Samantha Manfer: Investors want a complete mortgage origination and management solution


PERSON OF THE WEEK: Mortgage lenders and service providers are bracing for a wave of foreclosures resulting from the end of moratoria on pandemic-related foreclosures – however, with mortgage relief options available to state-level borrowers and a improving the labor market, it is difficult to say how bad the situation will be. to become. Either way, lenders and service providers must have the resources and infrastructure to deal with an increase in defaults in a compliant manner.

Subcontractors are waiting behind the scenes for lenders and service providers, who are also preparing for the potential spike in foreclosure volume – a spike that will likely have very different characteristics from the 2008 crash.

In a recent interview with MortgageOrb, Samantha Manfer, Executive Vice President, Chief Business Development Officer and Brand Manager for Planet Home Lending, discusses how various mortgage organizations that offer origination, management and outsourcing services can potentially provide investors with options more sophisticated to manage or liquidate distressed assets during changing market conditions.

Q: What trends do you see in asset management?

Manfer: Investors apply more sophisticated analysis to identify multiple real-time execution options in response to market fluctuations.

Traditionally, investors have specific strategic approaches for each asset. If you bought a non-performing portfolio, you modified, refinanced, or foreclosed and sold the property as an REO. If you bought a performing portfolio, you managed the loan until the borrower paid off and transferred all overdue loans to a special manager.

Today, investors realize that when the market moves, having the ability to change an asset’s strategic plan can preserve or even improve projected returns. Agility, ingenuity and real-time flexibility deliver better returns regardless of the market cycle.

You shouldn’t have to change subcontractors just because you change your mind about an asset.

Q: Can you give me some concrete examples of what you see?

Manfer: A simple example might be evaluating refinancing to liquidate an asset and reinvesting capital elsewhere versus defensive refinancing and asking us to return the mortgage service charge (MSR) to maintain your service portfolio.

Q: How is this trend changing outsourcing and asset management?

Manfer: Traditionally, most subcontractors have been siled, or even binary, which means that they specialize in performing or non-performing asset classes. They know either the maintenance or the origin. Mortgage assets enter a track with a defined start and end – and stay stuck in that track until the loan is paid off or sold.

Today’s investors want a complete mortgage origination and management solution. They want to take into account all the monetization options and freely move assets from performing to non-performing assets, from management to origination, without transferring the loan. This requires a subcontractor and an asset manager with much broader expertise. Monetization doesn’t just offer refinancing in 10 states. It’s having all the tools that could be used to maximize profits from an asset located anywhere.

Q: What options do investors want?

Manfer: These tools can include nationwide collection, bankruptcy management, foreclosure, modifications and loss mitigation so that investors can buy pools with the widest possible range of underlying assets. This is about refinancing to protect against runoff or to liquidate an asset and buy loans for buyers who are moving.

Once these options are available, investors can maximize value by opting for a more profitable strategy or, to return to the track analogy, changing the track of the loan without having to move it to another subcontractor, manager. asset or special service.

Private clients who do not have the in-house analysis and expertise to assess their options and take real-time action typically want a business partner who can play an advisory role.

Ultimately, investors want to be able to pull on one lever, and when the market turns, quickly pull on another lever to increase profits or protect value.

Q: How has this trend played out for Planet Financial Group?

Manfer: Planet has four channels and a dedicated team that we have synchronized to create our “monetization engine” division ecosystem. Planet Management Group manages the asset, Planet Home Lending provides retailer outsourcing, maintenance and retention, and our aftermarket team repackages and closes deals. This synergy drives the engine with the precision necessary to support investors’ goals. This monetization engine brings something unique to the market.

Naturally, even in a company where collaboration is a core value, assembling operational support and breaking down channel silos was a challenge.

We had to put together teams of people with unique experience that included performing and non-performing services as well as residential and commercial setups. Obtaining a license to come from 47 states was a big capital investment. Setting up IT, communications and compliance systems to move borrowers smoothly and securely from one channel to another was also a huge undertaking.

But the result justifies the cost and the effort. Continuing with the metaphor, we now have an engine capable of not only speeding up the track, but also strategically shifting from track to track seamlessly.

We know the monetization engine works because PMG and PHL have used it to analyze and maximize profits on our $ 41 billion portfolio and for private clients in a variety of cycles. When rates rose and when they fell, when the pandemic led to massive job losses and when state foreclosure laws changed, best execution changed. Having options in each cycle has maximized returns for our clients and for us.

Q: What is the biggest challenge you are facing right now?

Manfer: We built the portfolio monetization engine for ourselves and then used it for some of our strategic relationships. Planet hired the experts to build and operate the engine. We put the people and the tools in place to identify best execution and deploy virtually any strategy you choose.

Clients liked it so much that they brought in bigger and bigger portfolios and new asset classes.

I sometimes joke that we will then be asked to fix the aircraft leases.

We provide a high level of service to our customers. Given our broad monetization offering, we make sure we have the resources and capacity to support the expected returns of their portfolio. And for this reason, we choose our customers wisely.

Hiring was difficult for two reasons. First, we select the people we hire. Second, we had to realign our workforce to respond to the forbearance environment.

This cross-channel knowledge came in handy because when we needed people who could manage training for Planet and our private clients, we already had them in-house.

Now the forbearance volume is declining and the drop in origination volumes has forced some industry players to start laying off employees. We hope to increase capacity in the future through selective recruitment and returning our teams to their original functions.

Q: What do you see happen next?

Manfer: I suspect that competitors will want to create similar platforms for clients who expect more and want sophisticated high-performing and non-performing monetization options to achieve their returns.

However, I am not worried about the competition. We are a well-capitalized, lean and efficient non-bank service provider. We have the track record, the experience and the foresight to build the complete engine while others have stuck to a traditional and unique goal.

We will remain a serious competitor to traditional service providers and subcontractors because we have the best employees. A great platform can handle the data and the process, but we have leadership that includes the assets and the people who can connect with borrowers, understand their situations, and find ways to resolve loan issues.

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