With social distancing becoming an ever more accepted way of our lives in the midst of COVID-19, mortgage companies, among other service providers, will be allowing or insisting upon online payments. Many institutions charge additional fees for this, however. Is your mortgage company charging you to make your payments online? If so, you may wonder if this is even legal. Well, there is no easy answer to this question, because it depends on the terms of your loan agreement.
Online pay-to-pay fees
Online pay-to-pay fees are annoying but not necessarily illegal. If these fees are outlined in the loan agreement and you sign the agreement, then the company is well within its rights to charge you for your online transactions. If, however, they did not stipulate these charges beforehand, then they cannot legally expect you to pay them.
There are regulations that prevent mortgage providers from charging excessively for these transactions. Mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) are restricted in terms of the amounts they can charge for online transactions. A fee may be allowed by the FHA but the servicers may only pass on the out-of-pocket costs associated with the service, meaning they cannot mark up these costs. This prevents mortgage companies from hitting FHA loan consumers with excessive fees.
Pay-to-pay fees have long been a matter for debate. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has warned firms against expensive pay-by-phone fees. This extends to online payment fees as well. The important thing upfront is to read the terms of your agreement carefully and know what you are obligated to pay for – and which costs you don’t need to bear. Then, when you are faced with fees you did not agree to, you can take appropriate legal action.
If you find yourself dealing with online pay-to-pay fees that are excessive, or that you did not agree to, you can call upon a mortgage attorney to help you file a lawsuit. Contact Shamis & Gentile P.A. for a consultation on your case against your mortgage companies.