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US Bank Says HLP Helping Customers While Cutting Costs November 2017

Need Help? Counselors from Credit.org are now providing online “chat” services for HLP's HomeownerConnect

US Bank’s mortgage collections executive says directing its customers to HLP’s websites is improving the customer experience for thousands of homeowners while also helping the bank significantly reduce its costs. Scott Rodeman, US Bank’s senior vice president of Mortgage Collections, says the bank is now directing its customers to HLP.org and its HomeownerConnect.org website for all mortgage retention options. These not only include applications for loan modifications, but for help after a natural disaster when people can’t afford to make their next mortgage payment.

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Approximately 800 people visited HomeownerConnect.org in October when US Bank started using the newly-designed site, with approximately 245 completing an application. Rodeman expects the number of new cases to gradually increase. He cites the website’s new features, such as the ability to “chat” online with a HUD-approved counselor, as

Take 5

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Scott Rodeman discusses how US Bank is taking advantage of HomeowenerConnect.org to create a unified customer experience Page 2

Score! HLP has selected Credit Data Solutions to provide credit reports for our HLP.guru users Page 3

Credit.org Provides Live “Chat” on HomeownerConnect.org H ousing coaches from credit.org are now providing online “chat” services to help distressed homeowners visiting the HLP HomeownerConnect.org portal to complete and submit their request for a loan modification to their mortgage servicer. The self-service portal went “live” on October 1 and credit.org’s team of coaches is ready to provide help and guidance for homeowners seeking mortgage assistance. Credit.org, headquartered in Riverside, California, is a national nonprofit counseling agency founded in 1974 and provides a full spectrum of financial education, coaching, and counseling services to clients across the country. “Homeowners seeking help online can now receive immediate, customized assistance from a highly trained and experienced housing coach,” said Todd Emerson, credit.org’s chief executive officer. “Our ability to help people using a self-service tool, such as …continued on page 4


Scott Rodeman is Senior Vice President of Mortgage Collections and Recovery at US Bank, which services more than 2.1 million mortgage customers. He has more than 20 years of mortgage servicing leadership experience and holds a degree in business management. Scott is based in St. Louis, Missouri.

What are the key benefits of your partnership with HLP? Customer experience and reduced servicing costs are key advantages of our partnership with HLP. Today’s consumer has grown more comfortable conducting confidential business on line but frequently, consumers needing mortgage assistance have had fewer web based service options. Offering HLP’s HomeownerConnect.org provides a more consistent service offering and helps us create a unified customer experience. Additionally, the transparency offered by HLP builds customer confidence in the application review process. In the past, misrouted documents was a common industry problem; however, customers who apply for assistance through HLP are better informed and have fewer complaints because they can see their documents and application status on line, 24 hours a day. HLP also helps US Bank reduce servicing costs through automation. We integrated HLP into our imaging platform and loss mitigation work flow. This eliminated process steps and cut the decision timeline in half. Reducing decision timelines translates into cost savings, ensures regulatory compliance and makes the customer happy.

How has US Bank implemented this option across its mortgage servicing contact center? HLP is central to our collections communication strategy

so we present it at every key communication touch point. Online, we offer the HomeOwnerConnect.org link on our mortgage website and on-line self-service system. We also utilize written and email correspondence to encourage customers to apply on line for assistance. Recently, we created special email messages for customers affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, as well as other natural disasters. Finally, our most prevalent way to share HLP’s services with our customers is through our call centers. As part of their regular call strategy, our contact center associates provide instructions for our customers to access HLP and apply on line.

