Wells Fargo finalizing electronic mortgage modification revamp

Wells Fargo (WFC) is in the final stages of implementing a fully electronic process for handling modifications and gathering documentation from borrowers. Gordon Workman, the servicing electronic file leader at Wells, unveiled the new revamp at the Mortgage Bankers Association servicing conference on Thursday. The bank has been working on it for the past 18 months, and while there is no specific target date set, it is in the testing stages, Workman told HousingWire. "We wanted a solution that would integrate the loss mitigation process and change how modification documents are generated," Workman said. "We wanted them to be the same and meet all the legal and regulation requirements. We wanted it to be customer friendly and support all the investor groups." The new system would establish a "workflow department" at the head of the assembly line. Here, once a decision is reached by the loss mitigation staff, the file is sent to a transitional management process designed by technology vendors that Wells tapped. From here, financial data is sent and routed to a document generator, approved and sent to a borrower's email address. The borrower can eSign the document and print it out. For those borrowers who still want to sign paper, Wells will be able to automatically send the documents via UPS. Tracking numbers are recorded in accessible database for staff to manage and monitor. The transition signals just how antiquated documentation systems were at the major servicers. The Home Affordable Modification Program has been held back because borrowers and servicers have struggled to either send documentation in or send it out in any effective amount of time. According to the Treasury Department, documentation issues are the main reason why borrowers are canceled or rejected from HAMP. A new national mortgage servicing standard is in the works that could revamp how documentation is sent and could establish new strategies and compensation for handling nonperforming loans. Since the beginning of 2009, Wells has initiated 620,000 active trial and permanent modifications. Of these, 530,000 were through its own programs with the rest coming through HAMP. Speaking on a panel later Thursday, Alan Jones, the senior vice president  of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage said since June 2010, they have established a single-point of contact strategy where troubled borrowers are assigned to one loss mitigation representative. "The single-point of contact does work. It has helped to avoid foreclosures when the borrower has one person to call will filling out their documentation," Jones said. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter: @JonAPrior

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