Job fair: Recruiting & Training the Mortgage Professional
Nearly half a million people work in the real estate finance field, and a good many of them are responsible for some aspect of loan administration. Customer service, escrow analysis, investor reporting, portfolio hedging, default management, and legal representation are just a few of the areas where loan servicing professionals hang their hats these days.
With the industry under increasing scrutiny from regulators to protect consumer interests while also coming under increasing pressure from parent companies to keep costs down, maximizing employee productivity and expertise are critical issues for any servicing manager. And as loan products become more complicated, the demand for highly trained employees will only get stronger.
Gone are the days when portfolios were typically dominated by plain vanilla, fully amortizing 30-year and 15-year fixed rate home loans. Today, a portfolio manager has to care for customers with interest-only loans, hybrid-adjustable rate loans, "option" payment ARMs, and various other complications. Many loans include a "piggy-back" home equity loan or line of credit. All of these features make everything from customer service to investor reporting more complicated than it was in the past. Technology is helping lenders meet this challenge, but when a customer calls with a question or complaint, it still takes a real person most of the time to resolve those issues.
And default management personnel face additional challenges as well. Some servicers have come under fire for aggressively pursuing payment on delinquent loans and moving fast with foreclosure proceedings. As a result, lenders are becoming ever more careful about balancing the needs of investors with the interests of homeowners. And regulatory compliance does not take a back seat to other priorities. Lenders that want to stay out of the scrutiny of investors have to make sure their default management employees and vendors are highly educated about the rules and regulations that govern this part of the industry.
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