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The Challenges of Obtaining Mortgage Payment Assistance

Troubles with receiving periodic mortgage statements, wrong data on statements, and challenges associated with getting mortgage loan assistance are some of the major mortgage-related complaints made by consumers according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB's) latest snapshot of mortgage complaints.

The CFPB said that it had received around 71,000 mortgage complaints between November 1, 2016, and October 31, 2018. While a majority of these complaints (85 percent) were sent to the companies for review and response, the bureau said that the remaining complaints, around 11 percent, where the CFPB did not have the primary complaint handling responsibility were sent to other regulatory agencies.

Of all the mortgage-related complaints that were received by the CFPB, 50 percent were related to conventional home mortgage loans. FHA mortgages made up 13 percent while other types of mortgage products made up 25 percent of the complaints received.

Among borrowers looking at mortgage loan payment assistance, the complaints against mortgage servicers were related to disagreement or confusion over the servicer's denial of their request for a loan modification. Other consumers who complained about problems with loan modifications reported to the CFPB that their single point of contact at the servicer was unresponsive or that they had to respond to multiple document requests.

Some borrowers described the communications they received from their servicer about loan assistance as confusing, the snapshot indicated. These consumers reported being uncertain about the requirements to continue the assistance process.

Consumers also complained about trouble during the payment process. This included issues with receiving periodic statements on time that resulted in a lack of information about the application of payments to a borrower's loan or about the loan's current status. The CFPB report indicated that some borrowers also attributed a missing statement to a recent transfer of servicing of the loan. Inaccurate data in the periodic statements was another source of problems that borrowers complained about to the CFPB and included wrong account information such as late fees assessed to a borrower's loan despite payments made on or before the due date.

The snapshot also indicated that consumers complained about servicers not applying payments to their loan account as intended, with some complaints highlighting that despite submitting extra payments with instructions to apply those to the principal, they were either misapplied or held in an unapplied funds account or applied only after their inquiry with the servicer.

Click here to read the full report.

About Author: Radhika Ojha

Radhika Ojha is an independent writer and copy-editor, and a reporter for DS News. She is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing and an M.A. in Mass Communication. Upon completion of her masters degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the cultural and arts features section. Ojha, also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Houston, Texas.
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