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How can I tell who owns my mortgage?
It’s not always easy to tell who owns your mortgage. Many mortgage loans are sold and the servicer you pay every month may not own your mortgage. Whenever the owner of your loan transfers the mortgage to a new owner, the new owner is required to send you a notice.
If you don’t know who owns your mortgage, there are different ways to find out.
Call your mortgage servicer
You can find the number for your mortgage servicer on your monthly mortgage statement or coupon book.
Look it up online
There are some online tools you can use to look up who owns your mortgage.
o FannieMae’s look up tool
o Freddie Mac’s look up tool
You can look up your mortgage servicer by searching the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) website.
Send a written request
Another option is to send a written request to your mortgage servicer. Your servicer is obligated to provide you, to the best of their knowledge, with the name, address, and telephone number of the owner of your loan. You can send a Qualified Written Request or a Request for Information.
Here is a sample letter to help you write your mortgage servicer to request information.
What Is A Mortgagee Clause?
Mortgagee Clause, Defined
The mortgagee clause is a provision added to a property insurance policy that protects the lender, also known as the mortgagee, from suffering major losses on their investment. The mortgagee clause ensures that the insurance provider will pay the mortgagee for losses if physical damage or another kind of loss occurs to the mortgagor’s – meaning the borrower’s – property.
You already know that a mortgagee is a mortgage lender and a mortgagor is a borrower, but let’s talk more about their relationship with each other and the insurance provider. In a real estate transaction, a mortgagee gives a mortgage loan to the mortgagor in exchange for the title of the property purchased, which is used as collateral.
Therefore, if the mortgagor stops making monthly payments or defaults on the loan, the mortgagee can foreclose on the property and sell it. However, if the property is damaged, the mortgagee could be in trouble. The mortgagee clause would be useful in this situation because it states that the mortgagee will be paid even if the mortgagor damages the property.
Mortgagees require that mortgagors purchase a homeowners insurance policy to protect the house from damage. In the case of a property damage, the insurer is required to guarantee payouts when claims covered by the homeowners insurance policy are made.
What Is A Mortgagee Clause?
A mortgagee clause is a protective provisional agreement between a mortgage lender (the mortgagee) and a property insurance provider. This type of clause safeguards the lender from incurring financial losses in cases where the mortgaged property becomes damaged, as it requires the insurer to guarantee payouts when any claims covered by the property insurance policy are made.
As a provision in a borrower’s property insurance policy, the clause stipulates that, in the event of loss or damage to the property, the insurance company would make payments to the mortgagee. Therefore, if you obtain a mortgage to buy a property and that property is then destroyed in a fire, the mortgagee clause would ensure that the loss would be payable to your lender even though it’s part of your insurance policy.
This clause also protects the lender in the event that you cause damage to the property, which leads the insurance provider to cancel the policy. For example, if you commit arson – an act that would void your insurance policy – the clause protects the mortgagee, ensuring that your lender will still be covered.
Complaints About Banks and Lenders
Complaints About Mortgage Companies
If you have a complaint against a mortgage company, try to resolve it with the company first. Several government agencies accept complaints about mortgage lenders. In some cases, you should file your complaint with more than one agency, especially at the federal and state level.
