You know the name of the lender that closed your mortgage, but are they still the lender that owns your mortgage right now? Chances are that someone else owns it. Loans are bought and sold on the market every day. While it doesn’t affect your loan terms, it does affect who you pay and who you contact should you have a problem.
Keep reading to learn how to figure out who owns your mortgage right now.
The Difference Between a Mortgage Owner and Loan Servicer
First, you should know two terms – the loan servicer and mortgage owner. Chances are the bank that owns your mortgage isn’t the loan servicer. Many banks outsource this service to companies that handle thousands of loans on a daily basis.
The loan servicer is the company that accepts your payments, processes them, manages your account, and handles your escrow account. Most questions that you have will go to the loan servicer. However, the loan servicer does not own your loan.
The mortgage owner is the bank that actually owns your loan. They are the ones that actually receive the money. They just pay the loan servicer to do the work for them. The mortgage owner is the bank that would foreclose on your property should you not make your payments. The loan servicer cannot start foreclosure proceedings.
What do you Need to Know?
Now, if you have questions about your mortgage, who do you contact? It depends on what you need to know.
Call the loan servicer if:
- You need information about your mortgage, such as the payment amount, due date, or account balance
- You need to discuss late payments and your options to help you get caught up
- You have questions about your escrow account balance, disbursements, or payments
There are very few reasons to contact the mortgage owner. They just own the loan. Any negotiations or questions you have typically go through the loan servicer. Unless there is an issue with your mortgage note, which you would hopefully notice at the closing, your questions are best answered by the company that services your loan for you.
Finding Your Loan Servicer
It’s quite clear that you need to know who your loan servicer is at any given time. Unfortunately, you may have several mortgage loan servicers throughout the term of your loan. While it may seem overwhelming, you should always know who your loan servicer is and they must follow the law when it comes to this. Loan servicers must:
- Inform you in writing of the change of loan servicers. Typically, you should receive this notice at least 15 days before the next due date.
- Give you a 60-day grace period during the transfer. This helps alleviate any issues with getting your payment in on time and suffering the consequences of a late payment when it’s not your fault.
- Give you the contact information for the new loan servicer including a phone number and address along with your new due date.
In addition, the new loan servicer must send you a ‘welcome letter’ and give you all of the information that is necessary for you to make your payments to the right place at the right time.
If you haven’t had a new loan servicer recently, but you just don’t know who services your loan, use the following steps:
- Check your mortgage coupon. You can look at a paper copy or even the online copy to see which bank your payments go to – that’s your loan servicer.
- Call MERS, the Mortgage Electronic Registration System, at 1-888-679-6377 to find out who your loan servicer is. The only way this wouldn’t work is if your loan wasn’t registered in the system, but a majority of loans today are registered.
Knowing who owns your mortgage and who services it are two different things. You should be primarily concerned with who services it as that is the company that can answer a majority of your questions.