FNMA Fannie Mae to Train Mortgage Servicer Single Points of Contact

On July 16, Fannie Mae issued a press release entitled “Fannie Mae Announces Know Your Options Customer Care Foreclosure Prevention Program.” Additionally, information about the Know Your Options Customer Care Program was posted at efanniemae.com.

Fannie Mae Announces Know Your Options Customer Care Foreclosure Prevention Program
Servicer Training and Support Aimed at Creating Better Interactions with Struggling Homeowners

Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTC) launched Know Your Options Customer Care, a customer engagement strategy and training program for servicers aimed at preventing foreclosures by developing consultative relationships with struggling homeowners.  Under the program, Fannie Mae personnel conduct trainings for servicers’ call center employees, provide scripting for interactions with homeowners and help implement ongoing quality control measures. 

“Everybody wins when we can prevent foreclosure: the servicer, Fannie Mae, and most importantly, the homeowner and their community,” said Leslie Peeler, Senior Vice President, National Servicing Organization, Fannie Mae.  “What we’ve learned through the housing crisis is that if everybody takes the responsibility to work together and act early, then we can prevent foreclosures and keep families in their homes in many cases.  We want our servicers to be trusted counselors to their customers, from attentively collecting documents to advising them of their options and guiding them through the process.”

Fannie Mae has been developing the Know Your Options Customer Care program for approximately one year and is already implementing it with 18 of its largest servicers.  One of the key elements of the program is creating a single point of contact in the call center for each customer to ensure that rapport is built with the homeowner, regular contact is maintained through the loss mitigation process, and that foreclosure prevention options are properly presented and pursued.  Servicers that have participated in the program have typically seen 20-30 percent increases in workouts.  We are now making our training available through online webinars and program materials so all servicers may participate and implement Know Your Options Customer Care.  The program is available free of charge to servicers.

“Helping homeowners avoid foreclosure is our top priority,” said Eric Schuppenhauer, Senior Vice President and Head of Servicing at JPMorgan Chase, which was one of the first servicers to begin participating in Know Your Options Customer Care.  “When a homeowner calls Chase, they have a single point of contact to help guide them through the process, whether they’re seeking a loan modification or other assistance.  We are pleased to be working with Fannie Mae to help more families stay in their homes.”

In addition to Know Your Options Customer Care, Fannie Mae has taken a number of steps to help prevent foreclosures, including:

  • Launching the KnowYourOptions.com website to provide educational tools and resources for homeowners
  • Opening 12 Mortgage Help Centers in areas hardest hit by the housing crisis to provide individual assistance to Fannie Mae homeowners (additional info)
  • Implementing the Servicing Alignment Initiative with the Federal Housing Finance Agency and Freddie Mac to require early outreach by servicers to struggling homeowners (additional info)
  • Requiring servicers to reduce timelines for short sales (additional info)
  • Developing and implementing the Servicing Total Achievement and Rewards (STAR) program to evaluate and motivate servicers’ performance in helping homeowners (additional info)

Contact information for Fannie Mae’s Mortgage Help Centers and additional resources for homeowners can be found at www.knowyouroptions.com.

To view the online Press Release, please click here.

A recent article in HousingWire discusses efforts by Fannie Mae to train single points of contacts at mortgage servicers
Fannie Mae to train mortgage servicer single points of contact

Fannie Mae is training single points of contact at 18 mortgage servicers, including the five largest ones. Progress is being made on the reform, Fannie says, and the GSE will open the free program to all servicing shops.

Fannie Mae opened training to call center employees at mortgage servicing shops around the country.

A total of 18 servicers adopted the Know Your Options Customer Care program over the last year, including the five largest firms Bank of America ($7.81 -0.015%) [2], JPMorgan Chase ($35.05 -1.02%) [3], Wells Fargo ($34.05 0.135%) [4], Citigroup ($26.82 0.17%) [5] and Ally Financial.

Fannie will provide scripting for receiving calls from homeowners and help installing other quality controls. Servicers with at least 1,000 delinquent Fannie loans will be asked to join the program, which will be free of charge.

The $25 billion foreclosure settlement, consent orders signed with federal regulators, guidance [6] under the Home Affordable Modification Program and various state laws – including a new one [7] in California – require servicers to provide a single point of contact to borrowers wanting to work with the bank to avoid foreclosure.

Fannie said creating this contact at the call centers is a key element of the program. The training session lasts nearly three hours. According to Fannie, servicers who took the training see up to a 30% increase in workouts.

"We don't just train the servicers' call center employees and then say, Good-bye," said John Kennedy, who runs the program at Fannie Mae. "We work with servicers and listen to calls to be sure the approach is effectively implemented."

Kennedy's team scores the call with the servicer and holds meetings with front line supervisors and the single points of contact as well. He said for the most part, these employees are focused on getting documentation in for modifications and other options.

Since the foreclosure crisis struck, document issues rose at the largest banks. Paperwork and borrowers became lost in a backlogged system still under reform.

"They have done a much better job building a consultative relationship with the customer," Kennedy said. "After every call, we ask ourselves, are we 100% sure the customer really understood all of their options? Foreclosure is our competition, and we want to prevent as many as we can."

To view the online article, please click here.

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