Why are servicer’s satisfaction scores so low in JD Powers most recent survey?
Some of the dissatisfaction is a result of the negative press arising from the housing market meltdown, the robo-signing mess and the subsequent efforts by state AG's, the US Treasury, HFA, HUD and others to punish anyone with "Mortgage" in their name. With so many regulators swinging their billy clubs like prison guards at a recalcitrant inmate, many servicers might even be willing to change places with Cool Hand Luke if given the chance.
But the survey also points out that servicers with higher satisfaction scores communicate better with borrowers throughout the mortgage life cycle.
To improve their satisfaction scores, David Lo, J.D. Power and Associates' director of financial services says servicers should:
- Educate borrowers on how their escrow account works, especially if there is going to be an increase in monthly payments.
- Clearly communicate fees for late payment, paying on the web or by phone, document retrieval - anything that is going to cost the borrower.
- Use multiple communication channels, not just mail. The more channels you use, the more likely the borrower will get your message.
Welcome calls, payment reminders, refi & loan modification status updates and past due notices are all opportunities to influence borrower behavior and attitude. Servicers should review their communication strategy to make sure each touchpoint keeps the borrower well informed.
Doing this may not make their house worth what it was four years ago, but it will make them happier with the process of buying, selling or just keeping their home.