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Using Automation to Build the Servicer of the Future

Client Partners Using Automation to Build the Servicer of the Future

Using Automation to Build the Servicer of the Future
By Josh Reicher, SVP and Chief Digital Officer

It's my job to imagine the future of our organization and our industry, and it's no secret that servicing is ripe for innovation.

“We’re now five years into our commitment to digital transformation at Cenlar. We started the journey by delivering a modernized homeowner experience and improved client-facing capabilities, which are fundamental. The result: according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, Cenlar now has the highest digital adoption performance metrics in the industry. Our partners at ICE recognized this effort by naming Cenlar the winner of the 2024 ICE Innovation Award for Best Use of Mobile Technology in Servicing. 

Beginning last year, we were able to take our efforts to the next level, with automation.

The goal of our Automation Factory is to transform the organization to one that operates with exception-based processing, where our people are elevated to focus on analytical activities, not repetitive tasks. With each automation we introduce, we get closer to realizing this goal across the organization, with even higher effectiveness and performance in servicing our clients and their homeowners.

It’s important to note our Automation Factory is focused on improved effectiveness — strategic automation as part of a larger effort to transform the organization. It is not automation for automation’s sake.

We’ve automated, for example:

  • Verification of income wires, reducing manual activity to exception handling
  • Processing of Homeowners Assistance Fund (HAF) disbursements, so that homeowners can receive their funds faster
  • Transfer Operations bulk extracts, so documents and communications automatically transfer
  • Cash Operations processes for handling scenarios with insufficient funds
  • Tax refund validation and categorization
  • Mortgage Insurance removal
  • Identifying homeowners who qualify for Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) benefits, allowing for an increased frequency of the review process

These are just a small selection of the overall automations that we completed in 2023. In 2024, we have several major initiatives that will further improve performance for our clients.

Our 2024 initiatives include:

  • Top-Down Process Reengineering - Continuing the success of Automation Factory in 2023, we will expand from a series of one-off automations to reimagining and optimizing entire business flows.
  • Guided Flows - A dynamic tool for reducing risk, improving compliance and assuring homeowners receive the loss mitigation option that makes the most sense and gets the best outcome. For more on this, see my colleague Ingrid Jaschok’s piece on our Default area elsewhere in this newsletter.
  • Using New Technology to Explore Intelligent Automation - Leverage advanced technology such as machine learning, and document intelligence to automate increasingly complex, risky and time-intensive processes and controls.

Our automation solutions ensure a more efficient and reliable operation, resulting in the best possible experience for both clients and homeowners. Investing in this kind of automation demonstrates Cenlar’s commitment to maximizing the value for both. By implementing our innovative automation technology, we are not only pushing Cenlar forward, we’re leading the way in reinventing servicing as a whole.

As Cenlar’s SVP and Chief Digital Officer, Josh Reicher manages Cenlar’s digital technology and operations. With 20 years in the financial services industry and 30 years in technology overall, Reicher has served in various IT leadership positions at Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and other organizations.