expectations for 2017
A Holiday Letter from HLP Chair Faith Schwartz As 2016 winds down, I’d like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to everyone for your continued support of HLP. With the help of mortgage servicers, GSE’s, HUD-approved counseling agencies and others, HLP has been a unifying force in our industry. Since its founding in 2009, we’ve been able to help more than 500,000 homeowners nationwide seeking to keep their homes. This metric is strong evidence that HLP is achieving its mission of helping people achieve and sustain homeownership. We enter 2017 financially fit and ready to continue meeting your needs. Our new Servicer Advisory Council, which will convene early next year, will help HLP continue to adapt and upgrade our technology to make servicers’ more productive and efficient. We are also dedicated to continuing our strong partnership with HUD-approved counseling agencies. In a changing mortgage market, we realize they are focusing more resources on pre-purchase counseling to help people purchase homes. Through HLP. guru and other new products, we are positioned to help these agencies prosper in 2017. Happy holidays to all and we look forward to working with you in the New Year. —Faith Schwartz
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