HLP’s Mediation Portal Now “Live” in Philadelphia February 2018
Teaming Up MMI and HLP have teamed up on national projects to help homeowners Page 2
Helping Vets HLP is part of a HUD-funded coalition that is providing fair housing education and outreach to veterans Page 3
HLP’s Mediation Portal went “live” on February 1 in Philadelphia’s Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program, with the goal of helping homeowners and servicers resolve mortgage delinquencies more quickly and for less cost. The program is one of the most successful mediation programs in the US, handling several thousand foreclosure cases each year. The portal will replace manual processes and is expected to dramatically improve effectiveness. With all the data and documents for each case stored on HLP’s platform, the portal will deliver key benefits to servicers, counseling agencies and homeowners, and the court: • Improve transparency and communication between all parties; • Eliminate disputes about when data or documents were provided; • Reduce the need to reschedule conferences; and • Speed up the process to find a sustainable solution to the mortgage delinquency. “HLP has provided mediation services during the past few years, participating in more than 29,000 cases nationwide,” said Mark Cole, HLP’s chief executive officer. “We believe HLP's system will bring a new level of standardization, transparency and efficiency to an otherwise fragmented process. …continued on page 4
HLP “Live” in US Bankruptcy Court’s Middle District of Florida Disaster at MBA Meeting
One of the nation’s busiest bankruptcy courts is now offering HLP as its mediation portal.
HLP’s turnkey product for disaster assistance generates positive attention at the National Mortgage Servicing Conference & Expo
HLP has gone “live” in the US Bankruptcy Court in the Middle District of Florida, giving mortgage servicers and debtor attorneys a new option to speed up the processing thousands of bankruptcy cases.
The Middle District of Florida has the third highest caseload of the US Bankruptcy Court’s 90 districts, with 23,943 new cases filed there in 2017. Approximately 10 million people reside in the district, which includes Tampa Bay, Orlando, Jacksonville, Ocala, …continued on page 5
Michelle Jones is the Chief Development Officer for MMI and Executive Director of the Clearpoint division. She is responsible for MMI’s fundraising and philanthropic development. She also leads the organization’s external affairs, business development, and customer service delivery teams that provide financial counseling, coaching, and education services.
MMI and HLP are helping first-time homeowners with CBC Mortgage. What are your goals? The CBC Mortgage program provides new homeowners with coaching throughout their first year. Our goal is to help them build a solid, actionable financial plan that improves long-term financial capability and reduces the likelihood of future default. By regularly engaging with our counselors, homeowners will be supported as they develop and implement their financial plan. It will produce more financially confident borrowers and have a lasting positive impact on the community.
How are you and HLP helping veterans obtain housing? A central component of MMI’s housing services is to promote safe and stable housing. We also have a very active veterans’ program, so combining those two areas in a meaningful way is a great opportunity. We were pleased to be awarded a grant under HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP). Homeless and transitioning veterans are often victims of housing discrimination due to disabilities, use of service animals, perceptions related to PTSD risk, and other challenges. This program will educate veterans on their fair housing rights by bringing together organizations with expertise in outreach, education, and fair housing.
How are HLP and MMI helping mortgage servicers reduce their costs? Counselors and servicers interacting in real time through HLP’s technology allows borrowers to get the support
they need. As borrowers indicate changes in their finances, MMI can provide counseling and share information with servicers, opening solutions to borrowers before they fall behind. It also gives counselors the ability to prepare borrowers for loan changes before they go into effect, reducing delinquency as borrowers adjust to their new budgets as homeowners. Efforts can be tailored to the needs of each borrower.
Are consumers seeking more help online than in the past? We are serving more people online than ever before. MMI continues to adapt to our clients’ needs and address the changing pain points in their financial journey. We have integrated what we have learned into the design of our new website, which launches later this year. Our new site will be fully optimized for mobile and more intuitive, allowing us to guide more consumers towards sound financial choices and living their best lives.
What are the major financial issues for your clients in 2018? Lack of savings continues to be a concern. Personal savings is just shy of its all-time low, while credit card, student loan, and auto lending all finished 2017 at all-time highs. About one-third of our clients have student loans, with their total unsecured debt exceeding $75,000. Meanwhile, income and homeownership rates are stagnant. We are committed to helping them beat the odds by creating a life of financial wellness through empowered choices, including effective debt-reduction and savings strategies.
