While BOk Mortgage has historically held its loan delinquency rate well below the state and national ratios, it has introduced a program that has reduced that rate by an additional 12 percent since the first of the year.
By introducing an automated, on-demand, interactive telephone communication system, BOk Mortgage, a subsidiary of Tulsa-based BOK Financial Corp., has added efficiency to its loss mitigation efforts, said Kenda Ewing, vice president and manager of default.
The delinquency average at BOk Mortgage for 2006 was 3.82 percent, compared with 6.07 percent for the Oklahoma average.
Provided by Seattle-based Varolii Corp., the automated system has “cleared up two weeks out of the loan counselors’ time so they can be contacting people who are not just the potential 30-day delinquent account but are delinquent two or more months,” Ewing said.
Operating out of four floors in its headquarters building at 7060 S. Yale Ave., BOk Mortgage holds a loan portfolio of $5.3 billion with loans in all 50 states. Of its 58,000 loans, 36,000 are in Oklahoma.
“We have seen a pretty significant drop” in delinquent loans, Ewing said.
She said most mortgage servicing companies of any size have some sort of automation when it comes to contacting delinquent mortgagors, but that prior to installing the Varolii system “we used an auto dialer that basically dialed the phone numbers for us.”
She said under that system, “the loans counselors were attached to the phone and they spoke to the customer directly.”
Varolii is totally automated, she said. “It gives the customer the opportunity to make a payment by phone, or make a promise to pay, or they can opt back into our call center if they want to talk to a live person. It has helped us collect the payment in an automated fashion rather than us having to speak to the customer, because those are not the customers who need our help.”
“It has freed up a tremendous amount of time,” Ewing said.
R. Mark Fairchild, senior vice president and loan servicing manager, attributed BOk Mortgage’s consistently low delinquency rate to its loan products.
“We try to put borrowers into loan product that fit their needs and we want to create a long-term relationship with that customer,” he said. “We just have a very clean portfolio.”
“BOk Mortgage has been in the business a long time,” David Laughlin, president, said. “We are very good stewards of the trust of people who come in and want to borrow from us. If we don’t think that someone can qualify, we don’t fit the square peg in the round hole. That isn’t serving the customer and it isn’t long-term relationship building.”
Laughlin said BOk Mortgage also has relationships with the investors “we sell our loans to and to the extent that we perform well as an originator.”
He said that due to the quality of the loan portfolios that they have sold to Freddie Mac “we were awarded Tier 1 staus, which means that out of some 1,200-1,500 servicers, we are in the top 12 nationally.” ?