As General Counsel of a distressed mortgage servicer (2008-2013) and a distressed mortgage investment manager (2008-2014), Janna Lewis has had the opportunity to observe a variety of residential mortgage investment strategies and troubleshoot loans with foreclosure, bankruptcy and title issues. Her experiences have caused her to identify three areas of distressed mortgage investment in which there exist significant inefficiencies: pre-acquisition due diligence, servicing transfer, and the processing of foreclosure, bankruptcy and title issues. Lewis’ loan level liaison services are designed to help clients understand business risks associated with loans during pre-acquisition, ensure CFPB compliance, increase communication between all parties without risk of waiving attorney client privilege, and minimize delays costs in each of these areas.
With respect to pre-acquisition due diligence, Lewis will work first with the client to tailor a deal-specific due diligence plan and then with Seller or with the client’s custodian and ensure that complete collateral and servicing files are available for examination by due diligence vendors. Subject to the timing set forth in the due diligence plan, and measures required for compliance with the New Mortgage Rules and transaction agreements, Lewis will then review and analyze loans in foreclosure, loans subject to bankruptcy proceedings and loans with title issues. For these assets she will generate analyses that provide special insight, assess related business risks and set forth a CFPB compliance plan for the resolution of claims and issues if the asset is purchased on the closing date.
Following acquisition, the complete transfer of each distressed loan and related claims from Seller and its service providers (i.e. Seller’s custodian, servicer and local counsel) to the client and its service providers becomes an immediate concern, as the success of this transfer is critical to the success of each mortgage investment made by the client. To assist in this area, Lewis offers to oversee the transfer, track the delivery of promised collateral documents and the proper transfer or treatment of all active claims. Upon request, Lewis will also monitor the servicing transfer for CFPB compliance (i.e. continuity of loss mitigation activities).
Following successful servicing transfers, Lewis offers ongoing services for distressed, first lien mortgage loans in foreclosure, loans subject to bankruptcy or litigation, and loans with title issues. Following the servicing transfer of such loans, Lewis will work to ensure that related assignments from Seller to the new owner of the loan are properly delivered and recorded by local counsel so that parties may be timely substituted and claims may be properly transferred, to the extent that these activities are permitted by applicable law. During this period, Lewis will also establish communications with the client’s servicer and local counsel, affirm the maintenance of privity and attorney/client privilege through her services, communicate any loan level issues identified during due diligence and implement the curative plan developed to ensure pre-foreclosure compliance, obtain missing documents, cure title issues and otherwise address deficiencies and complete files with all documents needed to foreclose, resell, or securitize any loan in the portfolio.
Foreclosure Oversight. Following the cure of deficiencies and the failure of loss mitigation, the commencement or continuation of the foreclosure may be necessary. For this process Lewis combines her experience as an attorney and default manager with offers state-of-the art investor software that makes the foreclosures transparent, tracks loan level and pool level progress with meticulous detail, and communicates this along with the adjusted basis and other important considerations to the client investor and to the servicer and local counsel if said parties are given viewer access. To the foreclosure process Lewis brings technology based transparency, regular communications, an eye for compliance with the New Mortgage Rules, monthly progress reports and liaising that will both expedite and simplify the foreclosure process for every loan.