The 6 Mortgage Loan Companies with the Most Complaints
Based on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau report covering February thru April, 2015
As attorneys who are regularly involved in foreclosure and mortgage dispute cases, we pay close attention to large mortgage lenders and mortgage loan servicing entities and the problems which are found in that industry. We regularly file complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on behalf of clients when the typical problems we encounter reach beyond the normal depths and reach a level of true ridiculousness. Which mortgage loan institutions are the most frequent offenders, nationally? The market leaders are no surprise, and include Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, Citibank, Ocwen, and NationStar.
Bank of America had the most complaints overall of any national bank, with approximately half of those being related to its mortgage lending and loan servicing activities. For February thru April, BoA averaged approximately 400 mortgage loan type complaints per month. On the one hand, with its hands in so many loans, it makes sense that BoA would be among the leaders in complaints; on the other hand, BoA has sold off many loans and the rights to service many loans, and thus its overall loan portfolio is significantly less than what it used to be.
Wells Fargo had fewer complaints with the CFPB overall compared to BoA, but also had approximately 400 complaints per month related to its mortgage lending and mortgage loan servicing activities. In our office, we have seen a significant increase in the number of Wells Fargo loans in distress, and a remarkably high percentage of those have required us to file complaints with the CFPB.
JP Morgan Chase had the sixth most complaints of any institution in the country between February and April. Approximately 40% of those complaints were related to mortgage lending and mortgage loan servicing, which works out to approximately 250 per month.
Although Citibank’s 507 complaints per month put it in seventh place overall, its mortgage lending and mortgage loan servicing complaints were a comparatively small portion of that. Citi averaged less than 150 complaints per month with regard to mortgage loans.
And now we come to Ocwen, wonderfully challenged Ocwen. With regard to mortgage loan complaints only, Ocwen was the national leader, with more than 425 complaints per month. This actually represented a decrease for Ocwen, which could be related to various government agencies forcing Ocwen to reduce its mortgage loan servicing portfolio, including the state of California threatening to outlaw Ocwen from that state all together. Ocwen is perhaps the most inconsistent entity that we regularly deal with in regard to mortgage loan disputes. For the most part, dealing with Ocwen is a nightmare, but once in a while we will have a case that actually works out very smoothly. The most frequent complaint we hear from new clients about their dealings with Ocwen – other than “they gave me the run around” – is that the customer service is outsourced overseas, and many borrowers complain of the customer service representatives not being able to properly understand or speak English.
The company which has come on strong in the last year with regard to mortgage loan servicing complaints is NationStar Mortgage. The number of complaints against it per month is similar to the number against both Bank of America and Wells Fargo. Because NationStar has acquired the servicing for many loans in the last few years, complaints against it are often related to inefficient transitions of loan servicing, including NationStar being unable (or unwilling) to properly service its new loans for months at a time.
Overall, complaints related to mortgage loans were the second most frequent type of complaints that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received during this time period. For those of you who are curious, the other four entities which had the most complaints against them during this time period (including complaints of all sorts) included Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, and Capital One. Together, with the six entities named above, these make up our current Hall of Shame.
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