Appetite For Independent Training And Self-Help Grows
One direct consequence of the housing disaster is a dramatic growth of appetite for mortgage related knowledge.
The current mortgage crisis is generating demand for expertise and training expanded to include business and personal development that is sustainable during and after the crisis.
"No matter what the state of the mortgage lending industry may be, it is a critical factor for professionals to maintain a strong knowledge base of the mortgage cycle and its components," says AllRegs senior vice president, Dan Thoms.
During the past few years AllRegs of Eagan, Minn. has been providing online courses on essentials in mortgage lending through the company's education division. In August the company offered a course on "Loan Modifications - Scenarios from the Front Line." The course was timely, because unstable real estate asset values have made loss mitigation "a critical tactic in managing cash flow expectations," the mortgage marketplace publisher said.
What appears to be a new trend in the marketplace is the fact that mortgage professionals are not the only ones interested in updating their industry knowledge.
A myriad of online tools are mushrooming the marketplace to assist troubled property owners struggling to qualify for a loan modification. Such tools include self-help DVDs.
Created in 2006 responding to the demand created by the mortgage market crisis for financial education and foreclosure related training - ForeclosureU of Minneapolis recently introduced LoanMod Creator a web based self-training tool for distressed property owners designed to assist them create their own lender conforming mortgage modification package.
In times when due to the unprecedented volume and time sensitivity of mortgage modifications many lenders and servicers are pressured to hire third party servicers, receiving a computer generated package from customers is generally a welcomed help that speeds up the process.
The software was market-tested by law firms specialized in loan modifications, accountants and other professional services, the company said. It is one of various foreclosure solutions developed by the firm to address the needs of property owners. LoanMod Creator is user-friendly software that enables the average person to produce and submit their own professional mortgage modification package to their lender.
Users walk through a step-by-step process that introduces secured online forms when they enter personal and financial data. LoanMod Creator automatically underwrites the mortgage modification per lender affordability equations and computes real time success probabilities. The user is also given the opportunity to make revisions based on intuitive feedback and is alerted when probability scores drop below allowable margins. The software creates required documents such as the "Hardship Letter" and "Pre & Post Modification Proposal" and conforms to Making Home Affordable Program guidelines. LoanMod Creator is affordably priced and easy to use. Distressed homeowners can access it both online and by phone benefiting both customers and their mortgage lenders and servicers.
The goal, ForeclosureU says, is to overcome one of the stumbling blocks to the success of HAMP and other government assistance: "An uneducated, stressed out and tepid consumer that is ill equipped to afford expensive professional mortgage modification service options." Industry data show delinquency and foreclosure rates continue to rise. Simultaneously, there is an overabundance of private and public sector programs designed to stem foreclosures. Yet, according to ForeclosureU, "a severe disconnect exists between viable solutions and millions of property owners being financially squeezed tighter and tighter."
Effectively connecting customer assistance and self-help resources with distressed homeowners remains a challenge for the industry. At the same time, this grass-roots self-help type of assistance keeps bringing new tools to the marketplace.