If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything – besides the importance of handwashing – it’s that digital solutions are a necessity in today’s business. In the blink of an eye, mortgage servicers found themselves scrambling to operationalize new regulations, facing challenges to communicate with customers, and staying hard-pressed to keep their own employees informed – all while working remotely.
Along the way, we’ve seen further evidence that homeowners are hungry for self-service capabilities and simplicity. They expect digital mortgage experiences that are on par with what they receive in other facets of their lives. As an industry, we’ve proven that we’re capable of stretching outside of our comfort zones to show up for them when they need it most.
As financial challenges began sweeping the U.S., servicers had to find new ways to connect with customers quickly and efficiently. At Black Knight, we’ve observed firsthand how digital capabilities can help servicers successfully accomplish this through the use of our Servicing Digital℠ solution, which gives homeowners the power to perform tasks – such as making loan payments and viewing the details of their mortgage on any device. Self-service, customer-facing capabilities benefit customers and servicers alike by reducing phone calls and communication barriers, which can make it easier to manage loans through all phases and market conditions.
Most importantly, servicers had to manage a spike in forbearances afforded through the federal CARES Act. Again, digital capabilities can help minimize friction points during forbearance when homeowners need to request assistance. Black Knight recognized this opportunity and added loss mitigation functionality to Servicing Digital, enabling customers to initiate the process of requesting a forbearance via a self-service prompt in just a few minutes.
As we begin to see masses of borrowers exiting forbearance, servicers must be prepared to meet them where they are with digital options – whether they need to extend a forbearance period, pursue a modification, or resume standard monthly payments. As the CFPB recently put it: unprepared is unacceptable. Scalable, digital capabilities are the path to being prepared and achieving success.
The pandemic pushed the mortgage industry through a one-way door into the digital age. It may have taken us some time to get here, but we’ve shown that we’re capable of developing and deploying digital capabilities at a remarkable pace. The tempo of servicing will eventually regulate, but the momentum at which we advance doesn’t have to do the same.