How long should it take a mortgage lender to respond to a complaint about a home mortgage loan?
UPDATED: February 9, 2020
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If you followed the notification rules regarding mortgage complaints, the mortgage lender has to answer within 20 business days of its receipt. Within 60 days, the mortgage lender must "correct or clarify" the problem. While you are waiting, you should prepare to move forward with your mortgage complaint.
If the complaint to your mortgage company still does not resolve your issues, other options may be available depending on the type of lender you used and your state’s mortgage law. If you need assistance working through your options, you should consult with a consumer law attorney in your area.
Filing a Mortgage Complaint with an Agency
A reputable mortgage lender will usually respond and resolve complaints fairly quickly. If you think a slow response is due to the specific lender you're dealing with, rather than your mortgage company as a whole, you may also want to follow-up with a complaint to your Better Business Bureau (BBB). Companies that are competitive will want to maintain a good track record with the BBB.
A mortgage complaint will be forwarded to your lender and will hopefully attract the attention of someone higher to address your complaint. The BBB is not an enforcement agency, however. If you need or want enforcement action, you should consider filing a complaint with the appropriate governmental agency.
Trying to figure out which agency to file a mortgage complaint with can be frustrating. Technically speaking, you should file your mortgage complaint with the agency that oversees your type of lender. Banks are regulated by a different agency than a regular mortgage company, for example. If you can’t quite figure out who actually regulates your lender, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Trade Commission might be a good start.
Filing a Mortgage Complaint with a Government Agency
The Federal Reserve and the Federal Trade Commission both have online resources for filing consumer mortgage complaints. Similarly, most state attorney general offices also have online complaint procedures, including those for home mortgage-related issues. Once your mortgage complaint is received, it could take another 60 days for a final resolution.
The advantage of filing a mortgage complaint with a governmental agency is that it's free. However, keep in mind that neither the agency nor the attorney general are your retained attorney. They may want to hold on to your case until they receive other complaints, while your dispute is not being attended to.
If you need more immediate relief regarding a mortgage lender’s handling of your home mortgage loan, you may want to consult with a consumer law attorney in your area. A consumer law attorney can send demand letters on your behalf, which will probably be a bit more concise and concerning to your mortgage lender.
A consumer law attorney will also follow-up with litigation more quickly if the situation arises. Even if you are not looking to hire an attorney to sue your mortgage lender, he or she can still help you understand your rights as a consumer of a home mortgage loan.