CFPB Empowers Borrowers To Fight Lender, Servicer Misdeeds

As part of its campaign to educate the public on its new mortgage rules going into effect on Jan. 10, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has added new materials to its website, including sample letters that borrowers can use to find solutions to various problems with their mortgage servicers.

One of the sample letters is designed for when a borrower thinks their servicer has made an error. The template describes what information to include and how to identify the error, and offers tips such as what to expect from the servicer once the letter is sent.

A second sample letter is for when a borrower is requesting information from a servicer. It explains what information a borrower should include in the letter and provides examples of information requests, as well as other tips.

Other elements added to the CFPB's website, as previously announced, include a new Guide for Housing Counselors that will help counselors better understand the new federal protections. This, in turn, will enable them to help borrowers pursue all possible options before beginning the foreclosure process. In addition, the CFPB will be offering training to housing counselors so that they are completely familiar with the new rules.

The bureau has also published a FAQ on its website that answers many basic mortgage-related questions. The new FAQ, dubbed ‘AskCFPB,’ includes an interactive online tool designed to answer consumers' most frequently asked questions in plain language.

The bureau has also added a new tool to its website that helps consumers find local housing counseling agencies that can answer their questions, or address their concerns. Consumers who have an issue with consumer financial products or services, such as a mortgage, can also submit a complaint.

In addition, the bureau has published a fact sheet with an overview of all of the new consumer protections in the new mortgage rules – as well as a summary of the new procedures to facilitate borrowers' access to foreclosure avoidance options.


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