September 26, 2021

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CFPB issues blog post on COVID-19 mortgage servicing communication strategies | Ballard Spahr LLP

On April 5, 2021, the CFPB issued a blog entry Proposals for different communication strategies for mortgage service providers to deal with the increased volume associated with the COVID-19 national emergency. Recalling the most recent CFPB Compliance Bulletin 2021-02 and Communication on the maintenance of mortgages on the proposed rulemakingSwiss Post encourages mortgage service providers to use all available tools to reach affected borrowers.

In addition to traditional techniques for sending letters and calling borrowers, the CFPB suggests using data science to understand borrowers’ contact preferences. Regarding communication strategies, the blog lists the following nontraditional techniques used by some servicers:

  • Use multimedia channels to meet customer preferences, including combinations of text, personalized emails, or emails as permitted by applicable law;
  • Determination of the borrower’s contact preferences;
  • Development and use of web-based self-service tools and customer portals to support borrowers in harm reduction;
  • Using tailored communications, including videos and emails, to explain options to individual consumers based on the loan holder (e.g. FHA, VA, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac).
  • Send certain important notices to borrowers through FedEx, UPS, or other weighted email options to encourage borrowers to open emails that they may otherwise discard as routine communications.
  • Providing information in multiple languages ​​to better assist borrowers with limited English language skills.

The blog post also encourages servicers to refer borrowers to the CFPBs Interagency Housing Portalwhich explains forbearance programs and other options available. The portal also has resources in multiple languages.