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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.


Best Mortgage Servicers

J.D. Power ranks Regions as the best servicer

Aug. 25, 2009

By MortgageDaily.com staff


Regions Mortgage has been ranked as the best mortgage servicer in a new study. The report found that employing hard-to-understand representatives was among the most devastating practices by servicers.

The Birmingham, Ala.-based subsidiary of Regions Financial Corp. came in with a 780 Customer Satisfaction Index Ranking in the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Primary Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study announced today. The score was higher than any other U.S. residential servicer.

The report, based on a May survey of more than 5,000 borrowers, focused on annual account review and administration; payment processing; billing statements and payment coupon books; and contact. Possible scores ranged from zero to 1,000.

Regions was cited for its strength in annual account review and administration as well as its payment processing.

The second-highest ranking was held by Branch Banking in Trust, which had a 777 index. Borrowers on loans from failed Colonial Bank should be happy with Winston-Salem, N.C.-based BB&T's ranking since it acquired $22 billion of Colonial's $25 billion in assets from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation when it failed.

No. 4 was U.S. Bank, which landed with an index score of 771, and GMAC Mortgage was fifth, with a 752 index.

"Among the companies included in the study, those that rank highly tend to perform exceptionally well in limiting the number of customer-reported problems, which results in high brand image ratings," J.D. Power stated.

Chase followed with a 749 index, then Wells Fargo's 749, Flagstar Bank's 743 and an index of 740 at SunTrust Mortgage. No. 5 was National City Mortgage's 735 index.

J.D. Power said 21 percent of the borrowers it surveyed indicated that they were already behind on their mortgage payments or worried about becoming delinquent.

One interesting finding was that servicers who initiated contact with borrowers had scores averaging 38 points higher than when borrowers made the first call.

Among areas that J.D. Power said help build customer retention was providing borrowers with options for billing and payments. Borrowers also crave adequate and clear statement detail. One-fifth of borrowers with servicers that met these needs said they with "definitely" recommend the servicer to others.

Borrowers who had trouble understanding servicer representatives accounted for 18 percent of those surveyed. Among those borrowers, the index fell to an average of 353 compared to an average of 707 among customers who didn't have any difficulty understanding representatives.

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