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Working as a mortgage servicing manager

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Mortgage servicing managers are part of the large and complex web of institutions that make up the mortgage business.

Most of us are familiar with mortgage brokers, who find loans for people who want to buy homes. These brokers connect borrowers with mortgage lenders, also called originators -- companies like Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Bank of America and Chase, to name a few of the largest.

Another type of company, one that may be less understood by consumers, also plays an important role in the mortgage business. Mortgage servicers step in after the homeowner has closed on the property, administering the loan until the customer pays it off. Sometimes this work is performed by the company that issued the mortgage. In other cases, mortgages and the rights to service them are sold to other companies.

What they do
Mortgage servicing managers may perform a range of duties, including sending statements, collecting payments and handling escrow accounts for homeowners' insurance and property taxes. Borrowers pay into these accounts, and the servicer is responsible for making sure the bills are paid on time. When borrowers fail to buy adequate insurance for their homes, mortgage servicers are allowed to buy what is commonly termed "force placed insurance" on their behalf.

Mortgage servicers also have the important task of following up on delinquencies. If the borrower fails to make one or more payments, the servicer is entitled to charge late fees. If the servicer finds evidence that the home is unoccupied or falling into disrepair, it may also charge the borrower for cost of maintenance or repairs on the home.

Servicers also oversee the process of filing for foreclosure. These companies came under fire recently for mishandling this process, by employing so-called robo-signers to sign foreclosure documents in bulk, without properly reviewing them. Many homeowners received unfair treatment under this practice, which caused an administrative tangle that some argue has prolonged the foreclosure crisis. Today, mortgage servicing managers, especially those that oversee collections or foreclosure filings, are likely to operate under increased scrutiny in the wake of the robo-signing scandal.

What they need
The educational requirements for mortgage servicing managers are fairly minimal; usually an associate degree or several years of experience suffice. Most servicing companies are seeking managers with thorough knowledge of mortgage loan products and loan servicing. Managers also have to be clear communicators, both orally and in writing, especially given the sensitive nature of the financial transactions that take place between borrowers and servicers.

What they earn doesn't provide salary information on mortgage servicing managers per se, but it does have a breakdown on mortgage accounting clerks, who perform many of the same duties (for example, calculating mortgage payments and preparing applications for extensions on delinquent loans). These clerks nationally earn an average $45,647, with the 25th percentile at $34,820 and the 75th percentile at $65,984.

Job outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the federal agency that tracks employment across a wide range of occupations, has no figures exclusive to mortgage servicing managers. But it does provide data about loan officers, which include "loan collection officers," who, like many mortgage servicing managers, are responsible for following up on delinquencies. Employment of loan officers is expected to grow 10 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Last Updated: 23/07/2012 - 11:22 AM

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