If you have ever paid a mortgage payment fee when paying for your mortgage over the phone or through an online website, then you should know that this may have been a violation on the part of your mortgage lender. Although these types of fees are common, they may be unlawful. The following information will help you learn what you need to know about these potentially unlawful fees and what you should do if you have paid them in the past.
What Is A Mortgage Payment Fee?
A mortgage payment fee, which is sometimes referred to as a convenience fee, processing fee or phone/online fee, is a fee tacked on by mortgage lenders when borrowers pay through certain platforms (over the phone, online, etc). The most common type of mortgage payment fee that borrowers encounter occurs when they pay via the phone or an online website.
A mortgage payment fee may range in price depending on the lender in question. Most lenders charge between $5 and $15 per transaction, though they may sometimes charge more or less depending on the amount being paid on the mortgage. Some lenders may also charge more or less for paying on the phone versus paying online.
Why Do Mortgage Companies Charge Payment Fees?
The primary reason that companies charge these fees is to make up the cost they incur when allowing borrowers to pay via credit cards or other payment methods, since some types of transactions will charge the mortgage lender a fee. It should be noted that while companies may be charged a fee for processing transactions, the fee they are charged is far less than the mortgage payment fee they add for their borrowers.
In most cases, a mortgage payment fee is unlawful. This is because most mortgage contracts have a stipulation against charging fees based on the payment method and because these types of fees typically violate laws which forbid unethical and deceptive business practices. The primary agreements that most mortgage companies use will only allow lenders to add fees that cover the exact, actual cost of processing a payment.
Your Rights as a Mortgage Borrower
It is important that you understand your rights as a borrower making mortgage payments. Always check to see what, if any, fees are being added to your mortgage payments. If you are being charged unexplained fees or fees for paying online or through the phone, then you should first contact your mortgage company asking for clarification about the fees. This will help you obtain written evidence of the company acknowledging the fee, which can help you if you are entitled to compensation.
If you or someone you know has been charged a convenience fee on your mortgage payment, or you believe that you have been in the past, we want to hear from you and discuss your individual situation. Feel free to give us a call at 919-526-0450 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you keep all documents and receipts regarding your mortgage and past mortgage payments to help assist us in evaluating your case.
Maginnis Law offers personal injury, employee rights, estate planning and business litigation attorneys as well. We offer free consultations relating to most of our other practice areas, but please call or email for details to confirm what we can do with your potential case.