Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How to Foreclose on Your Bank « naked capitalism

How to Foreclose on Your Bank « naked capitalism  

Various Philadelphia media outlets have told the tale of one Patrick Rogers, who was increasingly unhappy over his inability to get satisfaction from Wells Fargo over fees related to his mortgage, and initiated foreclosure proceedings as a way to get their attention. Now how exactly could he do that? And is his action a possible template for other frustrated homeowners? Rogers had a legitimate beef. The California bank had doubled his insurance costs, putting him in a policy that had him carrying $1 million of insurance on a property he bought for $180,000 in 2002. Note that this looks an awful lot like a forced place insurance scam; servicers find creative ways to overcharge for insurance and then get kickbacks. When the bank refused to answer questions about the charges, including ones sent in writing, Rogers looked into ways to force the bank to respond. As the Consumerist explains: Patrick boned up and learned about a law called the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). The law was enacted to safeguard homebuyers from anti-competitive and collusive behavior among the companies and agents involved with buying and selling real estate. One of the protections involves the “Qualified Written Request,” or QWR. The Qualified Written Request is a specific kind of letter that you can send to your mortgage servicer when you believe there is an error on your mortgage account. You have to make sure to follow the rules for formatting it, but the servicer is bound by federal law to respond within a certain period of time. If they don’t, you can go after them for actual damages, costs and attorneys fees, plus $1000 of additional damages if there is a pattern of noncompliance.

Read the full story here: How to Foreclose on Your Bank « naked capitalism  

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