For the first time ever, Fannie Mae has named a five STAR winner. On Wednesday, Fannie named Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank its sole Five STAR designee for the bank's achievements as a mortgage service provider throughout 2013.
The STAR‒‒Servicer Total Achievement and Rewards‒‒program launched in 2011 to establish servicing standards and recognize Fannie Mae servicers for their overall performance, customer service, and foreclosure prevention efforts.
The program measures servicers across key operational and performance areas and acknowledges their achievements through star designations, with five being the highest level of achievement. Fannie annually releases its list of three- and four-STAR institutions, but until this week had never awarded its highest rating.
"We are pleased to see servicers' continued efforts to improve their operations, help homeowners and meet Fannie Mae's goals and for the first time, recognize the strong progress made by Fifth Third Bank in achieving a five STAR designation," said Leslie Peeler, SVP of the National Servicing Organization at Fannie Mae. "The most notable progress we have seen is in foreclosure prevention efforts, helping to keep families in their homes."
The STAR program is based on scorecard metrics that divide servicers into three peer groups based on the number of Fannie Mae loans that they service. These institutions are measured relative to their peers.
Though Fifth Third has so far remained publicly quiet about the award, it is a notable step up from its three-STAR ranking in 2012.
At the time, Steven Alonso, then-EVP and head of Fifth Third's Consumer Bank and now-Indiana regional president, said, "This ranking from Fannie Mae recognizes our continued efforts to guide our customers toward affordable payment and loan options to help them maintain homeownership."
It also awarded three STARs to 11 institutions.: Central Mortgage Company, JPMorgan Chase, M & T Bank Co., Nationstar Mortgage, Nationwide Advantage Mortgage Company, Ocwen Loan Servicing, PHH Mortgage Corporation, PNC Bank, Regions Bank, Third Federal Savings and Loan and Wells Fargo.