Skip to main content

Comment for 1024.36 - Requests for Information

This version is the current regulation

36(a) Information 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.

36(b) Contact information for borrowers to request information.

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.

36(d) Response to information request.

36(d)(1) Investigation and response requirements.

Paragraph 36(d)(1)(ii).

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.

36(f) Requirements not applicable.

36(f)(1) In general.

Paragraph 36(f)(1)(i).

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.

Paragraph 36(f)(1)(ii).

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.

Paragraph 36(f)(1)(iii).

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.

Paragraph 36(f)(1)(iv).

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.

36(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.