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§ 1024.36 Requests for information.

This version is the current regulation

(a) Information request. A servicer shall comply with the requirements of this section for any written request for information from a borrower that includes the name of the borrower, information that enables the servicer to identify the borrower's mortgage loan account, and states the information the borrower is requesting with respect to the borrower's mortgage loan. A request on a payment coupon or other payment form supplied by the servicer need not be treated by the servicer as a request for information. A request for a payoff balance need not be treated by the servicer as a request for information. A qualified written request that requests information relating to the servicing of the mortgage loan is a request for information for purposes of this section, and a servicer must comply with all requirements applicable to a request for information with respect to such qualified written request.

1. Borrower's representative. An information request is submitted by a borrower if the information request is submitted by an agent of the borrower. A servicer may undertake reasonable procedures to determine if a person that claims to be an agent of a borrower has authority from the borrower to act on the borrower's behalf, for example, by requiring that a person that claims to be an agent of the borrower provide documentation from the borrower stating that the purported agent is acting on the borrower's behalf. Upon receipt of such documentation, the servicer shall treat the request for information as having been submitted by the borrower.

2. Owner or assignee of a mortgage loan. i. When a loan is not held in a trust for which an appointed trustee receives payments on behalf of the trust, a servicer complies with § 1024.36(d) by responding to a request for information regarding the owner or assignee of a mortgage loan by identifying the person on whose behalf the servicer receives payments from the borrower. A servicer is not the owner or assignee for purposes of § 1024.36(d) if the servicer holds title to the loan, or title is assigned to the servicer, solely for the administrative convenience of the servicer in servicing the mortgage loan obligation. The Government National Mortgage Association is not the owner or assignee for purposes of such requests for information solely as a result of its role as the guarantor of the security in which the loan serves as the collateral.

ii. When the loan is held in a trust for which an appointed trustee receives payments on behalf of the trust, a servicer complies with § 1024.36(d) by responding to a borrower's request for information regarding the owner, assignee, or trust of the mortgage loan with the following information, as applicable:

A. For any request for information where the Federal National Mortgage Association or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation is not the owner of the loan or the trustee of the securitization trust in which the loan is held: The name of the trust, and the name, address, and appropriate contact information for the trustee. Assume, for example, a mortgage loan is owned by Mortgage Loan Trust, Series ABC-1, for which XYZ Trust Company is the trustee. The servicer complies with § 1024.36(d) by identifying the owner as Mortgage Loan Trust, Series ABC-1, and providing the name, address, and appropriate contact information for XYZ Trust Company as the trustee.

B. If the request for information did not expressly request the name or number of the trust or pool and the Federal National Mortgage Association or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation is the owner of the loan or the trustee of the securitization trust in which the loan is held: The name and contact information for the Federal National Mortgage Association or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, as applicable, without also providing the name of the trust.

C. If the request for information did expressly request the name or number of the trust or pool and the Federal National Mortgage Association or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation is the owner of the loan or the trustee of the securitization trust in which the loan is held: The name of the trust, and the name, address, and appropriate contact information for the trustee, as in comment 36(a)-2.ii.A above.

See interpretation of 36(a) Information request. in Supplement I

(b) Contact information for borrowers to request information. A servicer may, by written notice provided to a borrower, establish an address that a borrower must use to request information in accordance with the procedures in this section. The notice shall include a statement that the borrower must use the established address to request information. If a servicer designates a specific address for receiving information requests, a servicer shall designate the same address for receiving notices of error pursuant to § 1024.35(c). A servicer shall provide a written notice to a borrower before any change in the address used for receiving an information request. A servicer that designates an address for receipt of information requests must post the designated address on any Web site maintained by the servicer if the Web site lists any contact address for the servicer.

1. Exclusive address not required. A servicer is not required to designate a specific address that a borrower must use to request information. If a servicer does not designate a specific address that a borrower must use to request information, a servicer must respond to an information request received by any office of the servicer.

2. Notice of an exclusive address. A notice establishing an address that a borrower must use to request information may be included with a different disclosure, such as a notice of transfer. The notice is subject to the clear and conspicuous requirement in § 1024.32(a)(1). If a servicer establishes an address that a borrower must use to request information, a servicer must provide that address to the borrower in the following contexts:

i. The written notice designating the specific address, required pursuant to § 1024.35(c) and § 1024.36(b).

ii. Any periodic statement or coupon book required pursuant to 12 CFR 1026.41.

iii. Any Web site the servicer maintains in connection with the servicing of the loan.

iv. Any notice required pursuant to §§ 1024.39 or .41 that includes contact information for assistance.

