Nye Lavalle wrote:
We are committed to providing outstanding mortgage services, and we will do it better than anyone else!
As a responsible mortgage banker and servicer, EMC Mortgage Corporation fully complies with all laws and regulations applicable to our business operations, including but not limited to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Housing Act of 1968, the Truth in Lending Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. EMC is committed to providing high quality and ethical service to all our Customers. EMC does not tolerate abusive, misleading, or fraudulent servicing practices. Moreover, EMC strives to treat all Customers equally, and accordingly, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, familial status, age or disability.
EMC is pleased to present our "Best Servicing Practices", which reflect the company's mission to provide outstanding mortgage services.
Best Servicing Practices
The Right Start
In order to assure a smooth transition of our Customer's accounts to EMC, we review all loan terms to ensure we have the appropriate information loaded into our system. We send a Welcome Package to our Customers that contains helpful information, including payment information and coupons. We also place welcome calls to all new Customers to confirm that all payments made to prior servicers have been timely credited and that any outstanding issues are resolved and questions answered.
Customer Service, Satisfaction & Convenience
EMC is committed to the highest levels of Customer service, satisfaction and convenience. We provide a comprehensive, automated information system to our Customers. ?Customer Care Net,? a web tool found at http://www.emcmortgageservicing.com,
provides Customers access to their loan information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Customers are also able to obtain information through our easy-to-use interactive voice response system, which supports both our English and Spanish-speaking Customers.
EMC's "One Call Resolution" policy is to take care of our Customers' needs during their first phone call to EMC. Our Call Center Agents are trained to resolve all Customer issues promptly and aim to do so without transferring Customers to other departments.
EMC maintains a dedicated Customer Relations Department to address Customer inquiries and employs staff fluent in Spanish to assist our Spanish-speaking Customers.
Customer service personnel are evaluated on their ability to resolve Customer complaints to the Customer's satisfaction. Employees with the highest satisfaction ratings are recognized and rewarded.
To ensure that our Customers receive the attention they desire and deserve, a Customer Advocate is available to listen to unresolved Customer complaints and present recommendations for resolution to senior management. Customers may contact Customer Service for assistance at 800-723-3004, and for additional assistance, the Customer Advocate may be reached directly at 800-695-7695 (ext. 7377) or via email at EMCCustomerAdvocate@Bear.com
Payment Processing/Billing Statements
EMC's policy is to post all payments on the first business day payments are received and identified. In circumstances where payments cannot be immediately identified and posted (where, for example, a loan number is not included with a payment), EMC's records will reflect a loan posting as of the date the payment was received once identification is made.
Billing statements are sent to Customers on a monthly basis. Statements provide itemized information as to amounts owed, including fees and servicing advances, and detailed information regarding all aspects of a Customer's account. Monthly billing statements are also available online through a secure website at http://www.emcmortgageservicing.com.
For option arm products, EMC's monthly statements include information explaining how the Customer's various payment options will affect the loan balance and future amounts owed so that Customers are able to make informed decisions about their payment options.
Lender Placed Insurance
EMC monitors Customer accounts to ensure adequate hazard and/or flood insurance coverage is maintained at all times.
Once EMC is notified that there is no insurance coverage, we will send the Customer a series of letters over a period of 60 days and make phone calls requesting proof of insurance. In these letters, we encourage our Customers to purchase their own insurance to obtain the most favorable pricing and coverage.
Although documentation of insurance coverage is required, if at any time a Customer verbally represents that he or she has insurance coverage in effect, EMC will attempt to obtain written documentation of insurance on the Customer's behalf by contacting the Customer's insurance agent.
If it becomes necessary for EMC to obtain a lender placed policy for the Customer, EMC has competitive lender placed insurance rates.
Even after a lender's policy is placed, we encourage Customers to obtain their own policy. We will provide premium reimbursement to Customers who subsequently provide proof of coverage, only charging a premium for any days not covered by the Customer's policy.
Home Retention Strategies
We want Customers to be able to keep their homes. In most cases, foreclosure results in a loss not only to our Customers but to EMC and its Investors.
Upon delinquency, home retention specialists evaluate loans before the foreclosure process begins to ensure that a variety of home retention options have been explored. EMC strives to find the best solution for our Customers, based on their willingness and ability to work with us.
