Sunday, February 4, 2018

5 Ways to Make Sure Your Mortgage is on Track

It's time to make sure your mortgage is on the right track. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rules require that your mortgage servicer send you more information and fix mistakes quickly. 

And if your interest rate has changed this year, you should have got a heads up to give you more time to shop for a better deal. 

I hope you have taken the steps to make this year one with fewer runarounds and surprises.

By February you should have received a new monthly mortgage statement showing how your mortgage servicer credited your monthly payments along with any extra payment. Your statement also puts the important information you need in one place: Your interest rate, the balance on your loan, and how your payments are applied. If you use a coupon book, your mortgage servicer will have to send you a coupon book that complies with the new rules.

1. Check for delays.
With very few exceptions, your servicer must credit your mortgage payment as of the day they receive it. Check your statement to see if your payments were credited on time.  If not, call or write your servicer and tell them to correct the problem.

2. Fix mistakes.
The new CFPB mortgage rules require servicers to investigate and fix, in a timely manner, any mistakes that you report. If your servicer won't help you when you call, submit a written error notification for more protection.

3. Shop around.
Your monthly mortgage statement will show you your interest rate and principal balance. Compare your rate to current interest rates. You can find local rates online or in the business section of your newspaper. If your interest rate is higher than current rates, you might look into refinancing.

4. Prepare for your rate reset.
If you have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM), your mortgage servicer is required to send you an estimate of your new payment seven or eight months before your interest rate resets for the first time. If you have an ARM that has already reset once, you will be notified two to three months in advance of the next reset. This advance notice is designed to give you time to budget for your new payment or shop for a different mortgage.

5. Get help and take control.
If you are having trouble paying your mortgage, you will get a warning that you're late on your payment on your new monthly statement. CFPB rules also generally require your mortgage servicer to reach out to you. But you don't have to wait until you fall behind to act. 

Take control. If you submit a complete application for help soon enough—often called a loss mitigation application—CFPB rules require your servicer to evaluate you for options that may be available to you to avoid foreclosure.

Call (773) 614-3201 if you need some help in understanding your mortgage statement or if you are considering refinancing. Click here to calculate your mortgage.

Want to comment, I'd like to hear from you.