How to file a complaint against your lender
In 1974, Congress passed the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, more commonly known by its acronym RESPA, in order to curtail unfair practices in the real estate market.
RESPA was overhauled after the recent housing crisis. One of the best new protections allows homeowners to write a formal complaint letter against their mortgage lender, referred to as a qualified written request.
If you think there has been an error made on your mortgage balance or if a payment was not properly credited to your account, you can submit a qualified written request if your mortgage lender has not addressed your complaint to your satisfaction.
There are a few critical components that your request has to include.
In your letter, name yourself as the borrower, list the account number and include a statement saying why you think there is an error in your mortgage’s account. Be sure your letter includes the phrase "qualified written request" somewhere in the body of the statement.
There is an example qualified written request on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website.
The lender must let you know it received your complaint within 20 business days; it has 60 business days to investigate the request.
Your lender must notify you in writing it has corrected the mistake or it has to outline why it believes your account is correct. The mortgage lender also is required to provide a name and telephone number where the borrower can receive further help.
When you file your complaint be sure to:
- Send your qualified written request separately. Do not include it with your mortgage payment.
- Continue making all of your mortgage payments while your complaint is being investigated. Do not miss any payments and compound your situation.
If you've filed your complaint with the lender and you're not satisfied with the response, you have two other options: File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission or sue your lender.
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