Thursday, October 21, 2010

How to Find Out Who Owns Your Mortgage!

If, like many Americans, you would like to know who actually owns your mortgage, write a letter to your bank and interested parties requesting this information.

Which Bank?
Just because Bank X is on your mortgage statement that does not mean they actually own your loan. They are the 'servicer'. Which means they collect your monies, take their fee and send the rest to the parties who own it. Since ownership changes the servicer may also change or may just keep track of where to send the money. If Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are the 'owners' of your loan, it is possible that a Mutual Fund or pension fund in Norway could be 'fractional owners' of your loan. One investor usually holds the note.

It is rare these days that your local bank you may have gone to for a loan, actually owns your mortgage. The speed with which loans were packaged and sold on Wall Street into traunches of Mortgage Backed Securities (which were then traded and and retraded) is why ownership of individual home loans is proving hard to unravel. One mistake at any point along the way is like putting cement on the icing of a baked cake, forever freezing any imperfections.

Use this template letter to send to your servicing bank to find out who owns your loan:

List the names of all persons on your home title
Address of home
Loan Number

Address the letter to your Servicing Bank


Re: Request for original mortgage note and additional information

To whom it may concern:

This is a Qualified Written Request under Section 6 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). I/we own the property at the address listed above, and your bank services my/our mortgage.

 company name is shown as the servicer on my/our monthly mortgage statement.

I/we am very concerned about recent news articles documenting investors foreclosing on homeowners without due legal process. To protect myself and my family, I/we need to know who owns my/our mortgage. Within sixty days, I/we would like to know the name, address, and phone number of the bank or investor that owns my/our mortgage.

Furthermore, in light of the recent allegations of foreclosure fraud, I/we demand to see the original mortgage note proving ownership over my/our home loan. If you fail to produce a mortgage note proving that you have a right to collect my/our mortgage payments, I/we will be forced to consider all options available to me/us to protect my/our interests.

I ask that I receive my response in writing. I understand that under Section 6 of RESPA you are legally required to acknowledge my request within twenty business days and must try to resolve the issue within sixty days.

Thank you for your urgent attention to this matter.

Sincerely yours,

(all parties on title or party to the loan should sign the letter)

If you don't get a response within 20 days to the day, send it again, certified mail, with a cover letter, asking once again for this information relating to your first request on such and such a date and include a copy of the original letter.

This link takes you to a list of the main mortgage servicing banks and how to contact them online using a letter similar to the one above.
Frankly I prefer certified mail and a paper trail. If you write a letter yourself, just keep the language clear and to the point, no insults. You want a response, that's all.

Contact your Congressional Representatives if you have problems since they are writing rules around these issues every day.

You may also contact The Federal Trade Commission if you run into trouble: The FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection is supposed to protect you against deception and fraud.

If your loan is with a national servicing lender you may wish to cc: your letter to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency:

Just a note: Each organization you write to or copy, should ideally see on their copy the other parties you sent your letter to. The more eyes, the better. Hopefully your bank or servicer will promptly reply and you can rest better knowing who owns your home loan.

All the best! 

© 2010 susan templeton
*Susan Templeton is not a loan modification advocate