Resources for Dealing With Mortgage Servicers

A list of resources to help homeowners in the midst of mortgage hell.

Flickr/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/alancleaver/" target="_blank">alancleaver_2000</a> (<a href="http://creativecommons.org/" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a>)

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Having trouble with your mortgage servicer? Fear not, homeowner: There are a number of steps you can take when locking horns with the company that oversees the day-to-day management of your home loan. Step No. 1 is always to contact your servicer directly and try to negotiate a solution. Customer service contact information is usually included on invoices and correspondence from the company. You can also find contact information for major mortgage companies here.

However, homeowners often complain that they’re unable to reach a live person at their servicer or that company employees pass them off until they wind up leaving voice mail messages in the void. Others find that every time they call they deal with a different person who doesn’t know the history of their case. If you’re facing any of these scenarios, you still have options.

You can call the HOPE NOW hotline (888-996-HOPE) or visit HOPE NOW’s website, which offers information on locating free housing counselors to help mediate with your mortgage servicers. The organization’s website also includes information on events throughout the country that can help struggling homeowners, and a wealth of resources on the federal Making Home Affordable program, unemployment benefit estimations, and state foreclosure rules.

If that doesn’t work, you can file what’s called a “qualified written request” letter, an official complaint under the guidelines of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). Here’s an example of how to write one of these letters, as specified by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which oversees RESPA and its servicing statutes. Under RESPA, servicers have to respond to a complaint within 20 business days and try to resolve the problem within 60 business days.

Finally, you can go the legal route and file a civil lawsuit against your mortgage servicer. The National Association of Consumer Advocates has a searchable database of attorneys who litigate housing cases.

And for general background knowledge that can help you deal with servicers, here’s some recommended reading:

 

 

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate