Cattleprod Loan Servicers To Answer Your Loan Modification Requests

If you’re trying to get your mortgage modified or just a question answered but find yourself stymied by your loan servicer’s slow or lack or response, you can write what is termed a qualified written request (QWR) under section 6 of Respa, The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Under federal law, they have to acknowledge the letter within 20 working days and respond in 60. Inside, a template to follow for drafting a QWR…

Attention Customer Service:

Subject: [Your loan number]
[Names on loan documents]
[Property and/or mailing address]

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.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

Send it to the customer service address, do not include with your payment. Continue making mortgage and escrow payments until the situation is fixed. LoanSafe also has an example of a real letter written by one of their readers.

Sample Written Complaint To Letter [Hud.gov via NYT]

12 usc section 2605 servicing of mortgage loans and administration of escrow accounts

(e) Duty of loan servicer to respond to borrower inquiries

(1) Notice of receipt of inquiry

(A) In general

If any servicer of a federally related mortgage loan receives a qualified written request from the borrower (or an agent of the borrower) for information relating to the servicing of such loan, the servicer shall provide a written response acknowledging receipt of the correspondence within 20 days (excluding legal public holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays) unless the action requested is taken within such period.

(B) Qualified written request

For purposes of this subsection, a qualified written request shall be a written correspondence, other than notice on a payment coupon or other payment medium supplied by the servicer, that–
(i) includes, or otherwise enables the servicer to identify, the name and account of the borrower; and
(ii) includes a statement of the reasons for the belief of the borrower, to the extent applicable, that the account is in error or provides sufficient detail to the servicer regarding other information sought by the borrower.

(2) Action with respect to inquiry

Not later than 60 days (excluding legal public holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays) after the receipt from any borrower of any qualified written request under paragraph (1) and, if applicable, before taking any action with respect to the inquiry of the borrower, the servicer shall–
(A) make appropriate corrections in the account of the borrower, including the crediting of any late charges or penalties, and transmit to the borrower a written notification of such correction (which shall include the name and telephone number of a representative of the servicer who can provide assistance to the borrower);
(B) after conducting an investigation, provide the borrower with a written explanation or clarification that includes– (i) to the extent applicable, a statement of the reasons for which the servicer believes the account of the borrower
is correct as determined by the servicer; and
(ii) the name and telephone number of an individual employed by, or the office or department of, the servicer who can provide assistance to the borrower; or
(C) after conducting an investigation, provide the borrower with a written explanation or clarification that includes– (i) information requested by the borrower or an explanation of why the information requested is unavailable or cannot be obtained by the servicer; and
(ii) the name and telephone number of an individual employed by, or the office or department of, the servicer who can provide assistance to the borrower.

(3) Protection of credit rating

During the 60-day period beginning on the date of the servicer’s receipt from any borrower of a qualified written request relating to a dispute regarding the borrower’s payments, a servicer may not provide information regarding any overdue payment, owed by such borrower and relating to such period or qualified written request, to any consumer reporting agency (as such term is defined under section 1681a of title 15).

(f) Damages and costs

Whoever fails to comply with any provision of this section shall be liable to the borrower for each such failure in the following amounts:

(1) Individuals

In the case of any action by an individual, an amount equal to the sum of–
(A) any actual damages to the borrower as a result of the failure; and
(B) any additional damages, as the court may allow, in the case of a pattern or practice of noncompliance with the requirements of this section, in an amount not to exceed $1,000.

(2) Class actions

In the case of a class action, an amount equal to the sum of–
(A) any actual damages to each of the borrowers in the class as a result of the failure; and
(B) any additional damages, as the court may allow, in the case of a pattern or practice of noncompliance with the requirements of this section, in an amount not greater than $1,000 for each member of the class, except that the total amount of damages under this subparagraph in any class action may not exceed the lesser of–
(i) $500,000; or
(ii) 1 percent of the net worth of the servicer.

(3) Costs

In addition to the amounts under paragraph (1) or (2), in the case of any successful action under this section, the costs of the action, together with any attorneys fees incurred in connection with such action as the court may determine to be reasonable under the circumstances.

