2024 Mortgage Services Industry Outlook

MCS is looking ahead to 2024 and focusing on continued innovation to support our clients and drive the industry forward. With more than 20 years of industry experience, Chad Mosley, President of MCS's Mortgage Services division, offers his insights on the state of the industry, including its challenges and how MCS is innovating to meet them head-on.

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As the year winds down, MCS is looking ahead to 2024 and focusing on continued innovation to support our clients and drive the industry forward. Chad Mosley, President of MCS's Mortgage Services division, leads the team that provides property preservation, inspections, real estate-owned property maintenance and services, property registrations, FHA conveyance and additional property-related services for the mortgage servicing industry. With more than 20 years of industry experience, Chad offers his insights on the state of the industry, including its challenges and how MCS is innovating to meet them head-on. 

What does 2024 hold in store for the mortgage services industry?

While no one can predict the future, a few key indicators—some up and others down—point to little change and an essentially stagnant year for the industry. For example, we’re seeing global unrest, high gas prices, consumer debt at an all-time high and savings at an all-time low, which might normally predict bigger economic issues like foreclosures. But we also have very low unemployment, strong new job growth and some areas of the country where home prices are starting to appreciate again. 

The fact that 2024 is an election year is also a factor because regardless of what side of the aisle you're on, no one wants to see an increase in foreclosures right before a presidential election. The combination of all of these factors leads most in the industry to believe that it will be pretty much status quo in terms of mortgage servicing, delinquencies and foreclosures at least until the end of 2024.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the industry?

Maintaining and growing the pool of service providers continues to be a significant challenge. When you have gas prices more than double in a few years’ time, but the prices for the services reimbursed by the investors/insurers to the banks and mortgage services clients have remained relatively stagnant, that creates a challenge. The cost of living and materials costs have also gone up, yet work volume hasn’t, resulting in our service partners not making as much money as in the past. So, they’re going after different kinds of work, which is understandable. Consequently, the entire industry is struggling to find qualified service providers for all of the property preservation work that’s out there.

What is MCS doing to combat these challenges? 

About 18 months ago, we started standing up service centers across the country. Historically all of our property preservation work was performed by 1099 subcontractors or service partners, but now with boots on the ground in over 15 markets, we have full-time staff to help support some of that work. Our local teams are also able to support and assist our service partners out in the field, providing them with resources and being available for questions or consultations, as well as helping recruit new partners.
Additionally, we’ve tried to tap vendors from other industries. Our acquisition of Chain Store Maintenance last February is a great example of this. They're a commercial facility maintenance company with a network of 30,000 service providers. They're tradesmen—plumbers, handymen, carpenters, painters and electricians. So, we're now tapping into that network to combat the labor challenges and bring more people into the industry.

Are there any other trends you’re monitoring?

Municipal and state vacant property registrations continue to be a challenge for mortgage servicers. There are so many ordinances, and more are added all the time. Every municipality has its own forms, requirements and processes. So, we’ve built a team dedicated to the operational process and added technology to help manage it and, as a result, we’ve been very strong at providing property registration services. 

In fact, for several clients, we handle 100% of their registration portfolio—whether or not we are their mortgage services partner. They know that regardless of whether it's a city, state or county ordinance, they're not going to be running up liens and fines when they work with MCS. It's a tremendously challenging process, but we've built out our offering, systems and team to become an industry leader. 

How is MCS innovating in the mortgage services space? 

We've put a focus on using data and analytics to develop new services and support our clients. For example, we’ve been piloting a Community Risk Score product with one of our clients. We analyze years of data, millions of historical records and publicly available information (like census data, FBI and crime statistics, property value statistics and more) to assign a rating to a ZIP code. 

These ratings indicate negative risk factors that can affect the vacant properties we're managing on behalf of our clients, like crime, blight, theft, unemployment, violations and losses or reconveyances. It allows us to be more proactive because it tells us which ZIP codes require more scrutiny: more frequent inspections, for example, or even different decision-making regarding how the client wants to ultimately dispose of that property to try to limit risk. 

It’s an innovation that seems to be a winner, too—we’re already seeing some of our competitors attempt to offer their own versions of a Community Risk Score.

Want to know when our "Community Risk Score" product will be available (or stay in the know about future product and service offerings)?

Learn more about MCS

MCS’s Mortgage Services team is highly tenured and dedicated to our clients’ success. And we have the technology and experience to help you safeguard and maximize your property investments no matter what the future may bring. Contact Jason Myers today to learn how we can partner with you.