DSNews 2008 Year in Review Issue
Robert Klein, CEO of Safeguard Properties, contributed an article to the 2008 Year in Review issue of DSnews. The article is available on DSnews.com.
Because of the slowdown in the entire real estate market, REO properties now remain on the market longer and compete with traditional-market homes.? Sellers are investing more money on interior and exterior improvements to higher value properties.? With all REO properties, lower value and higher value, we are focusing more on interior and exterior maintenance to make them as attractive as possible for prospective buyers.? To enhance curb appeal, sellers are going beyond basic grass cuts and yard clean up to include trimming of trees and bushes, mulching and weeding.? Inside, homes are receiving thorough cleaning and routine maid service to wash windows and walls, clean floors and carpets, wipe down counters, scrub kitchen and bathroom fixtures, replace burned out lightbulbs and remove cobwebs.
Further, in the past year we’ve seen an increase in??vacant property registration ordinances. However, it’s also important that cities understand the challenges servicers face in complying with different ordinances in each city spanning the nation.?This is why the industry has reached out to cities through the Vacant Property Registration Committee under the Mortgage Bankers Association.? The industry has worked to create a “model” ordinance as a starting point for cities considering ordinances.? The goal is to offer best practices to cities so the ordinances they create will be effective and achieve greater compliance.
Safeguard developed a Hope NOW door hanger to help increase borrower contact.? During default inspections, at the 45th day of delinquency,?these door hangers are left in a discreet envelope on the borrower’s door, inviting them to contact?his or her servicer.? It’s widely recognized in the industry that loss mitigation efforts are more effective when borrowers reach out to their loan servicers for assistance if contact is made in the early stage of delinquency.?