3. Multiple offices. A servicer may designate multiple office addresses for receiving information requests. However, a servicer is required to comply with the requirements of § 1024.36 with respect to an information request received at any such address regardless of whether that specific address was provided to a specific borrower requesting information. For example, a servicer may designate an address to receive information requests for borrowers located in California and a separate address to receive information requests for borrowers located in Texas. If a borrower located in California requests information through the address used by the servicer for borrowers located in Texas, the servicer is still considered to have received an information request and must comply with the requirements of § 1024.36.

4. Internet intake of information requests. A servicer may, but need not, establish a process for receiving information requests through email, Web site form, or other online intake methods. Any such online intake process shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, any process for receiving information requests by mail. The process or processes established by the servicer for receiving information requests through an online intake method shall be the exclusive online intake process or processes for receiving information requests. A servicer is not required to provide a separate notice to a borrower to establish a specific online intake process as an exclusive online process for receiving information requests.

See interpretation of 36(b) Contact information for borrowers to request information. in Supplement I

(c) Acknowledgment of receipt. Within five days (excluding legal public holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays) of a servicer receiving an information request from a borrower, the servicer shall provide to the borrower a written response acknowledging receipt of the information request.

(d) Response to information request

(1) Investigation and response requirements. Except as provided in paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section, a servicer must respond to an information request by either:

(i) Providing the borrower with the requested information and contact information, including a telephone number, for further assistance in writing; or

(ii) Conducting a reasonable search for the requested information and providing the borrower with a written notification that states that the servicer has determined that the requested information is not available to the servicer, provides the basis for the servicer's determination, and provides contact information, including a telephone number, for further assistance.

1. Information not available. Information is not available if:

i. The information is not in the servicer's control or possession, or

ii. The information cannot be retrieved in the ordinary course of business through reasonable efforts.

2. Examples. The following examples illustrate when information is available (or not available) to a servicer under § 1024.36(d)(1)(ii):

i. A borrower requests a copy of a telephonic communication with a servicer. The servicer's personnel have access in the ordinary course of business to audio recording files with organized recordings or transcripts of borrower telephone calls and can identify the communication referred to by the borrower through reasonable business efforts. The information requested by the borrower is available to the servicer.

ii. A borrower requests information stored on electronic back-up media. Information on electronic back-up media is not accessible by the servicer's personnel in the ordinary course of business without undertaking extraordinary efforts to identify and restore the information from the electronic back-up media. The information requested by the borrower is not available to the servicer.

iii. A borrower requests information stored at an offsite document storage facility. A servicer has a right to access documents at the offsite document storage facility and servicer personnel can access those documents through reasonable efforts in the ordinary course of business. The information requested by the borrower is available to the servicer assuming that the information can be found within the offsite documents with reasonable efforts.

See interpretation of Paragraph 36(d)(1)(ii). in Supplement I

(2) Time limits

(i) In general. A servicer must comply with the requirements of paragraph (d)(1) of this section:

(A) Not later than 10 days (excluding legal public holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays) after the servicer receives an information request for the identity of, and address or other relevant contact information for, the owner or assignee of a mortgage loan; and

(B) For all other requests for information, not later than 30 days (excluding legal public holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays) after the servicer receives the information request.

(ii) Extension of time limit. For requests for information governed by the time limit set forth in paragraph (d)(2)(i)(B) of this section, a servicer may extend the time period for responding by an additional 15 days (excluding legal public holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays) if, before the end of the 30-day period, the servicer notifies the borrower of the extension and the reasons for the extension in writing. A servicer may not extend the time period for requests for information governed by paragraph (d)(2)(i)(A) of this section.

(3) Omissions in responses to requests. In its response to a request for information, a servicer may omit location and contact information and personal financial information (other than information about the terms, status, and payment history of the mortgage loan) if:

(i) The information pertains to a potential or confirmed successor in interest who is not the requester; or

(ii) The requester is a confirmed successor and the information pertains to any borrower who is not the requester.

