Non-Bank Lenders Gain Popularity

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Consumers rated mortgage servicers’ customer service higher during the pandemic. Much of that satisfaction, however, is driven by non-bank servicers, which offer more digital solutions for consumers. Traditional banks are starting to lose their edge over non-bank lenders, according to the J.D. Power Mortgage Servicer Satisfaction Study.

Bank-affiliated services have historically outperformed non-banks by a large margin in customer satisfaction. But that gap is quickly shrinking.

Quicken Loans, which will fully rebrand as Rocket Mortgage this weekend, is the highest-ranked mortgage servicer for satisfaction, followed by Guild Mortgage and Huntington National Bank, according to J.D. Power’s 2021 survey of more than 8,500 consumers. The survey measures customer satisfaction with mortgage servicers based on customer interaction, communications, billing and payment, escrow account administration, and new customer orientation.

Overall, “mortgage servicer satisfaction was buoyed by the industry’s response to the pandemic, with some of the biggest gains in customer satisfaction being driven by at-risk and moderate-risk customers who participated in forbearance programs,” said Jim Houston, director of consumer lending intelligence at J.D. Power. “However, as we look at post-pandemic customer behaviors and responses of low-risk customers, we see that lift in satisfaction may be short-lived. In fact, despite the attention on relief programs, nearly one-fifth of current mortgage customers have had no interaction with their servicer during the past year. Mortgage servicers will really need to up their customer engagement games as the marketplace stabilizes.”