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Customer Satisfaction with Originators Rises, Quicken’s Reign Continues

Customer satisfaction with mortgage loan originators reached a seven-year high this year with Quicken Loans earning the highest ranking for the fourth year in a row, according to the ""J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study."":http://www.jdpower.com/content/press-release/guM7kPe/2013-u-s-primary-mortgage-origination-satisfaction-study.htm

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The study ranks originators on a 1,000-point scale, taking into consideration four factors, including the application/approval process, loan representatives, closing, and contact with lenders.

Satisfaction across the industry increased for the third year in a row, reaching a seven-year high of 771.

Five originators earned scores above the industry average. Topping the list was Quicken Loans with a score of 841.

The remaining four lenders to outrank the industry average are BB&T (798), U.S. Bank (783), PNC Mortgage (778), and Chase (773).

Just below the industry average, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage earned a score of 768, followed by CitiMortgage at 764.

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Those refinancing their mortgage loans were more satisfied with the process than those purchasing a home, according to ""J.D. Power."":http://www.jdpower.com/ Satisfaction among refinancers was 775 compared to 765 among homebuyers.

J.D. Power attributes this to ""refinance customers' familiarity with the process.""

However, first-time home buyers were significantly more satisfied with the process than repeat buyers. The satisfaction ranking for first-time buyers is 772 compared to 757 for repeat buyers.

First-time buyers were the most likely category of customers to acquire additional fees at closing. Seventeen percent of first-time buyers had fees tacked on at closing, compared to 8 percent of repeat buyers and 7 percent of refinancers.

First-time buyers were also the most likely to cite problems with understanding their loan options.

While 81 percent of refinancers said their loan officer ""clearly explained their options,"" just 61 percent of first-time buyers indicated the same.

""Much of the stress with borrowing comes from a lack of information and knowledge during the process,"" said Craig Martin, director of the financial services practice at J.D. Power.

Martin encourages first-time buyers to ask questions and gain an understanding of how and when they will be updated throughout the process.

While only a minority of customers close their loans electronically, J.D. Power said, ""[t]he use of electronic closing documents improves customer closing satisfaction.""

Just 8 percent of customers closed their loans electronically, but their satisfaction rating with the closing process was 830, while satisfaction among those who closed in person was 772.

About Author: Krista Franks Brock

Krista Franks Brock is a professional writer and editor who has covered the mortgage banking and default servicing sectors since 2011. Previously, she served as managing editor of DS News and Southern Distinction, a regional lifestyle publication. Her work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including Consumers Digest, Dallas Style and Design, DS News and DSNews.com, MReport and theMReport.com. She holds degrees in journalism and art from the University of Georgia.
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