Housing counselors are always the “canary in the coal mine” for emerging consumer issues. When we asked for your feedback in the beginning of the Pandemic, your answers served to change the narrative. At the time, servicers were touting that homeowners would be able to easily access assistance with the new CARES Act Forbearance option. Your answers showed that it wasn’t as easy as it seemed, and call center representatives were giving inaccurate information to homeowners. Right now, information is being circulated that indicates mortgage delinquencies are at historic lows. While we certainly hope this is accurate, we want to hear from you to be certain we understand what is happening at a grass roots level. To do that, we’d like to get your feedback by way of this survey. Please fill it out as soon as you can but no later than July 22nd.

During the Great Recession, housing counselors helped millions of homeowners navigate the loss mitigation process. Homeowners were experiencing long holds when trying to contact their servicer by phone, getting repeated requests for documentation that had already been submitted, and hearing answers from call center representatives that were at the least misleading and at the worst completely incorrect. In too many cases, homeowners ended up losing their home to foreclosure because of these servicer related issues. Housing counselors stepped up and were able to ensure that homeowners were getting the help they needed and were entitled to receive. One key tool was a list of servicer escalation contacts specifically for housing counselors to use when they saw that the usual channels for loss mitigation were not working properly. The escalation contacts offered an avenue that helped housing counselors get homeowners on the correct path to a loss mitigation option that worked for them.

“One Key Tool – Servicer Escalation Contacts”

As we entered the COVID-19 Pandemic and homeowners began needing help dealing with their mortgage payments, we at NHRC began hearing that a new servicer escalation list would be helpful once again. Housing counselors were seeing long hold times and incorrect information from call center representatives. In 2021, with the help of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), The Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), The Mortgage Bankers Association, The Housing Policy Council, and Urban Institute, we compiled a comprehensive list of current servicer escalation contacts.

During the month of June, 2022, CFPB secured escalation contacts with nine more servicers. Housing counselors had been requesting an escalation contact with Select Portfolio Servicing (SPS) for months and thankfully SPS was one of the first of these nine new contacts.

If you are a HUD approved housing counseling organization that needs access to the NHRC servicer escalation list, please email Ellie Pepper at epepper@hsgcenter.org. She will send you the link along with the super secret password for access.