Date: April 16, 2020Author: Denbeaux & Denbeaux
The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) is the federal statute that governs the mortgage servicing industry and protects your rights under the CARES Act.
It is an extremely complex and nuanced statute such that few New Jersey attorneys have experience prosecuting RESPA violations.
Under RESPA, mortgage servicers are prohibited from violating the law (and being unfair and abusive) during mortgage servicing. However, actually bringing a claim even after a violation is discovered is not so simple.
A Consumer Rights Attorney can do this for you, usually for a fee. You can also protect yourself with only the cost of mailing a single letter. I will walk you through what you need to know.
Before you can sue a mortgage servicer for violating your rights, you MUST serve the mortgage servicer with a letter that:
Note: In some cases, depending on the violation, you must serve the loan owner as well.
The letter must be in writing. Since many of these letters go missing, it must be sent via Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested. Send it to the address that each mortgage servicer identifies as the only valid address for service of a Notice of Error.
This is a very complex and nuanced statute. It is the only statute available to protect your rights under the CARES Act.
Under The CARES Act, if you have an FHA backed mortgage, you have the right to a grace period of your mortgage payments – known as CARES Act Forbearance. During this time the mortgage servicer may NOT report you to the Credit Reporting Agencies.
Mortgage servicers may not implement the proper procedures to protect your credit rating during your forbearance period. That, when it happens, will be a violation of the rights of every borrower affected.
In order to help people who face this problem, I am providing a copy of the Notice of Error letter. Copy the letter, insert the name of your mortgage servicer, your account number and your name and address.*
The letter must be sent only to the address that your mortgage servicer has set aside for receiving Notices of Error.
In order to make this process even more complicated and difficult, mortgage servicers change this address from time to time. You must use the latest address listed by the mortgage servicer to send your Notice of Error. Here is how to find the most recent and correct address.
*A Consumer Rights Attorney can do this for you but usually for a fee. You can also protect yourself for the cost of mailing a Certified Return Receipt letter.
RESPA requires the servicer to publicize the address for accepting the Notice of Error and making it easy to find. You can find the address by:
Please, do not rely on the above. Search for the current address as Bank of America can change this address at any time!
Print the letter, sign it, and send it via Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested and await a response. If, after 30 days, you do not have a satisfactory solution, you are ready to talk to a consumer rights attorney. Any attorney of any experience in the area will give you a free consultation and, if you have a claim, will take it on a contingency arrangement.