Survey: Customers want trust and support from mortgage servicers

Homeowners want to feel supported by their mortgage servicers, particularly with a possible recession looming, according to the results of a recent J.D. Power study charting mortgage servicer satisfaction.

Overall customer satisfaction for mortgages originated and serviced by the same company was 646 (on a 1,000-point scale), though satisfaction scores dropped to 513 when the mortgage was transferred. Customer trust fell 145 points to 511 when a loan was transferred versus when it was originated and serviced by the same company. Firms that transferred loans suffered significantly in terms of customer satisfaction; only 15% of customers who had their loans transferred said they were “very likely” to consider using the original lender in the future. Out of the top five highest-ranking mortgage servicers, three were banks: Huntington National Bank (with a satisfaction score of 669), Regions Mortgage (661) and Chase (658).

More than four in 10 mortgagees with transferred loans said the process wasn’t “very easy.” Among this group, problem incidence was higher (27%) than the problem incidence among customers who said the process was “very easy” (12%). When the transfer process was perceived as “very easy,” satisfaction was 183 points higher than when the process was “somewhat easy,” “somewhat difficult” or “very difficult,” and these customers were much less likely to interact with a live representative.

“Customers respond favorably when brands communicate their intentions and provide clear guidance on what is happening and why,” said J.D. Power’s Tom Lawler, adding that mortgage industry complexity, particularly transfers, “creates challenges in customer understanding,” and that customer satisfaction increasingly will be “critical” to mortgage brands’ success. “Transparency will be a big part of creating the trust that will determine business success,” he said.