David Lykken: Just fix it: The CFPB's complaint database

by MPA29 May 2014
By David Lykken
Special to MPA

On a recent broadcast of Lykken on Lending, a guest of mine brought up a very good point about the way we handle complaints in the mortgage industry. For other industries, consumers expect their issues to be resolved in a timely and courteous manner.
When you're out to eat at a restaurant and you're served food that is cold, you can send it back. Typically, the chef will remake the dish and the waiter will bring it back out--apologizing profusely for the inconvenience. If you go to stay at a hotel and there's something wrong with the room you get, a good concierge will make arrangements for you to get another room. There is a complaint, and then there is almost instantaneous resolution.
In the mortgage industry, it's a bit trickier. But the model is generally the same. The CPFB has set up a forum for consumers to enter complaints about their mortgage providers. The complaint is entered, and then the lender has an opportunity to respond. Once the response is received, the consumer can either accept or decline the lender's proposed resolution.
We may be tempted to view this system as a hassle--a hindrance from doing business and getting deals done. But, what if we instead saw it as an opportunity? With each complaint we adequately resolve, we are setting ourselves apart from competitors. We are demonstrating that we are lenders who care about our customers. Of course, in an ideal world, no customer would ever complain. But, in the real world, customers have great expectations. And, if we are to be survivors in a competitive marketplace, it is up to us to satisfy them.

David Lykken is 40-year industry veteran who has been an owner operator of three mortgage banking companies and a software company. As co-founder and Managing Partner of Mortgage Banking Solutions, David consults on virtually all aspects of mortgage banking with special emphasis executive leadership development, corporate strategic direction and implementation as well as mergers & acquisitions. A regular contributor on CNBC and Fox Business News, David also hosts a successful weekly radio program called “Lykken On Lending” (www.LykkenOnLending.com) that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals. Recently he started producing a 1-minute video called “Today’s Mortgage Minute” that appears on hundreds of television, radio and newspaper websites daily across America.



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