Report a Mortgage Company for Discrimination
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) enforces the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. This law prohibits lenders from denying credit because of certain characteristics. File a complaint with the CFPB if a lender has denied a mortgage application because of your:
- Sex (including gender)
- Marital status
- Nationality or ethnicity
- Income from public assistance programs
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) enforces the Fair Housing Act. This law prohibits discrimination when you rent, buy, or secure financing for a home. Your state may also have a similar law. File a complaint with HUD and the fair housing office in your state if a mortgage company discriminated against you because of your:
- National origin
- Presence of children
File a Complaint About Mortgage Company Services
The CFPB enforces several laws, such as the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. These laws require lenders to disclose information to homebuyers before buying and over the life of the mortgage. File a complaint with the CFPB if you have a problem with a new or existing mortgage. Examples of common mortgage complaints include:
- Applying for a mortgage
- Receiving loan estimates and closing documents
- Transferring a mortgage to another servicer
- Applying your payments correctly
- Refinancing or modifying a mortgage loan
- Misreporting mortgage account status to you or to credit reporting agencies
- Requiring private mortgage insurance
- Paying additional fees
Report Deceptive Mortgage Practices and Scams
The Federal Trade Commission Act is the primary statute of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). It states that unfair and deceptive practices affecting commerce are unlawful. Report a mortgage company to the FTC if it makes deceptive statements, omits important facts, or takes misleading actions. Examples include:
- False statements about their ability to offer a loan
- Fees for mortgage services that aren’t provided
- Illegal tactics to collect on mortgage balances
Also, file a complaint with your state consumer protection office about a mortgage fraud or scam. Call the HOPE Hotline at 1-888-995-HOPE (1-888-995-4673).
Commercial Term Lending
What We Do
Your success determines our success. Receive exceptional client service with speed and certainty of execution from a team dedicated to delivering the results your business needs to thrive.
Helping You Build for Tomorrow
Benefit from a lender that’s focused on building lasting relationships, not just closing loans. Gain a competitive advantage from working with a local team that keeps you connected to innovative financial solutions, research and market expertise—helping ensure you are prepared for challenges and ready to capitalize on opportunities throughout all real estate cycles.
Get Things Done Remarkably Fast
Our goal is to be the easiest bank to do business with so you can get back to managing your portfolio. We know that a big part of that is making sure you’re able to move nimbly and swiftly. With local decision-making and a streamlined loan process already in place, you can expect our new origination system, CREOS, to cut your loan processing time in half.
Access Solutions When You Need Them
Work with a collaborative team of specialists who can give you access to financial solutions and resources from across our entire firm so you can efficiently run your business. This includes payables and receivables solutions, liquidity management, fraud protection, credit and more. Learn more >
Work With Us on Your Terms
We’re in the business of making your deals happen. Each time you borrow is an opportunity for us to quickly and efficiently meet your financing needs and deliver a superior customer experience.
Our Local Knowledge Is Your Advantage
We are experts with roots in real estate and in your neighborhood. Our team members live and work in the same communities in which you build and invest—so we have a deep understanding of your market and its opportunities, influences, and local codes and regulations.
Information on LIBOR is available at chase.com/LIBOR and jpmorgan.com/disclosures/interbank_offered_rates.
Bank of America Mortgage Review for 2021
Bank of America mortgage rates
Bank of America’s mortgage rates tend to be a little lower than average.
Current Bank of America account holders get especially good deals. If you’re a Preferred Rewards customer, you can expect to see $200-400 knocked off your mortgage origination fee, depending on your membership tier.
Average 30-year mortgage rates at major lenders
Bank of America
Average 30-Year Interest Rate, 2019
Monthly P&I Payment*
Median Loan Costs, 2019
Median Origination Charge, 2019
However, some of the rates advertised make assumptions. Most importantly, they may assume you’re going to buy “discount points” at closing.
Discount points let you pay more up front for a lower mortgage rate, and they’re very common. But you need to compare apples with apples, so get proper quotes (“Loan Estimates”) from multiple lenders and see how Bank of America stacks up.
Average rate and fee data were sourced from public rate and fee records required by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).
*Monthly principal and interest payment based on a $250,000 home price, with 20% down, at each company’s average 30-year interest rate for 2019. Your own rate and monthly payment will vary.Verify your new rate (Nov 25th, 2021)
Bank of America mortgage refinance rates
Bank of America’s mortgage refinance rates are generally average or slightly lower compared to other big lenders. However, your own refinance rate will vary depending on your credit score, what refinance loan option you use, and your current loan balance.
If you’re considering a mortgage refinance with BofA, make sure you check rates from a couple other lenders, too, to find the best deal.
Bank of America mortgage review
Many borrowers will find much to like about Bank of America.
If you enjoy an online or mobile application, you can pretty much do it all with this lender’s website and Home Loan Navigator service.
