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Text of the National Affordable Housing Act Regarding Mortgage Loan Servicing

Rules for Mortgage Servicers to Protect Consumers

To protect consumers, the National Affordable Housing Act requires lenders or servicers to do the following.

Provide a disclosure statement.

The lender also must provide information about servicing procedures, transfer practices, and complaint resolution.

If you have a face-to-face interview with a lender, you must receive the disclosure statement at the time of the loan application. If you apply for a loan by mail, the lender has three business days to send you the disclosure statement after receiving your application. If you do not return a signed disclosure statement, the lender cannot fund a mortgage for you.

Give proper notification when the loan servicing is going to be sold.

If your current servicer plans to sell your loan servicing, you must be notified at least 15 days before the effective date of the transfer unless you received a written transfer notice at settlement. The effective date is when the first mortgage payment is due at the new servicer's address.

The lender terminates the contract because, for example, you have defaulted on the loan.

The servicer files for bankruptcy.

Include certain information in the notice.

If your loan servicing is going to be sold, you should receive two notices, one from the current servicer and one from the new mortgage servicer. The new servicer must notify you not more than 15 days after the transfer has occurred. The notices must include the following information:

The name and address of the new servicer.

The date the current servicer will stop accepting mortgage payments, and the date the new servicer will begin accepting them.

Free or collect call telephone numbers for both the current servicer and the new servicer that you can call for information about the transfer of service.

Information that tells whether you can continue any option insurance, such as mortgage life or disability insurance, and what action, if any, you must take to maintain coverage. You also must be told whether the insurance terms will change.

< A statement that the transfer will not affect any terms or conditions of your mortgage documents, except the terms that are directly related to the servicing of the loan. For example, if under your contract, you specifically were allowed to pay property taxes and insurance premiums on your own, the new servicer cannot demand that you establish an escrow account.

However, if your contract was neutral on this issue or merely limited the actions of your old lender, the new servicer may be able to require such an account.

Grant a grace period during the transfer of the loan servicing.

After the transfer, there is a 60-day grace period. During this time you cannot be charged a late fee if you mistakenly send your mortgage payment to the old mortgage servicer instead of the new one. In addition, the fact that your new servicer may have received your payment late cannot be reported to a credit bureau.

Respond promptly to written inquiries.

If you believe you have been improperly charged a penalty or late fee, or there are other problems with the servicing of your loan, contact your servicer in writing. Be sure to include your account number and explain why you believe your account is incorrect. Within 20 business days of receiving your inquiry, the servicer must send you a written response acknowledging your inquiry. Within 60 business days, the servicer must either correct your account or determine it is accurate. The servicer must send you a written notice of what action it took and why.

Do not subtract any disputed amount from your mortgage payment. Many mortgage servicers will refuse to accept what they consider to be partial payments. They may return the check and charge a late fee, or declare the mortgage is in default and start foreclosure proceedings.

What Can You Do If You Have a Complaint?

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