HOPE NOW Executive Director Testifies Before Senate Committee on Strengthening Mortgage Servicing

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Says Mortgage Servicers are Committed to Improving Customer Experience

WASHINGTON, DC – August 2, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — Faith Schwartz, Executive Director of the HOPE NOW Alliance, testified today before the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, for a hearing entitled “Housing Finance Reform: National Mortgage Servicing Standards”. Also testifying with Ms. Schwartz was Jack Hopkins, President and CEO of CorTrust Bank (testifying on behalf of Independent Community Bankers of America.

In her testimony, Ms. Schwartz discussed the unprecedented efforts of HOPE NOW’s mortgage servicing members in working hand in hand with the non-profit counseling community and the government to help at risk-homeowners avoid foreclosure.

Ms. Schwartz also outlined the efforts underway to improve servicing standards, including servicers establishing a single point of contact for borrowers and the dual track process for evaluating borrowers for a loan modification before a foreclosure occurs. She explained the various state and federal guidelines currently being put in place regarding servicing standards and recommended improvements to the process that would create a better customer experience for borrowers. Additionally, she suggested that the industry would support a uniform approach to defining these standards.

Ms. Schwartz concluded her testimony with this statement to the Committee:

“HOPE NOW member companies and organizations support the improvement of the customer experience in mortgage servicing, and have been actively attempting to make the system work better for customers as they wrestle with an unprecedented number of delinquent loans.

To evaluate the multiple servicing initiatives and rules now under way, the Administration should consider gathering all interested parties together to review the current servicing standard initiatives to ensure the definitions and policies agreed to by regulators, enforcement agencies and investors are consistent and to determine if a single uniform set of standards can be identified and established.

Improving customer communication; reducing confusion and conflicting directives for servicers will improve the mortgage servicing system. The home mortgage is the most important investment in the lives of most consumers, and it is essential that we have a sound servicing system in place to get through the current crisis and set the appropriate course for the future. Mortgage servicers and their nonprofit partners are working to improve mortgage servicing for consumers and are seeking to make additional improvements in customer service.”

Ms. Schwartz’s full testimony can be found at www.hopenow.com.

HOPE NOW is the industry-created alliance of mortgage servicers, investors, counselors, and other mortgage market participants, brought together by the Financial Services Roundtable, Housing Policy Council and Mortgage Bankers Association, that has developed and is implementing a coordinated plan to help as many homeowners as possible prevent foreclosure and stay in their homes. For more information go to www.HopeNow.com or call the free Homeowner’s HOPE™ Hotline at (888) 995-HOPE™.

Media Contact:
Brad Dwin
(410) 303-6391

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