You get a letter in the mail stating that your mortgage has been sold. It looks official and has the address where you are to send all future payments. Having a mortgage sold or transferred is commonplace, especially in the current climate of large numbers of banks and mortgage companies merging or going out of business. Who would be at all surprised to receive a letter like this?
You begin sending your payments to the new address and a few weeks later you are receiving collection letters and phone calls suggesting that you are behind on your mortgage. Of course you are confused as you have been making your payments to the new company. You try and explain this to what you believe to be your former mortgage company but they tell you that your mortgage has not been sold. You are out most likely behind two mortgage payments (maybe three) by the time you figure out you have been scammed.
Tip Off That A Loan Transfer Letter May Be A Scam
You are supposed to receive a letter from your current financial institution prior to being contacted by the new loan servicing company. If the first letter you receive is from the supposed new loan servicer, it is very likely not legitimate.
How To Protect Yourself
Until you can get official confirmation from your current mortgage company do not begin making payments to a new address. I would recommend calling your mortgage company directly and obtaining a verbal confirmation that the letter is legitimate and that your loan has been transferred. For extra protection, it would also be wise to get that person's name and send a certified letter (return receipt) to your mortgage company memorializing the conversation. In the letter I would include the date, time, person you spoke to, and that you are planning to begin sending your future mortgage payments to the new company. I would wait at least 10 days before mailing off a payment to the new address. In the meantime, if a payment is immediately due you can simply send it to the address you have been sending it all along. Believe me, they will forward it to the new address if that is what needs to happen. This may all sound a bit paranoid, but I don't see that as a consumer you really have a choice in this current environment.
Other Steps To Protect Yourself Even If Your Mortgage Has Not Been Sold
Stories of banks losing track of payments and even the original mortgage notes are everywhere. Even if your loan has not been transferred, you should keep copies of every single payment you make and any and all account statements you receive as well. I would do this for as long as you have your loan. While we would all like to believe that these large financial institutions are keeping good records and we don't have to worry about that on our end, nothing could be further from the truth.
Helping you make the most of God’s money!