Friday, November 18, 2005

Expert: Mortgages tougher for call centers

An executive with a major Florida call center company exhibiting at the recent BAI Retail Banking show in Orlando says that mortgages are not as big a business as they once were for call center operators.

"With rates going up, that business is falling off," we were told. The firm was at BAI seeking other work from banks, such as credit card solicitations.

That may not be much of a surprise to mortgage lenders. Companies have found borrowers less likely to refinance low-rate loans if not forced to by a move. Home equity loan products have taken off more pressure to refinance, contributing to lower first mortgage loan volumes accross the industry.

Over the past few years, a number of lenders have built out their mortgage-specific call centers. These assets are likely to be retasked in the future.