The combination of historically low interest rates and the growing need for forbearance verifications has caused a dramatic increase in the amount of credit supplement requests we receive. Since the beginning of spring, we are averaging 2,000 more requests per day than we would typically see. As a result of this significant increase, supplements are taking longer than normal to complete. And obtaining the information needed to complete a supplement is becoming much more difficult.
The most common supplement request we receive is to update a rating on a current mortgage. This requires verifying all payment information from the time the tradeline was last reported on the credit report through the current date. In addition to the last payments made, we must confirm the next payment due date (and amount) as well as a current balance.
While many creditors offer automated phone systems to access this information, they don’t always offer all of the information that is required. Most only provide the last payment made and the next payment due. Others do not offer a current balance. And none of them are offering a current forbearance status. As a result, we must rely on the documentation uploaded with the order or we need to complete the request by having a conference call with the borrower and the creditor.
How to streamline the process
By obtaining the following items from your borrower, you can speed up the process and perhaps help eliminate the need for a conference call.
- Upload your borrower authorization on every supplement order. There are still creditors who refuse conference calls and require faxed requests along with a borrower authorization. Avoiding a delay of a processor reaching out to get that information can save a lot of time.
- Provide all recent statements with full account numbers. Concerning forbearance verifications specifically, if your borrower was in a forbearance and is now out, their lender likely gave them some documentation to that effect that we can use in lieu of a phone call. So please upload all the information you have.
- Provide a good contact phone number for your borrower. This is another item we are constantly chasing down after the order has been placed and can cause a delay in processing.
If a conference call is required, you can better prepare your borrower by telling them:
- Someone from Credit Plus will be contacting them
- The call may come from a phone number they may not recognize
- If they must call us back, select Option 2 on the main menu to get the next available rep
- Due to heavy call volumes with creditors, hold times can be excessive (possibly hours)
In addition to requesting a supplement, an important best practice you can put into place is securing a Borrower Attestation. Prior to closing, simply have your borrower sign a document attesting that their income, employment and forbearance statuses haven’t changed before closing. This best practice can help reduce your risk – and is considered a legitimate means of verification.
Lastly, please resist re-ordering the same request if you do not hear anything within a few days of placing your order as it will create a back-log in our system. If you aren’t receiving a supplement update in a timely manner, please reach out directly to your Credit Plus Account Executive. If we are unable to get a response from a borrower after three attempts, the order will be canceled and will need to be re-ordered, however you will receive confirmation if this occurs.
Like other companies, Credit Plus will verify if an accommodation has been completed but will not append information to a person’s credit report or report any accommodations in progress.
If you have any questions, please contact your Credit Plus Account Executive.