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HousingWire Annual 2020

VRM takes a tailored approach to servicing and lending challenges amid uncertainty

Company delivers pre-foreclosure solutions using REO asset and vendor management

The complexities of serving borrowers under the CARES Act require lenders, servicers and investors to partner with a mortgage services provider who has the expertise and national network to provide high-touch support to its clients. With a proven track record of best-in-class asset management experience, VRM Mortgage Services is uniquely qualified to address the challenges of this COVID era, including a potential influx of REO assets once eviction and foreclosure moratoriums are lifted.

Servicers are facing a number of issues as they work with borrowers grappling with COVID-related hardships, but two of the most pressing are mortgage forbearance and the moratorium on foreclosures. Servicers are holding foreclosure inventory due to the moratorium, causing delayed maintenance and a backlog of evictions and foreclosures in courts.

In addition, servicers need to maintain relationships with a number of outsourcers who are not being paid during the moratorium, including foreclosure attorneys, eviction attorneys, inspection providers, real estate companies, appraisers, property preservation vendors and REO suppliers. 

The foreclosure moratorium has a ripple effect throughout the default ecosystem, resulting in reduced revenue from default services and new defaults in investor loans due to uncollected rental payments. And with an extension of the moratorium, servicers face the potential loss of critical resources due to furloughs and layoffs.

In the midst of this uncertainty, VRM brings its expertise to bear on the specific issues facing lenders, servicers and investors. 

“We are a solution provider,” said Keith Murray, president and CEO of VRM. “We listen to our clients and ensure our offerings respond to their pain points; as opposed to forcing them to use a cookie cutter process that is offered to all client regardless of need.”

VRM can:

  • Be on hand to cost-effectively address specific inventory challenges and assist with a solution for resolving expired forbearances.
  • Provide tax monitoring and collection on performing and non-performing loans.
  • Provide supplier training and education about sustaining through the crisis, or messaging around their requirements.

“We are also uniquely qualified to address the influx over assets in REO once the moratorium is lifted, due to our experience during the previous crisis in 2008,” Murray said. “Our clients have a moratorium on evictions, so we are not actively pursuing these opportunities.  However, where the occupant is willing to do cash for keys, or we have a court determined abandoned assets we are proceeding with making the assets available for liquidating.”

VRM continues to monitor these assets to ensure they are protected, completing preservation work as necessary. VRM is also tracking state-specific limitations to ensure that once the client lifts the moratorium it proceeds in accordance with state or local requirements.

VRM’s experienced personnel provide a huge lift for clients. Employees have an average of 25 years of industry experience and their tenure at VRM averages about eight years. The leadership team brings even more depth of knowledge, with an average of 35 years of industry experience.

In addition, VRM is committed to maintaining a diverse network and workforce, meeting the government’s diversity and inclusion goals consistently for 11 years (VA, Fannie Mae and  Freddie Mac). The company’s diversity commitment goes beyond its REO vendors and extends to vendors in other areas such as marketing, security and other facility-related services.

VRM makes sure its vendors are as skilled as its employees, monitoring their performance and offering a national training platform to help them maintain a current working knowledge of client and industry performance standards.

“We are high-touch with our assignments, ensuring the best-in-class service and outcomes for clients,” Murray said. 

With a deep understanding of REO asset and vendor management, VRM is well-equipped to take on the challenges lenders, servicers and investors are facing as a result of COVID-related hardships.

3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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