Image: Thinkstock
Image: Thinkstock

Fifth Third Bank is the first servicer to earn Fannie Mae’s highest rating for overall performance, including customer service and foreclosure prevention efforts.

Fannie is awarding its first ever "Five STAR" designation to Fifth Third Bank, according to Fannie spokeswoman Keosha Burns. (The acronym stands for "servicer total achievement and rewards.") The secondary market agency announced its 2013 STAR awards on Thursday.

Since Fannie started rating its servicers in 2011, "we have seen a lot of progress with foreclosure prevention and really helping to keep families in their homes. That was the one area that Fifth Third Bank really excelled in," Burns said.

Servicers receiving Fannie’s Four STAR designation (meaning they are considered very good servicers) are Capital One, Colonial Savings, Green Tree Servicing, Navy Federal Credit Union and IBM's Seterus. Capital One and Colonial Savings were rated Three STAR servicers in 2012.

Three STAR designations (for servicers that generally produce median results) went to the largest servicer in the industry, Wells Fargo, along with two nonbanks whose rapid growth has raised investor and regulatory concerns, Ocwen and Nationstar. Other Three STAR servicers were Central Mortgage Co., JPMorgan Chase, M&T Bank, Nationwide Advantage Mortgage, PHH, PNC, Regions Bank and Third Federal Savings & Loan.

Four STAR servicers are considered very good servicers and Three STAR servicers generally produce median results.

Fannie does not reveal the names of its One STAR and Two STAR servicers.

Four of the top 10 servicers—Bank of America, CitiMortgage, U.S. Bank and Cenlar—were notably absent from the honorees.

Overall, the GSE relied on 39 servicers in 2013 and 29 were eligible to be rated. To be eligible the servicers have to participate in certain assessments.

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