When homeowners fall behind in their payments, it is often the mortgage servicing company that initiates the foreclosure proceedings. While some borrowers have been successful defending their home due to the servicer or lender being unable to prove it holds the original note, not many people at all are aware of the fact that there are often three servicing companies involved in a foreclosure action.
The first servicer is called the master servicer, and homeowners may never know who it is or have much contact with the company. However, its role is to oversee all of the other servicing operations and companies that will be involved in the mortgage or any foreclosure proceedings.
It is the subservicer that the homeowners will have the most contact with during the time they are making payments on the mortgage. The subservicing company is the institution that collects payments from borrowers and maintains the escrow accounts for paying property taxes and homeowners insurance. If the subservicer does not take care of some of these services in-house, they may contract with tax service professionals and insurance companies, among other.Visit our website to get free information about Mortgage Service in Los Angeles, California.
The third type of servicer is called a special servicer and is typically involved only when homeowners fall behind. After sixty days of late payments, the special servicer may begin loss mitigation attempts or just begin the foreclosure process. Again, this servicing company may contract out some of its functions, including loss mitigation, property inspection, or hiring local attorneys to foreclose on the house.
With all of the allegations of mortgage servicing fraud over the years, including misplacing on time payments, forced placed insurance, underfunding escrow accounts, making late property tax payments, and lying in court to cover up such activities, can anyone really trust these companies? They act like glorified collection agencies in harassing borrowers and actually make more money from defaulted loans.
Mortgage servicing companies are generally paid a flat fee based on the borrowers’ monthly payments, usually 0.5% of all payments collected. But they are given a huge incentive to take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners because they retain 100% of any late payment charges or other fees. So the servicer has no incentive to help homeowners and make sure they pay on time or keep accurate records.
However, the companies have every incentive to “lose” payments and tack on a late fee. They have every incentive to put forced insurance on a home through an affiliated company, raise the monthly payment, and charge fees. They have every incentive to underfund escrow accounts, take money from the regular monthly payment to make up the shortfall at tax time, and then slap on a late charge to the account.Servicing companies can provide a valuable service in the mortgage market by making it easier for lenders to engage in other business than collecting payments and administering accounts. But when these companies are given huge incentives to treat homeowners like deadbeats or turn them into foreclosure victims, one has to wonder what side the banks that hire these companies and agree to these terms are on.