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Have you ever tried to get information from your Lender and you get slapped with one of these:

Or

These kind of responses provided by different servicers is just one of the many examples of the “walls” these institutions appear to put up in the face of a borrower exercising their rights as conferred by Congress with the passage of Regulation X on January 10, 2014.

The Bureau’s Mortgage Servicing Rules Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) (hereinafter, “CFPB Final Rules and Official Interpretations”) notes in the sections pertaining to information requests, that borrowers must submit information requests in writing in order to gain the benefit of the information request procedures set forth in § 1024.36. Mortgage Servicing Rules Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X), 78 Fed. Reg. 10695-01, 10756 (Feb. 14, 2013). The Bureau stated that “it is appropriate and effectuates the consumer protection purposes of RESPA to require that servicers respond to borrowers’ information requests in writing.” Id. The Bureau went on to say that “doing so will help ensure that there is a written record of both the borrower’s request and the servicer’s response, which the Bureau believes will reduce confusion regarding the accuracy of the information provided.” Id.

The intention of the Bureau in promulgating §1024.36 is not that RESPA should permit a servicer to simply send off any written correspondence to a borrower in mere ceremonial, “hey we complied” response to a request for information regarding a borrower’s mortgage account. The intention of the Bureau in promulgating §1024.36 is not that the writing from the servicer should amount to a gospel that cannot be challenged for its accuracy or clarity if needed. Rather, the Bureau’s interpretations and clear language of the rule as implemented, note that servicers should respond to the requests for information made by a consumer, with accuracy and without confusion.

The Qualified Written Request (QWR) also known as a Request for Information, is governed specifically by 12 C.F.R. §1024.36 of RESPA’s Regulation X. A servicer must comply with the requirements of this §1024.36 for any written request for information from a borrower that includes the name of the borrower, information that enables the servicer to identify the borrower's mortgage loan account, and states the information the borrower is requesting with respect to the borrower's mortgage loan. A qualified written request that requests information relating to the servicing of the mortgage loan is a request for information for purposes of §1024.36, and a servicer must comply with all requirements applicable to a request for information with respect to such qualified written request.

Congress however carved out within §1024.36, exceptions to the requirements applicable to servicers, when responding to requests for information. In general, a servicer is not required to respond to a request for information if the servicer reasonably determines that any of the following apply:

(i) The information requested is substantially the same as information previously requested by the borrower for which the servicer has previously complied with its obligation to respond; or

(ii) The information requested is confidential, proprietary or privileged information. The information requested is confidential, proprietary or privileged.

The legislative intent behind the passage of Regulation X is again reflected by the CFPB’s Final Rules and Official Interpretations, which finds that proprietary information is reasonably defined as

“management and profitability of a servicer; other mortgage loans than the borrower's; investor reports; compensation, bonuses, and personnel actions for servicer personnel; the servicer's training programs; investor agreements; the evaluation or exercise of any owner or assignee remedy; the servicer's servicing program guide; investor instructions or requirements regarding loss mitigation options, examination reports, compliance audits or other investigative materials.”

See 78 Fed. Reg. 10695, 10759.

Further, Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “proprietary” as: one that possesses, owns, or holds exclusive right to something; specifically; or something that is used, produced, or marketed under exclusive legal right of the inventor or maker; specifically: a drug (as a patent medicine ) that is protected by secrecy, patent, or copyright against free competition as to name, product, composition, or process of manufacture.” See "proprietary." See Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2017. http://www.merriam-webster.com (23 Jan. 2017).

In either case, when a borrower makes a request for things such as receipts and/or invoices to provide the basis for charges levied on their mortgage loan account, such a request cannot amount to something that is by definition “proprietary”. As such, if your servicer has been responding to your requests for information by putting up a wall, contact Loan Lawyers without delay. We may be able to help!

  • ABC News
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  • CBS 4
  • CNN
  • Daily Business Review
  • Florida Trend's - Florida Legal Elite 2014
  • Florida Trend's - Florida Legal Elite 2014
  • National Association of Consumer Advocates
  • National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
  • NBC News
  • National Consumer Law Center
  • The New York Times
  • Avvo
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