Lemonade stands and Mortgage Servicing

My 10 year old daughter has become very fond of setting up lemonade stands in the front yard. I’ve had to limit her to 3 this summer, she’d like to have one every day. I always think what a hassle for me it’s going to be. I’ll probably end up supplying the lemonade, cups and ice, help set it up, take it down, and clean up…not to mention I have to sit outside in the sun to keep an eye on things.

Sweating and brooding in the sun in my collapsible chair this last week as she sold her goods, it dawned on me how selfish I was being. After all, what better way for a child to learn life lessons like entrepreneurship, hard work, self-promotion, confidence and host of other positive attributes? She doesn’t make much, but she even voluntarily gives a pretty hefty portion of the money to a pet charity she’s involved in with her mom.

I was missing the bigger picture. Molding her future, happiness, and success is really what my job is as a parent. That small amount of time and effort I put into helping her was really what I am supposed to do, and I need to remind myself of that sometimes.

I’m in the Mortgage Servicing Industry, as are most people that will probably read this. An industry virtually unexplainable to anyone outside of it. I sometimes feel like I should carry a whiteboard and marker with me so that when asked, I can attempt to explain what I do. It’s made up of many different types of companies: Banks, mortgage companies, mortgage servicing companies, master servicers, law firms, title companies, rating agencies, government oversight agencies, consultants, technology companies, property preservation companies, insurance agencies, just to name a few.

After reading the industry news I couldn’t help but draw a parallel between that lemonade stand and our industry. Our concerted efforts, our jobs, should be to service loans on behalf of the ultimate customer, which is the borrower. It’s easy to lose sight of that, and I am guilty of it too. When decisions are made in our industry, how often is the impact on the borrower truly considered?

Government oversight agencies have good intentions, trying to protect borrower’s interests, but at what point does the bank or mortgage servicing company start to focus more on adhering to thousands of ever-changing and many times obscure regulations?   Whole departments are created just to deal with requirements, else penalties could cripple them.

Many banks and servicers are not focusing on the technology or infrastructure required to alleviate huge backlogs of pending loan modifications, and other loss mitigation options that borrowers qualify for. Borrowers are sitting at home worried for months about what is going to happen to them as their requests and financial packages languish on someone’s desk. Some of us within the industry are even dealing with this reality.

I know that there are many complicated factors involved in solving every problem. But I, for one ,am going to try to keep the borrower in the forefront of my mind as I make decisions today. Come to think of it, a glass of lemonade sounds good right about now!

Mike Meroney

DLS Servicing Consultants – Follow my Company