Thursday
September 29, 2016

Foreclosure Firms Look to Rebrand Themselves

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Foreclosure Firms Look to Rebrand Themselves

As foreclosures lessen their imprint around the nation, firms who specialize in foreclosures are finding they may need to expand their services to attract more clients.

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This trend is especially apparent already among mortgage servicers, The Wall Street Journal reports. For example, Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc., which was mostly known for servicing delinquent loans, plans to change its name entirely to “Mr. Cooper” this summer. It plans to expand its traditional mortgage servicing business under its new name “Mr. Cooper” (a name that it hopes will project a more personal image to customers). Auction.com recently changed its name to “Ten-X.” Also, in expanding its business among investors who want to buy or rent out single-family homes, the firm Altisource Portfolio Solutions purchased last year RentRage, a rental data firm, as well as Investability, a real estate investment website.

By the end of last year, about 3.4 percent of mortgages were 90 or more days past due. That is far off from the peak of 9.7 percent during 2009, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

“Many companies that made their bread and butter addressing the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis are expanding into other areas of the mortgage and real estate businesses, in a bid to remain relevant or maintain growth as the housing market continues to strengthen,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “Some are buying or launching completely new business lines that they hope can thrive as home prices rise. In the most extreme cases, the companies have decided it makes sense to take on a completely new identity to separate themselves from their foreclosure-related pasts.”

For those who don’t change their business change, “there's a risk of extinction for companies that are either slow to realize the change in the market or simply don't adapt,” says Ed Delgrado, chief executive of the Five Star Institute, an education and training program for the mortgage industry. “You can expect to see both contraction and extinction of some of these organizations.”

Source: “Foreclosure Firms Reinvest Themselves,” The Wall Street Journal (March 30, 2016) [Log-in required.]