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A Loan Servicer That’s Made By Investors For Investors With Shante Duffy

August 11, 2021

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GDNI 164 | Loan Servicer

 

Do you need a loan servicer that can adjust to your payment plan? Then you may want to know more about the New Loan Servicer in town. Chris Seveney and Jamie Bateman’s guest today is Shante Duffy. Shante talks about how they aim to reach all the needs of real estate investors at BIFI Loan Servicing, LLC by filling in the gaps that most other servicing companies end up widening. Learn more about how your loans can be in good hands by tuning in today!

Listen to the podcast here:

A Loan Servicer That’s Made By Investors For Investors With Shante Duffy

Welcome everybody to another episode of the show. I am your co-host along with Jamie “The Bully” Bateman. Jamie, how are you?

I’m doing fine as long as you stay in line.

I’m going to try and stay in line on this episode but we have a special guest. Somebody who we all probably know very well, who has come back out of the woodwork and that happens to be Shante Duffy. Shante, how are you?

GDNI 164 | Loan Servicer

Loan Servicer: The loan servicer’s job is to help you. It’s to do the legwork and not have you running around chasing things.

 

Fabulous as always.

Where are you at? It looks like you are in some office space or something.

I’m in my brand-new office space that was purchased. I have a new home now.

Where is that?

It’s located in Hackettstown, New Jersey because we all know we never regret it.

I want to bring Shante on because she had a major announcement that she has started, a loan servicing company and is excited to talk about that. Why don’t you tell us what you have had going on? How have things been going? Tell us a little bit about the new servicing company.

I have been working very hard on starting up BIFI Loan Servicing, LLC. It has been a lot of work. I have been busy getting everything set up. Something as simple as software is taking care of things together. We can service loans and then be as detailed and extensive as licensing, which has definitely been. It’s super fun. I bought office space so we have a location here in New Jersey close to home. East Coast is where we are going to be. I’m working on building this together, making sure that we are keeping everyone in compliance, doing everything by the book and following laws so we could be another servicer option.

You said BIFI Loan Servicing. What does that stand for?

It stands for “By Investors For Investors.” This servicing company was created for investors being in this space for as long as they have been. I hear the pros and cons of all different servicers where investors are happy where they think servicers lack and just compiled that all together and wanted to make it known that we have been heard. I’m trying to compile all that information and make a servicing company that reaches all of your needs and not some. That’s why BIFI has been created.

Jamie and I have invested in BIFI to assist Shante in getting this up and running. There’s a story behind that as well but as many people have known in this space, I throw spaghetti at the wall a lot of times and see what sticks. I was having a conversation with Jamie and I was probably venting about something was servicing or something that happened.

It was like, “I should just start my own servicing company.” I have said, “I’m starting an origination company, a title company, a servicing company.” I have talked about a lot of things but this could come to fruition when Shante became a free agent. It’s very interesting for people in a sense and it’s beneficial because one of the things that I have been trying to instill in you is there are certain things that you do with things and you slap us around a lot for that but we try and also put our perspective on things as a lender on some of the things we would like to see. Putting the best of both worlds together will be valuable. What do you think?

We are in the best position now. You guys, being investors, I am super grateful and appreciate both of you. You have helped open my eyes as to what the issues are that you are seeing as lenders. What makes it harder for you? I always have to advise that servicers are bad guys of this space of this note industry. No one likes you but you need us.

With that, why not make it as pleasant, rewarding and make you guys as comfortable as you possibly can by keeping everything together align and meeting all your needs. It has been a whirlwind of emotions and fun but I do see this being very successful. I just want to stick out and make sure that everyone knows that their voices are heard.

There are things, obviously, within the realm that we can do and there are things we can’t do. We are going to stay legal and this is for you to get everything you need in one spot, be confident, comfortable and be able to relax so you can focus on investing and not necessarily managing your servicer. That’s our job to manage your loans. That’s why we are here.

