What is a Qualified Written Request?
A “Qualified Written Request” is made pursuant to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (12 U.S.C. § 2601-2617) and its implementing Regulation X (24 C.F.R. § 3500.21) and is an important communication tool by which the consumer can put the servicer on noticed that there is a problem.
If the borrower believes there is an error in the mortgage account, he or she can make a “qualified written request” to the loan servicer. The request must be in writing, identify the borrower by name and account, and include a statement of reasons why the borrower believes the account is in error. The request should include the words “qualified written request”. It cannot be written on the payment coupon, but must be on a separate piece of paper. The Department of Housing and Urban Development provides a sample letter.
The servicer must acknowledge receipt of the request within 20 days. The servicer then has 60 days (from the request) to take action on the request. The servicer has to either provide a written notification that the error has been corrected, or provide a written explanation as to why the servicer believes the account is correct. Either way, the servicer has to provide the name and telephone number of a person with whom the borrower can discuss the matter. The servicer cannot provide information to any credit agency regarding any overdue payment during the 60 day period.
If the servicer fails to comply with the “qualified written request”, the borrower is entitled to actual damages, up to $1000 of additional damages if there is a pattern of noncompliance, costs and attorneys fees.