(4) Nonliability

A transferor or transferee servicer shall not be liable under this subsection for any failure to comply with any requirement under this section if, within 60 days after discovering an error (whether pursuant to a final written examination report or the servicer’s own procedures) and before the commencement of an action under this subsection and the receipt of written notice of the error from the borrower, the servicer notifies the person concerned of the error and makes whatever adjustments are necessary in the appropriate account to ensure that the person will not be required to pay an amount in excess of any amount that the person otherwise would have paid.

(g) Administration of escrow accounts

If the terms of any federally related mortgage loan require the borrower to make payments to the servicer of the loan for deposit into an escrow account for the purpose of assuring payment of taxes, insurance premiums, and other charges with respect to the property, the servicer shall make payments from the escrow account for such taxes, insurance premiums, and other charges in a timely manner as such payments become due.

(h) Preemption of conflicting State laws

Notwithstanding any provision of any law or regulation of any State, a person who makes a federally related mortgage loan or a servicer shall be considered to have complied with the provisions of any such State law or regulation requiring notice to a borrower at the time of application for a loan or transfer of the servicing of a loan if such person or servicer complies with the requirements under this section regarding timing, content, and procedures for notification of the borrower.

(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. raisitup says:

    To be clear, they have 20 working days (~1 month) to acknowledge receipt and 60 working days (~3 months) to respond.

  2. Erwos says:

    @raisitup: That’s really an amazingly generous timetable, too.

  3. hypnotik_jello says:

    Also, it doesn’t hurt to send such correspondence, certified mail, return-receipt, so you have proof of mailing and proof that they received it.

  4. Legal_Eagle_In_Training says:

    @hypnotik_jello: That’s true, we send a lot of correspondence via certified mail return-receipt. There have been times when not all of the required fields on the return receipt had been filled out – you’ll have the signature of who accepted it, but not their printed name or the date the letter was received. If you are getting in a bad way and cannot afford for anything to go amiss with this, I’d strongly suggest using FedEx or UPS.

  5. Starfury says:

    When we bought our house back in 94 the agent had to get the owners to fix a few things. The letter he wrote was great; we still keep a copy in our house papers. He listed what needed to be fixed and then a list of things (expensive) that they’d be responsible for if they didn’t get the repairs done.

    4 days after the letter was sent ALL the repairs (including some they didn’t need to do) were done.

  6. agb2000 says:

    @Legal_Eagle_In_Training: When I was in a legal dispute with a landlord, the (MD state) law was clear: letters related to my issue needed to be sent Certified Mail via the USPS. FedEx or UPS wasn’t good enough for the law.

    I’m not sure that a jury woulda held me to that, but I’m also not sure a judge would have let the jury see letters sent via UPS/FedEx.

    Who knows if that applies here?

  7. msthe8r says:

    A qualified written request is not a magic bullet.
    I sent one to address an uncredited payment and an escrow miscalculation (which would have raised my monthly payment nearly $400 a month), ran it by an attorney, attached documentation, and sent it certified/return receipt.
    Sixty-five days later, my mortgage company had not even acknowledged receipt of the QWR. It took the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to get them to correct it. In the meantime, we were extremely worried about how to make that extra $400/month.
    It always pays not to have too much faith in real estate law.

  8. loanmod says:

    A loan modification is a great alternative to foreclosure. LoanMod.com (aka Mizna) helped me complete a loan mod with my current lender. Of all the companies I researched to help me avoid foreclosure, loanmod.com was the most credible and even has a feature in this month’s issue of Forbes:

    [www.forbes.com]

    Two tips I would give other struggling homeowners looking to modify their loan is that (1) non-profits are hopeless and you get what you pay for, and (2) if a loan modification company does not have a mailing address on their website, then forget about it. There are so many scams going on out there that borrowers should be vigilant and not trust every company that claims to do loan mods. You want to make sure you’re working with real people who care. The folks at Mizna definitely care about homeowners and they did wonders for me. Check them out at [www.loanmod.com]

    I hope this helps!