2022 will be the year mortgage servicing finally goes digital, you heard it here first. But to forecast for 2022, I have to look back to 2021 — and let’s be honest, you can’t really reflect on 2021 without the context of 2020.
Since its outset, the pandemic has challenged servicers to be able to quickly pivot to accommodate changing conditions, policies, and borrower needs. The passage of the CARES Act in March 2020 signaled a shift into a quick-turn environment as servicers prepared to guide borrowers into forbearance for up to 12 months. At the same time as they were seeing an uptick in borrower outreach, servicers were also being forced to quickly shift call center operations to work from home.
Amidst the chaos, servicers persisted, but the CPPB has been clear that inaccurate information was provided to consumers. Imagine how much easier things could have been if servicers could have quickly posted a series of vetted FAQs on a digital portal for consumers to see.
All of this has set the stage for 2022, at a point when digital transformation has become more of a necessity than an option for mortgage servicers.
At the core of this shift is the growing demand for digital self-service. Digital self-service provides an opportunity to engage in borrowers directly without either side having to get on the phone. This lets borrowers do things like:
- Request a statement
- Get information about their balance
- Make a payment
- Request hardship help
And though we hope the worst of the pandemic will soon be behind us, we still have the looming threat of more frequent severe weather events impacting larger populations of people. Earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding are a reality for many parts of the United States.
When these events happen, homeowners do not have an easy way to get in touch with their servicer.
But with digital self-service, a consumer can log into an app, indicate they are impacted by an event, and request help (i.e. 3 months of forbearance) — all without having to call their servicer.
Digital self-service also can help homeowners access important records like mortgage statements, 1098 tax forms, and escrow balances without having to rely on the Postal Service. In early 2022, we have seen stories nationwide about the strain on the postal system as result of a spike in COVID cases. Flipping to digital access not only allows the homeowner to access their information more quickly but also avoids issues with delays or errors in postal delivery.
The stage is set for a full-tilt shift into digital mortgage servicing. Make sure you have the right tech to stay ahead of the curve.