LOGS Unveils Proactive Home Retention Services

LOGS Network here has created a home retention assistance business to work with residential borrowers whose delinquent loans have been referred to foreclosure or bankruptcy attorneys.

The new business, operating under the name HEART Financial Services, is a division of LOGS, a network of centrally managed attorneys and trustees who provide foreclosure, loss mitigation, bankruptcy, eviction and REO services to the mortgage industry.

Gerald Alt, president of LOGS Network, said the company's business plan is to close the communication gap that naturally occurs when loss mitigation efforts by a loan servicer are interrupted by investor requirements to move those nonperforming loans into the hands of foreclosure counsel.

He said the company intends to continue proactively working those loans in concert with the legal network's clients to try to increase the number of loans that avoid foreclosure sale.

"Now we are seeing across the industry a much more dramatic and vocal focus on keeping the homes out of foreclosure in the first place," Mr. Alt told MSN.

The people at LOGS believe the best service its network of attorneys can provide is to help loan servicers retain the customer whenever possible.

While attorneys have long been involved in the loss mitigation process, that role hasn't been emphasized as much in the past as it is today. Instead, the focus for attorneys has been on meeting timelines for returning title or collateral to lenders in the case of a foreclosure referral.

Mr. Alt says that perhaps the most valuable communication point attorneys bring to the loss mitigation business is inbound calls from borrowers who have received a foreclosure notice.

About 20% to 25% of borrowers respond to a foreclosure notice by calling the attorney, he said.

And these borrowers who proactively make that call are the ones most likely to have a legitimate desire to keep possession of their homes.

But today, the attorney often can do little more than offer a payoff quote. If the borrower says they can't pay, that's typically about where the conversation ends.

HEART Financial Services is designed to help servicers change that, offering an initial loss mitigation interview with the borrower to determine if they might be qualified for a foreclosure alternative.

In addition, HEART will offer additional loss mitigation work as the company's services are rolled out in stages.

"If the borrowers have the desire to retain their property but an inability to pay in full the amount of delinquency, we don't want to shunt those borrowers aside," Mr. Alt said.

LOGS will also use outbound mail and servers of legal papers to help HEART present loss mitigation information to borrowers.

Gerald Shapiro, CEO of LOGS Network, said the company has prided itself on leveraging its national footprint to introduce cost savings and process improvements for its customers.

"By aligning ourselves with other business leaders in this space to integrate loss mitigation and home-equity retention efforts on behalf of our customers, we believe we can once again tap an underutilized resource - the local foreclosure counsel's contact with delinquent borrowers - to bring value to loan servicers and their investors," Mr. Shapiro said in a news release.

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