Watching successful stories and hearing about the failures that helped them get there is inspiring. Click To Tweet

Two questions that are going to be asked frequently are when and where. It’s going to be things that come up. You want to give people an update on what you are doing at BIFI. The status of taking on loans and where you are taking on loans. You want to give people an update from that and where you see it going as well because from where it is to where it’s going to be in 3, 6 or 9 months, it’s probably going to look drastically different.

We are in this testing phase, just making sure everything runs smoothly, our systems and software are working but at the same time, we were taking down some licensing. We are currently licensed in two states with a whole bunch of funding and that is Indiana and Missouri. I am not yet, at this very moment, taking on clients.

Again, I’m just testing but the goal is October 2021 to be able to start opening the doors. By then, have more licensing under our belt to be able to allow BIFI even be an option for you and we are in the states that you invest. I’m hoping by October 2021, we have fewer licenses under our belt. It’s not stopping anytime soon. We understand that people invest all over the place so we are trying to take those down.

Those take the time that we can’t control but I’m hoping that by October 2021, everyone can start boarding loans with BIFI and going through their journey with us but that doesn’t stop anybody. Now, we go through inquiring about questions, some basic information and putting things out there a little bit. I don’t want people to wait until October to say anything either to ask anything. I’m here and I’m ready to go. Again, I’m doing finalized testing. The date might fluctuate a little bit, whether it’s a little bit earlier or a little bit later. I will keep you guys updated on that but that’s where I’m shooting for at this point.

I know it’s going to be a work in progress. It’s not an overnight thing. It’s not like one day magically BIFI is going to be licensed in 50 states and ready to take on 10,000 investors loans. With that in mind, do you mind speaking to how do you think BIFI is going to approach things as far as separating itself from the competition if you will?

This is not meant to be an episode to bash other servicers or anything like that but frankly, if people know Chris and me, there are frustrations with other servicers. Let’s not beat around the bush about that. I think communication has been a challenge a lot of times with servicers and lenders, and then maybe tracking taxes and insurance. Just throwing a few things out there but how do you see BIFI separating itself from the rest?

My biggest point in this is that communication is number one. That is what I have heard across the board in all the years that I had been in this space, especially being a servicer. I know how frustrating and I understand how frustrating it is to be missing communication and missing points. You are our clients and you hire us to do a job.

There’s no reason that communication is lacking. There needs to be transparency and honesty as well. I don’t feel that any lender should ever be in the dark, whether you are super experienced or you are super green. Our job is to help you. Our job is to do the legwork as a servicer and not have you running around and chasing things.

We try to keep it as simple as possible so you can focus on your actual investment. Choosing an exit strategy but the little things, as you mentioned, tax tracking. I know dealing with escrow is a very big deal but it’s also a difficult process in general and I’m pretty confident that I figured out a way to master that and avoid those bumps over there.

We do offer many of the same services that other servicers offer, whether it’s just dealing with a performing loan or handling loss mitigation, whatever exit strategy you choose. We do have that ability and obviously, that’s what you need. We are here to work for you. With that being said, we do require you to put in a little bit of light work.

We can’t be communicating with anybody. It is your responsibility still to keep in touch with us. We can do the work but they are your investments. I can’t decide and my team can’t decide what to do with each one you have, it’s up to you. We are just here to make it happen, keep you in the loop and make this as painless as possible.

Timing from October 2021, Jamie is client number one, which is having loans boarded as well as a few of my loans to make sure our systems processes and everything functions. We are confident that it is based on the money you spent on software. You are running this company and focused on putting a team of CSRs, account receivable, account payable, compliance people and so forth together as well. By doing all of this stuff, what has been the most challenging for you?

The most challenging is it’s different and it’s new. I jumped into this very huge learning curve. I’m used to the day-to-day running a servicing company and dealing with an investor like, “This is all you need to get set up and get your loans forwarded,” but there is a lot more. I have had moments where I’m like, “Why am I doing this? Why did I decide to do this?” Some days are stressful and it’s because there are a lot to learn.

