eTurbo Mod: Can It Be the Next Big Thing?

Automated programs are one simple way to empower servicer efforts in engaging distressed borrowers to become active participants in the loan modification process. And eTurboMod, which purposely reminds everyone of the now super popular TurboTax software, obviously aims to reach equal success in the mortgage space.

Launched by We Save Homes Inc., Laguna Niguel, Calif., the new tool appears to at least have the potential to become just that.

It walks users through the entire loan modification process "virtually eliminating the need to pay a third-party expert thousands of dollars," the company said, allowing software users to do it themselves the same way they file their own taxes through automated tax programs, "easily, inexpensively and electronically." Servicers are constantly challenged to perform better with loan modifications. During a conference call while talking about procedural and legal shortages in loan modifications, National Consumer Law Center staff attorney Geoff Walsh stressed that "servicers have all the discretion when it comes to a loan modification - which makes borrowers powerless - if they continue this way." Plus, there are many unreasonable procedural barriers, he said.

And eTurboMod gives more power to the borrower.

We Save Homes president Ryan Boyajian says tools like the eTurboMod software will revolutionize the mortgage servicing industry.

Asked how can mortgage servicers take advantage of this tool, he said, while various servicers are currently offering the product directly to borrowers for no cost.

The mortgage lenders/servicers are paid upwards of $3,500 by the government for being pro-active and offering loan modifications to homeowners, he added, so while lenders/servicers pay a fee to We Save Homes for accessing the product, homeowners do not.

"The main issue facing all lenders/servicers is that they cannot get the consumer to engage and have open communicate and more importantly the homeowners are not educated as to how to build, complete and deliver a complete loan modification package," he said. "Our software answers that exact and immediate need."

Another immediate servicer need is adding to the menu options that complement the capacity of their toolset.

The eTurboMod software is built as an overlay or "plug and play" banks can integrate with their existing legacy software systems. "If they choose to do so, they can implement our software behind their fire-wall for SAS 70 purposes," he said.

The average turn time for a mid- to lower-level technology savvy homeowner to complete their modification package - assuming they have all the financial documents on hand - is 38.5 minutes.

The software has the power to save millions of struggling homeowners thousands of dollars in professional fees while they inquire about their mortgage options, Mr. Boyajian said, so he sees new partnerships forging in the coming months. Currently We Save Homes is in the process of partnering with other financial service providers such as online lending exchange venues.

Marketing efforts include an initial eTurboMod campaign that consists of a combination of e-mails and phone calls to homeowners who were recently unsuccessful in refinancing their homes. The ultimate goal, the company said, is to help educate borrowers and provide them with alternative solutions such as a loan modification or short sale.

We Save Homes developed eTurboMod as a menu-driven tool homeowners can use to submit electronically all the documentation required by lenders and servicers to refinance their mortgage, change the terms of the existing loan through a modification, or to do a short sale.

While eTurboMod is a blend of resources and capacities that can benefit everyone, it remains to be seen if it has the potential to turn into a tool as popular as TurboTax and how long that may take.