Black Knight’s tools help mortgage servicers track natural disasters


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Black Knight created a pair of tools for its MSP servicing system in order to help mortgage services identify loans in their portfolio tied to areas affected by natural disasters.

“Each year, servicers know some portion of their customers will likely face a hurricane, flood, tornado, wildfire or other natural disaster,” Black Knight President Joe Nackashi said in a press release. “Black Knight understands the massive operational challenge this represents, and that’s why we’ve introduced these two new solutions. This natural disaster support will make it significantly faster and easier for servicers to identify impacted customers, so they can begin proactive outreach and stay compliant with investor requirements.”

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The most recent storm servicers need to worry about is Tropical Storm Barry. Original projections for Barry from CoreLogic were for a worst-case scenario of nearly 340,000 homes suffering damage, with dollar estimates at about $10 billion in reconstruction cost value. After the storm passed the hardest hit areas in Louisiana, CoreLogic updated its damage numbers for the state to between $200 million and $400 million in flood loss and an additional $300 million to $500 million in wind damage loss to properties.

By the time the hurricane season is finished, there could be $1.8 trillion of property damage, CoreLogic said in June. And servicers also have to be aware of other natural disasters like earthquakes, river flooding and wildfires.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have requirements for servicers, including the granting of forbearances, when localities have been declared an “eligible disaster area” by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

In order to help mortgage servicers identify the loans in their portfolios — which could be in the thousands or even millions — Black Knight created Disaster Tracking, a function that allows users to create identifiers for particular FEMA disaster areas at the state, county or even ZIP code level.

Besides alerting customer contact professionals of loans linked to natural disaster areas, the tracking function produces loan-level and portfolio-wide reports that give details about which investors were impacted, the overall number of affected loans in specific areas and more.

The other new function is the Disaster Management analytic for the Actionable Intelligence system.

Rather than navigating to the FEMA website to locate natural disaster information and manually build identifiers in MSP, users receive an automatic feed from the federal agency that specifies which areas of the country are impacted by a natural disaster. The Disaster Management analytic combines that information with Black Knight’s nationwide property data and servicing records to systematically review a servicer’s portfolio and tag loans in affected areas. The results can drive the creation of worklists of impacted properties for servicers to begin proactive outreach, as well as provide management and executive-level personnel an “at a glance” view of the disaster’s effect on their portfolios.

Furthermore, it enables servicers to proactively aid their customers by sending important notifications using Black Knight’s Servicing Digital mobile solution.

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