This industry never sleeps. Laws are always changing as we have been setting up processes. “Something is going into effect in December,” and I’m like, “We have to make sure we are on top of that.” I’m in a different space from what I’m used to. Where my comfort zone is but you shouldn’t always just stay comfortable.

I’m here shaking things up for myself and building the best team that I can between the staff that I have here and the vendors that we will be using. I definitely spent a lot of time. Make sure you find the right ones to make sure that we can offer every possible service but it’s hard to start up. That’s the hardest part. Knowing everything but I never did. It’s there. You don’t realize what goes behind it. There are a lot of details.

Keeping that all together and organized has been the hardest because once you think of one thing leads you to 15,000 others and you are like, “I have fifteen more problems that I need to have solutions for.” There are these things as you go forward and you set this up. If you are always thinking, “This affects this,” and then it’s this huge domino effect. I also think it’s a good spot for me to be into fully grasp and understand what is needed for us to run, let alone for us to be the best servicer out there for you.

GDNI 164 | Loan Servicer

Loan Servicer: The industry never sleeps, and laws are always changing.

 

We probably should have hit on this earlier but what is your background? I know a lot of people do know who you are but we do have a lot of readers who might pop in and read to an episode. They don’t even know what is note investing is so who are you?

I have been part of the note space from the servicing aspect for years. I honestly had no clue that this industry existed and that’s me being so transparent. I genuinely was like, “I need a new job.” I started from the bottom at a company as an Admin Assistant. I worked my way up. Never did I think that this is where I would be years later. I generally was like, “I have to go to the house.” Being a stay-at-home mom is not for me. It’s for strong women out there who do that. I was curious I didn’t even know that this space existed. I thought the bare minimum and came to mortgages is, “You pay to your bank and if not, you get foreclosed on.” That’s all I knew.

I didn’t know that there’s a secondary space about the licensing requirements and the responsibility of a servicer. I have learned that over the years being on the front lines. I realized I love it. I love meeting new investors, learn their success stories and hearing about their failures. It’s not always a win and it’s cool because you are needed as a servicer and it’s pretty cool.

You get to hear, see a lot of different things, meet a lot of different people that just open your eyes up to bigger better. I want to start my own investing journey myself. I started from nothing and here I am running my own, which is exciting and exhilarating. I’m pretty proud, happy and excited to see how far we get.

A few things pop in my head that I will spitfire a few questions because I put some loans on Paperstac for sale. The first question I’m going to ask is, “Are they at a licensed servicer?” BIFI, when they are operating new Z states, correct me if I’m wrong, will be licensed in the states. It’s something and that is a very painful process if people have never had to get that as a lender. I have been through it and stuff.

There was a joke earlier on about a comma because there’s a comma before the LLC and some documents, not on others, the states picked up on that and reject them. Another question I will ask is for people who are reading and like, “New servicer and so forth.” We briefly touched upon trying to meet some people’s demands. I know one thing that a lot of people ask about is I will say managing like that foreclosure process because a lot of lenders don’t like to have to deal with that process. Can you talk a little bit about how BIFI plans on managing the loss mitigation as well as the foreclosure process?

We are going to be doing all that work for you. That’s the simplest way to put that out there. We work for your instruction. If you want to work out a payment plan with your borrower, we will do that for you. We hear your terms and we go the route that we have to based on whatever exit strategy you want. We will do all the communication.

I personally don’t like the lenders to do their own communication. That it’s not an option here at BIFI. It’s best that it’s a single point of contact, everything is clear, concise, documented, reported. We are all on the same page at that point but we will handle any type of classifications you need. When it comes to foreclosure because that’s always a tricky one for a lot of people, we will coordinate that for you, and we will either use the attorney of your choice.

You have that right for somebody you are familiar with that’s, by all means, we will use them. If not, we will connect you with someone but we will be doing all that communication. The biggest difference is you are included in all of that. There won’t be, “Did you hear back from this attorney, Shante,” or whatever the CSR is, that’s working that you are on those emails as well. Communication was a big thing. You can’t be left in the dark even when it comes to legal.

