Default Team: Enhanced Strength and Expertise, Same Goal
When your work involves people’s homes, every moment is important. But, as a servicer, we know it’s particularly vital to be a source of strength in a homeowner’s most uncertain times.
That’s why, as part of the recent realignment of our loan operations team, we added to our bench strength with two industry veterans who are experts in their respective stages of default: Adam Saab and Adam Wood. Their addition is just part of our commitment to continually improve how we do business with our partners.
Saab, Vice President and Head of Early Stage Default, has more than 20 years of experience working in both servicing and subservicing for servicers and large banks. He oversees all the early phases of the default process, including Single Point of Contact (SPOC) and loss mitigation.
Wood, Vice President and Head of Late Stage Default, brings more than 25 years of mortgage industry and servicing experience to Cenlar. He’s responsible for all late stages of default, including bankruptcy, REO/property preservation, claims, loss analysis and foreclosure.
Saab and Wood said they are laser-focused on enhancing their areas, further building out their teams and expertise. Their goal is the same: to ensure our business continues to run smoothly while also identifying areas of opportunity for evolution and enhancement. It’s a goal that comes with an emphasis on client responsiveness, preventing homeowner harm and making the most of technology.
In the end, they want to ensure Cenlar continues to be a client and homeowner friendly business that is both timely and thoughtful.
“Our philosophy hasn’t changed,” Saab said. “We want to make sure we’re doing any and everything possible for homeowners before we progress to late-stage. If we’ve exhausted everything or the homeowner isn’t engaged with us, then we progress. But if a homeowner wants and has the ability to stay in their home, we will do everything in our power to make that happen.
Vice President, Head of Early Stage Default
Vice President, Head of Late Stage Default
Managing a pandemic-influenced environment
This attention to detail comes at a key moment, as homeowners who entered forbearance early in the pandemic start to exhaust their time and go into post-forbearance workouts.
Cenlar has processes in place to handle this activity, but Saab points to a recent change as especially vital: centralizing SPOC within early-stage default, as part of the loss mitigation team.
SPOC’s move to early-stage default keeps it more tightly aligned with our efforts to keep homeowners in their homes. The transition allows us to make SPOC a robust program where we have an enhanced ability to get greater assistance for homeowners who need it, through specialized campaigns.
“It’s about the homeowner experience,” Saab said. “It’s good for Cenlar, it’s good for our clients, and it’s good for the homeowners to have a direct tie as they need packages. It means we have a quicker timeline to get those back, and we have clear communication with the homeowner as they’re going through the process. There’s a real synergy having SPOC within early-stage default. It’s a key change that will make everything more efficient.”
The early-stage and late-stage default teams are also working hand-in-hand, monitoring each other so no opportunities are missed. The sides are tied together, so that Wood can go back and reassess anything coming to him from Saab’s early-stage team.
“With our teams working closer together, we’re really making sure the handoff to late-stage default has the homeowner in mind,” Wood said. “We want to make sure there’s no homeowner harm anywhere in the process. So, a loan may go back and forth between our groups because we want to make sure we’re doing the right thing.”
Once a loan is liquidated, we’ve also added expertise within late-stage default to our claims [see adjacent article] and loss analysis teams. Their focus remains making sure the transaction ends smoothly, with clients getting the right amount of money back in a timely fashion. As we go through loss analysis, we also take a deeper dive, examining the case for root cause so that we can mitigate similar losses for our clients going forward.
But, ultimately, we continue to place a heavy emphasis on doing right by the homeowner during early-stage default, so that as few loans as possible progress to Wood’s group.
“With everything that Adam’s doing in early-stage default, keeping the homeowner in their home is at the forefront,” Wood said. “That’s first and foremost. We never want to foreclose. When it gets to me, we have to proceed, and we have timelines we have to follow. But the end goal is for it to never get to me.”
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