HOPE NOW launched a new web portal allowing Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-approved housing counseling agencies to submit completed Home Afforable Modification Program (HAMP) applications for borrowers at-risk of foreclosure.

Housing counselors in nine key markets will assist troubled homeowners in collecting all the required documents for a loan modification under the Making Home Affordable (MHA) program.

The new portal named HOPE LoanPort™ streamlines the process by leveraging HUD counseling agencies offering free services to at-risk borrowers. It assists these organizations in submitting all the required documentation and data elements necessary for considering a borrower for HAMP to their mortgage servicer.

HOPE NOW created the this new portal to help address some of the hindrances borrowers face in seeking a HAMP modification. Although over 650,000 borrowers are now in the trial modification process, many have not submitted all the required documentation to make that modification final.

This new Web portal will allow counselors to help with the collection of necessary documents from homeowners, upload the completed package directly to servicers and track the status of a borrower’s application.

Housing counselors will be able to track the progress of a homeowner’s application and provide them with regular status updates, which has been a source of frustration in some cases.

Additionally, this one ‘port of entry’ will help the industry and the government to better understand where the bottlenecks are and take steps to address them.

The mortgage servicers initially participating in the HOPE LoanPort™ include American Home Mortgage Servicing, JPMorgan Chase Manhattan, GMAC Financial Services, SunTrust, PNC Mortgage and Saxon Mortgage.

The HOPE LoanPort™ is expected to launch nationwide in early 2010.

“This new web portal will help homeowners get a faster answer, via their housing counselor, on whether or not they qualify for a HAMP loan,” said Faith Schwartz, executive director, HOPE NOW. “The ability to help at-risk borrowers navigate more quickly through the HAMP modification process is a win-win for borrowers and the servicers committed to this program. The HOPE LoanPort™ will demonstrate that using available, secured technology and standardized application forms will make a difference in the amount of time it takes for a consumer to get the answers they are seeking and reduce costs to servicers.”

“This is the highway system that will help more people get HAMP modifications, more quickly. It is a neutral and accessible site that will provide real-time aggregate reporting and status updates,” she added. “While we will initially roll it out with certified housing counselors, our goal in the upcoming year is take it directly to consumers.”

“This initiative reflects the tremendous collaborative effort the mortgage industry is conducting to create additional channels to assist borrowers and counselors in pursuit of HAMP modifications,”
said Camillo Melchiorre, senior vice president of loss management at Radian Guaranty.

Radian Guaranty is a sponsor of the pilot program. The HOPE LoanPort™ platform is based on RxOffice® technology by IndiSoft LLC of Columbia, Maryland.

“Housing counselors have consistently articulated the need for a single point of entry and systematic process for communicating with servicers,” said Ken Wade, CEO of NeighborWorks® America. “We are delighted that HOPE NOW has developed HOPE LoanPort™, which will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of counseling and enable more distressed homeowners to receive the assistance they need.”


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