Even if it’s just us following up on making sure that they have all the documentation or expecting sale date information and things like that, you were included in all of that. It does open up that dialogue of you, as lenders have any questions. You can ask those questions as well, to both us, as well as the attorney handling that foreclosure case.

The more transparency, the direct communication clear, concise and let you also be a part of it. We don’t want you to take it off and go running, either because that leaves us in the dark. Being a servicer, we do the safety, compliance and know this information. The difference is that we will coordinate everything for you but you were included in everything. I know a big thing also that I think a good selling point is a cost. I always hear about the cost of servicing fees. There’s a cost to everything we do in life Including when we invest. It’s not just the investment we put up, it’s also getting that service.

I do think our costs are pretty comparable to the other servicers in this space. If you are used to seeing and working with but it also makes sense, we are not trying to any like highway robbery tricks for this. I have heard the complaints even from Jamie about how it doesn’t make sense. They would be charged something when nothing is happening or does it make sense to keep things in compliance. I get it. I’m very strategic in putting together our fee structure for you as well as our service sales and the options for making it available.

Not only from a fee perspective but also one of the things that I value significantly is time. When I invested in this, one of the things I wanted to mention is taking some of the monotonous tasks away from a lender that I thought a servicer should be doing. For example, we can talk about taxes, FPI and many other things but having to chase down certain information or hiring a VA to do that where you are already so engaged in the loan, is another selling point. BIFI will be allowing people to spend more time on the important stuff on their assets versus trying to hunt down a tax bill. I’m just thinking of that as an example.

I have used personally four different servicing companies and they are all very different. Chris, you have used several as well so we do have a lot of experience, not only just managing our own loans but also dealing with several different servicers. I can speak for myself. I’m probably more hands-on than many other lenders but I can tell you that’s because I don’t always have the utmost faith.

As you said, Shante, they are my loans. At the end of the day, I’m going to care about them as an investor more than anybody else will. That’s just human nature but if I can develop that level of trust that the servicer is competent and communicative, then I don’t want to be doing what Chris was alluding to tracking down tax bills or, “Babysitting attorneys.”

That’s not a slam on all attorneys but I have much better things to do with my time than deal with all that. I would rather have the servicer handle that but I can’t do that at the expense of the performance of my own portfolio. Chris and I have our fund and I have to trust that the servicer is doing its job. I absolutely agree.

In some ways, you get what you pay for but we are going to be using different outsourcing things and using technology in ways that we can keep the pricing competitive but deliver on the promise of servicing these loans in a compliant. Communication is the key. We said it’s going to be a process but we have a lot of balls rolling. I’m quite optimistic myself that it’s going to be a success. Chris, I think you have talked about starting a servicing company with you and Gail at the beginning of the show. It’s been a while.

There's a cost to everything we do in life, including when we invest. Click To Tweet

A lot of things I will mention to tee off of what you just said, Jamie, and I’ve got to give Shante a lot of credit for this too is you have brought in a lot of specialists in certain areas, for example, third-party vendors who specialize in a lot of these monotonous tasks to bring them on board and that’s all they do for a living. Instead of trying to wear many hats or have the CSR wear many hats of doing things. I will give you credit because you have gone out and found a tax company that will handle all of that or an insurance company to handle all of that.

Some of these other areas as well focus on letting each person do their own job. That has been a benefit to BIFI because as an investor, we want to do a certain job. We want to service or do a certain job, and then you are managing several of those vendors, which has a lender in the past. I have actually done and managed because I couldn’t find a servicer who would do all of them. As Jamie said, I have used 5 or 6 servicers in the past.

I’m just on board with BIFI so I’m down to two. One of them was I had some challenges with licensing and so forth. I find it significantly in one state. When you see that, it makes you nervous because all of a sudden, you get an email that says, “We are not taking loans,” and then says, “I have got 40 loans that I needed to move.” I wasn’t around back in the day, I don’t know about you, Jamie but, Shante, you were the peaker of that company that everyone had their loans at that basically wraps up in there.

