Mr. Cooper era begins for Nationstar

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Nationstar Mortgage Holdings flipped the switch on its long-awaited Mr. Cooper rebrand, the culmination of a multiyear process that's included investments in operational changes, customer service training and product offerings.

The nonbank's approach to offering a better consumer experience was to start internally by "changing the culture and DNA of the company," chairman and CEO Jay Bray said in an interview Monday with National Mortgage News.

Over the past year, employees took part in more than 50,000 hours of incremental customer experience training, while the company also eliminated its offshore call centers. The training went as in-depth as thinking about the right way to answer the phone.

So how exactly does a Mr. Cooper employee greet borrowers?

"Hey we're Mr. Cooper, we want to help you live the dream of homeownership," Bray said.

Mr. Cooper training supports employees in exercising empathy, excitement and promotes the value of a first-call resolution to minimize transfers; the company claims to have since reduced transfers by about 60%.

Nationstar also invested in rebuilding the company's website and mobile applications for Mr. Cooper, and will soon offer a Mr. Cooper credit card, which will offer rewards that help borrowers pay down their mortgage balance.

The card, exclusive to Mr. Cooper customers, will allow users to contribute 1% of most purchases toward reducing the principle of their home loans.

The Dallas-based company's servicing business is split about 60/40 between direct servicing and subservicing. Most of the subservicing portfolio, including the mortgage servicing rights portfolio that New Residential is acquiring from CitiMortgage is handled under the Nationstar, now Mr. Cooper, brand. But it also does private-label subservicing, most notably for USAA — a partnership that served as inspiration for the new Mr. Cooper approach, Bray said.

"They selected us as their partner and I kind of looked at that as another catalyst for Mr. Cooper, because who takes care of their members better than USAA? Nobody," Bray said. "They actually said look, we believe in what you're doing, we believe in the journey you're on, it fits with how we want to treat our members, and so that was one of the reasons they selected us. And it's been great; they've been a really good partner."

The company will continue seeing most of its revenue come from servicing, but still expects to see growth in origination volume.

"We have 3 million customers today, if you look at just the amount of servicing acquisitions that are taking place in the marketplace," Bray said. "Obviously that’s down, so I think Mr. Cooper [can offer] a transformation for the origination business as well."

Bray says Mr. Cooper can help origination volume grow an extra 10%-20% per year, and possibly more depending on market changes.

To commemorate Nationstar's rebrand as Mr. Cooper, Bray and fellow executives rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange Monday.

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Servicing Mortgage technology Subservicing Nonbank Nationstar USAA Texas