Mortgage Payment Fee: Who’s Affected?
Were you charged a fee just because you paid your mortgage online or by phone, especially (but not limited to) California?
These mortgage processing fees (pay-to-pay fees) are almost always unlawful. These online payment fees come under a number of names including:
Some borrowers have reported being charged $5, $10, or $15 per transaction, although fee amounts will vary depending on the lender.
Although convenience fees are common for mortgage payments made online or over the phone, under most mortgage agreements such fees are not allowed.
The qualified attorneys working with Top Class Actions are looking into filing class action lawsuits that resulted from excessive mortgage processing fees.
Overview: Mortgage Online & Phone Payment Fees
It’s not uncommon for companies to charge convenience fees when consumers make a purchase using an alternative payment method which may be more convenient. For example, movie theaters have started to allow consumers to order tickets for a movie online if they pay a small convenience fee.
Although convenience fees are typically legal, mortgage lenders may be in violation of mortgage agreements by charging their borrowers convenience fees for making payments online or over the phone.
What is a Convenience Fee?
A convenience fee is typically implemented to help a business cover the costs associated with electronic payment processing.
Often these fees are imposed by merchants as a way to deter customers from using credit cards and paying with cash instead. A convenience fee may also be charged for a specific use, such as paying taxes or tuition.
This is different from a surcharge, which is typically added when a customer uses a credit card to process a payment, whereas a convenience fee is added to charge the customer for using an alternative payment method outside of the merchant’s typical payment channels.
Why Are Convenience Fees Charged for Mortgage Payments?
Numerous banks and mortgage companies have been charging convenience fees just to pay mortgages online. It has revealed that under both California and Federal laws, charging “pay-to-pay” fees for processing mortgage payments may be illegal, illustrating how banks are simply using these add-on fees to generate substantial additional profit.
What Class Action Lawsuits Have Been Filed?
Homeowners across the country have brought suits against their mortgage servicers for assessing excessive “Pay-to-Pay fees”—fees simply to pay their mortgages.
For example, a group of homeowners in Florida filed a class action lawsuit against Seterus Inc. alleging that they were charged illegal convenience fees that violated their mortgages as well as state and federal laws. They claimed that they were charged $5.00 fees for paying their mortgages online and $10.00 for paying their mortgages over the phone.
According to the lawsuit, their mortgage agreements do not allow Seterus to charge these “excessive” fees.
The lawsuit alleges that Seterus leverages its position of power over homeowners and demands excessive Pay-to-Pay fees, despite its uniform contractual obligations to charge only fees explicitly allowed under the mortgage, applicable law, and those amounts actually disbursed.
M&T Bank Class Action Lawsuit
In another lawsuit, a California woman filed a class action lawsuit against M&T Bank based on the $15.00 fees that M&T charged her to pay her mortgage. According to the mortgage payment fee class action, M&T’s mortgage agreements do not allow them to charge these “excessive” fees either.
In that case, M&T is considered a “debt collector” because the plaintiff owed past-due amounts when M&T began servicing her loan. This reportedly means that M&T Bank is subject to debt collection standards under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the California Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the mortgage payment fee class action lawsuit alleges.
The FDCPA generally prohibits abusive debt collection practices while the Rosenthal Act specifically forbids collecting “the debt collector’s fee or charge for services rendered.”
Additionally, any violation of the FDCPA violates California law.
Other similar lawsuits have been filed in New York, North Carolina, Maryland, and California.
What Kind of Damages Can I Expect to Receive?
If you have been subject to illegal mortgage payment processing fees, then you may be eligible to join a class action lawsuit.
The amount of damages you can receive will vary on a case-by-case basis, and depends on how many valid claims were submitted in the class action.
In the case of Garcia vs. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, it was stated that “assuming 11–20% of the class submits a valid claim, Class Members are estimated to be paid $8.57 – $15.57 for each time that they were charged a convenience fee.”
Join a Mortgage Processing Fee Class Action Rebates Investigation
If you were charged a convenience fee for paying your mortgage online or over the phone, you may qualify to join this mortgage payment fee class action rebates investigation.
This investigation is nationwide, but with an added emphasis on California residents.
Fill out the form on this page for a FREE case evaluation.
Get Help – It’s Free
Join a Free Mortgage Payment Processing Fee Class Action Lawsuit Investigation
If you qualify, an attorney will contact you to discuss the details of your potential case at no charge to you.
PLEASE NOTE: If you want to participate in this investigation, it is imperative that you reply to the law firm if they call or email you. Failing to do so may result in you not getting signed up as a client or getting you dropped as a client.
E-mail any problems with this form to:
After you fill out the form, the attorneys who work with Top Class Actions will contact you if you qualify to let you know if an individual lawsuit or class action lawsuit is best for you.
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The attorney responsible for the content of this page is Hassan A. Zavareei at:
Tycko & Zavareei LLP
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