When you obtained your home loan, you must have thought that your mortgage company would hold on to your mortgage and treat you like royalty for the life of your loan. Heck, they wined and dined you when you applied for the darn refinance, then why are the playing games now when all you need is a little help?
Simply put, a lot of abuse happens in the mortgage servicing arena. Some of the BS is done by mistake, but many believe that the constant run around, lost faxes, missed payments and unexplainable fees are done by design to extract more fees from homeowners. The good news is that you have some ammo to help you fight back in case you're being railroaded into mortgage hell.
Under the Real Estate and Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) there is a little known consumer protection law that helps borrowers who have special inquiries and or disputes that are not being answered or met with their mortgage servicer. Under Section 6 of the Real Estate & Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), a borrower can request that the lender document all claims for fees.
If you have been charged questionable fees or even if you have not, isn't it wise to make your lender prove to you every penny that you owe them?
What a homeowner can do under RESPA is request in writing what is called a "Qualified Written Request (QWR). In this letter you can as about all questionable fees, entries, documentation and a life of loan history (all fees and payments ever made on your mortgage) from your lender.
When you contact your servicer in writing, make sure to document and include your account number. You'll want to clearly explain why you feel your account is incorrect. Make sure that you send this separate from your payment and don't send it to where you send your monthly mortgage payments. You'll want to send it certified mail or fed ex to your mortgage servicers customer service address.
Within 20 business days of receiving your letter, your mortgage servicer must send you a written response acknowledging it. Your servicer then has 60 business days, to correct your account or determine that it is accurate. Your servicer must then send you a written response of the action they took and why, along with the name and telephone number of someone you can contact for additional assistance.
Yes, talk about POWERFUL!
Here is a sample letter:
The following is a sample qualified written request from you, the borrower, to a lender. Use this format to address complaints under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).
Attention Customer Service:
Subject: Your loan number
Your City, State, Zip Code
This is a qualified written request under Section 6 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).
I am writing because:
Describe the issue or the question you have and/or what action you believe the lender should take.
Attach copies of any related written materials.
Describe any conversations with customer service regarding the issue and to whom you spoke.
Describe any previous steps you have taken or attempts to resolve the issue.
List a day time telephone number in case a customer service representative wishes to contact you.
I understand that under Section 6 of RESPA you are required to acknowledge my request within 20 business days and must try to resolve the issue within 60 business days.
REMEMBER: This letter SHOULD NOT be included with your mortgage payment, but should be sent separately to the customer service address.
You SHOULD continue to make the required mortgage and escrow payment until the request is resolved. You may bring a private right of action under Section 6, if you suffer damages due to the lenders servicing of the loan. See the RESPA statute and regulations.