Pursuing Legal Action With the Power of RESPA

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on February 1, 2014

They make it sound like law enforcement, and really that’s what it is. Any legal act, regardless of the type of law to which it applies, is designed to enforce the rules. Plain and simple. And that is no truer than with RESPA, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. This is an Act completely designed to regulate the ethics, policy and processes of the entire real estate industry from front to back.law enforcement

Take this case of Marais vs. Chase Home Financial, LLC., for instance. In the year of 2006, we’ve got the plaintiff purchasing a residential property and subsequently sending the finance company – in this case Chase Home Financial – a “qualified written request,” which is completely standard under RESPA.

That qualified written request has all the necessities laid out by the Act: information about the amount owed on the loan, current holder’s identity, the date and itemization of accrued charges. Legally mandated, any finance company – or any real estate company, for that matter – has to disclose that information to anyone drafting and sending out this “qualified written request.” The deal was that Chase had refused a loan modification, charging late fees and even failing to provide a copy of the requested note. They even neglected to provide the identity of the loan’s owner, which as we now know is mandated by RESPA.

Plaintiff, of course, filed the lawsuit under violation of the Truth in Lending Act, RESPA, the Ohio Consumer Sales Practice Act and also conversion. This is where the “enforcement” aspect comes into play. Chase Financial then finally found identification of the loan’s owner – Fannie Mae. Crisis averted, district court dismissed the matter and the Sixth Circuit affirmed the decision regarding the Truth in Lending Act. However…. They reversed dismissal of RESPA due to adequate proof of causation of damages.

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