Servicers don't have a lot of fans among the public these days. Rest assured, the feeling is mutual; a recent BankThink post noted that servicers are privately fuming about the potential agreement issued by the public's representatives in state capitals and in Washington ["The Proposed Servicing Settlement, Through Servicers' Eyes," March 8]. But until now, few servicers — or sympathetic parties — were willing to stick their neck out and tell the public — in public — exactly how they feel.
Bob Rosen did: "When you go back and look at the housing meltdown, there are many to blame, but I don't remember seeing servicers on the list. Regulators such as FNMA & FHLMC, Congress, builders, Realtors, lenders, securitizers, investors, rating agencies, and even the central bank, but not servicers! Sure, most of the large servicers are owned by parent banks, but the lending side of the business took advantage of the opportunities the market made available … not the servicers. If servicers are going to be penalized, it seems to me to be somewhat ironic when the governmental agencies taking the action are more to blame for the foreclosure debacle then the servicers."
He then turns the blame around: "Therefore, doesn't it make more sense to first penalize the regulators and Congress before anyone else? The fact that our own government was not ready for this sustained economic recession and huge unemployment problem does not help the situation at all. … And yet, they expected the servicers that did nothing to create the problem to deal with unprecedented default, bankruptcy, foreclosure, modification and counseling volumes."
And then he offers a generous pat on the back for the team: "The truth is that servicers have done an amazing job in trying to deal with all these issues while being slowed down by regulators auditing everything the servicers are doing. How can one expect a job to get done when constantly having to put your best people in a room with auditors from every agency that ever existed? Sure servicers are having problems. Training thousands of people transferred from other areas of the company and new hires on very technical type work is not an easy task when you are constantly under attack internally and externally.
"Do servicers have problems today? Of course they do. Anyone would have problems dealing with unprecedented volumes such as they have had that no one could have predicted or have been prepared. To blame them for the Robo issue and the MERS issue seems somewhat justified, but let us remember that FNMA, FHLMC & other governmental agencies and regulators were not only aware of this for years, but many were part of the analysis and were involved in the decision-making process as well. And although I am sorry for every family that had a home taken from them, it was not because of the Robo incident or because of MERS; it was because they did not make their payments. Of course, in most cases this was not their fault, but surely it was not the fault of the servicer.
"In ending, I would like to just say to all the Servicers out there, thank you for working diligently in the middle of being attacked from all sides, for a problem you did not create, that you were falsely accused on, and still you performed admirably. Keep up the excellent work!"
A sarcastic rebuttal from "sustain1focus" shot him down with: "Hey it's nice, actually it's wonderful to know that you are for certain proof positive that servicers aren't complicit in this mess and they actually are doing their due diligence to fix the mess they help create. The servicers did nothing to create the problems of unprecedented default, bankruptcy, foreclosure, modification and counseling volumes. Bob if you honestly believe what you say, then you are either ignorant or a liar."