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REO Vendor Advances Mobile Technology

Mortgage Contracting Services, a provider of property preservation and inspection services to the mortgage industry, located in Tampa, Fla., has launched updated mobile technology that lets contractors upload information from the field on a real-time basis.

MCS is rolling out the technology to its contractors in the field, starting with inspection results because of the increasing number of vacant properties on the market and the need to make data and photos available to servicers expeditiously. A phased rollout for other field services, including property preservation, will follow. Its mobile technology makes applications that previously required a laptop computer available on hand-held devices, including personal digital assistants and cell phones.

Allan Martin, CEO of MCS, told Managing REO that the mobile applications, which upload data into the MCS360 system so that real-time information about a property is available from one application, leverages technology to improve operations both for the vendors that do contract work for MCS and the company's servicing customers. Putting mobile technology in the field reduces back-office staffing pressure on users, Mr. Martin said.

The system runs on phones or PDAs that run on the Windows OS operating system. It was developed using Microsoft's .Net programming platform.

MCS is not charging users for the application, which is an add-on to its existing suite of technology.

"We migrated from a legacy Unix-based system to this .Net platform, which gives us nearly infinite scalability and much more flexibility for interaction with clients and customers," Mr. Martin said.

The new technology comes at a time when field service providers and contractors are seeing booming business related to the record amount of foreclosure activity. Mr. Martin said that while once he thought defaults would peak in 2008, he now doesn't expect a peak until early 2010.

In order to deal with the increasingly complicated regulatory environment, MCS has launched a newly designed compliance section of its website. In addition to sending compliance updates to customers via e-mail, the website now features all vacant property registration ordinances and regulatory advisories, as well as disaster tracking and guidelines from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

As more vacant property registration laws are passed across the country, MCS wanted to streamline the comprehensive information and resources available. As a result, MCS enhanced the section of its website dedicated to compliance. With constantly changing regulations at the city, state and federal level, the company believes the Web site coupled with the regular bulletins gives its customers an advantage to ensure they are meeting all regulatory requirements regarding their pre-foreclosure and real estate owned properties.

"Today's regulatory environment makes it challenging for our customers to keep up with information as it is changing at a daily pace," said Kerry Wilcox, director of marketing for MCS.

"While our customers are focused on loss mitigation and keeping borrowers in their homes, we wanted to make it as easy as possible for them to access the most current ordinances and registrations to ensure they remain in compliance. The website is a perfect complement to our existing initiatives while enabling MCS to be the most comprehensive resource on regulations, ordinances and guidelines for mortgage servicers."