Bank of America Will Exclusively Use Hope LoanPort
Starting in September Bank of America has agreed to use the Web portal of Hope Now, in a move the voluntary alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, mortgage insurers and nonprofit counselors sees as “a game changer.”
After Aug. 31, all nonprofit housing counseling organizations and for-profit organizations working with Bank of America customers will exclusively submit their loan modification applications through the Hope LoanPort.
Bank of America is the first and only bank to exclusively use the Hope LoanPort portal. But other banks may follow suit.
“I am not aware of any servicers requiring this for exclusive use but some may prefer it as a standard application which allows for standard data and docs submitted for any workouts,” says Hope Now executive director, Faith Schwartz. She expects other servicers whose goal is to implement standard services that ensure “no one falls through the cracks” will eventually embrace B of A’s vision to collaborate.
“As with any new function with numerous users, it always takes the industry a little longer to get to a place like this than was originally envisioned,” she said. If used for all nonprofit and for-profit submissions, this collaboration “will impact a large number of people.”
Given the size of B of A’s mortgage servicing portfolio, this new requirement is likely to bring “a major advancement” in the effort to streamline and speed up the assistance provided to foreclosure risk homeowners serviced by B of A.
Data show 385,468 loan modifications were completed by Hope Now and assisted by Hope LoanPort during the first half of 2012, which represented a 28% decline compared to the same time period in 2011.
B of A’s alliance with Hope LoanPort may give a new boost to the number of modifications completed hereon.
B of A’s new directive is expected to be a game changer in the mortgage market not only because Hope LoanPort provides effective communication between all parties and is fully compliant with servicing standards and regulatory requirements, it also engages over 4,000 housing counselors in 50 states and Puerto Rico.
According to Schwartz, the reason it makes a lot of sense for banks to use “a streamlined transparent accountable execution for submissions that is free to nonprofits and consumers, adheres to compliance of regulatory oversight and eliminates the calls, FedEx and email transmissions that may not be on secure lines.”
B of A is moving forward on a process that makes a lot more sense than the old-fashioned way for tracking the numerous docs, calls, faxes, “because all parties know and see the same information,” she said.