Integrated Mortgage Solutions (IMS) provides a full range of asset management services from inspections, repair and preservation, hazard claims recovery, to loss mitigation.
Cheryl Lang is president and CEO of IMS. She brings more than 25 years of broad mortgage servicing experience with several national, top 25 mortgage servicers and a deep knowledge of conventional, sub-prime and HUD/VA mortgage servicing.
For this episode of In This Corner, Cheryl talks about the challenges facing servicers in the midst of the foreclosure crisis.
HW: How has IMS helped servicers adapt to the influx of delinquent borrowers?
Cheryl: "IMS has expanded its suite of services to assist servicers with managing the mass influx of borrower contact - not only delinquent borrower contact, but current borrowers who are looking for a better "deal" by using a modification to get a lower interest rate. Dealing with current borrowers prevents servicers from talking to the borrowers truly in need by adding more volume to an already stressed call center. By using a "divide and conquer" tactic, IMS can handle the heavy lifting, which frees servicers up to focus on their core competencies. Our services can be utilized by a servicer "al la carte" or as a business strategy that takes the loan through a final solution."
HW: What are the biggest challenges facing today's servicers?
Cheryl: "Servicers are working in an environment that allows for greater government oversight and regulation. These well-intended regulators, while attempting to help a vast majority of troubled borrowers, fail to understand the barriers servicers face meeting these mandates. For instance, it takes one servicer we recently spoke to three days to gather information the Treasury requires for month end HAMP reporting. Servicing systems were not engineered to capture the data elements required for HAMP reporting, so a manual process has been developed to meet the Government requirements."
HW: Is it more beneficial for a bank to foreclose a property or modify a loan?
Cheryl: "IMS agrees with servicers that when a property goes through foreclosure, nobody wins. But a modification should only be a consideration if the outcome is an affordable loan. By modifying a loan that the borrower cannot qualify and ultimately afford, servicers are delaying the inevitable. There are solutions to the problem when a modification will not have a positive outcome. Servicers should find ways for borrowers to leave with dignity, e.g. short sales, deed in lieu of foreclosure, borrower to tenant options, etc."
HW: How has IMS adapted the current foreclosure crisis?
Cheryl: "IMS is a very nimble company that can look forward at a pending crisis and then come up with solutions that fit the borrowers' and servicers' needs. We believe strongly that keeping a borrower in the home is the best option for the borrower, the communities and economic recovery. We have designed a wing-to-wing solution to avoid foreclosure, and IMS will continue to add to that suite of services as the landscape of the housing crisis changes. Having an in-house team of technology experts, mortgage industry experts and creative thinkers gives us the competitive edge we need to succeed and add value to our clients as we all weather this very turbulent storm."