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Servicing News | Servicer Ranking | Delinquency Statistics
Stories about mortgage servicers, delinquency and f o r e c l o s u r e s. Coverage of servicing lawsuits and loan servicing technology.

Mortgage Servicers Doing a Better Job

At-risk loans see biggest improvement

July 19, 2012

By staff

Improvements made in mortgage servicing have increased borrower satisfaction. The biggest gains have been made with distressed borrowers.

A survey of 5,623 borrowers that was conducted in April and May rated all mortgage servicers at 725 on a 1,000-point scale. That was an improvement from last year's survey, when the rating was 718.

For at-risk borrowers, those who are delinquent or concerned about making upcoming payments, the increase was greater: 27 points. The report noted that this group was most likely to contact their servicers.

The gain was the result of significant improvements in servicing, especially with how telephone calls are handled, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Primary Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study.

Craig Martin, director of the mortgage practice at J.D. Power, explained that low ratings in prior years were driven by challenges in addressing the needs of at-risk borrowers.

"In the past, satisfaction is typically higher when customers do not need to contact their servicer, which makes the increase in overall satisfaction among at-risk customers that much more impressive," Martin said in the report. "By focusing on improving the contact experience, servicers have been able to improve satisfaction among customers who are most likely to be dissatisfied."

A 52-point increase from 2011 was reported for borrowers who contact their servicers by telephone.

BB&T maintained its No. 1 standing in customer satisfaction among primary mortgage servicers with a score of 803. It was the third consecutive year for its best servicer ranking. The company's biggest strengths are its website, escrow account administration and billing and payment process.

No. 2 in this year's survey was Regions Mortgage with a score of 779.

Third in the rankings was SunTrust Mortgage, which had a score of 758.

A bigger share of borrowers, 7 percent, say their loans are current because of loan modifications. Last year, the share was 4 percent.

Borrowers who are concerned about staying current on their loans accounted for 15 percent of those surveyed versus 17 percent in the prior year's report.

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