Financing that Works for Homes and Small Businesses

Qualified Written Request | Need Info or have dispute with your Mortgage Servicer?

Perhaps you are not sure how your mortgage servicer has calculated your current loan balance.  Maybe you want to dispute how and when one of your payments was credited to your account.  In either case, there are special rules that borrower borrower and servicer must follow if a phone call does not satisfy your quest.

Your information request or dispute must be a qualified written request, or QWR, to obtain information about your mortgage account.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) describes a qualified written request as a written correspondence sent to the servicer by the borrower or by someone acting on the borrower’s behalf to request information relating to the servicing of the loan or to dispute errors in regard to the account. [1]
Your qualified written request must include:

  • The borrower’s name
  • Information to identify the borrower’s mortgage loan account such as the loan number, and
  • A description of the information sought by the borrower

A notation made on a payment coupon is not considered to be a qualified written request, nor is a request for a mortgage payoff balance.  Neither is subject to the request-for-information rules.  If you scribble some inflammatory comment or remark on your mortgage payment coupon your mortgage servicer has no obligation to respond.

Use a Qualified Written Request to dispute a mortgage servicing issue

If an error is corrected within five days of receipt of a notice of error, the mortgage servicer is not required to send an acknowledgement of receipt.  A servicer is also not required to provide an acknowledgement or response under the Rules if the notice of error is received seven or fewer days prior to a foreclosure sale.  Even so, the servicer should make a good faith effort to either correct any error or to determine that an error has not occurred (12 C.F.R. §§1024.35(f)(1), (2); 1024.36(d)(2)(1)(A)).

The Rules require different response times if the assertion of an error relates to:

  • The failure to provide an accurate payoff balance:  the servicer must respond to such a QWR notice within seven days of its receipt
  • The premature filing of the first documents in a foreclosure action or request for a foreclosure judgment or order for sale:  the servicer must respond by the earlier of the foreclosure sale or by 30 days from its receipt of the QWR notice

If you are requesting mortgage servicing information…

In terms of an information request, if the request is for the identity of and contact information for the owner or assignee of a mortgage loan, the servicer must respond no later than ten days after its receipt of the request (12 C.F.R. §§1024.35(e)(3); 1024.36(e)(3)(i)(A)).  Keep in mind that even though the lender/servicer is collecting your payment another entity may actually own the loan.  I see a lot of confusion regarding this fact.

After receipt of a notice of error, a servicer:

  • May not provide adverse information to a consumer reporting agency that relates to any payment that is the subject of the notice for 60 days thereafter
  • may pursue any remedy it has under the law, including initiating a foreclosure or proceeding with a foreclosure sale

These limitations do not apply to the timeframe during which an information request is pending (12 C.F.R. §§1024.35(i); 1024.36(h)).

Many mortgage servicers will try and answer your questions or solve a dispute with a phone call.  If you find your servicer is not compliant or customer savvy then put your request in writing.  Follow the above rules and hold your servicer accountable to their obligations.

Got an interesting story or question?  Let us know below… Thanks.


[1] CFPB. “What is a Qualified Written Request?  What is a QWR?”  http://www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb/207/what-is-a-qualified-written-request-what-is-a-qwr.html

 

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