The Loan Safe Report – Countrywide Voted Worst Mortgage Servicer in America

CORONA, Calif.: 25 November 2008 – In the current mortgage and foreclosure crisis, the data and feedback from actual homeowners in regards to outreach and customer service by mortgage servicers during the loan workout process is crucial. Improving communication, customer support and timely resolutions for struggling borrowers are critical components to easing the foreclosure crisis.

This independent survey of non-incentivized homeowners clearly shows that this is simply not happening according to LoanSafe.org’s Loan Safe Report – 2008 Mortgage Servicing Survey.

  • Countrywide Home Loans ranks the lowest among primary mortgage servicers with a disapproval rating from homeowners of 77.6% and Chase ranked the best with a disapproval rating of 54.8%.
  • 49.4% of homeowners are seeking a loan modification plus principle reduction in their mortgages and 8.2% say they are walking away from their homes.

The study measures homeowner satisfaction by asking key 10 questions that deal with customer service during the loan workout process. Such as method of contact, the effectiveness of customer support, rate your mortgage servicer, goal of homeowner and resolution to mortgage problems.

The study finds that homeowners are experiencing high levels of frustration with even the most basic customer service skill sets and a large proportion (79.8%) of respondents are completely dissatisfied with their mortgage servicers ability to effectively handle their loan workout.

  • Only 7.1% of homeowners were contacted by their mortgage servicers. This is contrary to popular belief that mortgage servicers are attempting extensive foreclosure prevention outreach to contact struggling borrowers.
  • 79.8% of the homeowners polled were dissatisfied with simple customer service activities such as, “support representative’s knowledge of available options.”
  • Common courtesy is hard to find with 77.5% of respondents dissatisfied with the courtesy they received when attempting to obtain a loan workout from the customer support.
  • Many homeowners are simply not getting the help they need from their mortgage servicers,” said Moe Bedard founder and president of LoanSafe.org. “With the magnitude of the foreclosure crisis, it becomes very important that mortgage servicers communicate effectively and establish trust with homeowners in order to effectively perform loan workouts in a timely manner.”

Bedard also said, “Over 83% of respondents did not have their questions answered and 87.9% of homeowners were dissatisfied with the overall experience with their mortgage servicers. This indicates that mortgage servicers are simply not doing enough to help struggling homeowners and we cannot trust them to even get the most basic customer service activities in check.”

When asked, “What one action could your mortgage servicer take to increase your satisfaction with customer support?” Homeowners responded:

  • They could transfer you to the appropriate person that can actually help you with a loan modification
    Hire Americans!!!
  • They need to be more compassionate and help the homeowner who wants to keep their homes and who can afford to keep their homes with some modifying of their loans.
  • They sound like robots on the phone. Every person’s situation is different and they need to listen and know that and not treat everyone the same.
  • Have a standardized methodology for everyone. And special cases go to a supervisor. But on Day 1 Rep # 1 said XYZ and on Day 2 Rep # 2 said rep # 1 was wrong this is very despairing.
  • Give details on how to qualify for modification than keeping it a secret.
  • CONSISTENCY!!!! Be able to speak to one person through the entire process instead of explaining 10 times to ten different people every time you call
  • Provide a modification that works for the consumer, and to treat me like I am worthless because I am in this situation.
  • Despite press releases indicating increased efforts by mortgage servicers to increase loan modification outreach, this study clearly shows that homeowners are not getting the help mortgage servicers say they are giving to struggling borrowers. In fact it is quite the opposite.

This survey is bad news for mortgage servicing industry and proves that they have a large part in this foreclosure crisis. They simply are not adequately assisting homeowners adequately and their inability to want or to attempt to even get the most basic customer servicer skills down is alarming to say the least,” said Bedard. “After almost 2 years of hearing homeowner complaints and experiencing these same issues myself, I feel that this study shines a light on the unscrupulous and unfair mortgage servicing industry.”

The study also finds these issues with mortgage servicers:

  • 84.5% were dissatisfied with the speed with which their mortgage issue was resolved/question was answered
  • 82% were dissatisfied with their mortgage servicers support representative’s commitment to solving your mortgage problems

When asked if there questions were resolved, for many homeowners it was or will be too late:

  • WAMU told us that they were going to do a loan modification for us. I wanted to find out if they had any program that we could get but if we couldn’t I wanted to do a short sale. Don’t worry Mrs. Erbst we are doing a loan modification than they foreclosed the end. We need to move on November 15th
  • No modification and 2 foreclosures started on the same home. All they did was set up a payment plan for 3 months with a balloon pmt. at the end.
  • They are so backed up in the Home Retention dept. at Countrywide, it is a 3 month wait, but they will not halt the foreclosure process while I am waiting.
  • No, we have been trying for 3 months to get something worked out. They have lost our faxes least 6 times. We call twice a week, and still have not heard whether there will be a workout.
  • Our country is in dire foreclosure straights and these rogue mortgage servicers are operating like the Wild, Wild, West with complete anonymity and little regulation. It is no secret that they have a long history of customer neglect and abuse and now is the time to shine a media spot light on these unscrupulous activities.

