Fahe’s Loan Servicing Department is dedicated to providing high quality service to the homeowners and families we serve. We are responsible lenders who care about the long-term success of our homeowners. That commitment is apparent by our consistent low delinquency rates (currently 2.32%) that stay well below the industry average. What’s special about that is the average income in our portfolio is under $30,000. Many traditional lenders have difficulty servicing these loans. We’re different because we understand that each portfolio represents a homeowner, a family, and we know that each of these people face real life every day. And sometimes real life can put us into situations that make it hard to pay. When one of our clients is facing a hard time, we work with them to find a feasible solution.
Brad Finn is Fahe’s asset manager in charge of collection, loss mitigation, and Real Estate Owned (REO) management. He has been with Fahe since 2008 and one of his main duties is to help at-risk families stay in their homes. I decided to interview Brad for his insight in how the Loan Servicing Department helps these families.
“You have to be compassionate. It’s not about money; it’s about people. It’s not about mortgages; it’s about relationships. ”
Aaron: Do you feel that your job is important in helping families?
Brad: I do. Contacting people to inquire why they are late on payments isn’t just about getting money; it’s an important service to the family. Unfortunately, no one that I have to call thinks of me as helping them. But for every call I make and every letter I send, the main purpose is to help keep that person in their house. The more I can get them to send payments, the better chance they have of keeping their home. We give people lots of chances because we realize that if they’re behind, then there are other things going on in their lives. But, at the same time, we have a fairly strict standard operating procedure. The homeowner has to send in a certain amount or we will send the check right back. Even though this isn’t always the most pleasant job, it is necessary. If we didn’t have it, we would have a higher delinquency rate and we would have to take back more homes.
A: Your duties have a direct impact on Fahe’s low delinquency rates. Do you care to address that?
B: I take our delinquency rates very seriously. I take it very hard if the numbers are up. Those numbers touch a lot of the company past just my position. Those rates affect our contributions and participation from banks. When the number is low we have a much easier time with finances and that allows us to help more families.
A: What are your thoughts on foreclosure?
B: We don’t want to foreclose on anyone. We give people lots of chances. But foreclosure can be a wakeup call and can help someone get back on track when they are facing losing their house. Just because you’re in foreclosure doesn’t mean you can’t come out of it and a lot of people do. A lot of people will pay to reinstate. And a vast majority of those people you never have to worry about again. I feel badly whenever we take someone to foreclosure. Even if there is nothing else that could be done, anytime I have to take someone to foreclosure, I feel like I haven’t done my job and that is not a good feeling.
A: What happens to properties that Fahe reclaims?
B: We take back the vast majority of the property we foreclose on. When this happens we have to do some basic things such as securing the home and performing necessary maintenance and repair. We will winterize the homes; perform simple rehabs like painting, laying new carpeting, and patching holes. If there are larger fixes, we of course take care of those too. When it comes to selling these homes, since we work across four different states, we have to rely on a trusted network of realtors.
A: Anything else to add about keeping people in their homes if they fall behind?
B: With collections, there are a few things you have to remember. On one hand you have to be firm, they have to pay the stipulated amount. On the other hand, you have to remember that you never know what kind of day other people are having. If I’m calling, it’s because they’re behind. And if I’m calling, then so are others. You have to be compassionate. It’s not about money; it’s about people. It’s not about mortgages; it’s about relationships. Treat people with respect and you get it in return. If I have to take someone to foreclosure, I feel that I have not done my job.
The Loan Servicing Team
The Loan Servicing team is headed by Angie Badgett and consists of Melinda Jones, Janet Stepp, Alisonde Whitaker, and Brad Finn. Their expertise in Loan Servicing allows many of the nonprofits in our Membership Network to free up resources and focus on their main area of business. The team’s hard work and willingness to make connections with homeowners are the reasons behind why our Loan Servicing Department remains successful.