To put it bluntly, it's hard to make a buck in servicing. In 2015, costs per nonperforming loan rose to $2,386 from $1,965 a year earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. With interest rates remaining low and reducing income, profit margins are being squeezed tight thanks to a combination of unfavorable changes to the fair value of mortgage servicing rights and higher costs due to regulation.

But by decreasing costs through technology, outsourcing and scale, they not only can give their margins a much-needed boost but also set themselves up to reap the rewards in the future.

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Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the mortgage industry