Magazine article American Banker

Lenders Using Technology to Predict Refinancing

Magazine article American Banker

Lenders Using Technology to Predict Refinancing

Article excerpt

Mortgage lenders are turning to technology to defend their portfolios.

Mortgage servicers, which lose 12% to 15% of accounts annually to refinancing, are using computerized data centers and telemarketers to boost contacts with customers and help spot potential refinancers before they act.

HomeSide Lending recently complemented its telemarketing sales efforts with quarterly statements that promote its refinance capabilities.

The quarterly statements cost 40% more than annual coupon books, but the effort has doubled the number of refinancing calls to its centers.

"The new environment allows us to send a marketing message that HomeSide Lending has your current loan and that we can streamline the refinance process," said Daniel T. Scheuble, executive vice president of technology and consumer direct lending for the Jacksonville, Fla.-based company.

HomeSide isn't alone. Countrywide Credit Industries and Fleet Financial Group use monthly marketing messages to promote their refinancing capabilities. And First USA Inc. has begun a telemarketing initiative offering unsolicited pre-approved refinances to mortgage customers of its Banc One Corp. parent.

"The slowdown in mortgage lending" has caused mortgage lenders to "look at refinance as the normal thing that it is, rather than something special," said Edward Furash, chairman of the Washington consulting firm Furash & Co.

The companies are devoting the technology to "establishing a relationship with the borrower and providing reminders to call," said Gerald L. …

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