Offering mortgage loans certainly helps credit unions become their members’ primary, trusted financial partner. However, credit unions that sell the mortgage servicing rights to the secondary market are giving up the opportunity to gain a greater profit and more importantly, a chance to build the strong ties to members that come with being their exclusive financial service provider.
Now more than ever presents the opportune time for credit unions to consider retaining MSRs. And, for credit unions currently without lending operations, it is a great time to either re-enter or launch a mortgage lending department, as the demand from consumers is high and there is no better way to gain long-lasting, loyal members than to serve them as homeowners. Servicing in-house gives credit unions ultimate control of the loans and the service their members receive. With sub-servicers or third-party servicers, there is no way to guarantee that member attention is in line with the standards your credit union strives to set.
What does it take to service mortgages in-house? It takes a strong technology platform and talented, dedicated servicing professionals. While many credit unions still approach technology and personnel additions with hesitancy, these investments come with quick returns – the fee income alone generated by retaining these assets can easily pay for new systems and any extra employees. Additionally, maintaining contact and establishing relationships with borrowers for the life of their loans provides ongoing opportunities to cross-sell other products and services.
Servicing loans in-house does not necessarily mean staff workload will increase exponentially, as some might believe. A robust technology platform helps credit unions manage all servicing activities as well as sustain the regular contact and communication mortgagors need.
Technology enables credit unions to provide just what members have come to expect from their trusted financial institution – timely, accessible service. It provides the only cost-effective means to ensure homeowners receive the real-time updates, important notifications and other information they need on a continual basis. Servicing technology also drives a credit union’s efficiency by sending out alerts, recording items, generating reports and letting borrowers make payments online.
With today’s increasing number of regulations aimed at protecting consumers, technology that is updated according to legislative changes allows credit unions to eliminate compliance concerns and truly focus on servicing. Credit unions should realize that providing an exceptional borrower experience does not require them to sacrifice employee productivity or cost savings, rather they can drastically improve both.
With interest rates and property values still extremely low, it is a great time for members to purchase homes – so credit unions should embrace on the opportunity to be there for them not just at the onset, but also throughout the course of their homeownership. Consumers today have a greater desire to know their servicer and are encouraged to be aware of their rights as homeowners. They not only want to know who their servicer is, but they also want a representative’s direct contact information should they have a question or concern – and who better to hold that relationship than their credit union.
With persisting apprehension about the mortgage servicing industry, members will be glad to have the institution they trust for daily banking activities in control of the day-to-day management of their mortgage. By gaining the confidence that comes from handling virtually every part of a member’s finances, a credit union can very likely have a lifetime member on its hands. As credit unions constantly strive to enhance offerings while increasing satisfaction and loyalty, now is the time to reconsider keeping MSRs as the ultimate method for developing strong member ties.