The LoanSafe.org 2008 Loan Safe Report – Mortgage Servicing Survey is based on responses from 412 homeowners who are currently in some stage of the loan workout process. The study was fielded in October-November 2008.

About LoanSafe.org

LoanSafe.org protects, strengthens and promotes homeownership by giving American homeowners the tools and help to stop foreclosure on the internet. The Loan Safe Network was formed in response for the need of a safe website/forum to improve communication and foreclosure education amongst homeowners, mortgage servicers, lenders, non-profit’s and for profits.

Loan Safe helps support homeownership through a powerful consumer led grass roots campaign via the internet. We strive to influence our government and the media in the accountability and effectiveness of the loan workout and loan modification process with mortgage servicers. Loan Safe wishes to connect governments, nonprofits and for profits with homeowners and in a manner that helps all parties involved in the most efficient and least stressful ways as possible during this difficult time.

Media Relations Contacts and For Copies of the Mortgage Servicing Survey:

Moe Bedard

Founder & President

LoanSafe.org

Moe@LoanSafe

Mortgage Servicer Customer Support Evaluation

1. How are you or did you engage in contacting your mortgage servicer?
results pie chart
  61.1% Called on the phone (346)
  10.2% Sent an e-mail (58)
  9.1% Used the US Mail System (52)
  7.2% Did your mortgage servicer contact you? (41)
  6.7% View “Other” Answers “Other” Answers
  3.3% Utilized the support section of the web site (19)
  2.1% Used Online Chat (12)

SurveySurvey

Your Mortgage Servicer Customer Support

2. Please rate the support you recieved on each of the following attributes:  
  Very Dissatisfied Somewhat Dissatisfied Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied Somewhat Satisfied Very Satisfied
Time to reach a qualified support representative 56.9 % 19.1 % 9.0 % 9.0 % 5.7 %
Competence of support representative 59.4 % 18.8 % 11.8 % 5.4 % 4.4 %
Support representative’s knowledge of available options 65.1 % 14.7 % 9.8 % 5.3 % 4.9 %
Courtesy of support representative 43.2 % 15.0 % 22.1 % 13.5 % 6.0 %
Effectiveness of escalation process 65.8 % 16.5 % 8.0 % 4.0 % 5.5 %
Timely communication of status of problem 61.6 % 15.9 % 14.9 % 2.9 % 4.4 %
Support representative’s commitment to solving your mortgage problems 69.5 % 12.5 % 8.0 % 4.5 % 5.5 %
Speed with which your mortgage issue was resolved/question was answered 70.5 % 14.0 % 8.0 % 2.5 % 5.0 %
3. Was your question answered/problem resolved?
results pie chart
  83.4% No (171)
  16.5% Yes (34)
If no, please describe why not:
4. On average, how many different customer support representatives did you speak to in order to successfully resolve your issue?
results pie chart
  59.8% We have not resolved or mortgage issues! (125)
  11.0% 6 or more (23)
  7.1% 2 (15)
  6.6% 4 (14)
  6.2% 5 (13)
  4.7% 3 (10)
  4.3% 1 (9)
Provide additional comments below:
5. Please indicate how satisfied you are overall with our phone support:
results pie chart
  60.5% Very Dissatisfied (118)
  16.4% Somewhat Dissatisfied (32)
  13.3% Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied (26)
  5.1% Very Satisfied (10)
  4.6% Somewhat Satisfied (9)
6. How could your mortgage servicer improve your experience with their customer support?

