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IMPROVED QUALIFIED WRITTEN REQUESTS -- GET INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR MORTGAGE
Get The Information You Need About Your Mortgage For Free
Ever feel like your mortgage statement tells only part of the story about what you owe your lender?
see it all the time : my client tells me he’s current on the mortgage.
The lender tells me the client owes a bunch of money, for fees,
charges, and expenses the homeowner never knew about.
servicing being the mess that it is, finding out what you really owe
hasn’t been easy. Worse, some servicers have exploited borrowers with
inflated or imaginary fees added to the loan.
Well, the rules changed Jan. 10, 2014.
The changes favor the homeowner and come with less wait for information and more clout for the inquiring homeowner.
Improved Qualified Written Requests
Federal law found in RESPA has long given borrowers the right to dispute errors in the servicing of their loan. The right is exercised with a Qualified Written Request addressed to the servicer.
Under the old rules, the time lines for response to QWR’s were often too long to be useful. The servicer had 20 business days just to acknowledge receipt of the request and 60 business days to respond.
the regulations were unclear as to what the servicer had to tell you if
you just wanted information. The Catch 22 was that you might not know
you had a dispute, which was clearly covered by RESPA, if you couldn’t
get information about what the servicer had done.
New rules, new inquiries
in January, 2014, the time to acknowledge the inquiry is shortened to 5
business days. The time for a substantive response shrinks to 30
The new rules recognize two different kinds of requests, adding a Request for Information category and a Notice of Error.
All that is required to get information about the status of your home loan is
·name of the borrower
·account number of the loan
·description of the information requested
in the past had to be addressed to a designated address the servicer
maintained. Only, getting that address was a chore by itself.
Now, the servicer has to provide the address on its website and in any communications about assistance available from the servicer.
can do this yourself. The new regulations make clear that your agent,
such as your attorney, is entitled to make the request for you, as well.
Here’s a model request for informationletter you can adapt, listing the kinds of information you might want to get from your loan servicer.
Who owns my note
the new rules, servicers have to provide the name, address and other
contact information about who currently owns the note. No more hiding
who the real party in interest is.
Better yet, this information is to be provided within 10 business days.
Inaction has consequences
to comply with the new regulations comes at increased cost to the non
responsive servicer. A homeowner who does not get timely and complete
information in response to an inquiry is entitled to
·any actual damages caused by the failure
·a statutory penalty of $2000 if the failure is shown to be part of a pattern of nonompliance
·reasonable attorneys fees and other costs of suit
The controlling law is found at 12 USC 2605; the right to damages is found in subsection (f).
Add QWR to annual checkup
details of the servicing of your loan have a tendency to vanish when
the servicing is transferred from one servicer to another.
you don’t stay on top of the situation, when an unexpected issue about
your loan pops up when you want to sell or refinance, it may not be
possible to go back in time to sort out the servicer’s claims.