- The Mortgage Collective is dedicated to establishing “a truly disruptive solution for our industry,” according to Keith Murray, president and CEO of VRM Mortgage Services, the default servicing outsourcing solutions provider that created the group.
- “Bring us your challenge, and we will craft a solution that works,” said Brandon Kirkham, senior vice president of Business Expansion at VRM.
- Last fall, VRM University unveiled an online toolkit designed to help financial services businesses assess their compliance with Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which aims to promote gender and racial diversity in the financial services industry.
When the Mortgage Collective convenes for its mortgage default services summit in May, topics like claims-driven property preservation, management of zombie foreclosure properties and HUD reconveyances will be on the table for discussion.
But attendees won’t walk away with just notes and printouts of PowerPoint presentations; they’ll go back to their offices with new solutions and plans for how to attack common operational pain points plaguing investors, mortgage lenders and servicers and the various vendors who serve those parties.
That’s because the organization of forward-thinking service providers and industry partners aren’t satisfied with merely talking about challenges related to mortgage originations and servicing, real estate services and default management. Instead, the Mortgage Collective is dedicated to establishing “a truly disruptive solution for our industry,” according to Keith Murray, president and CEO of VRM Mortgage Services, the default servicing outsourcing solutions provider that created the group.
A broad vision
Since 2006, VRM has handled late-stage delinquencies, property preservation, disposition of assets, short sales, subservicing oversight, title and closing services and asset management for commercial real estate clients.
In 2013, the company saw an opportunity to bring like-minded companies in the same space together to discuss common operational issues.
“We wanted to do leadership events that filled the gap between conferences that talk about issues at a high level, but don’t necessarily tackle operational challenges,” said Rich Owens, VRM’s senior marketing manager. “Initially, the Mortgage Collective was conceived as a way to defray the costs and share the expenses for a networking event where small- and mid-tier service providers had the opportunity to network in a larger setting with brand awareness and shared costs.”
But a broader vision for the Mortgage Collective emerged from its first event, where seven clients showed up for a cocktail reception and “an organic conversation ensued, and we began discussing things like, ‘my legal team is team is telling me we can’t do that,’ but someone else said, ‘mine is telling me something different,’” Owens said.
“We decided to put that into a more formal structure, bringing people together for one day, covering four topics and then having the sponsors partner with servicers directly to create solutions or new ways of solving problems,” he said.
Industry Solutions Group
The Mortgage Collective does not operate like traditional trade associations that charge membership fees and offer certain services. “What we do instead is get the sponsors that come to the events to share the costs,” Owens explained. “So it’s not so much a question of how to become a member, it is how you sponsor an event.
“We go through an introductory discovery process and look for sponsors that align with our mission of integrity, transparency, commitment to community and diversity and inclusion.”
At a minimum, “we want to produce a white paper or article on a topic,” Owens said. But a new Industry Solutions Group within the Mortgage Collective will ensure that lenders, servicers, investors, government-sponsored enterprises and vendors walk away with modified legacy technology solutions or fixes for inefficient work processes.
“Bring us your challenge, and we will craft a solution that works,” said Brandon Kirkham, senior vice president of Business Expansion at VRM.
For example, last fall, VRM University, VRM’s professional and continuing education platform for the real estate and mortgage services industries, unveiled one such solution with an online toolkit designed to help financial services businesses assess their compliance with Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which aims to promote gender and racial diversity in the financial services industry.
“Instead of taking on the issue of diversity, we said, ‘here is how we are going to go about it.’ That is the mindset of the folks in the Mortgage Collective,” Owens said.
The Mortgage Collective will meet May 12 in Dallas for its mortgage default services summit. A regulatory forum is in the works for later this year.
“We want to look at regulations like Dodd-Frank more proactively, because if the industry doesn’t self-police and move the ball forward internally, regulations end up becoming law and morph into requirements that are difficult to manage and adhere to,” Owens said.