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SPS Reaches Out to Consumer Credit Counselors

Select Portfolio Servicing Inc. is inviting consumer counselors to a seminar in Baltimore to raise their awareness of the forbearance plans the subprime servicer can offer borrowers who are behind on their monthly payments.

Formerly known as Fairbanks Capital Corp., SPS, based in Salt Lake City, wants to draw 150-200 counselors to the Sept. 17 event in the very city where its servicing practices sparked a federal investigation in 2003 that resulted in Fairbanks agreeing to a $40 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Fairbanks officially changed its name to Select Portfolio Servicing on July 1 to highlight the company's new approach to servicing and customer relationships.

One of Fairbanks strongest critics, Diane Cipollone, an attorney with Baltimore's Community Law Center will be a featured speaker at the seminar. Ms. Cipollone heads CLC's project to end predatory real estate practices.

SPS also invited a HUD official and a representative of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, which serves as SPS' consumer ombudsman, to address the HUD-approved counselors.

But the main focus is on discussing the different types of loan forbearance plans and workout options that are available and how the counselors can work with SPS' customer service unit, according to SPS general counsel Gregory Harmer.

"We are trying to give them a better idea of what the company will and can provide so that they can better serve their constituents," Mr. Harmer said. If successful, the company wants to hold another seminar next year.

SPS services 320,000 subprime and alt-A loans for investors. Company officials declined to disclose any delinquency data on the portfolio.

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