Countrywide Home Loans president Stanford Kurland said a first mortgage should be a wellspring for providing a customer with a variety of financial services.

To produce a great return on servicing, "you have to extract the other values in your relationship (with customers) - the fact that you are in monthly communication with them and that you have a lot of information about their personal finances," Mr. Kurland said in a recent interview.

The lender is developing monthly statements with messages encouraging homeowners to use Countrywide when refinancing a loan or purchasing a home. Countrywide has been using mail and telemarketing to pitch these products and others, such as homeowner and disaster insurance.

When rates fall enough to trim a homeowner's monthly mortgage payment by $50 to $100, the homeowner becomes a prime candidate for refinancing, Mr. Kurland said.

In cultivating move-up buyers, Countrywide looks at a homeowner's equity, age, and profession and the number of children and their ages - factors that affect home-buying decisions.

"As a young family is growing, they are going to make a traditional move to a larger home. They make those moves at certain periods - the fourth or fifth year after they have their child or are married," Mr. Kurland said.

"If it looks like you're the perfect candidate for moving up, you might get a message that specifically addresses that issue," he said.

At $149 billion and with 1.4 million customers, Countrywide Home Loan's servicing portfolio ranked second at midyear; Norwest was first with $205 billion after adding about $78 billion in servicing from Prudential.

Mr. Kurland said that although Countrywide isn't willing to settle permanently for second place, it is willing to bide its time.

"It's a long race," he said. "If someone manages to amass a servicing portfolio that is greater than ours, that may be temporary. It probably is, because the foundation on which ours is built is much better."

He predicted the big servicers will grow as smaller companies exit the business. Mr. Kurland said that like other large servicers, Countrywide is "nowhere close" to the limit of how large a servicing portfolio it can efficiently manage.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.