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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.

Regions Loses Best Servicer Title

BB&T ranked best mortgage servicer

Aug. 26, 2010

By staff

The mortgage banking subsidiary of Regions Financial Corp. lost its place at the top of a servicer ranking. Ocwen Financial Corp. Inc. fared poorly in the ranking.

Regions Mortgage was the highest ranking servicer in the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Primary Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study. The Birmingham, Ala.-based firm's 780 Customer Satisfaction Index Ranking was higher than any other servicer's score.

But Regions' score fell to 740 in the 2010 study, ranking it fifth this year.

J.D. Power said it ranks servicers based on fees, billing and payment process and escrow account administration. It also considers Web site and phone contact.

It surveyed 4,516 borrowers between May and June.

Taking Region's No. 1 spot this year was BB&T with a score of 795. The Winston-Salem, N.C.-based company, which acquired failed Colonial Bank from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in August 2010, ranked second last year with an index of 777.

SunTrust Mortgage moved to No. 2 this year. SunTrust's score was 767, up from 740 a year ago.

No. 3 U.S. Bank came in with a score of 755, followed by Wells Fargo's 744. Fifth Third Mortgage's 740 left it sharing the fifth spot with Regions.

The lowest score in the 2010 ranking was Ocwen Loan Servicing's 551. American Home Mortgage Servicing and OneWest also ranked low with respective scores of 617 and 619.

J.D. Power advised servicers to focus on preventing problems during the servicing process, which it says will reduce the number of inbound borrower contacts.

"Focusing on performing best practices, such as providing transparency around fees, using the customer's preferred method of billing and payment, and providing concise, informative, and easy-to-find account information, not only has a strong positive effect on loyalty and retention rates, but can also result in decreases in inbound call volume of up to 13 percent," J.D. Power Director of Financial Services David Lo said in the report.

The report said "servicers more often miss on delivering key service practices during the loan modification process than during the loan origination process."

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