When did “beauty parlors” become “beauty shops” become “salons” and “spas?” Our industry doesn’t have a monopoly on change, and in my recent travels around the nation visiting with residential lenders, things continue to evolve. Owners of servicing continue to release pools of mortgage servicing rights, raising cash to create profitable months and quarters. Banks, credit unions, and lenders mention ongoing efforts to “digitize” the lending process but some admitted to some level of “fake digitization”, defined as a borrower interface that appears to be digital but with lots of manual steps behind the scenes. And there is certainly a renewed focus on Consumer Direct (CD) build out as the market shifts. Meanwhile, large banks and lenders are doing their best to stay out of the headlines as news and public company releases tend to reverberate around to mortgage and bank executives. There was Better.com’s layoff mess, Wells Fargo’s recent headline on rejection rates for black borrowers, and Rocket’s disclosure of 90% “retention” as they define it, was actually the “retention” of borrowers to whom they have marketed, not actual payoffs from servicing. (Today’s audio version of the commentary is available here. This week’s is sponsored by Verity Global Solutions, an expert labor and automation solution provider that performs all non-customer-facing functions, from origination through servicing.) Lender and Broker Products and Services As the housing industry works to envision a future beyond the pandemic, one area that continues to receive special focus is servicing. Although the forbearance rate has dropped, there are still approximately one million borrowers in forbearance. Over the last two years, subservicers have helped lenders navigate a foreign landscape and have shown they serve a real need in the loan life cycle. Selene’s latest white paper, “How a Specialized Subservicer Can Make a Difference,” outlines current servicer challenges, how partnering with a subservicer can help lenders achieve success in helping borrowers and holistic approaches to mitigating loss and identifying credit risk. Read the white paper here.