Preserving the national housing market



Baker Breedlove from MSI leads the “Lessons Learned: Adapting Business Practices and Finding a Way Forward” panel with JK Huey from Brookstone Management, Todd Pawlinski from US Bank and Joe Iafigliola from Safeguard Properties

As part of the 2021 Five Star Conference at the Hyatt Regency Dallas, several educational labs were held to update attendees on the latest happenings in the mortgage and housing finance arena.

Things started on Monday morning with the Property Management Lab, hosted by Insight One Solutions and co-hosted by Brookstone Management and Guardian Asset Management.
In this lab, lenders / services, field service companies and government officials came together to discuss the challenges the industry is currently facing and what needs to be done to ensure top quality service and fight against the urban scourge.

Jodi Gaines, Chief Client Officer, EVP Business Development and Government Relations for Insight One Solutions briefed the attendees and welcomed the panelists and moderator of the first session, “Lessons Learned: Adapting Business Practices and Find a Way Forward”. The pandemic left a lasting impact across all industries, and the asset preservation sector was no exception. Moderated by Baker Breedlove, CEO, Mortgage Specialists International, Panelists JK Huey, Advisor to the Board of Directors of Brookstone Management; Todd Pawlinski, vice president of property preservation for the US bank; and Joe Iafigliola, CFO of Safeguard Properties, explained how recent innovations have transformed and advanced the property preservation industry.

“One of the biggest challenges we faced at the start of the pandemic in the area of ​​asset preservation was dealing with local restrictions… whether or not our contractors were classified as ‘essential workers’, while they were trying to do inspections or other property preservation. -type of work, ”said Iafigliola. “We had to resolve the fact that in some places a generic letter was required, while other places required specific documentation.”

The second session, “Networking Notes: Strengthening Supplier Relationships,” moderated by Chad Mosley, President of Mortgage Contracting Services (MCS), featured a lively discussion on tips and best practices for building and maintaining a network of strong and committed suppliers. Panelists for this session included Candace Russell, vice president of customer service for Carrington Mortgage Services; Caela Olslund, Director of Innovative Field Services; Phil Johnsen, Vice President / General Manager, Mortgage and Real Estate Solutions for Altisource; and Eric Will, senior director, REO operations, single family operations division for Freddie Mac.

In order to stay ahead of an ever-changing market, most companies needed to embrace new technologies to speed up services, maximize staff efficiency, and help vendors deliver top-notch services. Led by moderator Binni Skariah, Chief Information Officer for Insight One Solutions, the “Tech Talk: The Latest Tools in Client Services” discussion featured Lou Salerno, General Counsel for Guardian Asset Management, and a feedback from JK Huey addressing systems and methods that have worked for them over the past 18 months as the country experiences the COVID-19 pandemic.

With limited REO volumes in 2020 and 2021, limited by the impacts of COVID-19, many in the industry are wondering exactly when baselines will return to pre-pandemic levels? Will ending forbearances and foreclosure moratoriums lead to an increase in REO in the short term? The Five Star Conference REO Lab, hosted by Altisource, brought together industry leaders to share their predictions and strategies regarding disposition, lead generation, asset management and listing positions with feedback on high investment.

Eric Will, Senior Director of REO Operations for Freddie Mac, Delivers “After the Break: Government Perspectives on REO Expectations”

Michael Jansta, Executive Vice President of Hubzu, welcomed participants to the lab, starting with a presentation from Eric Will, Senior Director of REO Operations for Freddie Mac, titled “After the Break: Government Perspectives on Expectations for REO ”. The room needed to be expanded to accommodate the crowd from Reunion Room A at the Hyatt Regency, as Will provided an overview of what’s going on and what’s planned by the GSE, including Freddie’s processes and initiatives, and provided feedback to asset managers, agents and brokers. who serve these industry partners.

“During COVID, some things looked really good for us, and some things are really bad,” Will said. “The challenge for us was how to keep our minds on the real performance? Very good things have come out of our experiences over the past 18 months. “

Following the question-and-answer session, Darrin Hovsepian, Vice President of Alternate Layout for ServiceLink Auction, and Ryan Smith, Director of REO for RE / MAX Properties-Smith REO Group presented the session ” Where We Are: The State of the REO Market, ”explaining what is new in the REO industry, the impact of the US economy as a whole on the market and what the future holds. REO space.

