What is a notice of error under RESPA?
“What is a notice of error under RESPA?”
One of the powerful tools you have under RESPA is the “Notice of Error” which is a letter you send to your mortgage company where you tell them they made an error and you give them a chance to fix it.
“What are the possibilities after I send a notice of error?”
- They fix it which is great. Problem solved.
- Or, they don’t fix it. This leaves you some options:
- Do nothing
- Dispute again with a new notice of error and usually a request for information
- Sue in federal court for money damages (can be $2000 per violation and you get your attorney’s fees paid).
“Where do I send a notice of error?”
It needs to be sent to the specific address that your mortgage company gives you on your statement, on their website, etc. Often it is listed as:
“For qualified written requests, notices of error, and request for information….”
If your notice of error doesn’t go to the right address, even if it gets to the mortgage company, it is worthless. So send it to the right address.
“How do I send the notice of error?”
Only send by certified mail or assume the mortgage company will throw it away and you can’t prove they got it. So use certified mail.
“What do I say in the notice of error?”
Identify the error and ask that it be fixed. So give the mortgage company enough information so they can’t say they didn’t understand your error. You have to take away any excuse the mortgage company will use to not fix the error.
“What does the mortgage company have to do when they get my notice of error?”
From the date received, the mortgage company has 5 business days to acknowledge (in writing to you) receipt of the notice of error.
Then a total of 30 business days to investigate your claim that they made an error and they either say (in writing to you) the error will be fixed or they say there was no error.
“What if my mortgage company won’t do anything — not even acknowledge receipt of the letter?”
You sent it certified mail, right? You have proof they received it?
And you sent it to the correct address?
If so, then a non-response is the same as refusing to fix it. And a not acknowledging receipt of your notice of error in 5 business days is a separate violation also….
“What are my options if my mortgage company says they investigated but there is no error?”
If the mortgage company won’t fix the error, then you have some choices:
- Ignore it and do nothing
- Send another notice of error (and usually a request for information as well)
- Sue in federal court
“Is this an area of law where I need a lawyer?”
You need to have a lawyer advise you on which option to take so get with a licensed lawyer in your state who does this type of work. You are looking at potentially suing a big company — Bank of America, Chase, Citimortgage, Ocwen, Wells Fargo, etc. — in federal court. They have tremendous resources to fight you so make sure you have someone on your side that you trust and who makes you comfortable as you will be in for a long battle.
Best wishes and if we can help you in Alabama you can give us a call at 205-879-2447 or you can contact us through this website — let us know which mortgage company you are dealing with and whether you have already sent notices of error or you want to send the notices.
John G. Watts
Watts & Herring, LLC
Birmingham and Madison Offices in Alabama