I don’t know what the reason was but you are given a short time. I have seen it happen several times. You are investors. I always stress the investment side of these things. Investing is not your only job. You did a full-time job. Most of us would actually do, they do other things in their lives. The goal is how to make this as smooth as possible and making sure that you are getting everything you need so that you are not up until midnight running through and buying your own servicing software but allowing and trusting us to do our jobs so that you can focus more on where you want to. At this point, you just dictate on us. Tell us what you need and we will make it happen.

I like my servicing software.

I know you do but it’s expensive. Not everyone can do that or even wants to do that.

Not everybody has 300 loans or however many you have, Chris. As far as the types of loans that if someone is a newer note investor or maybe they are experienced but they want to board a few loans just to test out BIFI when BIFI is ready, are you taking 1st, 2nd or HELOCs?

Senior liens, junior liens, lines of credit, adjustable-rate mortgages, CFDs, land contracts, doing it for deeds, all those wonderful types of loans, there isn’t anything that we are not taking at this moment. It doesn’t matter if they are performing, nonperforming as long as they are in a state that we are licensed to service in. That’s all that matters. You have the à la carte menu to decide what you need and what you want.

You can change those things at any given time. “I did any escrow,” things like that. We are taking those on. It doesn’t matter. There’s no limit. You don’t need to have 10, 15, 20 loans to start with us either. Everyone starts somewhere. I know the two of you did. I know I have, too. You started not knowing anything either but look where you are at. Our job is to help you understand how to work the investments that work for you, have the trust and the confidence that you can sleep at night not worrying if your servicer has done their job, gotten new pay off, reinstatement or called your borrower. That’s our job. That’s what we will be doing for you.

One of the things that I know you have also focused on too, has been the cradle-to-grave service from basically starting it to servicing but taking a loan even past the foreclosure process. You have worked with property preservation companies to reach agreements with them and REO management companies.

It’s something that you have worked hard at to focus on providing that service so somebody does not have to jump ship at a certain point in time. I will use an example for people out there. Now, if you had a loan that goes to foreclosure and you had it under force place insurance with the servicer basically, servicers I worked with after it forecloses and It’s like, “The loan has been foreclosed. “

Now you use your force-place insurance and I would have to go find someone else or go set up your own policy, whereas, to give you credit, you worked out an arrangement with the company that’s internally get switched on their end from one type of policy to another. For the investor, they don’t have to do anything. Things on those lines, that’s something that I just mentioned the credit for thinking big picture like that because it goes back to trying to let the investors focus on big assets, their full-time jobs, their kids or whatever other things that they have going on in life.

BIFI, By Investors For Investors, I’m assuming you are open to investor input along the way.

I have actually been looking for it. I crave it. I don’t know how to help you all the time. If you are missing something, I need all investors to be comfortable enough to send an email and say, “Can we just have the meeting?” Maybe you can do this better. I’m not saying it’s a yes, that haunting process but I do need to hear feedback.

If something is not working, things do need to change. The good part about starting something brand new is that we have this room, this space and I want to give you all the platform to be able to say, “I don’t like this. This doesn’t add any value to me.” Whatever it is, pros and cons. That’s what makes us a little bit more special too because I’m willing to listen. We are brand new so nothing is obviously set in stone.

As companies grow, as investors grow, things and policies do change. If there’s a vendor that I’m missing, this should be beneficial or this is what’s going on now. The first time I saw CFD, I didn’t know what that was. I had never heard of it. They said it was boring but you learn about it and you learn to work around things.

Some things are different and you have to adapt. Being a servicer, you have to be open to change within the proper realm. Obviously, not going to change something that doesn’t also benefit all investors as a whole. It’s not about me. At that point, the fact that you need a servicer. The input and advice are important to me.