The areas of REO business that agents have eliminated from their business models (short selling and repair management) could increase as 2021 draws to a close and 2022 kicks off. In the “REO Strategy 2021-22: What You Need to Know” session, Aaron Moody, Vice President of Real Estate Operations for Xome and Eddie San Roman, President of 24 Asset Management shared what you need to incorporate into your business model. refined company to prepare you for these anticipated changes.

The last session of the Lab brought together asset management experts to discuss the positives and how to overcome the negatives facing the REO industry as part of the “Stay Nimble: Adaptive Asset Management” discussion. Moderated by Rob Pajon, SVP Marketing & Product, USRES / RES.NET, panelists addressing the topic included Jorge Newbery, CEO of AHP Servicing; Andrew Oliverson, vice president of Radian; and Jacquelyn Pardue, Purchasing Manager for LoanCare LLC, who provided their perspectives on areas for mastering what professionals value most in agents and brokers, and what prompts them to recall an agent with future lists.

Also on Monday was the Service and Compliance Lab, co-hosted by Xome and Incenter, which brought together service professionals and government officials for candid and collaborative discussions on the headwinds facing the industry.

Shawn Miller, Vice President, Head of Business Development at Xome, greeted the session attendees, which presented a pre-recorded presentation from Julienne Joseph, Assistant Assistant Secretary of the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Single-Family Housing Office.

“As you know, the FHA is working with you on various loss mitigation solutions to help homeowners who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Joseph said. “For example, the FHA, during the pandemic, instituted many programmatic changes designed to help homeowners who have been financially affected by the pandemic and who are now at risk of losing their FHA insured loan and possibly being evicted. . “

Responsiveness, awareness and diligence of service agents are critical issues facing the market as a large number of homeowners leave forbearance and attempt to resume their mortgage payment schedules. The “Help Is on the Way: What Mortgage Servicers Are Doing to Help Assist Homeowners” panel, moderated by Daren Blomquist, vice president of market economics for, discussed how the industry can best help these homeowners. people. Panelists Benjamin Gottheim, Senior Director, Mortgage Services Policy for Freddie Mac, and Tim Lightfoot, Senior Vice President – Loss Mitigation Operations for Rushmore Loan Management Services joined Blomquist as they discussed options for loss mitigation for term extensions and other solutions to best help struggling homeowners.

“The tolerance has been very effective,” said Gottheim. “Borrowers are engaged, borrowers continue to withdraw from forbearance in large numbers every month… and after the borrower leaves forbearance, they enter one of our various loss mitigation programs and they work very well. “

And as the industry kept pace with changes in the payment status of its borrowers, the regulatory environment changed as well, and the lab session “The Pendulum: The Return of Regulation” took a closer look. the increased regulatory landscape. Session participants Jesse Schwab, Chief Risk Officer of Bell Bank; Tim Rood, government and industry relations manager for SitusAMC; and Michael Waldron, General Counsel and Compliance Officer for Community Loan Servicing LLC, discussed what the industry needs to do to stay ahead and how the industry can maintain superior service, all by preparing to help an influx of defaulting borrowers as forbearance. plans come to an end.

“I think the main lesson we’ve learned is how important it was for us as an industry to come together like we did in the last crisis,” said Waldron. “Since then, we have been able to draw on shared experiences. We have become stronger as an industry. We have benefited from technological advances. We are able to focus on selfish options, which has been critical to the success of maintenance services during this pandemic. We were hit by the last crisis, and it gave us a better understanding of the importance of customer experience and the value of working together as an industry.

The final lab session brought together a panel of C-Suite industry leaders to share their insights and best practices for success in the “View From the C-Suite” panel. Jesse Roth, executive vice president of business development for; Gagan Sharma, President / CEO of BSI Financial Services; Jocelyn Martin-Leano, Services Division President for Rushmore Loan Management Services; and John Vella, Director of Revenue at Selene Finance, spoke about how executives have handled the past 18 months and how they need to evolve to streamline their operations.

“Over the next year or so, awareness of the need for customer contact is so heightened that everyone will want answers from forbearance plans, continuity and call center activity, and customers loss mitigation is very critical, ”said Vella. “It’s going to be very difficult, from getting back to the office, dealing with all the new rules and regulations, how you contact borrowers and explain their loss mitigation strategies. “

The 2021 five-star conference proved that mortgage servicing professionals are back and ready to serve homeowners across the country. Despite a hectic year of activity, the hundreds of attendees who filled the rooms of Five Star’s Labs have proven that risky homeowners across the country are not alone and that they will always have the help of an industry working together. to put everyone back on the road to recovery.


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