(e) Alternative compliance. A servicer is not required to comply with paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section if the servicer provides the borrower with the information requested and contact information, including a telephone number, for further assistance in writing within five days (excluding legal public holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays) of receiving an information request.

(f) Requirements not applicable

(1) In general. A servicer is not required to comply with the requirements of paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section if the servicer reasonably determines that any of the following apply:

(i) Duplicative information. The information requested is substantially the same as information previously requested by the borrower for which the servicer has previously complied with its obligation to respond pursuant to paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section.

1. A borrower's request for a type of information that can change over time is not substantially the same as a previous information request for the same type of information if the subsequent request covers a different time period than the prior request.

See interpretation of Paragraph 36(f)(1)(i). in Supplement I

(ii) Confidential, proprietary or privileged information. The information requested is confidential, proprietary or privileged.

1. Confidential, proprietary or privileged information. A request for confidential, proprietary or privileged information of a servicer is not an information request for which the servicer is required to comply with the requirements of § 1024.36(c) and (d). Confidential, proprietary or privileged information may include information requests relating to, for example:

i. Information regarding management or profitability of a servicer, including information provided to investors in the servicer.

ii. Compensation, bonuses, or personnel actions relating to servicer personnel, including personnel responsible for servicing a borrower's mortgage loan account;

iii. Records of examination reports, compliance audits, borrower complaints, and internal investigations or external investigations; or

iv. Information protected by the attorney-client privilege.

See interpretation of Paragraph 36(f)(1)(ii). in Supplement I

(iii) Irrelevant information. The information requested is not directly related to the borrower's mortgage loan account.

1. Examples of irrelevant information. The following are examples of irrelevant information:

i. Information that relates to the servicing of mortgage loans other than a borrower's mortgage loan, including information reported to the owner of a mortgage loan regarding individual or aggregate collections for mortgage loans owned by that entity;

ii. The servicer's training program for servicing personnel;

iii. The servicer's servicing program guide; or

iv. Investor instructions or requirements for servicers regarding criteria for negotiating or approving any program with a borrower, including any loss mitigation option.

See interpretation of Paragraph 36(f)(1)(iii). in Supplement I

(iv) Overbroad or unduly burdensome information request. The information request is overbroad or unduly burdensome. An information request is overbroad if a borrower requests that the servicer provide an unreasonable volume of documents or information to a borrower. An information request is unduly burdensome if a diligent servicer could not respond to the information request without either exceeding the maximum time limit permitted by paragraph (d)(2) of this section or incurring costs (or dedicating resources) that would be unreasonable in light of the circumstances. To the extent a servicer can reasonably identify a valid information request in a submission that is otherwise overbroad or unduly burdensome, the servicer shall comply with the requirements of paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section with respect to that requested information.

1. Examples of overbroad or unduly burdensome requests for information. The following are examples of requests for information that are overbroad or unduly burdensome:

i. Requests for information that seek documents relating to substantially all aspects of mortgage origination, mortgage servicing, mortgage sale or securitization, and foreclosure, including, for example, requests for all mortgage loan file documents, recorded mortgage instruments, servicing information and documents, and sale or securitization information and documents;

ii. Requests for information that are not reasonably understandable or are included with voluminous tangential discussion or assertions of errors;

iii. Requests for information that purport to require servicers to provide information in specific formats, such as in a transcript, letter form in a columnar format, or spreadsheet, when such information is not ordinarily stored in such format; and

iv. Requests for information that are not reasonably likely to assist a borrower with the borrower's account, including, for example, a request for copies of the front and back of all physical payment instruments (such as checks, drafts, or wire transfer confirmations) that show payments made by the borrower to the servicer and payments made by a servicer to an owner or assignee of a mortgage loan.

See interpretation of Paragraph 36(f)(1)(iv). in Supplement I

(v) Untimely information request. The information request is delivered to a servicer more than one year after:

(A) Servicing for the mortgage loan that is the subject of the information request was transferred from the servicer receiving the request for information to a transferee servicer; or

(B) The mortgage loan is discharged.

(2) Notice to borrower. If a servicer determines that, pursuant to this paragraph (f), the servicer is not required to comply with the requirements of paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, the servicer shall notify the borrower of its determination in writing not later than five days (excluding legal public holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays) after making such determination. The notice to the borrower shall set forth the basis under paragraph (f)(1) of this section upon which the servicer has made such determination.

