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Responsible Servicing — What It Means at Wells Fargo

U.S. residential real estate lending

Wells Fargo is committed to helping our customers achieve sustainable homeownership. We have long applied responsible lending principles in creating homeownership opportunities. And our commitment extends far beyond the loan closing, as we continue to service customers responsibly — helping them handle the financial aspects of owning a home so they may remain successful homeowners.

As America's #1 home loan servicer, our customers have high expectations for us. They expect respectful, reliable, and knowledgeable service and support — and most importantly, fair and responsible servicing practices. That's why, for many years, we have been guided by our set of Responsible Servicing Principles that support Wells Fargo's vision to satisfy all our customers' financial needs and help them succeed financially.

Wells Fargo services many of the loans we originate, as well as loans that were originated by other lenders and our indirect channels. The majority of these loans are owned by investors who provide guidelines that we must follow when servicing them. On an ongoing basis, we collaborate with our investors to introduce helpful options for our customers, while remaining in compliance with set requirements.

We proactively help our customers manage, protect, and keep their homes. As a result, our delinquency and foreclosure rates continue to be below the industry average. Behind our efforts is the understanding that our customers, communities, and all parties involved in the process benefit when homeownership is preserved.

Our servicing principles

Four core principles serve as a guide for our practices and our team members. These principles for servicing our customers are simple and straightforward — serving as the compass that guides us every day.

Principle #1: Provide clear, simple, timely information and tools to help customers understand homeownership and financing.

Owning a home may seem simple, but we understand how complex it can be for customers. Homeownership comes with a number of obligations: making on-time mortgage payments, paying property taxes, having insurance, repairing and maintaining the home. Through our efforts, we help customers understand and meet these responsibilities, and we provide educational programs regarding disciplined money management. Our efforts include:

  • Making it easy and convenient for customers to access and use a vast array of resources, references and helpful information, including clear, detailed mortgage statements, and our comprehensive website.
  • Ensuring customers have knowledgeable service representatives standing by to answer questions, resolve issues, and make it comfortable for customers to contact us, especially if they experience financial challenges.
  • Providing tools and educational programs — at Wells Fargo and through local organizations and credit counselors — that help customers better understand money management, their credit reports, and the importance of maintaining good credit.

Principle #2: Deliver what we believe our customers deserve–a dedicated and knowledgeable service team–by hiring and retaining experienced professionals who excel in serving customers.

It is our responsibility and privilege to help our customers, and our team members are prepared to do so professionally. Our team members are the reason we are consistently industry-recognized as a top servicer. Our efforts include:

  • Training our team members extensively, monitoring performance, and routinely providing feedback to ensure they are doing the best job they can for customers.
  • Assigning a single point of contact to each customer who experiences financial challenges and needs to explore mortgage assistance options. This home preservation specialist will remain dedicated to working with the customer throughout the mortgage assistance process.

Principle #3: Build a bridge to our customers based on respect and attention to individual needs.

We value every customer relationship, and approach all interactions by considering the needs and circumstances of each customer. When we connect with a customer — by phone, mail, or online — we treat him or her as a person, not a loan number. We do this by:

  • Taking the extra effort needed to understand each customer, so we may provide the help he or she needs.
  • Promptly researching and resolving complaints.
  • Making it a practice to do what is right for the customer.
  • Continuously striving to improve our processes.

Principle #4: Do all we can to keep people in their homes — because we believe in homeownership.

Homeownership builds communities and families, and is a key contributor to personal success. We are proud that the majority of our servicing customers make their mortgage payments on time. For customers who encounter financial difficulties and fall behind on payments, we strive to help them keep their homes whenever possible. Our efforts to preserve homeownership include:

  • Our commitment to contacting customers who need assistance, and actively working with them to avoid delinquency.
  • After determining a customer is unable to make payments, immediately working with the customer to explore options and potential solutions.
  • Recognizing that all customers have unique financial situations and reviewing available options on an individual case-by-case basis.
  • Viewing foreclosure as a last resort.

In summary, these four principles — driven by common sense, good business practice, and support for customers' needs — guide us every day:

  1. Provide clear, simple, timely information and tools to help customers understand homeownership and financing.
  2. Deliver what we believe our customers deserve — a dedicated and knowledgeable service team — by hiring and retaining experienced professionals who excel in serving customers.
  3. Build a bridge to our customers based on respect and attention to individual needs.
  4. Do all we can to keep people in their homes — because we believe in homeownership.

Wells Fargo remains committed to living by responsible lending and servicing principles, encouraging responsible and respectful treatment of customers. We're here for our customers, in good times and bad. And we continue to work closely with other members in the housing finance industry, seeking ways to expand and preserve homeownership — making it achievable and sustainable.

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Last updated: 12/10/2013