If you prefer a face-to-face experience, Bank of America has a strong branch network.
Note that not all branches contain loan officers. Bank of America says only 1,800 of its 4,300 bank locations are “lending centers.” And neither type of center is evenly spread across the country — so you may live a very long way from your nearest one.
That said, Bank of America scores better than other “big banks” for customer satisfaction, including Citi, PNC, Chase, and Wells Fargo.
Yet it gets more serious complaints from customers than some of its peers do, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFBP). This suggests that Bank of America’s customer service could be a bit hit or miss.
Working with Bank of America
Bank of America’s home loan website is modern, welcoming, informative and easy to navigate. It’s as good as most and better than many.
Its online mortgage service, called Home Loan Navigator, lets you track your loan’s progress and electronically sign and upload documents in a secure environment.
You can even access this service through the lender’s mobile banking app, letting you keep tabs on your mortgage application no matter where you are. Not all lenders offer this convenience.
These resources allow an end-to-end digital experience for customers who want one. And there’s always a lending specialist on the end of a phone to offer expert advice.
Bank of America mortgage pre-approval
If you’re considering a mortgage from Bank of America, you’ll start by getting “pre-approved” for the loan.
A pre-approval shows you what kind of loan and interest rate you qualify for, as well as the amount you’re approved to borrow. Unlike pre-qualification, pre-approval requires the lender to actually verify your information through documents.
To get a mortgage pre-approval from Bank of America, you’ll need to provide:
- Copies of pay stubs that show your most recent 30 days of income
- Bank account numbers or two most recent bank statements
- W-2 statements and signed tax returns from the past two years
- Down payment amount and desired mortgage amount
The company will also perform a credit check to make sure you meet minimum credit score requirements for the type of mortgage you need.
BofA says borrowers should receive their official pre-approval letter within 10 days of submitting their application.
Bank of America customer service reviews
Bank of America has an overall above-average reputation for customer service, according to J.D. Power’s 2020 customer satisfaction survey.
Mortgage-related complaints at major lenders
Mortgage Originations 2019
Complaints per 1,000 Mortgages
2020 JD Power Rating
Bank of America
Bank of America mortgage complaints
In 2019, Bank of America received 245 official complaints from mortgage customers. To put that in perspective, Bank of America underwrote a total of 466,552 mortgage loans in 2019. So it received approximately one complaint for every 2,000 mortgage customers.
That’s a higher number of complaints than many other big-name mortgage lenders, but still fairly low overall.
Mortgage loan products at Bank of America
Like most big banks, Bank of America has a good portfolio of mortgage products from which you can choose:
- Fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) — As well as the standard 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, you can opt to borrow for 20 or 15 years
- Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) — Lets you fix your mortgage rate for the first five, seven, or ten years, after which it will float with the market
- FHA loans — These loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration let you buy with a down payment as low as 3.5%, but they come with mortgage insurance payments every month
- VA loans — Only active or former service members and their surviving spouses are eligible. Those that are can buy with $0 down and no mortgage insurance
- Jumbo loans — When you want to borrow more than conforming mortgages allow (typically for loan amounts above $548,250)
- Affordable Loan Solution mortgage — This proprietary mortgage lets you buy with just 3% down payment and no mortgage insurance. However, there are caps on income and loan limits to qualify
Bank of America’s in-house loan, the Affordable Loan Solution mortgage, could be a good option if you have a low-to-moderate income and minimal savings.
Getting a loan with such a low down payment and no mortgage insurance is rare, except for those eligible for VA loans.
Some borrowers can use the USDA loan program to buy with no down payment, but they’ll have to look elsewhere. Bank of America is not an authorized USDA lender.
Refinance loan options and home equity loans at BofA
Borrowers can refinance an existing mortgage using the mortgage products above, assuming they qualify. Lower-rate loans or loans with shorter terms can save money on interest.
Bank of America offers a home equity line of credit (HELOC) for homeowners who’d like to borrow against their home’s value. During its draw period, a HELOC works like a credit card backed by home equity. Interest rates will vary with the market.
