Banks and mortgage servicers were largely caught off guard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and had to scramble to respond to the crisis and resulting legislation. Nowhere is this more apparent than in home lending, where many borrowers faced economic hardship and needed help paying their bills.
Following the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, many borrowers took advantage of the expanded opportunity to utilize forbearance to stay in their homes. Banks were overwhelmed by the deluge of forbearance requests early in 2020 and the abrupt transition to remote work for their entire workforce. They found themselves short-staffed, using inefficient, ad-hoc systems, and without processes in place to handle the changing environment.
As the landscape for 2021 and 2022 is becoming clearer, now is the time for banks to invest in a strategic plan to determine how to proceed with loans in forbearance and the best way to effectively service them.
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