Executive Conversations is a HousingWire web series that profiles powerful people in the financial industry, highlighting the operations and the people that make this sector tick. In the latest installment, we sit down with Art Castner, president of National General Lender Services, to discuss how dynamic property insurance solutions can adapt to servicers’ growth while helping them stay compliant.
Q. What do you see as the most significant challenge for mortgage servicers regarding property insurance tracking of their mortgage portfolios?
A. Mortgage servicers are consistently being pushed to do more at a lower expense point. The cost of complying with the requirements of the CFPB and other regulators continues to be very expensive, not just relative to insurance tracking but mortgage servicing overall. We see our clients spending more and more on compliance, audit and vendor oversight, which drives down margins as servicing income remains flat.
Q. The increased cost of compliance certainly continues to be an issue. How do you see that National General Lender Services is able to help mortgage servicers in this regard?
A. We have made significant investments in our technology and infrastructure over the last 12 to 18 months. We have an incredible commitment by our parent, National General Holdings Corp., to dedicate the resources and capital to continue the growth of our Lender Services unit. Specifically, this means we have the capacity to dynamically adjust to growth in our existing clients’ servicing portfolios, and our disciplined implementation methodology allows us to onboard new clients with negligible transition risk.
National General (NatGen) is different than many of the other insurance tracking and lender-placed insurance (LPI) providers in the market, as we offer a wide range of insurance products, including LPI, on our own paper. The ability to extend insurance to our clients directly, rather than relying on an outside insurance carrier for the product, allows us to be incredibly nimble in designing insurance products to meet the changing needs of the market. This mix of product abilities, and the foresight of our insurance product teams, also means we can offer real alternatives to LPI.
Our insurance tracking solution, TrackGuard, allows delivery of comprehensive insurance tracking capabilities that seamlessly integrates with the servicing system used by any mortgage servicer. Our high rates of automation and automated data exchange with insurance carriers allows us to deliver outstanding quality at a competitive price. Importantly, our processes and teams are fully integrated so that customer service, operations, training, compliance and quality assurance are all in sync to deliver compliant and proactive solutions. The ability to protect our clients’ brand – keeping them out of the headlines and off the non-compliant lists of regulators – underpins the daily approach to our efforts.
Q. Understanding that servicers are held accountable for the actions of their business partners and vendors by the CFPB, how do you assure your clients of the quality of the work you do on their portfolios?
A. We maintain a transparent business relationship with our clients that includes a great deal of reporting and a multi-layered review of our work product.
NatGen employs innovative quality solutions within our technology and processes to ensure successful regulator examinations. Our refund timeliness oversight is unmatched. Our independent, centralized quality team ensures objectivity and that testing is tied to key risks related to client objectives, regulatory/compliance matters and customer experience. Our processes are also built to safeguard our client’s funds as evidenced by never having a Reg. AB finding.
We maintain a robust Compliance Management System (CMS) to ensure compliance with the CFPB requirements. Our system includes a database for the logging and tracking of complaints, along with robust reporting and root cause analysis for continuous improvement.
Most importantly, we act as a partner to our clients. We have an incredibly dedicated team who considers the best interests of our clients and their customers as they approach the service relationship each day. We work hand in hand with our clients to understand their business needs and deliver innovative solutions to meet them. I consider our consultative approach to insurance servicing, along with the expertise and dedication of our team, to be a significant differentiator in what we offer servicers.
Q. What does 2017 hold in store for NatGen?
A. In a word, growth. We are growing the breadth of our insurance product offerings, with some exciting new opportunities for reveal to the market later this year. We also anticipate growth in our client base. Servicers identify that they deserve more from their LPI provider, and we can consistently deliver to meet their needs, beginning with our commitment to a flawless onboarding and integration. 2017 promises to be an exciting year.