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A Spoc for borrowers is logical

By Polyana da Costa · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Posted: 4 pm ET

Our Spocs know "the financial situation of  the borrowers better than their spouses," says Mark Atencio, senior vice president for mortgage servicer Green Tree Servicing. "They are that close and interacting that much with the borrower."

Do you feel that close to your Spoc? I guess I need to tell you who Spoc is.

A Spoc is a single point of contact that many mortgage servicers have been forced to offer to borrowers who fall behind on their mortgage payments. Regulators say Spocs are needed because of widespread complaints from borrowers who get the runaround when trying to communicate with their servicers. The borrowers say it's frustrating to have their files transferred to a different agent each time they call to work out a solution to their delinquent mortgage.

Last April, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued a consent order to 14 banks requiring them to assign a representative, or a Spoc, to each of their delinquent loans and provide each borrower with the contact information for the Spoc.

Since then, regulators have continued to push lenders to offer the single point of contact, which servicers and others in the industry now call Spoc. The $25 billion national mortgage settlement that the state attorneys general recently announced also mandates that the servicers implement Spoc. Industry insiders expect Spoc will soon become a standard for the industry and all servicers will be required to offer it.

Sounds fair from a borrower's perspective, but some in the servicing industry don’t like Spoc. They say having a Spoc available to speak to you is costly and unfeasible. There are exceptions. Atencio is one of them.

He told a crowd of mortgage servicers during the Mortgage Bankers Association Servicing conference last week that Spoc helps reduce delinquencies, and in the end, it saves the banks money.

Other servicers in the room didn’t seem to buy his theory. They say they have implemented Spoc and it hasn't helped lower their volume of delinquent loans.

But have servicers really implemented Spoc? I wonder because I continue to hear stories of borrowers who are still having trouble communicating with their lenders.

I'm interested in hearing from borrowers who have tried to contact their servicers regarding a past due mortgage.

Were you assigned a Spoc? Was it helpful?

While you think about it, you can follow me on Twitter @Polyanad

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