Single Point of Contact Won

Having a “single point of contact” for borrowers has been a repeated theme among those advocating for reform of HAMP, such as Sen. Jeff Merkley.

According to Treasury, in guidance released Wednesday that applies to the 20 largest servicers participating in HAMP, by Sept. 1 servicers will be required to assigned one “relationship manager” to each qualified applicant. This person must be a bank employee, not a contractor, and will be the one to keep the borrower updated and receive new info from the borrower. He or she will not be doing the actual underwriting.

Supporters hope this will reduce the stunning stories of lost paperwork and blame-shifting. But skeptics, reacting to similar proposals within the proposed AG settlement, worry that high caseloads will make these single points of contact hard to reach and not improve the underlying quality of the application processing.

What do think? Major win or window dressing?

Miriam Axel-Lute is CEO/editor-in-chief of Shelterforce. She lives in Albany, New York, and is a proud small-city aficionado.


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