Mortgage servicing customer satisfaction slipped for the second straight year as an increase in billing errors, service “hand-offs,” and a larger number of late paying borrowers took its toll.
Overall satisfaction fell 14 index points to 784 on J.D. Power’s 1,000 point scale, down from 798 in 2007 and 812 in 2006.
The study measures four areas of loan servicing, including billing, payments, contact with mortgage lender, and annual account administration.
Generally, the less contact the better, as borrowers who used automatic billpay to make monthly mortgage payments were a lot more satisfied than those still paying via snail mail.
J.D. Power pushed electronic billing as the key to satisfaction, though that won’t help the scores of delinquent borrowers scurrying to obtain a loan modification.
BB&T led the satisfaction list with a score of 839, followed by SunTrust Mortgage at 825, and Wells Fargo at 813.
Chase came in fourth with a score of 812, followed by Bank of America with a score of 811, important considering the huge portion of the mortgage market they now control after their merger with Countrywide.
The industry average was 784, higher than the ratings of HSBC Mortgage Corp., CitiFinancial Mortgage, Indymac, and Countrywide.
But the worst of the worst was Ocwen Financial, which had a dismal rating of 616, preceded by Greentree Mortgage with a score of 675, and Homecomings Financial with a score of 688.
J.D. Power noted that servicers could increase annual profitability by $30 million for every one million loans serviced if they improve their processes and tackle problems.