GDNI 164 | Loan Servicer

Loan Servicer: As much as things are happening behind the scenes, you benefit from it outwardly when certain information is given back to you.

 

I know you have already taken input from other experienced investors, not just Chris and myself but there are other investors out there. That’s a key point to hit on is, we want to have everything perfect on day one. Any small business, any company, whether it’s large or small is a living, breathing organism. Look at the Blockbuster. You have to pivot and listen to your customers, be aware of market conditions, you already alluded to laws changing and things changing. On one hand, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it but on the other hand, you have going to be flexible and fluid. That’s the whole point. That’s refreshing to know that you are open to input to a degree from investors.

I would be honest. If it’s just completely out of this world, it makes no sense. I will tell you that but I’m definitely willing to listen and I appreciate the other investors that I have picked their brains about, just to hear the people that I have known for years and trust. You aren’t afraid to talk so I appreciate it. I need it.

Here’s what I’m thinking I do want to mention because, Jaime, you brought the point of investor input and we have all had discussions with other investors as well. There have been times where Shante is like, “Why would we do that?” For my servicing side, you would hear from us as lenders on one end and the same token, you would say, “We will do it this way.” I would be like, “Why would you do it that way.”

There’s that fine line from a servicing company. There are certain things you have to do to stay compliant and make sure everything is good, which you are following and then there are certain things from a lender side, which you might not make sense but for us, it’s important and that is the biggest difference that this BIFI s going to provide to others.

It’s the fact that you are fluid and flexible, as you mentioned and things change because sometimes, it’s difficult to get companies, especially larger companies. It’s basically like, “I’m not changing my ways for 1 person or even 2 people.” You need a mass of a group of people but there are a lot of investors who are smaller who may own a few loans, 50 loans or 100 loans where there are certain things they don’t have that full-time staff.

They are not a Hedge fund or a private equity fund with ten-year experience that has basically got twenty people working for them that they can do that in-house. Many of us are just called mom-and-pop shops where there are things we would like to see and that’s how we try to influence Shante as much as possible into this.

I do hold my ground. You have brought a lot of valid ideas, processes, thoughts. How many times have I been like, “That makes no sense. It’s useless?” Usually, what I do is type a ding to make this for you. Just because everyone has a method to real madness, it doesn’t hurt to hear it and the next thing is you might have ideas, any investor would have an idea. I met investors over the years before I even knew the two of you that have had ideas and things that changed just from their one idea in this space. We have to be flexible. It By Investors For Investors, we’ve got your input. We wouldn’t be here.

There has been a lot of that back and forth, which really helps create a good product in the end and good service. On the flip side where maybe Chris and I didn’t quite understand why a servicer does things a certain way and we are like, “You put us back in our place as well.” There has been a good bit of that. Obviously, you are running things and you are running the day-to-day but we have had a good amount of input as well but you have also pushed back where it made sense to push back. That’s a good thing in the end.

It has been a lot of strong-willed individuals who aren’t afraid to speak their mind and that is very important. It can’t be one of those things where it’s the yes to somebody to do that. “Yes, sir. Yes, ma’am. You are thinking this is the dumbest thing ever. Now, if we brought something up, she would say, that’s the dumbest thing I have ever heard. I would say, “Shante, you don’t know what you are talking about. What are you doing with my life?” That’s fine but it is important though from that perspective because it makes things to hear both sides of that story.

In this business, there are two components. I have learned a ton just having conversations with you on the servicing side of things and then you have also learned a lot from us speaking openly because a lot of us sometimes are a little shy asking a servicer, “Why do you do it this way or that way?” Me personally, I haven’t been but sometimes I didn’t have too much of a fuse, unfortunately. That has been something instrumental in putting together this entity. Would you agree, Jamie?

Yes. Shante, you are not afraid to, as I said, put us in our place.

I try to do it with the utmost respect but you are right, this has been the truth.

