Most of us have been in the industry long enough to say we’ve survived the financial crisis, but it’s difficult even to presume that the current COVID-19 crisis compares, aside from the suddenness of onset and the immediacy needed to respond that is certainly commonplace with disaster recovery.  Both crises have pushed our industry way outside of a comfort zone and forced us to deal with the unknown, so where do we go from here?

  1. Stay calm and respond As an industry, we’ve shown that we can bounce back in time of need; now is no different.
  2. Don’t lose sight of your customer Customer centricity and ease of access should definitely remain at the top of your list.
  3. COVID-19 disaster relief This is a new type of disaster, so leverage the disaster management skills you’ve been putting to use for the past few years.

Stay Calm and Respond

This is a resilient industry that has already worked through crisis and disaster. The keys are operational execution and visibility, volume-related work distribution (hopefully it’s automated), innovative thinking leveraging existing processes, and technology.   Systemically, it’s important to identify changes, look at the downstream impact, and design the associated rules and decisioning.  With all of the industry workout rules and workflow edicts in place for disasters, use what you know to effectively tweak the operational processes, then drive change using automation.   

With existing technologies that are capable of displaying real-time data throughout your customer interactions using process automation and nimble workout rules management, financial services organizations can position themselves to respond quickly and effectively. It is also an opportunity to reach out and leverage your technology business partners.  Keep your focus on effective implementation of innovative ways to work differently.  Think about it, customers are calling for COVID-19 assistance or refi, centralize these touchpoints and have workflow distribute the call to the right people in your organization.

Don’t Lose Sight of Your Customer

It goes without saying that your phones are ringing nonstop, your ‘info@’ email inboxes are filling to capacity, and website traffic is at a premium. Immediate and accurate responses are critical.  Not only do your teams need to be up to speed, but your systems need to nimbly pinpoint relief programs, identify eligibility criteria, track associated events, and facilitate dynamic two-way communication with your borrowers.

Addressing the sheer volume of borrowers impacted by COVID-19 is more than likely going to require bulk processing – identification of geographic areas most impacted, program notifications, automated document assembly, and more. Updating and expanding your self-serve options, centralizing your customer touch points, and extending user portal capabilities are critical to facilitating the intake of borrowers needing relief. Your corresponding processes also need to be dynamically data driven so borrower needs are focused and at the forefront throughout your organization.

COVID-19 Disaster Relief

The industry has absorbed consecutive years of increasing natural disasters.  These relief processes and programs are the structure for responding to COVID-19. Mortgage organizations are in a solid position to leverage disaster program requirements, operational processes, and existing workout rules. Ensuring these processes all work together in an appropriate response timeframe will necessitate dynamic automation in a digital framework. Older systemic approaches, which are not set up to drive relevant and targeted data throughout your organization, may be unable to take workout rules to the decisioning level. This could cause your relief strategy to fall short as the volume of inquiries swell.

The number of impacted borrowers will continue to increase, as will delinquencies.  With loss of pay, job loss, and associated medical expenses expected to negatively affect borrowers individually as well as their families, the industry will most certainly see the rapid reversal of current delinquency and foreclosure trends. 

Ready for Disaster Relief?

Is your organization up to speed on the reality of centralized processing?  It’s never too late to engage technology business partners that are positioned to assist with proven software and industry expertise now.  Get your customer calls automatically distributed to the right people at the right time within your organization using data intelligently with logic and complex decisioning.

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