January 22, 2018

Consumers Expect Faster Mortgage Processing

In 2017, consumers were not happy with the speed of mortgage processing by their lenders. And that makes sense when considering that the average purchase process last year took close to a week longer than it did in 2016.

The average length of mortgage processing in 2017 was 36 days, based on the 2017 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Survey released late last year by J.D. Power.

How Much Did Satisfaction in Mortgage Processing Drop and Why?

Overall satisfaction actually fell by 8 points on a 1,000-point scale in 2017 compared to 2016, according to the survey. Satisfaction declined for both online and in-person applications. It declined by 18 points for online applications, and 10 points for in-person applications just since last year.

The survey also indicated that customers are increasingly applying for mortgages online. For the first time ever, both refinance and purchase customers reported that the most frequent method for submitting mortgage applications was online/website. Forty-three percent of mortgage customers applied for mortgages digitally in 2017, as compared to only 28 percent in 2016.

“We’re at a critical inflection point in the mortgage industry where new technology and the growing use of digital mortgage application channels has made it possible for the origination process to move more quickly; however, the customer is still the final judge of speed and quality,” said Craig Martin, Director of the Mortgage Practice at J.D. Power in a press release.

“A critical element of satisfaction is setting expectations, and this tends to be a weakness of technology, which is demonstrated by substantially lower satisfaction among customers who do not work with a human to complete their application,” he said.

Consumer Trust in Mortgage Loan Reps Is Very Important

The survey suggests that the level of customer trust in their mortgage loan representative directly correlates with the level of customer satisfaction in the mortgage application process. Overall satisfaction among customers with a high level of trust in their representatives was more than 350 points higher than those with low levels of trust.

Based on the study, the top three things that drive customer trust in their mortgage rep are: 1) representatives calling back when promised; 2) working with a single representative throughout the loan process; and 3) representatives proactively providing status updates.

More About the Study

The J.D. Power U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Survey is designed to provide lenders with information for improving their mortgage customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy in six key areas: Loan Offerings, Application/Approval Process, Interaction, Closing, Onboarding, and Problem Resolution.

It covers four key market segments: New Home Purchase vs. Refinance, First-Time Homebuyers vs. Repeat Purchase, Various Demographic Segments, and Specialty Programs.

Want Faster Mortgage Processing? Lincoln Abstract & Settlement Services Can Help

Lincoln Abstract & Settlement Services is nationally recognized and trusted by realtors and lenders to streamline the flow of documents and funds for faster, stress-free closings. We value communication and efficiency, working proactively to identify and resolve issues that could potentially delay the process. To learn more about our unrivaled services, call us at 1.877.696.5462.