Comment: As one might be able to see, the story is the same, but the sources are different. So nobody can call me a copy-cat, can they? Anyway, I found it on my own; I had not seen the original post when I put up my own.]
Anyway...if one should find themselves in the same situation, what is a "Qualified Written Request" (QWR) per RESPA? It's a letter in which the homeowner (mortgagee) informs the lender (mortgagor) of what the dispute is about. The lender then has 20 days to respond and 60 to take the appropriate action. This is per Sec. 6 of RESPA which does have a private right of action should the dispute end up unresolved.
What would be a template for a QWR? Here is one from the HUD website:http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/ramh/res/reslettr.cfm
Attention Customer Service:
Subject: [Your loan number]
[Names on loan documents]
[Property and/or mailing address]
This is a "qualified written request" under Section 6 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).
I am writing because:
* Describe the issue or the question you have and/or what action you believe the lender should take.
* Attach copies of any related written materials.
* Describe any conversations with customer service regarding the issue and to whom you spoke.
* Describe any previous steps you have taken or attempts to resolve the issue.
* List a day time telephone number in case a customer service representative wishes to contact you.
I understand that under Section 6 of RESPA you are required to acknowledge my request within 20 business days and must try to resolve the issue within 60 business days.
This letter must NOT be sent with the mortgage payment. Also, although the HUD site says that the consumer should
continue to make the payments, the word "must" would be more appropriate on a reading of the actual Rule (link to which is found here
and not on the FDIC page for the statute).Observation: One might assume that Mr. Patrick did pay the WF fees during the course of this dispute; the information I have found so far does not state that outright. Would this have sunk his case if he didn't? Not necessarily since he got a default judgment; WF likely would not have let it "go" if they were owed anything.Now, back to the story:
Using the "Consumerist" version as the starting point, I now see an angle that would make Mr. Patrick's actions after a certain point rather questionable indeed. I quote it here:
Patrick got a default judgment against them for $1,173. They eventually sent him the amount, but they had still had not responded to his letters or agreed to fix his premiums, as required by law. So he filed for a sheriff's levyWells Fargo had actually paid the default judgment!
Unless the decision also allowed for punitive damages due to: 1.) The lack of further action on the dispute (the doubled premiums were still in dispute); and, 2.) Such additional damages remained unpaid (it probably didn't)? There would be no legal grounds for a Sheriff's Levy (execution) on any WF property. Anywhere.
Not even at the office that had ignored him all that time!
After all, the judgment had been paid.
Also, did Mr. Patrick record that the judgment had been paid with the court? Hmmm...and the court is just as suspicious! There is a hearing scheduled on February 23, 2011 since Mr. Patrick still claims he's owed the fee for initiating the levy, the only reason for a potential execution on WF at all.
A levy that may well have been illegal to begin with (since the judgment apparently had been paid before the levy was filed for)!
I suspect that, unless a resolution between the parties occurs soon, a Philadelphia Municipal Court judge is going to be presiding over one messy hearing. And messy it will be:
One of the questions may well hinge on the date Wells Fargo actually paid the judgment. If it was before the levy was applied for? The levy is and was likely illegal on its face.
If the levy was applied for before WF paid? Mr. Patrick was still within his rights to call for the levy (IMHO, for such a small amount, freezing the entire assets of the local WF office in anticipation of the sale was a bit much unless local court rules allowed for no other way to demand the balance due. [I am no expert on PA law but I think that scenario--Sheriff's Levy as the only way to get the balance due on an allegedly not-yet-fully-paid judgment-- is highly unlikely.]