Despite being two of the largest reverse mortgage players, Ocwen and Nationstar receive some of the lowest marks for their customer satisfaction when it comes to their forward servicing customers. Nationstar is a current servicer of reverse mortgages while Ocwen is the parent company of originator Liberty Home Equity Solutions.*
The two companies received some of the lowest scores in an annual ranking conducted by J.D. Power and Associates, released Thursday. They ranked second to last and third to last on the list of mortgage servicers, with Green Tree, a Walter Investment Management Corp. company, falling to the bottom of the list.
The study was redesigned this year and includes several customer satisfaction measures: new customer orientation; billing and payment process; escrow account administration; interaction; mortgage fees; and communications.
Rankings of satisfaction were determined based on a 1,000-point scale, with Nationstar and Ocwen receiving scores of 646 and 608, respectively.
On the high end of the rankings, Quicken Loans was ranked the top servicer with 834 points.
Overall, servicers are spending a disproportionate amount of time on at-risk consumers—a group watched closely by government agencies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and—which is dragging their customer service scores down, J.D. Power found in its study, noting that non-bank servicers have had less incentive to improve their customer service practices.
“Bank mortgage servicers’ desire to retain and expand the broader relationship with the borrower has driven some improvement in customer service,” said Craig Martin, director of the mortgage practice at J.D. Power. “Non-bank servicers have had less business incentive to improve the experience as their focus is on keeping borrowers paying their mortgage, not on delivering a better relationship. As non-bank servicers have gained an increasingly larger share of the market, they have tended to apply policies geared toward at-risk customers that are designed to avoid legal or regulatory actions.”
J.D. Power also noted additional findings based on its survey of 5,922 customers who have had a mortgage on their primary residence for at least one year. Among those who are highly satisfied, 14% fall into the at-risk category while the remaining 86% are current on their payments. Nearly half, or 46%, noted their servicer is not the company they originated the loan with.
*Editor’s note: A previous version of this article stated in error that Ocwen is a servicer of reverse mortgages. Ocwen is the parent company of Liberty Home Equity Solutions but is not a reverse mortgage servicer. RMD regrets the error.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker