Getting the Bank to Respond to Document Requests in Foreclosure

By: Nick Adama

Often, when homeowners need a specific piece of information from their lender, the bank is suddenly unwilling to communicate. Despite numerous faxes or phone calls, the information never seems to make it from the homeowners to the bank back to the owners. There are some options and tactics that borrowers can use to get this information, however, before taking legal action.

First, the best idea may just be to call back the lender and keep trying. In many cases, it is usually best to make another phone call and talk with a new company representative until the owners find someone more cooperative.

Another method that foreclosure victims can use is to contact the court that handled the case and find out if what they are looking for is part of the public record of the case. For specific property documents, the county court may have records. For specific pieces of information about the mortgage company itself, other government regulatory agencies may have disclosures and other public documents.

Finally, homeowners can try to talk to the person who signed the applicable paperwork originally. In the case of many documents that are provided at closing or during the loan application process, the main signer on the loan may have kept a copy or could get a copy from the mortgage broker or closing agent.

Lenders and servicers have never been easy to work with. The representatives they hire for loss mitigation are severely overworked, undertrained, and underpaid. The representatives have to deal with angry customers all day long and they all stopped caring about any one homeowner a long time ago. This is why borrowers who are serious about making a case to keep their homes need to be persistent.

When dealing with lenders, homeowners and their advocates or family member helpers need to make sure they have authorization to discuss the loan account. They can make sure of this in two ways: the first is to fax is signature authorization from the main account holder to the lender; the second is to have have the main account holder call the lender and give them verbal authorization to speak with someone else. Most lenders will allow a 24 hour verbal authorization to speak with a third party.

Once a third party is actually authorized to speak with a lender, the homeowners and advocate need to leave their emotions completely out of the situation. They have to assume that the people working for the lender are not sympathetic and have already heard hundreds of sob stories each week. In fact, they should assume that the bank will mock them and make fun as soon as they are off the phone, if the conversation becomes too emotional. I personally experienced this with a client when the representative thought we had already hung up.

Another important mistake many people make is demanding the results they want. Homeowners have to remember that they are at the bank's mercy in some cases; they do not have to help, and they most likely will not if borrowers become too demanding. By acting politely and professionally, the owners will likely get what they are asking for.

When a lender does turns homeowners down, they might try asking if there are other solutions to avoid foreclosure. For example, instead of demanding or threatening litigation when the bank rejects a loan modification application, the owners could ask if they have any advice on how you could obtain the solution or paperwork that is being sought. Most people will be inclined to find a way to help, assuming the borrowers ask in a professional manner.

Another question you need to ask in this scenario is what their reason is for withholding some documentation or solution from the owners. It may be a simple matter of obtaining the correct authorization, it may be something that particular office does not have access to, or it may have a more sinister reason behind it. Either way, asking the right questions should help homeowners get to the bottom of their problems with getting documents from banks and servicing companies.

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Nick publishes daily articles explaining to borrowers and homeowners how they can prevent bankruptcy and foreclosure and escape the credit card trap our consumer culture has promoted for years. His site describes various aspects of foreclosure and mortgage lending regulations, including foreclosure rights, how to delay a trustee sale, getting rid of debt collectors after foreclosure, and more. Visit the site to discover how to save your home, recover from a financial crisis, and protect your assets from illegal practices of lawyers:

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