CFPB Issues Report on Mortgage Servicing During COVID-19

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today released a report highlighting data collected from 16 bank and non-bank mortgage servicers between Dec. 2020 and April 2021. The bureau requested that these servicers report call center data; forbearance requests, denials, and exits; delinquency; and borrower profiles.

Among other things, the report found that most reporting servicers “managed the anticipated high call volume without significant increases in metrics such as average time to answer, handle times, or call abandonment rates,” though a few outliers were identified. The CFPB also noted that delinquent forbearance exits “increased substantially during the reporting period,” but noted that some servicers had “significantly higher numbers and rates” than others. (The CFPB acknowledged, however, that its report did not take into account different compositions and risk profiles of individual servicers, or servicer portfolios.)

The report also flagged servicers’ tracking of borrowers’ race and limited English proficiency status, noting that half of reporting servicers did not collect this information. The bureau cautioned servicers that failure to maintain data on borrowers’ race may raise the risk of fair lending violations.

The bureau encouraged servicers “to enhance their communication capabilities and outreach efforts to educate and assist all borrowers in resolving delinquency and enrolling in widely available assistance and loss mitigation options. The CFPB also encourages servicers to ensure that their compliance management systems include robust measures to identify and mitigate fair lending risk.”