Are you seeing benefits from the chat service with HUD-approved counselors? Yes, the new services available in HC2.0 are already helping. When we launched HomeownerConnect.org, we trained our associates to walk the customer through the application process because many customers needed help to complete their application accurately. With HC2.0, customers have access to HUD-approved counselors who can assist them with completing their application on line or provide more in-depth financial counseling if needed. Our customers are now completing their applications faster and our agents are free to assist other customers. …continued on page 4


U P DAT E

Credit Data Solutions Selected as HLP.guru’s Credit Reporting Agency HLP has selected Credit Data Solutions to provide credit reports for individuals using HLP.guru, the “app” with analytical tools to help people simulate their borrowing capacity to help qualify for a home mortgage loan. Credit Data Solutions provides tri-merge credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, rounding out the service list with prequalification credit reports with FICO scores (soft inquiry), QC credit reports (soft inquiry), flood zone determinations, SSA-89s, and AVMs. Based in Irvine, California, the company operates three credit reporting agencies working together: Service 1st Information Systems, Statewide Credit, and Credit Bureau of San Diego.

…US Bank–continued from page 1

well as an increase in email campaigns and other marketing strategies to direct customers to the sites. “I see our new case volume tripling by next year,” Rodeman says. “Our goal is to get 75 percent of our new incoming retention application volume through HLP.”

mortgage customers that suffered property damage from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, as well as other recent natural disasters. Rodeman reports that through October 9, 4,257 US Bank customers used the HomeownerConnect.org site to record their property damage and request a delay in their mortgage payments or other assistance.

Rodeman says the HLP sites are also reducing costs by cutting the amount of time in half to make a decision on a home retention application. “This is a win-win. We help the customer much more quickly while reducing our time on each case.”

“We were able to provide a forbearance solution to almost all of them without a phone call,” Rodeman says. “If we didn’t have HLP’s website support, it wouldn’t have been nearly as effective. Those are pretty impressive results.”

Expectations for future growth are driven in part by the successful use of HomeownerConnect.org to reach US Bank

US Bank is one of the nation’s largest mortgage servicers with approximately 2.1 million mortgage customers.


…Credit.org–continued from page 1

HomeownerConnect.org, is a new way for us to assist distressed homeowners and help them sustain homeownership.” The HLP-credit.org partnership is part of a new strategic relationship between the two organizations to provide “best in class” services to homeowners, particularly as more people seek assistance via online mediums.

owners and servicers, he said. “We’re combining our technology, designed by IndiSoft, with experienced credit. org coaches to readily help homeowners while enabling a more efficient cost structure for mortgage servicers.”

Mark Cole, HLP’s chief executive officer says the combination of HLP’s technology communications platform and credit.org’s online chat service is a model designed to work well for homeowners and mortgage servicers.

Cole says the partnership enhances the value that HLP and nonprofit financial coaching agencies provide to mortgage servicers. “We’ve always been a technology provider to the mortgage industry. But by connecting agencies such as credit.org directly with homeowners, or prospective homeowners, HLP and credit.org can provide a much higher value proposition for everyone.”

“This partnership means that homeowners facing or already in mortgage distress can submit their modification application directly online as well obtain the help they need directly from housing experts. This new, real time, online self-service delivery mechanism is a win-win for home-

While homeowners opting to “chat” with coaches online may only need answers to a few questions to complete their application, they may also choose to schedule a separate housing coaching session to discuss and address their full situation at a later date.

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What’s been the reaction from regulators and investors?

What other benefits are derived from the HLP partnership?

Consumer access to mortgage assistance programs remains an important topic for regulators and servicers. HLP helps our customers achieve that access and our regulators have taken note of the investment we’ve made in this strategy. We’ve also received positive feedback from rating agencies and our industry partners.

Agility is a strength of the HLP organization. Their response to the recent hurricanes is a great example of how well they help us assist our customers. Within two weeks of the Hurricane Harvey’s landfall in late August, HLP had its Disaster Assistance Request Form up and running. HLP’s ability to leverage one platform to meet the complex individual needs of multiple servicers underscores the value they add to our industry.

mark.cole@hlp.org

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202.803.7933

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100 International Drive

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23rd Floor

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Baltimore, Mar yland 21202

HLP News — November 2017  

News and updates from HLP. In the November issue we take a look at how US Bank is using HLP to improve their customer experience while reduc...

HLP News — November 2017  

News and updates from HLP. In the November issue we take a look at how US Bank is using HLP to improve their customer experience while reduc...