Communicating with a mortgage lender can be very frustrating for homeowners. Communication is necessary when there is a problem or question about your statement, or when your loan is transferred to a new lender.
In navigating this process, it is important to understand that most times, your lender does not communicate directly with you. Instead, the lender uses a company called a “servicer” which is assigned to your loan. Examples of servicers include NationStar, OCWEN, SPS, and Ditech. Many times, the lender will stay the same, but the servicer will change. This can create confusion on the part of a homeowner who has sent a payment to the wrong servicer. Servicers can also make mistakes in transferring the account information for your mortgage loan.
If you are having trouble communicating with a lender or servicer, it is important to know your legal rights under a federal law known as RESPA. This stands for “Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.” One of RESPA’s purposes is to facilitate communication by requiring your servicer to respond to your request for information. A servicer which fails to communicate may be liable for damages and the attorney fees incurred by you in the process.
In order to start the process, it is important that your questions or concerns be in writing and addressed appropriately. Look for the address on your statement for “RESPA inquiries.” Note that this is often different from the usual payment address. In the letter, you should include your property address, account number, and a clear statement of your concern and why you think your account is in error.
If the servicer’s response is not to your satisfaction, or your servicer does not respond at all, you have legal rights under RESPA, and you should speak with an attorney before the problem gets out of hand. Sometimes small problems such as disputes over extra fees or lost payments can escalate into much more serious issues like a foreclosure being filed. It is very important to know your rights and to seek expert legal counsel if you find yourself having problems with your mortgage lender or servicer. Please give Albertazzi Law Firm a call at 541-317-0231 if you are in need of legal advice.