The sign on my office door should read: Armed and Dangerous
Dangerous, anyway, if you are a mortgage servicer.
I have a bunch more arrows in my quiver thanks to new bankruptcy rules and new regulations.
Most of them relate to home ownership and mortgages.
Sitting on my desk is a notice of fees filed in one of my Chapter 13 cases pursuant to 3002.1.
About $500 in fees and charges have been added to the loan which was current at filing.
I had set it aside thinking that I need to tell the somewhat prickly client what I plan to do about the situation. The attorney’s fees to fight about this will exceed the $500 in question.
But my plan is that the lender will pay them, in the long run.
Good facts for a hearing in court, and an example of our clients being exploited at every turn that the banks think they can pull it off.
There’s a one year window in which to challenge fees and charges disclosed under the rule. Our office will need an addition to our calendaring procedures to see that we don’t let such opportunities sit too long.
New RESPA rules
Streamlined procedures under RESPA for getting information from mortgage servicers make my consumer-lawyer heart go pitty pat.
Just think: they have to tell the borrower about the status of the loan, whether or not the borrower can identify the problem without that information.
They even have to disclose who owns the note!
The timelines for responses are shortened.
And there’s a private right of action.
Down with dual tracking
The Dodd Frank Act which gave birth to the improved RESPA-QWR rules also laid down national rules slowing down foreclosures to allow for loss mitigation and loan modification.
NCLC and the California HBOR Collaborative sponsored a free two part training on the new regs. Both the recordings and the slide deck are available for free download. Getting the facts; Loss Mitigation.
View from the trenches
Just in the last few weeks, my clients have reported clearly erroneous and inconsistent monthly mortgage statements.
I’m getting notices of payment changes that seem at odds with California law.
Notices of fees and charges lay on junk fees.
Two different entities claimed to own the note.
And I’ve been concerned for a long time that mortgage modifications would not be well documented within the servicer’s system come payoff time.
Between the RESPA rules and the bankruptcy rules, I’ve got some weapons to tackle these issues and some hope of collecting attorneys fees for the effort.
Bull’s eye courtesy of Flickr and Chailey.