Services adapt to a changing regulatory landscape

Legal League 100 President Stephen M. Hladik welcomes attendees to the 2022 Legal League 100 Spring Summit

In mid-May, Legal League 100 held its Spring Summit at the Joule in Dallas, Texas. An event open to all Legal League 100 members, associate members, mortgage services professionals and government officials, the bi-annual Services Summit is for the country’s elite financial services law firms to discuss policies, procedures and emerging issues with major mortgages serving executives.

The event began with a comprehensive maintenance certification course, designed for those who wish to receive certification and gain a better understanding of the complete maintenance process from start to finish. Top attorneys were on hand to provide insight into the most important aspects of service and other relevant industry skills, including Bankruptcy 101, Advanced Bankruptcy, Foreclosure 101, Court and Non-Court Cases, L boarding/independent verification, how to be a witness, how to sign documents and document a maintenance file, among others.

The first day of the event ended with a welcome reception where attendees had the opportunity to chat and network face-to-face with their industry peers.

The second day of the Legal League 100 Spring Summit 2022 kicked off with the welcome and keynote address, presented by Stephen M. Hladik, a partner at Hladik, Onorato & Federman LLP, who is also president of the Legal League 100. Hladik spoke about “Due Diligence: Everything You Need to Know About the State of the Mortgage Industry.” Hladik, former deputy attorney general in charge of the Harrisburg office of the Pennsylvania Consumer Protection Bureau, brings to his role as Chairman of the LL 100 extensive experience in mortgage foreclosure, bankruptcy, tax sale and UDAP legal practice. A graduate of Pennsylvania State University, Hladik received his law degree from Widener University, with honors, where he served as in-house editor of the Law Review. Hladik gained significant expertise in law enforcement lending while serving in the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection, handling UDAP, FDCPA, RESPA, and TILA cases.

The day continued after Hladik’s presentation with several educational offerings.

Speakers Hilary B. Bonial of Bonial & Associates PC, Brooke E. Sanchez of Kent McPhail & Associates LLC, Graham Arceneaux by Graham, Arceneaux & Allen, and Shane Ellis of the Specialized Credits Department took part in the “Table Talk: Modifications, Mediations and Objections, Oh My! session. Speakers discussed loss mitigation and loan modifications in bankruptcy, when to use mediation, and how and when to file plan objections. Speakers Casey Zachary of Fay Financial, Jane Bond of McCalla Raymer Leibert Pierce LLC, Michael Merritt of BOK Financial, Michelle Garcia Gilbert by Gilbert Garcia PA Group, Ryan Bolden of PennyMac Loan Services LLC, and Samy Hooda of Marinosci Law Group PC Panelists discussed how the federal government distributes billions of dollars to struggling homeowners in the various states. These experts detailed state contracts, the timeline for the process, differences between individual state procedures, volumes seen to date, the process within managers for managing funds, and much more.

The “Sales and Real Estate in Bankruptcy” session covered various real estate issues in the bankruptcy process, including pre- and post-confirmation sales, with guest speakers Keri P. Ebeck from Bernstein-Burkley PC, Chris DeNardo of LOGS Legal Group LLP, and Alan Wolf of The Wolf Firm, a law firm. With increasing real estate values, this affects how a debtor plans to handle second and third mortgage liens in plans as well as cramdowns and lien bands. Also, what happens when a debtor decides to sell their property after confirmation and the value has increased? Who keeps the money? With increasing home values, many factors can affect a debtor’s bankruptcy.

The “2022 Regulatory Compliance Changes” session covered the CFPB’s updates to Regulation F, including new model FDCPA forms, which came into effect on November 30, 2021. As the new rules attempted to provide clear rules for debt collector compliance, compliance issues have arisen for the mortgage default industry. Now that many COVID restrictions have ended and employees are returning to the office, repairers are starting to increase audits and reviews, including on-site audits. A panel comprising Marcel Briar of Mortgage Policy Advisors LLC, Rita M. Falcioni loan guarantee service, Jesse Loomis of Bid4Assets Inc., Ryan Bourgeois by Barrett, Daffin, Frappier, Turner and Engel, C.Lance Margolin of The Margolin & Weinreb Law Group LLP, Amy Neuman of Flagstar Bank, and Jesse Randall of Black Dome Services LLC discussed the issues businesses and repairers are facing in complying with the new F-Reg rules, and the increased compliance requirements the industry is facing now that many moratoriums have ended and the volumes increase.

The “Default Stumbling Blocks” session featured speakers Roy Diaz of Diaz Anselmo & Associates PA, John Dunnery of Mr. Cooper, Bret Davis by Lamun Mock Cunnyngham & Davis PC, James E. Clarke of Orleans PC, and Kathleen M. Massimo from Houser LLP discussing the multitude of hurdles encountered in default cases every day. Find out how to successfully navigate difficulties such as Zoom hearings, non-jurisprudence topics, loss mitigation with incomplete packages, reinstatement of salary offers, case management, and more.

After nearly two full years of the default process, grinding to an almost complete halt, work resumes. Businesses and managers had worked for years to build strong teams, implement compliance-focused processes, and optimize workflows to best manage foreclosure loans. But throughout the extended moratorium, staff changed jobs and companies were forced to cut back on the resources they had spent managing the many tasks. Large scale is gone, functions have been consolidated, and processes have been completely redesigned to work in the environment created by the moratoriums. The “Table Talk: A Collaborative Restart” session covered retooling, restarting, and retesting machines, while also requiring us to hire and train new employees. A panel with Chad A.Neel by McCarthy Holthus, Jaime Burgess by Mr. Cooper, Nolan Turner by Carrington Holding Company, Melissa Black of Penny Mac Loan Services LLC, Lisa Lee of KML Law Group PC, and Jane Larkin of Colonial Savings discussed retesting controls and working with all parties as the industry began to resume regular workloads.

Legal League 100 President Hladik returned for day two, for an afternoon keynote and industry update, also featuring presentations from J. Anthony Van Ness of the law firm Van Ness and Patrick Cox from CeLink.

Closing the event was a preview of what lies ahead for the rest of 2022, discussions on hot topics and how the industry has started to bring new cases again, litigation will adapt to challenges updated processes, laws and regulatory mandates. A panel including Eric Houser of Houser LLP, Clayton Gordon Esq. of Carrington Mortgage Services, Mortgage Servicing Division, David Friedman of Van Ness Law Firm PLC, Dean Meyer of Freddie Mac and Robert D. Forster II of BDF Law Group discussed key issues that have been observed nationwide by lawyers internal and external. .

The event concluded with another networking opportunity for attendees to meet in person and discuss takeaways from the event.

As a member of 2022 Five Star Conference and Exhibition in Dallas in September, Legal League 100 will host its Fall 2022 Maintenance Summitscheduled for Monday, September 19, with a training day to receive your Comprehensive Servicer certification the following day, Tuesday, September 20. Click here for more information or to register for the event.

Network of Attendees at the Legal League 100 Spring Summit Opening Networking Reception

J. Anthony Van Ness of Van Ness Law Firm, Patrick Cox of CeLink, and Stephen M. Hladik of Hladik, Onorato & Federman LLP participate in a lively discussion during the afternoon keynote and presentation industry update

About Charles D. Goolsby

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