It’s not only been the three of us. We already alluded to other investors but also, you have been consulting with attorneys and experts in different vendors. There has been back and forth in that regard as well between BIFI and X vendor or by BIFI and X-attorney. It’s a work in progress but there has been a lot of progress already. I’m personally very excited about the future of BIFI. There’s a definite need. You don’t have to work really hard to get complaints from investors for mortgage loan investors.

Shante can talk a little bit more about this but some of the vendors we have talked with, have had to create programs specifically for this. That’s what’s the crazy thing. Honestly, I have learned this from my wife and mentioned this to Shante. If you don’t ask, you are never going to find out. Shante is reaching out to these people and said, “This is what I want. Can you do this?” All of a sudden people would be like, “Oh.” I know example with one of the vendors, they have had been working with servicers in the past but they have pretty much, you have been working with them revamping their whole policy and procedure with this type of program.

If you don’t ask, you will never know and you can’t be afraid. That, for me, was the biggest. You have to sit and this is what I need. The worst that’s going to be said is, “No, I can’t do that. I can’t be afraid of that.” I have gone through several different vendors and had to say, “This one doesn’t work because we can’t get this and that,” but there are also other vendors who are like, “No one has ever asked this of us. I think we can do it.” The cool part is around the front row of this and I’m like, “How do you want it?” You almost get to build it with them as we are building a servicing company at the same time.

It’s cool to know that I didn’t think things would happen that way, to know that people will work with you. We have to be flexible but they are just as flexible. I don’t think we have run into too many vendors that have been a flat-out no. It’s been us that has been flat-out no that like, “This isn’t going to work for us. This is not what I need. It’s not enough.” It’s too much going to scale it down. That has also been the fun part, especially meeting these vendors.

People don’t use them a lot. It does take some time but they are good. I’m confident in them. I’m confident in our plans with them. Honestly, it makes running the day-to-day servicing a lot smoother and beneficial to investors. Without you, we can’t do anything. At the end of the day, it’s behind the scenes here. It doesn’t affect you too much but you also get a lot of perks out of it, which is the bonus side. As much as things are happening behind the scenes, you do benefit from it outwardly when certain information is given back to you.

What’s the future look like for the company? You mentioned October 2021 potentially taking on investors’ loans and other lenders’ loans. Where do you see the company a year from now?

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I’m hoping we are licensed in the majority of the states for we are taking down and we are constantly going to be doing that. It just takes time when it does have to make sense. We are cherry-picking, which states now make the most sense to us and where we see the most traffic but I would like to be in majority of the states of the US by 2022 and finally, a year from now latest.

I am trying to push through that and make sure that everything else goes smoothly. Any investor who wants to try out BIFI and wants to switch, test us, they can. Knowing that they can say, “I like you guys and I’m going to put more loans here. I’m going to expand, I wish we could change this differently,” and not be afraid to hold back and be honest. We are all adults. We can have a conversation. It’s not going to hurt. You won’t know until you try it.

You mentioned October 2021 leading into that. In the meantime, can people reach out to you if they are interested? Can they start getting documents and forms like every servicer you have to sign an agreement and a bunch of other forms? Could people get that set up in advance with you?

I would prefer that you did. It doesn’t cost you anything to sign paperwork other than your time. There’s no fee to that but I would love for people to reach out, whether they call or send an email. I will give you guys that information, even inquire. It’s not going to hurt. It also keeps you upfront on my radar and you can blast this information out on all different platforms and things like that but it helps us narrow down this list so that when a new license comes in, we can start opening that up. We start sending you emails. It’s a little more personal so you know, “She’s licensed here now,” I have called here and I can transfer them.

I prefer if you started calling, sending emails and setting up some time to talk to me, whether you are brand new and I have never spoken to you or if you are just an old friend. It’s great either way. Definitely reach out so I can get you some of that information. Again, you don’t have to send it back right away. There’s no time limit on it but just so you have it. At that point, we can at least get you set up. That’s the hard part. The rest of it transfers, getting some data but getting the basic stuff out of the way, it sits and there’s something active anyway.

