McDonnell Property Analytics (“MPA”) offers Request for Information services because this is a critically important part of the document-gathering process and is a prerequisite to most of our other services.
Our expert has developed three (3) single-issue Request for Information letters pursuant to specific sections of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”) that allow us to obtain documents and data necessary to understand the status of our clients’ mortgage loan account. These include:
- A Request for Information for the identity of the current mortgage loan owner pursuant to the RESPA, subject to the response period set out in Regulation X, 12 C.F.R. § 1024.36(d)(2)(i)(A) and under § 1641(f)(2) of the Truth in Lending Act.
- A Request for Information establishing the history of prior mortgage owners and transfers in servicing rights, subject to the response period set out in Regulation X, 12 C.F.R. § 1024.36(d)(2)(i)(B).
- A Request for Information for the servicing file pursuant to 12 C.F.R. § 1024.38(c)(2), Servicing File, subject to the response period set out in Regulation X, 12 C.F.R. § 1024.36(d)(2)(i)(B).
Although our clients have the right to send requests for information on their own, they are unfamiliar with the technicalities of the regulations and don’t know how to push back when their servicer refuses to comply.
MPA has developed a very successful protocol whereby we mail all our Requests for Information by U.S.P.S. Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested so that we can track and prove when the letters were sent and received.
Regulation X imposes strict response deadlines that we carefully monitor on behalf of our clients because a servicer’s failure to comply constitutes a violation of the RESPA. For example, your servicer must acknowledge receipt of a request for information within five (5) business days; they must send a response to a request for the identity of the mortgage owner within ten (10) business days; all other requests must be handled within thirty (30) business days unless the servicer requests a 15-day extension.
Once we receive responses to our Requests for Information, we scan and save the documents into an electronic file and email them to you together with a chart outlining our requests, the servicer’s responses, and potential violations of the regulations that you or your attorney may wish to pursue.
Often, there is one document or piece of information we receive that can affect the outcome of our client’s litigation or negotiations.
CASE STUDY – Defective Paragraph 22 Notice of Default
MPA’s Massachusetts Clients contacted us recently in a last-ditch effort to prevent a post-foreclosure eviction from their home. We sent out Request for Information letters as described above and in response to our request for the servicing file, we received two pre-acceleration Notices of Default that did not comply strictly with the language of paragraph 22 of the Mortgage (“Paragraph 22 Notice”), which is a condition precedent to the institution of a foreclosure action.
In a virtually identical case, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court declared that the lender’s foreclosure was void because their Paragraph 22 Notice failed to inform the Borrower that she had “the right to bring a court action to assert the non-existence of a default or any other defense…to acceleration and sale.”. (See Pinti v. Emigrant Mortg. Co., 33 N.E.3d 1213, 472 Mass. 226 (Mass., 2015)).
In addition to this fatal defect, we conducted a Financial Forensics Examination and found that the foreclosing lender’s Notices were inaccurate and exceed the amount required to cure the default by at least $15,156.44. Thus, we have established sufficient grounds to prove that the Court should dismiss the eviction action and void the underlying foreclosure.
CASE STUDY – Theft by Deception
MPA’s Connecticut Clients contacted us in 2018, five years after the Court had issued a judgment of strict foreclosure. They made many attempts to reopen the judgment but were unsuccessful. They argued that they were not in default when the complaint to foreclose was filed, but even their accountant could not prove their claim. We sent Request for Information letters and, in response, we received an account summary that showed payments were received but they were not being credited to principal or interest. Our Clients engaged us further to conduct a Financial Forensics Examination which revealed that they had made $89,508.22 in mortgage payments that cleared their bank account but which the servicer did not credit to their mortgage loan. This matter is presently on appeal.
CASE STUDY – Double Jeopardy
MPA’s Colorado Client sued his mortgage lender and successors in interest on July 6, 2011, to find out who really owned his mortgage loan. Our Client’s law firm engaged MPA’s expert on July 1, 2016, to provide expert witness and litigation support services. On January 28, 2019, we sent out a Request for Information for the identity of the mortgage owner. On February 4, 2019, the servicer responded with this conflicting information as follows:
These case studies illustrate how important it is to “ask the right questions” when sending a Request For Information pursuant to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.
MPA has a tried-and-true protocol for eliciting relevant documentation and for keeping track of the strict timing requirements imposed by Regulation X.