I think my loan servicer made a mistake with my account. What can I do?

Federal law governing mortgage servicing, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), gives you the right to submit a “notice of error” to your servicer.  Servicers must investigate and respond to your notice in a timely manner, either by confirming and correcting the error or explaining why it determined that there is no error.  If your servicer doesn’t properly respond to a notice of error, you may be able to sue.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s website has a sample letter you can use to prepare your notice: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/how-do-i-dispute-an-error-request-information-about-my-mortgage-en-1855/.  But it’s a good idea to consult with an attorney before submitting a notice of error.  Adrian Consumer Law can ensure that your notice contains the necessary information and is mailed to the correct address in order to be covered by RESPA.  And if you have a viable cause of action against your servicer, Adrian Consumer Law will provide the aggressive representation you need to make things right.

I need more information about my account (transaction history, identity of owner, etc.…). How do I get it?

RESPA also gives you the right to submit a “request for information” to your servicer.  You can ask for any information about your account, provided it is “reasonably available” to the servicer.  For example, you can obtain a full transaction history, escrow account disclosures, monthly statements, the identity of the loan’s owner, and internal account notes.  You must mail your letter to the servicer’s designated address for these requests, which should be listed on your monthly statements, the servicer’s website, and any loss mitigation letters you receive.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s website has a sample letter you can use to prepare your request: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/how-do-i-dispute-an-error-request-information-about-my-mortgage-en-1855/.  Adrian Consumer Law can guide you in requesting the documents relevant to your situation and mailing your request to the correct address.

I’m behind on my payments (or soon will be). How can I avoid foreclosure?

A good first step is contacting your loan servicer to ask about your “loss mitigation” (forbearance, loan modification, repayment plan, etc.…) options. Your options are determined by the entity that owns your loan, referred to as the mortgage “holder.” If you need a temporary payment pause, you may want to request forbearance. Also contact your local government (city and county) to inquire about grant or loan programs for homeowners in distress. If you need a long-term solution, explore a loan modification. A chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy may also help you navigate difficult times without losing your home. If your home is underwater (meaning you owe more on your mortgage than the house is worth), a “deed in lieu” of foreclosure could be your best option. 

My servicer or holder/lender filed a foreclosure lawsuit against me. Is there anything I can do to save my home?

Adrian Consumer Law can evaluate your case and advise you on whether you have a viable legal defense to the foreclosure. You may also be able to bring counterclaims against your servicer or holder. And if you haven’t already, it’s usually a good idea to reach out to your servicer to ask about your loss mitigation options. In some circumstances, filing bankruptcy can stop the foreclosure but it is crucial to consult with a bankruptcy attorney before filing.

An out-of-state law firm or debt relief company called me and said they know I’m struggling with my mortgage, but they can get me a loan modification to avoid foreclosure. They said the fee is $500 per month and they will withdraw it directly from my checking account. Should I sign up for their service?

NO!!!!!!  THIS IS A SCAM.  These firms do not provide quality (if any) legal advice.  They do not evaluate your situation to determine if you are likely to qualify for a loan modification or if a loan modification is the best solution for you.  They are just filling out forms you could most likely fill out yourself and sending them to your servicer along with your pay stubs and other income documents.  If you need assistance applying for a loan modification, you can get free help from a HUD-approved housing counselor.  HUD maintains a list of counselors on their website at: https://apps.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm?webListAction=search&searchstate=WI. f you feel you need legal advice or representation relating to a loan modification, contact Adrian Consumer Law for a free consultation.

I applied for a loan modification and gave my servicer all of the documents they asked for, but they keep telling me my application is incomplete and are demanding the same documents I already gave them. What can I do?

Your servicer may have violated RESPA with regard to processing your application. RESPA regulations require your servicer to send you written notice stating that the application is incomplete and describing the documents and information needed to complete it. The notice must be clear and provide a reasonable deadline for submitting the missing documents. Contact Adrian Consumer Law to determine if you have a case.

I applied for a loan modification months ago and still haven’t gotten a decision. What can I do?

Under most circumstances, after receiving a complete application, RESPA requires your servicer to evaluate you for all available loss mitigation options within 30 days and send you a written decision. If you haven’t received a written decision, your servicer may still consider your application “incomplete.” Or your application may have been deemed “complete”, but the servicer just hasn’t made a decision yet. Attorney Amanda Adrian can review your situation to determine if you have a RESPA claim against your servicer. 

I filed a chapter 13 bankruptcy, completed my plan and caught up on my mortgage payments but my servicer is claiming I’m still behind. What can I do?

Many borrowers encounter problems with their mortgage accounts after exiting bankruptcy. To determine whether your servicer made an error, you will need to obtain both your bankruptcy documents and a full and complete account transaction history. Adrian Consumer Law can help you obtain and analyze these documents to determine the best course of action. 

My servicer gave me a reinstatement or payoff quote and I paid the quoted amount. Now they’re telling me I owe more, what can I do?

Reinstatement and payoff amounts are only good through the date set forth in the quote so verify that you paid by the deadline. If you paid the full amount due by the deadline, consult with Adrian Consumer Law right away to get things straightened out.

I inherited a house/was awarded a property in my divorce but the servicer refuses to talk to me because I’m not a borrower on the mortgage. How can I communicate with them?

This type of homeowner is called a “successor in interest.” Your servicer is required to tell you what proof of identity and ownership documents it requires in order to establish you as a successor. After you provide those documents, you should be able to communicate with the servicer about the property. Adrian Consumer Law can help you resolve any “successor in interest” issues that arise.

I inherited a house/was awarded property in my divorce and am behind on payments. Can I apply for a loan modification?

Yes, under most circumstances, you have the right to be considered for a loan modification. But you must provide documentation of your identity and ownership in order to be confirmed as a “successor in interest.” Attorney Amanda Adrian can advise you as to your right to obtain a loan modification and represent you in that process.