With the economy in shambles and millions of Americans struggling to pay their mortgages, borrowers’ satisfaction with their loan servicers actually has increased this year, according to the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Primary Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study released Monday.
The survey found that borrowers are most satisfied with Quicken Loans, followed by Regions Mortgage and Huntington National Bank. PHH Mortgage, Shellpoint Mortgage Servicing and NewRez were ranked at the bottom.
The survey found that the record low interest rates, coupled with the economic fallout from the coronavirus, has created a huge surge in customer inquiries – resulting in a more website use, long wait times on call centers and very little proactive communication.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has really amplified the gaps in customer satisfaction, digital experience and call center experience that have been a challenge for mortgage servicers for some time,” said Jim Houston, director of consumer lending intelligence at J.D. Power. “At a time when the need for streamlined, effective digital guidance and proactive outreach and counsel is more important than ever, mortgage customers aren’t finding the answers they need online, pushing them onto long customer service queues in call centers and leaving them to hunt for answers on how best to address their challenges.”
As for companies, here is how they ranked in 2020 – based on a 1,000 point approval scale:
|Huntington National Bank||827|
|Bank of America||804|
|Arvest Central Mortgage||778|
|Caliber Home Loans||778|
|Wells Fargo Home Mortgage||773|
|Fifth Third Mortgage||770|
|Home Point Financial||769|
|Carrington Mortgage Services||703|
Shellpoint has repeatedly been the subject of the most consumer complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Key findings of the study include:
- Online Challenges: 62 percent of customers visit their lender’s website as a first line of information, but only 28 percent say online is the most effective channel by which to resolve an issue. Among those who couldn’t resolve their issue on the lender’s website, 45 percent say the issue was resolved only after picking up the phone to speak with a representative.
- Traditional Channels: 19 percent of customers say it is not easy to contact a live agent via the telephone. This negative experience causes a 261-point drop in satisfaction for those consumers looking to use this traditional channel.
- Increased Calls: 44 percent of at-risk customers called their servicer in the last 12 months, compared 25 percent for low-risk customers. At-risk customers also call an average of 3.15 times vs. 2.54 for low-risk customers.
- Proactive Communications: Customers who receive three or four proactive communications per year from their mortgage lender have the highest levels of overall satisfaction, which is represented by an average score of 810. Yet, only 8 percent of customers indicate receiving this level of communication. 40 percent say they’ve received no proactive communication from their lender, and 29 percent say they’ve received 11 or more proactive communications. Too few or too many communications cause satisfaction scores to decline.
- Thank You: When it comes to lender communication with customers, the factor with the single greatest effect on customer satisfaction is thanking customers for their business. Satisfaction scores increase by 86 points when lenders thank customers for their business, yet just 22 percent of lenders do this.
See the full study here.