HousingWire recently spoke to Bryan Bellacosa, first vice president of product management and information technology at ServiceLink, about the outlook for servicers in 2021.
HousingWire: What is the biggest challenge servicers and real estate investors face this year?
Bryan Bellacosa: Anticipating that foreclosure moratoriums will lift sometime during 2021, real estate investors and servicers need to be prepared for an increase in defaulted loans. While this market will look different than 2008, there still could be significant default activity.
Servicers should think about how they can best manage their portfolios in this demanding environment so that ultimately, they can make optimal disposition decisions and reduce associated losses as much as possible.
HW: How does ServiceLink’s EXOS One Marketplace address this challenge?
BB: EXOS One Marketplace is an asset decisioning tool that gives servicers and investors unprecedented visibility of assets throughout the entire lifecycle. The platform leverages a proprietary blend of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Its personalized performance dashboards enable users to focus in on each property at the loan or portfolio level to project costs and review upcoming or missed HUD deadlines.
Then, servicers and investors quickly compare and simulate projected losses and adjust disposition strategies. The platform allows users to mitigate risk and maximize returns through informed decisioning.
EXOS One Marketplace connects users with the right data at the right time. It includes property preservation data, such as vacancy checks and inspections for damage repairs, foreclosure title status and title clearance information and claimable vs non-claimable expenses, current status for properties in auction, and more. When auction is the optimal disposition strategy, it uses current valuations and data modeling to determine the optimal auction sale price and timeline. EXOS One Marketplace provides unmatched insight on disposition strategy through every stage of an asset.
HW: Specifically, how does EXOS One Marketplace meet the needs of today’s real estate servicers?
BB: Time savings and real-time insights are key in this environment as servicers manage forbearance volume and reinstate loans while also processing, maintaining and keeping up with deadlines related to existing and newly defaulted loans.
EXOS One Marketplace helps optimize this process by providing a customizable dashboard that enables servicers to identify critical milestones and dates.
Then, our powerful performance dashboards leverage AI and machine learning to provide users with an accurate view into current losses and forecast where their losses might be at a certain point within in the foreclosure process. Rather than spending valuable time and effort collecting and compiling data from many different systems, users have access to all the data aggregated within one system to help them quickly assess current status and prioritize next steps.
HW: How has the volatility of 2020 emphasized the importance of EXOS One Marketplace?
BB: Coming out of a high-volume origination market in 2019 and into 2020, the emerging volume of defaulted loans wasn’t really on anyone’s radar. We had a great economy – and then we got hit with a pandemic that no one could anticipate.
The market volatility underscored the need for servicers to build more efficiencies into their processes so they were prepared to manage large volumes of defaults.
As one example, lapses in properly categorizing expenses would mean that these expenses could not be claimed or that a servicer’s team would need to spend several hours or days to properly re-categorize them. Rather than reactively engaging in massive data clean-up efforts for each loan as needed, servicers found that EXOS One Marketplace provides visibility into this data and allows them to proactively adapt their processes early on within the default lifecycle.
EXOS One Marketplace has emerged in this volatile environment as a timely solution for servicers that are working steadfastly to identify gaps and optimize their processes.
HW: How will EXOS One Marketplace evolve further in 2021?
BB: We’ve been hearing from many investors that they would like to see an expansion of EXOS One Marketplace’s capabilities in the area of REO asset management and disposition, so ServiceLink is putting substantial effort and resources into this area in 2021.
Our loss model calculations are being expanded beyond FHA to include private book, USDA and VA loans, and we will provide data modeling and machine learning to present views that enable investors to quickly make informed decisions on REO assets. They will have all the data at hand — property condition, current repair status, as-is vs repair valuations, etc. — to quickly determine whether to invest in repairs so they can sell the property at top dollar in the right market, or cut their losses and sell as is.