Facing Foreclosure? Why send Qualified Written Requests (QWRs)?
If you are in foreclosure or mortgage distress, QWR is a term you should understand. A Qualified Written Request (QWR) is a device used to obtain information regarding your mortgage loan. The responses received can be a tool in defending a foreclosure case or bringing a quiet title action. www.celiadeifik.com/foreclosure-defense
A QWR is simply a letter used to request information about your loan. This letter can ask questions or dispute errors. Responses may provide borrowers with a base point to later compare to future allegations by a lender claiming the right to enforce the mortgage.
Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), a federal consumer protection law, a borrower is permitted to ask for information about the servicing of their loan by sending a QWR. (Not applicable to Home Equity Lines of Credit aka HELOCS). Whether it be an inquiry about your principal amount, interest rate, a billing error or who owns your loan, it is your right to request clarification and/or correction.
How to Write a QWR: It should be addressed to your mortgage servicer. It must be: (1) in writing, (2) include your name and account number, and (3) either (i) provide a statement of the reason your account is in error, or (ii) request other information about your account.
While I may not agree with everything the government says on its website, this is a useful example of a very simple letter: US Department of Housing QWR Sample: http://tinyurl.com/8mpvbbd
As do most foreclosure defense attorneys, we send comprehensive Qualified Written Requests which we use as a starting point on behalf of our clients, sometimes tailored to what we know about a client’s loan.
What to Expect in Response???….
The lender MUST acknowledge receipt of the QWR within twenty (20) days and comply within sixty (60) days.
If the servicer fails to respond and comply with the duties imposed by RESPA, a borrower may recover actual damages and statutory damages up to $1,000. Non-complying lenders may also be liable for court costs and attorney’s fees.
Why it Helps: A QWR may help a homeowner in several ways. The response may reveal useful information as to ownership of the loan or even unfair activity in violation of state and federal law. It’s just another source of information, which might or might not prove helpful. (You don’t know until you ask! The key is knowing what to do with the information once received).
For instance, the lender may respond to your letter with information that is conflicting with the claims in the foreclosure case. I have seen QWR responses that say the loan is owned by Bank X when my client is being sued by Bank Y. Less obvious conflicts sometimes appear when we compare the information received from the mortgage servicer with responses to later letters or to the discovery information provided by the bank in the court foreclosure suit. These contradictions can be brought to the judge’s attention to prevent summary judgment or to defend at trial.
In summary, information revealed by a response(s) to a QWR might assist your foreclosure case or help to enforce your rights under consumer protection laws.