Client Bulletin – November 20, 2020
|Borrower Communications: A Shift to Email and Other Digital Outreach |
As a federally regulated bank, Cenlar FSB is required by law to communicate with borrowers regarding a wide range of mortgage-related concerns. Our communications have been conducted traditionally via regular mail. The need to communicate with borrowers digitally, however, increased dramatically as a result of the pandemic. Thousands of our letters initially went unanswered as borrowers fled urban centers without leaving forwarding addresses. In fact, this past summer, the Pew Research Center found about one-in-five U.S. adults (22%) said they either changed their residence due to the pandemic or knew someone who did. Fortunately, throughout the pandemic, Cenlar managed to stay in contact with borrowers via email. Email has proven to be an extremely valuable communication tool to service borrowers in a timely, proactive, and professional manner. We believe timely, clear communications creates a positive customer service experience. Of course, to the extent, letters are legally required to be sent via mail, we will continue to do so. But digital communication is our priority. As such, we have made a number of enhancements to our email communication platform and have created an inventory of all standard borrower emails as well as those specific to the pandemic. You can now access our catalog of the standard emails on CenAccess under Training & Reference > User Manuals. Borrower communications related to COVID-19 may be found in the Pandemic Borrower Communications Matrix located in the Disaster Impact Information Reference Section. During 2021, we plan to continue shifting to greater digital outreach and engagement, including email, text and use of the chat bot. This change will preserve call center resources for borrowers who need or want more personal attention. If you have any questions, please let your client manager know.
Enhanced TBA Report Helps You to Resolve Tax Parcel Issues
Cenlar and other mortgage servicers treat mortgage loans with unresolved “to-be-apportioned” (TBA) tax questions as errors that require resolution before escrow servicing can be conducted. Until that time, no tax payments can be made from escrow. Ongoing nonpayment of property taxes leads municipalities to assess penalties and interest against borrowers and clients and, in some cases, to undertake court proceedings that could lead to the loss of collateral property.
Our enhanced monthly TBA Report has been designed to help you resolve these difficulties. The report features easier navigation and enhanced reporting to help you quickly find flagged loans that require resolution.
How to Use Our Enhanced TBA Monthly Report
The TBA Report features four tabs, with all loans needing review listed under the second tab. Review the loans on the TBA’s to Review tab and let us know the following:
- Have we identified the correct property?
- Do we have a correct legal description?
- Was there any change in the legal description provided?
- If the TBA parcel is homeowner owned (Col I), should we remove the TBA flag and pay taxes on the larger parcel?
(If you do not have loans that need to be addressed, the second tab will not be present. If you do not have TBA loans in your portfolio, you will not receive a report.)
- 1st tab – TBA_KEY_CHART – contains a description of the columns found on the subsequent tabs.
- Informational only
- 2nd tab – TBA_TO_REVIEW – contains loans for which clarity and/or direction is needed. This includes loans in which the tax records include additional lots or acreage not reflected in the legal description.
- Action required when Col J = “Additional lots or acreage”
- Action not required when Col J = “Parent parcel waiting to be split”, unless aged more than 1-2 years
- 3rd tab – TBA_NO_ACTION – lists loans that CoreLogic identified as having properties on Native American/government land and co-op or timeshare properties. CoreLogic does not disburse taxes on these properties.
- Informational only, unless you believe the findings are inaccurate
- 4th tab – TBA_OVER_$1M_UPB – comprised of TBA loans with a UPB (unpaid principal balance) over $1 million
- These loans are included in tabs 2 and 3 but separated to assist you with prioritization.