Do you want to throw out your email address or phone number?

I would tell people to call our lovely phone number (888) 217-7652. I’m extension 1001. You can email me directly at Shante@BIFILS.com or you can email Servicing@BIFILS.com.

If people want to sign up for the newsletter for updates and other things along the way, they could also reach out to a Newsletter@BIFILS.com as well, licensed and additional, Shante can reach out to people and keep them in the loop on what’s going on. As we wrap up this episode, we always ask for a Note and Bolts, which is a little tidbit or something now in the servicing space. I’m sure you have seen it all and there is one word of wisdom. You could give an investor as it relates to services for something that they should be aware of or a lesson learned. I’m sure you could come up with 1,000 but all I ask is for one.

I’m going to keep it general because it will cover everything. Ask questions. Don’t assume. That is probably my biggest pet peeve from what I have seen. It’s not going to hurt you to ask. You don’t know if someone knows. Someone will find you the answer. Ask, regardless of what it is.

I had a lot of people that are afraid, either it’s a pride issue or something, or what it is but that’s how you learn.

Ask network. It will get you very far.

I’m going to say, from a selfish standpoint, the company does well. The three of us are very different and we all bring different strengths to the table so it has been exciting and challenging. I’m just excited for the future and watch Shante’s growth and growth of the business. That’s my two cents.

I’m excited. I believe innovation comes at times of uncertainty or conflict in many instances and this aspect of the business is one where lenders seem to have a lot of conflict or issues. When I approach Jamie about putting money together to throw this idea out there, it was very interesting because of how do we go about it and so forth. Also, be able to get Shante involved in this as well. I’m excited, too. It’s going to be nice to be able to sit back and have my loans being serviced and have them all taken care of from cradle-to-grave, whereas where I’m at now. Many of them, I’m basically having to manage on my own.

It’s challenging and time-consuming when you have 300 loans with 50 of them and foreclosure. Chasing down attorneys and doing all these other aspects takes a lot at the time, trying to also mail out documents and get them recorded. In many of those other aspects that make it even that much more stressful because it has been challenging, I will just mention this in the last point to find a servicer.

All the servicers I have used are good at certain things but there’s always one thing they don’t do and it’s like, “They do this but not that or this,” and then it’s like trying to find one that covered all the bases. It’s challenging and I know BIFI will because if it’s not doing what I want, I’m just going to pick up the phone, call Shante and ask as she says.

Seeing on that with my Note and Bolt, as Shante said, ask a question because if she doesn’t know, then she will probably be able to point you in the right direction on where to get that information. Shante, one last thing you gave me is your email and phone number. What about upcoming events? You are also going to be attending some upcoming events as well where people could meet you in person, correct?

Yes. A few different ones. One is set now but I know there are a few more going into the last quarter of the year between October and November 2021. I’m looking into those as well but I will outlive them. You could talk to me face-to-face and shake my hand. You could ask more questions there, too.

Jamie, final thoughts. I will let you wrap up.

This has been great, Shante. Thank you very much for your time. Do you have anything else you want to add?

I just want to thank you, guys, for allowing me to be on this lovely show. I’m a little upset that this is the first time I have ever been on it. I will forgive you but I’m glad that this first time was all about BIFI. I am super excited for our future. Thank you.

This is our first paid guest. You are the first person we have had to pay to be on the show, Jamie.

Thanks, Chris. Shante, this has been great. I’m excited for the future of BIFI Loan Servicing and hopefully, people take this opportunity. Reach out to Shante and do some good deeds by boarding your loans with BIFI. Take care, everyone.

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About Shante Duffy

GDNI 164 | Loan ServicerI assist with the supervision of day-to-day company operations, provide lender consultation services, assist with note servicing, handling of insurance services, and promote note servicing & investment services at national conferences.

Experienced Business Development Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the financial services industry. Skilled in Microsoft Excel, Management, Customer Service, Microsoft Word, and Data Entry. Strong administrative professional.

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