Bank of America does not offer a fixed home equity loan.
Homeowners can also tap equity with a cash-out refinance loan from BofA. A cash-out refi replaces an existing mortgage with a larger loan. After paying off the existing loan, homeowners can use the additional funds for home improvement, debt consolidation, or any other purpose.Check your refinance eligibility (Nov 25th, 2021)
Bank of America FAQ
Bank of America is a good option for a mortgage or refinance. It may not stand out for customer service (though it scores “above-average” in JD Power’s 2020 customer survey), but it does have lower rates on average than many other big lenders.
Bank of America has special mortgage and grant programs to help first time home buyers. Its “Affordable Loan Solution” mortgage lets you buy with just 3% down and NO private mortgage insurance. That’s a perk that’s tough to find elsewhere. BofA also has two down payment assistance programs, offering up to $7,500 or $10,000 toward buyers’ down payment and/or closing costs. Available in select areas, these programs can be combined with a low-down-payment mortgage to make home buying even more affordable for first time buyers.
Bank of America has one program to help home buyers with their closing costs. Called “America’s Home Grant,” it offers up to $7,500 toward any one-time closing costs. This is given as a grant that doesn’t require repayment. Speak with a Bank of America loan officer to find out whether you qualify for this assistance.
In 2019, Bank of America had an average 30-year interest rate of just 4.05%, according to self-reported data. By comparison, competing banks like Wells Fargo and Chase had average rates of 4.22%. But every customer will be offered a unique rate depending on their credit score, down payment, purchase price, and other factors. So you’ll have to get a personalized quote from Bank of America to see if its rates are competitive for you.
Bank of America requires a minimum credit score of 600 to qualify for a mortgage. That applies only to FHA loans. For a conventional loan from Bank of America, you’ll need a credit score of at least 620. And its VA loans require 660 or higher. In addition, most BofA mortgages require debt-to-income ratios below 43%.
It’s common practice for lenders to sell the mortgages they originate. Bank of America, like most other lenders, does the front-end work of setting up mortgages with borrowers. Then it sells those loans to investors on the “secondary mortgage market,” which brings in money to create new loans. The fact that Bank of America is selling your mortgage will not affect your loan terms or interest rate in any way. Changes can only be made to your mortgage if you refinance.
Bank of America’s website invites customers to prequalify for a mortgage, and doing this can help show your price range. But only a mortgage pre-approval will show sellers you’re able to make a serious offer for their home. Getting pre-approved means you’ve submitted documents proving your income and employment history.
Conforming loans with less than 20% down require private mortgage insurance (PMI) premiums until the borrower pays down the balance to 80% of the purchase price. FHA loans require upfront mortgage insurance fees and ongoing mortgage insurance premiums for the life of the loan unless the buyer puts 10% or more down. In that case, MIP payments stop after 11 years. Buyers should factor the cost of mortgage insurance — as well as property taxes and homeowners insurance premiums — into their monthly payments as they compare loans.
Where can you get a mortgage with Bank of America?
Anyone in the 50 states can get a mortgage from Bank of America online or over the phone. And millions will be close enough to a branch to engage in person with the lender.
The coasts are generally well served, as are many Southern states. But plenty in the center and north of the country have few or no brick-and-mortar locations. So, as with all other lenders, your chances of having a face-to-face experience depend on your ZIP code.
Others will find this bank’s online resources more than adequate for making and tracking their home loan application.
Is Bank of America the best mortgage lender for you?
All in all, Bank of America fares very well compared to many other mortgage lenders. Its customer satisfaction levels are particularly impressive — especially for a lender in the “big bank” category.
The only real caveat is the relatively high number of complaints filed against Bank of America with the CFPB. But remember, “high” is still only one in every 2,000 customers.
If Bank of America’s price is right for you, this mortgage lender is a solid option. Find out whether it’s the right choice by comparing interest rates and closing costs from a few different lenders today.Verify your new rate (Nov 25th, 2021)