How to deal with a belly-up mortgage company

Hands holding a house

Every day it seems like another mortgage company's going bankrupt or getting out of the business.

If the lender servicing your loan is suddenly in the headlines, don't panic. Mortgages change hands all the time and another company will undoubtedly take over your mortgage. But here's what you must do to ensure a smooth transition:

Step 1. Keep sending monthly checks to the current company until you hear otherwise. Better yet, pay your mortgage online if you don't already do so. Checks can be misplaced when a company is in turmoil, and you won't know there's a problem until your payment is already late. But your bank can trace online payments to prove they were made. Once your mortgage company sends you information about the new service company for your loan, you should have 60 days before your payments have to start going to the new company.

Step 2. Thoroughly review all the information the new company sends. The terms of your original mortgage shouldn't change. But errors still happen. So double-check the mortgage balance, any escrow balance for taxes and insurance, and interest rate against your last statement from the previous company. Contact the mortgage company immediately if there are any problems.

Step 3. If you have an escrow account, confirm that your next property tax and insurance payments have been made.