Mortgage servicing centers see call wait times balloon: TRD Insights

The increase in wait times coincides with rising forbearance figures

New York Insights /
Apr.April 20, 2020 08:36 AM
(Credit: Photo by Geoffroy van der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images) 

(Credit: Photo by Geoffroy van der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images)

As millions of homeowners face financial distress as a result of the coronavirus crisis, their efforts to work things out with mortgage lenders have run into a logistical bottleneck: call center capacity.

Call center wait times have ballooned as the crisis took hold, leading more people to hang up early, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. And the calls, once they do get through, have also become longer.

Mortgage Bankers Association Call Volume Survey Results

TABLEPRESS CODE:

WeekAverage Speed to Answer in MinutesAbandonment RatesHandle Times in Minutes
March 2 - March 826.75%6.4
March 9 - March 151.55.54%6.3
March 16 - March 224.812.28%6.6
March 23 - March 291321.23%7.3
March 30 - April 510.317.01%7.5

SOURCE: Mortgage Bankers Association

Call volume started to pick up the week of March 16, when wait times more than doubled from 1.5 minutes to 4.8 — leading 1 out of 10 callers to give up before speaking to a representative. Wait times ballooned to 13 minutes the following week, leading as many as one in five callers to hang up before being connected. The average length of calls has also increased by about a minute.

By the turn of the month, wait times had declined slightly — but certainly not because there were fewer people in need of mortgage forbearance. According to MBA senior vice president and chief economist Mike Fratantoni, the decline “indicates the mortgage industry is adapting to the current environment by adding or reallocating staff and increasingly utilizing its websites to help borrowers.”

As of the first week of April, about 3.74 percent of home loans were in forbearance, according to MBA data. That’s up from 2.73 percent the week prior, and 0.25 percent in the beginning of March. And according to an estimate from Moody’s Analytics chief economist, up to 30 percent of homeowners could stop making payments.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Canada, South Korea, Germany, Singapore, and the UK top the list of countries investing in real estate. (Getty)
South Korea now No. 2 foreign investor in US CRE
South Korea now No. 2 foreign investor in US CRE
(iStock/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)
Manhattan job losses in Q3 worst of any large county in the US
Manhattan job losses in Q3 worst of any large county in the US
Jerome Powell (Getty)
Powell sees new opportunity to reform low-income lending rule
Powell sees new opportunity to reform low-income lending rule
R&B Realty's Aron Rosenberg and Maverick's David Aviram of Maverick with 28 West 36th Street and 32 West 39th Street (Google Maps)
Midtown landlord sues to stop foreclosure by Maverick
Midtown landlord sues to stop foreclosure by Maverick
HSBC COO John Hinshaw (Getty, iStock)
HSBC to shrink its office footprint amid shift to WFH
HSBC to shrink its office footprint amid shift to WFH
(iStock/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)
US home prices are more than 5% too high: Fitch
US home prices are more than 5% too high: Fitch
The Texas snow storm was partly responsible for the decline in mortgage applications. (Getty)
Texas storm, increasing rates freeze home mortgage market
Texas storm, increasing rates freeze home mortgage market
(iStock)
US hotel market had worst year since the Great Depression
US hotel market had worst year since the Great Depression
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...