Mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial Corp. says it has created a Community Advisory Council, which will provide a forum for Ocwen leaders and community advocates to provide guidance on servicing policies.
The council will work with Ocwen to consider issues such as principal reduction modifications for families with underwater mortgages, reducing urban blight, helping communities of color that have been hardest hit by the mortgage crisis and improving language access to borrowers with limited English proficiency.
The council will be chaired by Ronald Faris, president and CEO of Ocwen, and will initially comprise 15 nonprofit community advocates and housing counseling agencies from around the country. Other members may be added to the council in the future, Ocwen notes.
‘The council will also serve as an outlet to track public policy developments relevant to Ocwen's loan servicing and origination business and facilitate relationships within local community, government and industry circles," Faris explains.
John Taylor, president and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, says, ‘The key to insuring that all borrowers are treated fairly and equally in all aspects of mortgage finance, including servicing, is the ability of community leaders to have regular and open discussions with leaders in the financial services sector about the needs of traditionally underserved people and families who are struggling to keep their homes.
"The establishment of Ocwen's Community Advisory Council takes direct aim at building that dialogue and collaboration," he adds.
‘Changes in the mortgage servicing industry continue at a rapid pace,’ says Ed Jacobs, executive director at the Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago. ‘It is critical that servicers interested in helping homeowners have a regular, honest, constructive dialogue with housing counseling organizations that are working closely with borrowers."