Financial Services

How The Pandemic Created Unforeseen Challenges across the Mortgage Servicing Industry

On July 21st, J.D. Power will publish the results of the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Primary Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction StudySM.  This year’s study shows how the pandemic created unforeseen challenges across the mortgage servicing industry. With respect to the myriad of government-mandated forbearance programs, most of the news was positive. However some significant concerns still exists.

According to the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Primary Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction StudySM more than one-third of at-risk mortgage customers have enrolled in a pandemic-related payment assistance/relief plan through their mortgage servicers since March of 2020. Forbearance programs have created operational challenges for mortgage servicers, but customers were by-and-large satisfied with how the plans were handled; their impression of their servicers actually improved. Still, servicers should be wary that the halo effect will diminish as customers exit forbearance.

  • Those in forbearance programs rate their servicers highest in overall satisfaction in the study (846 on a 1,000-point scale). This compares to a score of 783 among those who never enrolled. However, customers who were previously enrolled in a forbearance program and have since exited give their servicers the lowest score—776. This suggests that the lift in satisfaction due to forbearance is short-lived.

  • Both bank and non-bank servicers did well with forbearance enrollment. Eighty-seven percent of customers reported the enrollment process was either “very easy” or “somewhat easy.” Nearly half (46%) of homeowners who are currently in or were previously in a COVID-related payment plan say their servicers’ response to the pandemic gave them a more positive impression of the servicer. This compares to only 11% of those who didn’t enroll in a program.

  • While the program was successful, there was room for improvement in proactive communication, as 17% of at-risk customers and 22% of moderate-risk customers indicated they were not aware of it. Furthermore, only 36% of at-risk customers recall hearing about it from their servicers. They were more likely to hear about it on the news (45%).
    • Among those who enrolled, only 50% of customers of bank servicers and 37% of customers of non-bank servicers report their servicers proactively reached out to them about the program. The remainder reached out to their servicers.

The U.S. Primary Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction StudySM provides detailed information and insights on the performance of more than 30 of the largest servicers. We pinpoint the factors that matter most to mortgage borrowers. The study sets a quality benchmark for the industry, and provides a thorough understanding of the needs, expectations, and desires of today’s homeowners.

We identify the factors that matter most to borrowers and drive their satisfaction with mortgage originators and servicers. Using this data, we set a quality benchmark for the industry, and provide a thorough understanding of the needs, expectations, and desires of today’s customers. To help servicers drive results, customers surveyed for this analysis answer questions about key topics such as:

  • New Customer Orientation
  • Mortgage Billing and Payment Process
  • Escrow Account Administration
  • Interaction – Personal Service
  • Interaction – Self Service
  • Channel Activities
  • Communications

A study subscription provides access to the insights and tools needed to gain a comprehensive, in-depth understanding of how your firm may be performing and to identify key areas needing improvement. Subscribers gain access to results on July 21, 2021. Key findings and rankings will be released in a press release on July 29, 2021. Read the 2020 press release here

Contact us to learn more about the study using this simple form and subscribe today. Join our mailing list to stay up to date.