New Initiatives To Contact Borrowers

Titanium Solutions, Inc., a provider of homeowner contacting and consulting services in Fort Mill, S.C., recently launched an expanded suite of customized services, HomeTouch, that its clients can use to make contact with their customers who are in various stages of delinquency.

HomeTouch features four services levels: Signature, Lite, Classic and Premium, which complement the outreach efforts of the servicer with in-person communication. Titanium’s Premium service allows the company to provide pre-qualified workout options to customers, in the privacy of their own home, using the investor’s guidelines. Patrick Carey “When you think in terms of new initiatives taking place in the industry, HomeTouch is a key piece of that,” said Patrick Carey, chief executive officer of Titanium Solutions. “We now leverage our network of Realtors who are trained in loss mitigation to be able to go out and do more for our clients in terms of making outreach and getting in touch with homeowners who the servicers are not able to get a hold of.”

Now, when Titanium Solutions contacts the borrower, not only can the company get the borrower back in touch with their servicer, it can also gather information for the servicer and drop off packages that the homeowner may not have received and return them to the servicer. “We can get signatures and documents and help initiate the process,” said Mr. Carey. “The topic of signatures is a big issue for the industry today.”

In many cases, Mr. Carey said servicers are just not getting the response rate they desire. “We will actually take the same document the customer has already received and knock on the door, introduce ourselves, and help them understand who we are on behalf of the servicer. After they sign the document, we get it back to the servicer so they can initiate the workout they agreed to with the customer.”

The company will make up to three attempts to visit the home to get the signature. For the vast majority, Titanium makes contact in the first attempt. “Although there’s been a lot in the media and in the papers and TV, all various means by which people should be better educated and know what’s going on, we still hear today when we knock on people’s doors, they are surprised the servicer really wants to hear from them. They are very appreciative that we have reached out to them and that their servicer cares and we are to help their situation. In many cases, we also hear they weren’t aware there were altermatives,” said Mr. Carey.

“Not in the majority of cases, but there is a segment of the population that doesn’t have the money to make their payments and they do not know if there are any alternatives. They are just very grateful the servicer invested in the time and effort to come out and talk to them and put them in contact.”

Additionally, Titanium Solutions has opened its 350-plus seat loss mitigation outsourcing facility, which allows it to provide outsourced capacity to servicers and to contact and provide end-to-end workout solutions to servicer’s customers. The loss mitigation and modification processing service uses Early Resolution, an industry application, to customize the guidelines and procedures for each client to ensure consistent servicing across all portfolios. Clients will also have access to full service end-to-end processing of mass modifications for their borrowers.

“The call center will conduct collection and loss mitigation outreach to homeowners on behalf of our servicers and will provide critical capacity as delinquencies and foreclosures continue to increase,” added Mr. Carey.

“For the most part, people want to keep their homes. The biggest impact on that though will be unemployment. Unfortunately if there is no income there are very few options that are out there that will allow you to preserve the home. How do we reverse the trend we are seeing across the country with unemployment?”

Titanium said it also continues to offer short sale management and interior and exterior Broker’s Price Opinions. “If there is just no income and they can’t stay in the home, the industry responds with liquidation options - typically a short sale. This allows a homeowner to leave the home with dignity and avoid the foreclosure. And for someone else, another homeowner, to come in to that property at a cost, which would be less than what is typically owed to the servicer.”

Going forward, Mr. Carey said he thinks the industry needs to be proactive and seize the opportunity to create tools that put loss mitigation features into the loan product at the time of origination instead of having to react to a default or delinquency.

“The borrower could actually trigger that feature as simply as providing the servicer with a letter of what’s happening in their lives. Can you imagine what it would be like? It’s time to be bold and try this. Let’s put products in with automatic triggers with reductions in rate or a six-month moratorium,” he said. “Now it’s the time for us to put all of this out on the table and see what it would look like and how it would work.”