- GSE guidelines require servicers to suspend payments, waive late fees or delay reporting of delinquencies to credit bureaus for a designated time in FEMA-designated disaster areas
- Black Knight has introduced two new solutions to help servicers identify and monitor loans impacted by natural disasters and initiate appropriate communications with appropriate borrowers
- Disaster Tracking within the MSP servicing system enables users to identify FEMA disaster areas and then “sweep” their portfolios for impacted loans
- The new Disaster Management analytic systematically parses FEMA data feeds to automate both the identification of properties in declared disaster areas and the portfolio sweep
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – July 22, 2019 – Now that the 2019 hurricane season has begun, Black Knight, Inc. (NYSE:BKI) is helping mortgage servicers manage the massive impact of natural disasters with two innovative technology solutions: Disaster Tracking and a Disaster Management Analytic.
When a property located in a county, parish or municipality has been declared an Eligible Disaster Area by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Freddie Mac’s and Fannie Mae’s disaster policies go into effect. For borrowers with mortgages owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae in these impacted areas, servicers are required to suspend mortgage payments for 6-12 months; waive assessments of new penalties or late fees during forbearance, trial and repayment plan periods; suspend reporting mortgage loan delinquencies to the nation’s credit bureaus; and disburse insurance proceeds.
For servicers with portfolios of thousands – or even millions – of mortgages, identifying impacted borrowers at the loan level is a daunting, time-consuming task. To help streamline the process, Black Knight has enhanced its industry-leading MSP servicing system with Disaster Tracking functionality that enables users to create identifiers that specify the states, counties or ZIP codes for particular FEMA disaster areas. The MSP Disaster Tracking enhancement then reviews the client’s portfolio to place the appropriate identifier on any loans within the designated disaster areas. This helps customer service representatives, collection personnel or anyone interacting with that loan on MSP to identify the borrower as someone impacted by a disaster, so that appropriate actions can be taken. The Disaster Tracking tool also produces robust loan-level and portfolio-wide reporting to provide servicers with details about which investors have been impacted, the overall number of affected loans in specific areas and more.
To further help servicers provide enhanced service to customers in disaster-impacted areas, Black Knight has launched a powerful new Disaster Management analytic within its Actionable Intelligence Platform. This analytic eliminates the need for servicers to go to the FEMA website to locate natural disaster information and manually build identifiers in MSP. After receiving an automatic feed from FEMA that specifies which areas of the country are impacted by a natural disaster, the Disaster Management analytic combines that information with Black Knight’s extensive, nationwide property data and servicing records to systematically review a servicer’s portfolio and tag a servicer’s loans in affected areas. The results can drive the creation of worklists of impacted properties to begin proactive outreach, as well as provide management and executive-level personnel an “at-a-glance” view of the disaster’s impact to their portfolios It also enables servicers to proactively aid customers by sending important notifications using Black Knight’s Servicing Digital mobile solution.
“Each year, servicers know some portion of their customers will likely face a hurricane, flood, tornado, wildfire or other natural disaster,” explained Black Knight President Joe Nackashi. “Black Knight understands the massive operational challenge this represents, and that’s why we’ve introduced these two new solutions. This natural disaster support will make it significantly faster and easier for servicers to identify impacted customers, so they can begin proactive outreach and stay compliant with investor requirements.”
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in 2018 the U.S. experienced 14 natural disasters that each topped $1 billion in damages. California wildfires and Hurricanes Michael and Florence resulted in damages of $91 billion that year, while the total cost of 2017 natural disasters exceeded $312 billion.
About Black Knight
Black Knight (NYSE:BKI) is a leading provider of integrated software, data and analytics solutions that facilitate and automate many of the business processes across the homeownership lifecycle.
As a leading fintech, Black Knight is committed to being a premier business partner that clients rely on to achieve their strategic goals, realize greater success and better serve their customers by delivering best-in-class software, services and insights with a relentless commitment to excellence, innovation, integrity and leadership. For more information on Black Knight, please visit www.blackknightinc.com.