(g) Payment requirement limitations

(1) Fees prohibited. Except as set forth in paragraph (g)(2) of this section, a servicer shall not charge a fee, or require a borrower to make any payment that may be owed on a borrower's account, as a condition of responding to an information request.

(2) Fee permitted. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a servicer from charging a fee for providing a beneficiary notice under applicable State law, if such a fee is not otherwise prohibited by applicable law.

(h) Servicer remedies. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a servicer from furnishing adverse information to any consumer reporting agency or pursuing any of its remedies, including initiating foreclosure or proceeding with a foreclosure sale, allowed by the underlying mortgage loan instruments, during the time period that response to an information request notice is outstanding.

(i) Potential successors in interest.

1. Requests that indicate that the person may be a successor in interest. Section 1024.36(i) requires a servicer to respond to certain written requests received from a person that indicate the person may be a successor in interest. Examples of written requests that indicate that the person may be a successor in interest include, without limitation, a written statement from a person other than a borrower indicating that there has been a transfer of ownership or of an ownership interest in the property to the person or that a borrower has been divorced, legally separated, or died, or a written loss mitigation application received from a person other than a borrower.

2. Time limits. A servicer must respond to a request under § 1024.36(i) not later than the time limits set forth in § 1024.36(d)(2). Servicers subject to § 1024.38(b)(1)(vi)(B) must also maintain policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure that, upon receiving notice of the existence of a potential successor in interest, the servicer can promptly determine the documents the servicer reasonably requires to confirm that person's identity and ownership interest in the property and promptly provide to the potential successor in interest a description of those documents and how the person may submit a written request under § 1024.36(i) (including the appropriate address). Depending on the facts and circumstances of the request, responding promptly may require a servicer to respond more quickly than the time limits established in § 1024.36(d)(2).

3. Potential successor in interest's representative. An information request pursuant to § 1024.36(i) is submitted by a potential successor in interest if the information request is submitted by an agent of the potential successor in interest. A servicer may undertake reasonable procedures to determine if a person that claims to be an agent of a potential successor in interest has authority from the potential successor in interest to act on the potential successor in interest's behalf, for example, by requiring that a person that claims to be an agent of the potential successor in interest provide documentation from the potential successor in interest stating that the purported agent is acting on the potential successor in interest's behalf. Upon receipt of such documentation, the servicer shall treat the request for information as having been submitted by the potential successor in interest.

See interpretation of 36(i) Potential successors in interest. in Supplement I

(1) With respect to any written request from a person that indicates that the person may be a successor in interest and that includes the name of the transferor borrower from whom the person received an ownership interest and information that enables the servicer to identify the mortgage loan account, a servicer shall respond by providing the potential successor in interest with a written description of the documents the servicer reasonably requires to confirm the person's identity and ownership interest in the property and contact information, including a telephone number, for further assistance. With respect to the written request, a servicer shall treat the potential successor in interest as a borrower for purposes of the requirements of paragraphs (c) through (g) of this section.

(2) If a written request under paragraph (i)(1) of this section does not provide sufficient information to enable the servicer to identify the documents the servicer reasonably requires to confirm the person's identity and ownership interest in the property, the servicer may provide a response that includes examples of documents typically accepted to establish identity and ownership interest in a property; indicates that the person may obtain a more individualized description of required documents by providing additional information; specifies what additional information is required to enable the servicer to identify the required documents; and provides contact information, including a telephone number, for further assistance. A servicer's response under this paragraph (i)(2) must otherwise comply with the requirements of paragraph (i)(1). Notwithstanding paragraph (f)(1)(i) of this section, if a potential successor in interest subsequently provides orally or in writing the required information specified by the servicer pursuant to this paragraph (i)(2), the servicer must treat the new information, together with the original request, as a new, non-duplicative request under paragraph (i)(1), received as of the date the required information was received, and must respond accordingly.

(3) In responding to a request under paragraph (i)(1) of this section prior to confirmation, the servicer is not required to provide any information other than the information specified in paragraphs (i)(1) and (2) of this section. In responding to a written request under paragraph (i)(1) that requests other information, the servicer must indicate that the potential successor in interest may resubmit any request for information once confirmed as a successor in interest.

(4) If a servicer has established an address that a borrower must use to request information pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, a servicer must comply with the requirements of paragraph (i)(1) of this section only for requests received at the established address.