New Grant Helps Vets Fight Housing Discrimination The Fight to Help Disabled Military Veterans Obtain Fair Housing Just Got Reinforcements. HLP is part of a coalition of nonprofit organizations that has received a $125,000 grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide education and outreach to individuals and professionals that work with veterans on their fair housing rights. It’s estimated that approximately 25 percent of veterans that served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have filed disability claims. Many of these veterans face problems obtaining adequate housing when they return to civilian life. “Together, we can provide the expertise and scale to meet the needs of veterans nationwide,” said Mark Cole, HLP’s chief executive officer. “The education provided to all participating counseling and outreach agencies is designed to help veterans fully understand their rights under fair housing laws and how and where to report any discrimination.” The project’s goal is to provide more than 3,100 hours of fair housing education to 14,000 potential discrimination victims and to the nonprofit housing counseling and advocacy groups that serve them. The organizations will provide in-person and telephone education, as well as online training and educational resources with a special emphasis on serving those veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The project will be led by Money Management International, Inc. (MMI), one of the nation’s leading providers of financial and counseling and education services. HLP will serve as project administrator and provide 500 hours of education and training to industry professionals that work with and support individuals that may be victims of housing discrimination. In addition to HLP, the other organizations involved are Soldier On, the Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services, and CityVision Services Inc.
HLP’s Disaster Assistance Product a Hit at MBA Conference Many servicers attending February’s MBA's National Mortgage Servicing Conference & Expo stopped Chief Executive Officer Mark Cole in hallways and meeting rooms to learn more about HLP’s turnkey product for disaster assistance. Last year, more than 4,500 families used our Disaster Assistance portal to connect with 20 different servicers, providing updated contact information and submitting requests for assistance. The process takes less than five minutes and resulted in a forbearance for 85% of homeowners in distress—at a fraction of the time and cost for traditional calls and letters. Homeowners suffering devastating property damage from hurricanes, wildfires or other natural disasters need a quick and easy way to communicate with their mortgage servicer. Homeowners were able to document their property damage and request a delay in mortgage payments or other assistance by visiting HLP’s Disaster Assistance Service site. To find out how your organization, can use this service, contact Mark Cole at Mark.Cole@hlpl.org.
…Live in Philadelphia–continued from page 1
Since its inception in 2008, more than 10,000 homes in Philadelphia have been saved from foreclosure. Every Thursday morning at Philadelphia City Hall, homeowners, housing counselors and servicers come together to mediate each case and try to reach an agreement. Approximately 35 percent of all cases have achieved a sustainable agreement.
How It Works • System Credentials. Due to the unique nature of this program, any person working for a mortgage servicers’ staff will need new login credentials to access these cases. Contact your company’s HLP administrator or e-mail us at email@example.com to get yours.
questions you might have about the programs or offer system training if needed. • System Changes. HLP will work with the First Judicial District of Philadelphia, which oversees the program, and its Steering Committee, to implement future changes for the portal. HLP will collect ideas and plan future development based on feedback and consensus, using a monthly development and release cycle. 2017 FORECLOSURE ACTIVITY FOR PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA 1,000
• Start Working Immediately on Cases You Receive. The timelines and expectations are the same for HLP as the current manual processes. Just login and use HLP to respond.
• C ost for Participation. HLP’s participating servicers are covered under their existing agreement with HLP, so case-level pricing is the same as other case types.
• A sk Us Questions or for Training. We are available to help you get started or address any
Source: RealtyTrac, January 2018
…Middle District of Florida–continued from page 1
Daytona and Fort Myers. HLP’s bankruptcy mediation portal offers several benefits that accelerate the mediation process and save money for all parties. These include: • Enables attorneys to easily communicate and exchange data and documents, while tracking the status of any case in real time. • Provides complete transparency and security while building a permanent audit trail since none of the documents, messages and case notes entered into the system can be deleted. • Errors are reduced because there are no lost or disputed documents and each party is able to input and update information in the portal about each case. Participating servicers or their attorneys may receive a notice soon about a new case. Here is what you need to know: • There is No Need for a New Contract. Servicers
already participating with HLP are covered under their existing Master Services Agreement with HLP. This means that case-level pricing is the same as other home retention/foreclosure assistance cases. • Information on Specific Programs. Since you are already working on these mediation cases, we’ll assume that you know each jurisdiction’s specific procedures. • Start Working Immediately on Cases that You Receive. The timelines and expectations are the same for when using HLP as the current manual processes. Just log in and use HLP to respond. • Ask Us Questions or for Training. We are available to help you get started or address any questions you might have about the programs or offer system training if needed. HLP expects additional districts to be added shortly.
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Published on Feb 20, 2018
Published on Feb 20, 2018
News and updates from HLP. In this issue we explore how the court system is benefiting from using HLP and how HLP and MMI have teamed up on...