Five Can’t-Miss Sessions at the MBA Servicing Conference

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There are more than 20 speakers and panels scheduled at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Mortgage Servicing Conference Expo. Here’s a preview of some of the most interesting and important presentations on the agenda, as selected by the editors of National Mortgage News.

Preview of Ginnie Mae’s New Issuer Operational Performance Profile

Ginnie Mae is developing a monthly scorecard and rating system to monitor its issuers’ compliance with a series of operational and default management metrics. Ahead of the spring 2015 launch of the “Issuer Operational Performance Profile,” Ginnie Mae senior mortgage banking analyst Rene Mondonedo will preview the new tool and provide an overview of its methodology.

In addition to grading issuers based on their performance in more than 20 metrics, firms will be benchmarked against a predefined group of peer institutions. The metrics are weighted based on their relative importance to Ginnie Mae, which should help issuers better understand where the secondary market agency’s priorities lie.

Late last year, Ginnie Mae released updated net worth and liquidity requirements for issuers of mortgage-backed securities, the result of an increase in the number of nondepository mortgage banks applying for issuer status. An important consideration for issuers will be how Ginnie Mae intends to use information gleaned from the reports to require remediation when issuers’ performance doesn’t pass muster.

Feb. 24, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Grapevine B

Ongoing Challenges of Servicing Transfers

Regulators in the past year have been paying “exceptionally close attention” to the completeness of information in mortgage servicing rights transfers, just as Consumer Financial Protection Bureau deputy director Steven Antonakes warned they would at last year’s MBA Servicing Convention.

While not a new issue, CFPB interest in servicing compliance has been ramping up recently, with MSR transfers chief among its concerns. The CFPB had at least six active investigations into mortgage servicers going into this year, according to industry lawyers. And the anticipated pickup in MSR sales will likely draw further scrutiny in 2015.

One of the largest nonbank servicers, Ocwen, has signaled its intent to sell mortgage servicing rights connected with agency loans. In addition, regulators are starting this year to phase in Basel III capital rules for MSRs that could restrict some banks’ ability to hold them.

Feb. 24, 2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Texas C

What to Expect from Enforcement Actions

Jean Healey, a senior counsel for enforcement strategy at the CFPB, is scheduled to appear on this panel, signaling that attendees can expect “straight from the horse’s mouth” insight into the agency’s focus in 2015 and beyond.

Expect Ocwen’s missteps to figure heavily into the conversation, if only to emphasize better or, specifically, correct ways of handling consumers.

Guild Mortgage Executive Vice President Jim Madsen will also speak on the panel, providing insight into a organization that’s scaled its business as an independent mortgage servicer. Also look for the conversation to branch into other industries for baseline expectations about effective strategies and acceptable behavior toward consumers.

The CFPB isn’t the only regulator with an eye toward servicers: The FHFA, as well as state regulators like the New York Department of Financial Services, have increased scrutiny or proposed to do so and talks should touch on how servicers can navigate various agencies’ different expectations, while keeping control of rising costs and inefficiencies.

Feb. 24, 2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Texas D

Communicating with Borrowers Through “Self-Servicing”

As consumers do more of the mortgage origination process on a self-serve basis online, it’s only natural for this trend to find its way in the servicing side of the industry.

This panel features attorneys who will likely discuss key compliance considerations, as well as vendor executive expected to address how servicers can improve their websites and call center functionality.

In addition to self-service tools provided on desktop computers, expect this panel to also discuss trends in mobile technology. Mobile financial services also continue to grow, and a March 2014 Federal Reserve report found that 93% of consumers surveyed had used a mobile device to either check an account balance or the status of a pending transaction. Online connection, especially mobile, is the wave of the future and servicers need to catch it.

Feb. 25, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Texas C

The Rise of Independent Mortgage Servicers

With increased capitalization requirements for banks brought on by Basel III rules going into effect in January, nonbank servicers have been expecting to see not only a rise in business as banks look to shed their servicing businesses, but also heightened regulatory oversight.

While some servicers have enlisted the help of consultants to help them build an operational model to manage risk and compliance, whether smaller servicers can handle the rate at which their portfolios are expected to grow remains to be seen.

On the heels of the FHFA’s recent proposal to impose minimum capital requirements for liquid and nonliquid assets, this panel is likely to address those concerns. Operational issues surrounding data and technology will factor in, too. Larger amounts of data collected on borrowers at origination has big implications for data security and privacy issues, concepts banks and large financial institutions have already been grappling with, but which could pose problems initially for smaller servicers.

Feb. 25, 2:00 p.m-3:30 p.m.

Texas D

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