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How do I defend against my lender?

FROM MY BLOG I RECIEVED THIS QUESTION:

Andy, I work with senior homeowners 62 or older that are facing foreclosure. I get the banks to reduce the principle balance and pay that off with a reverse mortgage. Most of my clients are on fixed incomes and can’t afford an attorney or mortgage audit. As a mortgage banker I can go through the loan documents to look for RESPA, TILA and other violations. How do I obtain the documents from a: the servicer B; the original lender and C; the closing title company? This gives me additional leverage against the banks.

Use a QWR to make those evil banks open up the books and show you what they don’t want you to know!

MY ANSWER:
This is a great question.  Thank you.  I have been wanting to post on this subject.

A. The Current Servicer:

To compel the current loan servicer to send you the documents, you would want to have your client send a QWR (Qualified Written Request).

Here is information from HUD on a QWR:
http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/res/reslettr.cfm rel=.

Here is the RESPA code that shows a consumers right to make inquiry to lenders:
http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/res/resp2605.cfm

If you google “sample qualified written request” you will find sample examples including these ones:
http://uslenderaudit.com/sample_qualified_written_request_letter

http://www.selegal.org/Foreclosure%20counseling.pdf

These samples will give you a good general format of a how a qualified written request might be worded and include correct formating according to the US Code.  Rewrite these as necesary to suite your clients needs.

B. The original lender:
The QWR doesn’t apply to previous lenders, investors or servicers according to my reading of it. It only applies to the current servicer.  Your client or you with proper authorization, can legally request copies of the original records from the loan originator or mortgage broker.

C. The closing title company:
To request the original title company you will need your client to sign a letter authorizing you to request this information. Then you can request that the title company furnish you with copies of the records that they do have.  Hopefully your client can remember the title company that they used. Different states have different laws regarding record retention period so depending on when the loan was closed you might have trouble here.

There are numerous benefits to the QWR other than just getting the original paperwork and verifying your lenders math. I will be posting more extensively on the QWR at http://estopforeclosure.com/blog

UPDATE– I wrote this article on my http://eSTOPforeclosure blog.  However I have since run a crossed this article from the American Bankers Association intended to give banks guidelines for how to respond to a QWR.  If you plan on writing a QWR read this because it will give you some insight on the criteria banks will be using to evaluate if your QWR is really a valid one or not.  In particular you need actual reasons for why you feel there has been some error or misdeed on the banks part.

If you really want to defend against foreclosure I recomend the following book:

Here is what one reviewer said on Amazon:

This review is from: 23 Legal Defenses To Foreclosure: How To Beat The Bank (Paperback)
I bought this book several months ago because I volunteered to help some friends of mine who went into foreclosure. My job was initially to be the person to make phone calls to the bank and try to renegotiate the loan, but the clock was ticking on the court case. We did consult an attorney at first, whose advice was basically “You’re screwed – put them off as long as you can and try to short sell or try to get a forbearance and restructure.” When the bank proved nearly impossible to deal with (we were pushed back to square one twice already), I ordered this book to get ideas on how to hold the hounds at bay until we had time to get through to someone at the bank that would or could make a decision.

After reviewing the book, I didn’t feel confident handling the filings myself, so we found another attorney, gave her the book, explained our possible defenses and she went to work. That was several months ago.

Yesterday, the case was dismissed! Believe me, if you’re in foreclosure, you NEED THIS BOOK!

______________________
Andy Morris is an Ohio real estate broker with an expertise in selling homes on a short sale. If your Ohio home is heading towards foreclosure or you owe more than your property is worth, please call Andy at 888-4-STOP-IT to see if you qualify for a short sale with your lender.  Are you not in my area?  His foreclosure answer service is free to you as well!

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