HOUSTON -- Stewart Lender Services (SLS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Stewart Title Company, has launched a specialized loss-mitigation service for mortgage lenders with Hispanic borrowers.
Although Spanish-speaking customers make up a significant portion of the home purchasing public, studies show that this group has a disproportionate share of defaulting and foreclosed properties. According to the Center of Responsible Lending, approximately 8 percent of Hispanic borrowers who received loans from 2005-2008 have lost their homes to foreclosure. Moreover, an estimated 21 percent of all owner-occupied loans at imminent risk of default (60+ days delinquent) were made to Hispanic borrowers. In recognition of this underserved community, Stewart has developed a specific offering targeted to this important demographic.
Through its wholly owned subsidiary, Home Retention Services, Inc., (HRS) Stewart Lender Services performs loss mitigation solicitation and outreach services for its lender clients. HRS performs borrower outreach, lettering and mailing services, as well as loss mitigation underwriting in both English and Spanish.
"We've made a concerted effort to hire Spanish-speaking mortgage professionals, from loan counselors to underwriters, to staff our loss mitigation call center," said Jason Nadeau, president of Stewart Lender Services. "Currently 40 percent of our staff is proficient in Spanish. And as a leading provider of loss mitigation services, we believe we are offering a premier service to this community."
Stewart's loss mitigation center provides borrowers with counseling for the Home Affordable Modification Program, traditional modification programs, short sale solutions and other loss mitigation options.
As one of the industry's foremost loss mitigation organizations, Stewart Lender Services has found that approximately one out of every five borrowers counseled prefers talking with a Spanish-speaking loan counselor. Many of the calls received are a result of Spanish language mailings sent by Stewart's in-house mail center to delinquent borrowers.
"With large concentrations of delinquencies in Florida, California, Arizona and Nevada, Stewart recognized early on the importance of being able to connect with Spanish-speaking customers upon their first call," said Nadeau. "We've eliminated the complication of a call transfer and equally important, provide all documentation, letters and other correspondence in Spanish. In many cases this eliminates the need for the borrower to place a phone call or obtain other assistance in order to understand the requirements of the various loss mitigation programs."