Included in EMC's many home retention options, a refinance may be possible through our affiliate Bear Stearns Residential Mortgage Corporation. For assistance, please go to http://www.beardirect.net
or call 866-658-BEAR (2327).
Even after referral to foreclosure, home retention representatives actively solicit workout arrangements to stop the foreclosure process.
EMC's home retention strategies do not require Customers to waive any claims or defenses they may have.
We do not assess late charges if the Customer makes timely payments under a repayment plan even though the loan remains delinquent during this time.
We do not charge modification fees.
EMC encourages customers to seek professional credit counseling where necessary and appropriate. EMC has established a relationship with Consumer Credit Counseling Services, an independent, non-profit counseling service, and will pay the credit counseling fee for Customers who seek their assistance. The national toll-free number for referrals is 1-800-388-2227 or http://www.nfcc.org.
Other resources or assistance may be available through HUD (202-708-1112) or http://www.hud.gov.
EMC also supports counseling and ongoing assistance programs offered by NeighborWorks America. NeighborWorks may be contacted at 1-888-995-HOPE or http://www.995HOPE.org.
In an initiative that was begun April 2, 2007, EMC created the ?EMC Mod Squad?, a loan modification team dedicated to helping delinquent Customers avoid foreclosure of their homes. The Mod Squad works with EMC Customers to identify various alternatives to foreclosure when the Customer is having difficulty making their mortgage payments. The Mod Squad is also partnering with local community groups from across the country to assist EMC Customers located in those communities. The EMC Mod Squad has targeted cities with higher at-risk EMC Customers, conducting educational workshops and presenting financial restructuring possibilities for these Customers. EMC has a toll-free telephone hotline for customers to reach the EMC Mod Squad at 877-EMC-MOD1 (877-362-6631), staffed Monday-Thursday 7 am to 9 pm CST, Friday 7 am to 7 pm CST, and Saturdays 7 am-12 pm CST.
EMC has a variety of tools to assist Customers who experience financial hardship. Our goal is to keep our Customers in their homes by exploring all avenues to help them through difficult financial times. Effective and early communication is an integral component of working through delinquency. Our courteous and understanding staff treats Customers with respect and dignity. We encourage our Customers who are experiencing financial difficulty to call our loan counselor team at 1-800-723-3004.
All loans are pre-screened prior to initiating foreclosure to ensure that foreclosure is appropriate.
A committee of senior executives conducts an additional review of any loan that fails to meet the screening criteria so that no loan is referred to foreclosure unless foreclosure is the only appropriate course of action. We continuously look for ways to help Customers keep their homes while at the same time satisfying the debt that they owe.
Protecting Privacy of Customer's Data
Servicing fees are monitored to ensure they are fair, reasonable and compliant with state and federal laws.
EMC's fees are competitive within the industry, and many services are provided free of charge, including:
Opening an escrow account
ACH monthly payments
Automated speed payments
Copies of appraisals and other loan documents
Verifications of mortgage
Duplicate IRS year-end forms (1098;1099)
EMC reports Customers' payment history to major credit reporting agencies on a monthly basis, which assists our Customers in building and maintaining a strong credit history if payments are timely made. In the event there is a complaint or dispute about our credit reporting, we immediately report the dispute to the credit reporting agencies and take prompt action to resolve the dispute.
EMC has comprehensive quality control measures at several different levels, including internal self-auditing programs, a well-staffed Quality Assurance Department that monitors adherence to internal service standards, policies and procedures, and applicable laws and regulations, and a full-time Internal Audit Department.
All employees receive training on applicable laws as well as EMC's policies, procedures, and service standards. Audits are conducted to ensure employees' compliance. EMC also conducts call monitoring to ensure employees are meeting Customers' needs and acting in accordance with company policy as well as all applicable laws and regulations. Insofar as an audit reveals concerns about an employee's compliance with policies, procedures, or expectations regarding service levels, EMC acts swiftly to address those issues.
EMC retains an independent polling company to conduct frequent surveys of randomly selected Customers to ensure Customer satisfaction. While we believe that the majority of our Customers are pleased with the level of service that EMC provides, if any Customer indicates dissatisfaction, we take steps to not only resolve that Customer's concern but to remedy any processes that may cause additional Customer concerns in the future.