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What's Happening Now

August 10, 2012 5:50 pm

The servicer already uses the “overly broad” argument. While some of my QWR questions where answered more than once, other very relevant questions where not. Why is the request for the name of the trust overly broad? Why is it overly broad to asked for a copy of the loan with endorsements? Why is it overly broad to asked for the itemization of nearly $ 5000 in reinstatement fees that accrued in 11 days? My servicer refuses to answer these questions, saying they are overly broad. I think these questions were very precise. I took my servicer 62 business days to deny answering these questions. If they servicers can’t handle the business, they should get out. By the time I have payed of my $ 200,000 loan I will have payed $ 500,000 total. For $ 300,000 I think I can demand a little service.

August 10, 2012 5:55 pm

To rely on oral communication would be disastrous for homeowners. If I had not have everything in writing, I would not have the ability to take them to court.

August 11, 2012 6:26 pm

The borrower already can ask their banks questions over the phone. I have tried “over the phone” a lot. I have heard they have the original note at a time when they were not supposed to have it. I have heard “we don’t have the note” when they were supposed to have it. Very simple questions such as the amount of reinstatement fees have gone unanswered over the phone. In hindsight I wish I would have recorded some of the phone conversations. I costs the consumer more time and money to request information in writing – not the servicer. I can only advise homeowners to have it all in written form and send it by certified mail. I don’t think homeowners have any benefit by asking questions over the phone (not like they can’t do that now).

August 12, 2012 8:27 am

The answers to my QWR were quite surprising. The servicer might argue they have too high of costs and burden to reply and that some are “overly broad”. However, the servicer had no problem providing me pages and pages of payoff statement and payment history – they actually send these information several times for some strange reason. However, even after they wrote me that they checked the reinstatement fees and confirmed those as “correct” they cannot itemize even half of them. That would take one or two pages to print out and mail – much easier than the information they were willing to provide. That request was “too broad”. So yes, the servicer can call too broad what ever they want to. I will now write a new QWR asking again for itemization… more »

…of the fees. As a bank they should be able to find out how they themselves came up with that number – especially as they have checked them and confirmed in writing that they were correct. By the way – the confirmation about the fees being correct came in writing and a copy went to the CFPB. I don’t believe I would have gotten an answer at all if I had not complained with the CFPB. And here is a suggestion for the servicer to cut cost: in pre-foreclosure we received a “Home Transition Guide” – magazine style and no doubt expensive to print and send that we really didn’t care for. During the Hamp modification trial we received the same request for our tax returns via Fed Ex over and over again (about 7 or 8 times because they kept loosing our documents). Also, ten days after we reinstated, they send Fed Ex AGAIN with a note that we needed to short sale or give them the deed in lieu of foreclosure. One would think they own Fed Ex as much as they use it. Some servicers are either completely ineffective with internal communication or they really enjoy throwing money at Fed Ex.
Also: the proposed clause “for information it can’t get from its records in the “ordinary course of business” with “reasonable efforts” is downright inviting fraud. They need the original promissory note with endorsements or allonge to assign it when the loan is transferred. When they obtain it, it should not be very hard to make a copy, right? Since the ordinary course of their business has become robo-signing, it makes it even easier to deny the request of a copy of the endorsed note.
As for information “not directly related to the account”: this exclusion would give them right to hide fees from their affiliates. That could make the game of inflated maintenance fees in foreclosure, force placed insurance, unearned kickback fees, attorney fees a whole new chance. If a servicer charges these fees, they should know what they are for and have no problem of disclosing. Last but not least: the servicer already successfully denies to answer QWR that can be interpreted as nothing but harassment. Do I think we need to make it any easier on them? No I don’t.
My conclusion is that the servicers just don’t want to inform the consumers. In the year 2012 they can get all the information tied to a borrowers loan with a few strokes on the keyboard. Nothing too difficult. It is just that some information they DO NOT WANT TO GIVE.

The CFPB’s only role is to protect the consumer. They should not even have to worry about making it easier for or less costly for the servicer or the bank. My servicer chose to spend money on hiring a high profile law firm only to (not) answer my QWR entirely. Well – that is their choice.
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August 12, 2012 9:46 am

versability: beautifully said!!! Brilliant! It took my servicer about 70 days to send a printout with my fees (not even half the fees were listed). The printout itemized the fees as: $ 625 “allowable fees” and $ 750 “mediation fees” (we refused to mediate). Well if I was the servicer I would do anything to NOT give out such crappy itemization, too.

August 14, 2012 3:29 pm

Every single rule is catering to the servicer, not the consumer. If these rules are implemented you don’t even need to worry about writing a QWR. Might as well reverse Respa law. If they can give answers orally they can lie. And they do lie, believe me. I have these lies in writing and it is the only way I can hold them accountable.

August 16, 2012 9:48 am

“Congress directed CFPB to also consider the costs to the companies it’s regulating and whether new rules will cut back on new lending to consumers”.

This has always been the threat from the banks: “we’ll cut back on lending”. Well, they have already done that.

This is not about cost cutting. I wrote a QWR to find out about fees and the servicer hires a high profile law firm so they don’t have to answer. How cost effective is that? If they would not have attached unexplained fees, they would not have to spend money on lawyers. This is CAPITALISM. If the business doesn’t make them enough profit, get out of the business. If illegal behavior will cost them, they should consider not doing it anymore. How about quitting robo-signing? How about not… more »

…attaching illegal kickback fees anymore? How about getting documents in order? That all would cut their legal fees immensely. « less
August 11, 2012 11:55 am

Thank you for your input, britt. It sounds like you believe your servicer used “overly broad” as an excuse to avoid responding to information requests. CFPB proposes to define “overbroad” requests as requests where a servicer cant’ tell what specific information the borrower wants and where they believe they’d end up providing an “unreasonable” volume of information. You can see the entire definition in the proposal here: Response to Information Request Do you think this is a good definition?

August 11, 2012 12:04 pm

britt, CFPB is proposing to give borrowers the option of either oral or written communication. Do you think that the risk of not being able to take them to court (or being less prepared for court) outweighs the benefits to borrowers of getting a response over the phone?

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