PERSON OF THE WEEK: HLP, formerly known as Hope LoanPort, is a nonprofit that offers a Web-based communications platform that is used by many of the largest mortgage servicers for their foreclosure prevention and loan modification activities.
The nonprofit’s goal in offering this online “utility” is to unify the efforts of servicers and nonprofits in “helping families achieve and sustain homeownership.” The company claims 19 of the 20 largest mortgage servicers use its technology to review requests for loan modifications.
HLP’s collaboration platform is powered by IndiSoft‘s RxOffice software. To learn more about the relationship between the nonprofit and the software maker, MortgageOrb recently interviewed Camillo Melchiorre, president and CEO of HLP.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about the relationship between HLP and IndiSoft?
Melchiorre: HLP is a nonprofit company that provides neutral, collaborative and transparent platforms that are used by borrowers, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-approved counseling agencies, servicers, and mortgage insurers. These platforms are powered by IndiSoft’s RxOffice technology. Our relationship helped thousands of borrowers during the financial crisis by giving the mortgage industry the tools to communicate. Our technology partner, IndiSoft, has assisted us in every step since our inception as a nonprofit in November 2009.
Q: Now that the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is winding down, where do you see HLP?
Melchiorre: We have assisted hundreds of thousands of distressed borrowers using technology to connect their authorized third parties with servicers. We will continue to do so for all of the new post-HAMP workout types, including the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s streamlined programs.
Moreover, our national, neutral, nonprofit consumer-direct portal, Homeowner Connect, is being upgraded to facilitate a more automated and streamlined loss mitigation process. We will also be embedding live chat and telephone counseling staffed by HUD-certified nonprofit housing counselors.
Homeowner Connect is the nation’s only neutral consumer-direct portal and is a safe haven for consumers and a proactive safeguard against modification and other foreclosure prevention scams.
Another significant adaptation is HLP’s expansion into providing a platform for state foreclosure mediation. Twenty-seven states have required mediation, and these processes have the same challenges with multiple parties’ documents and data.
We have also been working with mortgage companies to leverage HLP and its more than 6,000 housing counselors to facilitate outreach and right-party contact to assist in servicing efforts.
Q: What is the most significant effect IndiSoft’s technology has had on how HLP conducts business?
Melchiorre: IndiSoft’s platform increases the efficiency and effectiveness of our customers. For example, if there are any new government programs or changes to current programs that need to be incorporated into the system, it can be done quickly because the platform is easy to configure.
It also facilitates transparency by allowing multiple work queues, cross-links and escalation across all of the stakeholders using the application. It also provides the option to automate specific tasks and activities that can reduce inefficiency in the workflow process.
Q: How has your relationship with IndiSoft affected the industry?
Melchiorre: The partnership between HLP and IndiSoft has garnered national attention. We have received awards such as the Computerworld Honors Laureate in 2013 for our collaboration.
Our partnership has also had a positive effect on thousands of distressed homeowners since our inception. Borrowers, even with the help of counselors, were unsuccessful in obtaining modification to their existing mortgages.
But with the use of IndiSoft’s technology, they were able to obtain modifications in a timely manner. We are also the main provider for special government programs, such as the Emergency Homeowner Loan Program, and we were the preferred technology provider for Making Home Affordable.
Q: Where do you see your relationship going in 2017?
Melchiorre: With HAMP ending in 2016, HLP and IndiSoft will focus on helping prospective homeowners improve their credit scores and eventually obtain the American dream of homeownership. We will be partnering with counseling agencies and mortgage companies, with the support of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to help in these efforts. We also plan to partner with state housing finance agencies to assist their counseling networks and their consumers.