SurveySurvey

Overall Satisfaction with Your Mortgage Servicer

7. Please rate your mortgage servicer with 1 being the lowest and 4 being the higest.  
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
Countrywide Home Loans 77.6 % 6.7 % 0.9 % 9.7 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.9 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.9 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 2.9 %
Chase Mortgage 54.8 % 15.8 % 6.0 % 9.7 % 1.2 % 1.2 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 2.4 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.2 % 1.2 % 0.0 % 1.2 % 0.0 % 4.8 %
American Servicing Company (ASC) 64.9 % 5.1 % 3.8 % 12.9 % 1.2 % 1.2 % 0.0 % 1.2 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.2 % 1.2 % 0.0 % 6.4 %
Ocwen 64.0 % 6.6 % 2.6 % 12.0 % 2.6 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.3 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 2.6 % 1.3 % 6.6 %
Litton Loan Servicing 64.3 % 10.9 % 2.7 % 5.4 % 2.7 % 0.0 % 1.3 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.3 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.3 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.3 % 8.2 %
Wells Fargo 67.5 % 10.3 % 2.5 % 6.4 % 1.2 % 0.0 % 1.2 % 1.2 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.2 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.2 % 1.2 % 5.1 %
American Home Mortgage Servicing Co. (AHMSI) 64.1 % 9.8 % 3.7 % 11.1 % 1.2 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.2 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.2 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.2 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.2 % 4.9 %
Bank of America 58.1 % 8.1 % 6.7 % 12.1 % 1.3 % 0.0 % 1.3 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.3 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.3 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 9.4 %
Saxon 61.4 % 10.0 % 4.2 % 10.0 % 1.4 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.4 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.4 % 1.4 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.4 % 1.4 % 5.7 %
EMC 63.7 % 7.2 % 5.7 % 10.1 % 1.4 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.4 % 0.0 % 1.4 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.4 % 1.4 % 5.7 %
Citi Mortgage 57.5 % 15.0 % 3.7 % 10.0 % 2.5 % 0.0 % 1.2 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.2 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.2 % 0.0 % 1.2 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.2 % 5.0 %
Washington Mutual (WAMU) 59.7 % 11.1 % 6.9 % 9.7 % 1.3 % 1.3 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.3 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.3 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.3 % 5.5 %
GMAC 65.7 % 6.8 % 5.4 % 9.5 % 1.3 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.3 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.3 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 2.7 % 0.0 % 5.4 %
Indymac 63.7 % 5.7 % 4.3 % 14.4 % 1.4 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.4 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 2.8 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.4 % 0.0 % 4.3 %
Home Eq 67.1 % 4.4 % 4.4 % 10.4 % 1.4 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.4 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.4 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.4 % 1.4 % 0.0 % 5.9 %
Wachovia 60.8 % 2.8 % 5.7 % 13.0 % 2.8 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.4 % 1.4 % 1.4 % 0.0 % 1.4 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.4 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 7.2 %
HSBC 64.7 % 9.8 % 5.6 % 9.8 % 1.4 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.4 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.4 % 0.0 % 5.6 %
Wilshire 64.6 % 3.0 % 6.1 % 10.7 % 1.5 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.5 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.5 % 1.5 % 0.0 % 9.2 %
First Franklin 66.1 % 5.8 % 2.9 % 11.7 % 1.4 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.4 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.4 % 0.0 % 1.4 % 1.4 % 1.4 % 4.4 %
Green Point 58.8 % 5.8 % 5.8 % 13.2 % 2.9 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.4 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 2.9 % 2.9 % 0.0 % 5.8 %
Other Not Listed Here 61.8 % 5.1 % 6.1 % 12.3 % 2.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 1.0 % 0.0 % 1.0 % 0.0 % 1.0 % 1.0 % 3.0 % 5.1 %
8. Please check the box the applies to what you plan to do with your home and loan?
results pie chart
  49.4% Loan Modification Plus Principle Reduction (96)
  38.1% Loan Modification (74)
  8.2% Nothing. I am just walking away! (16)
  2.5% Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure (5)
  1.5% Short Sale (3)
9. Please indicate how satisfied you are overall with your mortgage servicer:
results pie chart
  68.2% Very Dissatisfied (131)
  19.7% Somewhat Dissatisfied (38)
  5.2% Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied (10)
  4.6% Very Satisfied (9)
  2.0% Somewhat Satisfied (4)
10. What one action could your mortgage servicer take to increase your satisfaction with customer support?

More comments from homeowners:

  • I can’t say one thing, there are many, but they could start doing instead of saying they’re doing something, they say they what people to stay in their homes but then do stupid things like block your payments then say your late, duh!
  • Have a person call us back within 24 hours of our call. Wesley is the contact person and he has called back maybe 4 times in 16months. Plus the billing dept. keeps sending bills but won’t take a payment.
  • TREAT ME WITH RESPECT!
  • Train their employees, implement a process and hold employees/managers accountable for their actions or lack thereof.
  • KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT AND DO NOT MISINFORM
  • They sent me a CD with all of the options that they would do if “I” would just take the first step and call them. They will not do anything that they said that they would. HSBC said that they aren’t that desperate and will just take their chances that my home would sell and if not they would just collect from me at some point.
  • Not take an hour of my time on hold each of the 20+ times I had to call.
  • Talk to me and try to help. Get rid of the crazy people that work for them that tell people to not pay utilities or food.