Bottleneck in processing mortgage payments
Dear Dr. Don,
I am making weekly mortgage payments and I'm making the payments on time. Strangely, my mortgage company is holding my money, applying it once monthly and charging me late fees. That's despite the fact they have my money prior to the payment due date. Aren't they required to post payments as they are received? I don't want to be wrongly charged.
-- Mike Mortgage
When you convert your mortgage to biweekly or weekly mortgage payments, you haven't changed the underlying mortgage, you've just overlaid a new payment structure onto the old mortgage. Mortgage loans aren't originated with weekly or biweekly payments, but with monthly payments.
It would be normal for the weekly payments to aggregate in an account and be applied monthly to the outstanding loan. What is odd is to go through all that and have your monthly mortgage payment paid late.
One major national lender says in its discussion about more frequent payment options: "Partial payment will not be applied to your mortgage until full payment is received. Partial payment is any amount less than the current monthly payment listed on your billing statement."
The loan servicer isn't receiving timely payments from the administrator and that's why you're being charged a late fee. Work with your weekly mortgage plan administrator to determine the cause of the late payments and find a way to ensure that they do not occur in the future. The payment plan should be designed so there are no late payments. Something isn't right and if it turns out to be the administrator's fault, they need to make it right.
Get more news, money-saving tips and expert advice by signing up for a free Bankrate newsletter.
Ask the adviser
To ask a question of Dr. Don, go to the "Ask the Experts" page and select one of these topics: "Financing a home," "Saving & Investing" or "Money." Read more Dr. Don columns for additional personal finance advice.