Fannie Mae, eMason launch foreclosure mediation platform
Technology firm eMason is providing mortgage mediation tracking and management for Fannie Mae in most parts of Florida under a new contract with the government-sponsored enterprise. The Clearwater, Fla.-based company said Tuesday that its technology platform, Clarifire, was fully implemented by Fannie Mae and made available to about 400 servicers in its initial rollout Dec. 13. The Clarifire platform provides loan servicers and others involved in the mediation process, such as attorneys and counselors, a secure workflow management system to track mediation cases. The central, Web-based location allows caseworkers to communicate, upload documents, audit the status of a mediation case and manage tasks, among other things. Servicers and associated personnel connect directly with Fannie Mae through Clarifire. President and CEO Jane Mason said eMason worked with a team of Fannie Mae representatives to design the platform to fit the needs of the mediation program. She declined to disclose financial terms of the deal, but said eMason won the business through a formal bidding process. "Fannie Mae was already a client of ours and had their own license of the application," Mason said in an interview with HousingWire, adding that the agency saw the potential for the program to do other business functions. "I think we had an advantage because of that." Clarifire with Fannie Mae integration is currently available in 21 circuit courts throughout the Sunshine State. eMason and the GSE are planning a second phase for the platform in January that will span nationwide. "I think it's going to provide an easier more efficient method of tracking the communication and workflow of the mediation program and enhance servicers' ability to handle volume," Mason said. "That's probably the key thing." In December 2009, the Florida Supreme Court mandated all foreclosure cases in the state that involve residential property be referred to mediation — a face-to-face meeting with a counselor to discuss alternatives to foreclosure. A task force suggested mediation as a solution to deal with the mounting amount of foreclosures throughout Florida. Mediation is not mandatory if the borrower chooses not to participate; however, giving the borrower the option is mandatory. The District of Columbia recently implemented similar legislation. Write to Christine Ricciardi.