Who Really Owns My Mortgage?

Have you ever wondered who really owns your mortgage note? You pay your mortgage each month, but where do those payments end up? Perhaps you’re thinking of obtaining a loan modification or refinance through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), or other program under the Making Home Affordable (MHA) umbrella. Or maybe you’ve read that banks are foreclosing on people without proper records and want to know if anyone out there actually can show you your original mortgage note.

First, remember that the loan owner isn’t necessarily the same as your loan servicer. Your loan servicer is the company that sends you mortgage statements, takes your payments each month, and if you have an escrow account, pays your homeowner’s insurance and property tax bills. So where do you start looking?

  • Ask the servicer. They are legally obligated to tell you the name, address, and telephone number of the owner of your loan as shown in their records. It may be a good idea to ask them in writing officially with a “qualified witten request” via certified mail while keeping a log of your communications. The name of your servicer should be on your mortgage statement, but you can also use the MERS link below.
  • Original lender. Your loan may have never been sold, and still kept as a “portfolio loan” with the original lender. What a concept!
  • Fannie Mae. In reality, many loans are sold to FNMA aka “Fannie Mae”. See Fannie Mae loan lookup tool.
  • Freddie Mac. Similar story with Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC) aka “Freddie Mac”. See Freddie Mac loan lookup tool.
  • Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) is a big online registry designed to replace the costly process of publicly recording mortgage ownership at the local government level with a private electronic version that allows the swapping of mortgages with no friction at all. MERS tracks both the servicing rights and ownership of mortgage loans in the United States, although the accuracy has been called into question. See MERS ServiceID lookup tool. You can also call them at 888-679-6377.

Comments

  1. Does it matter?

  2. Awesome, thank yoU!

  3. @Scott – It does matter if you want to refinance through HARP or HAMP, and also if you want a modification from a bank-specific mortgage settlement like that with Bank of America.

  4. My mortgage is kept on the books of Penfed. They retain something like 75% of all their mortgages. I could not benefit from the HARP or other programs due to that.

    However they came up with a good rate modification program through which I could reset the rate on my underwater mortgage without any appraisal or PMI. Good hearted lender.

  5. i recently refinanced, and due to some mishandling of the process, the bank ended up having to issue the mortgage as a “portfolio” loan, meaning it’s on their books. That required sign-off from some senior VPs. It was strange to find myself in a situation in which receiving a loan from the bank, to be repaid *to the bank* was such an exceptional situation!

  6. Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager says:

    Thanks for the tips. Feeling like I should hunt down and see who owns my mortgage now…

  7. Cabron James says:

    I have never bought a house with a mortgage before.

    I have read news since the 2008 Financial Crisis, & all the fraud of the Too Big To Fail (2B2F) Bank$ters. Apparently some of the Fraudclosures were so horribly corrupt/criminal/incompetent that some older folks who actually had paid off their mortgages were evicted from THEIR OWNED houses.

    Given this, my take would be to
    1 use a credit union as the mortgage provider, & definitely avoid using a 2B2F if at all possible
    2 specifically search for a credit union that agrees in the legal contract to actually hold the mortgage until it’s paid off. I guess an alternative way to state this is that the credit union agrees to be both the lender AND servicer for the life of the mortgage.

    Is #2 even possible/available anywhere? Barring #2 being available, I’d prefer to use a credit union that has a historical track record of being likely to do so, even though they’re not obligated contractually to do so.

    whytax’s suggestion of PenFed Cred Union holding 75% of mortgages sounds good. BTW whytax, does some independent org calc & report this stat? I’d rather see independent number, than a self-reported number.

  8. Want proof that this is real? Ask yourself the following questions:

    1. Were you told that the Federal Reserve Bank Policies and Procedures as well as the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) requirements imposed upon all Federally-insured (FDIC) banks in Title 12 of the United States Code, Section 1831(a), prohibit banks from lending their own money from their own assets or from other depositors? Did the bank tell you where the funds for the loan were to come from?

    2. Were you told that the contract you signed, the promissory note, was going to be converted into a ‘negotiable instrument’ by the bank and become an asset on the bank’s accounting books? Did the bank tell you that your signature on that note, makes it ‘money’, according to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), sections 1-201(24) and 3-104?

    3. Were you told that your promissory note would be taken, recorded as an asset of the bank, and then sold by the bank for cash, without “valuable consideration” given to obtain your note? Did the bank give you a deposit slip as a receipt for the promissory note you gave them, just as the bank would normally have to provide when you make a deposit to the bank?

    4. Were you told that the bank would create a new account at the bank that would contain this money that you gave them?

    5. Were you told that a check from this new account would be issued with your signature, without your knowledge, and that this new account would be the source of the funds behind the check that was given to you as a “loan”?

    If you answered “No” to any of these questions, YOU HAVE BEEN CHEATED! How does that make you feel? It is now up to you to demand your deposit back and to challenge the validity of this bank loan Agreement. Since the banks and other lending institutions cannot allow “full disclosure” of your loan Agreement and cannot answer your challenges about it, their silence is the key, along with other necessary steps that can be learned by you, to get your deposit back and/or “payoff” their alleged loan to you.

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  10. Elias miah, says:

    Anthony Says:
    July 24th, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Want proof that this is real? Ask yourself the following questions:

    1. Were you told that the Federal Reserve Bank Policies and Procedures as well as the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) requirements imposed upon all Federally-insured (FDIC) banks in Title 12 of the United States Code, Section 1831(a), prohibit banks from lending their own money from their own assets or from other depositors? Did the bank tell you where the funds for the loan were to come from?

    2. Were you told that the contract you signed, the promissory note, was going to be converted into a ‘negotiable instrument’ by the bank and become an asset on the bank’s accounting books? Did the bank tell you that your signature on that note, makes it ‘money’, according to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), sections 1-201(24) and 3-104?

    3. Were you told that your promissory note would be taken, recorded as an asset of the bank, and then sold by the bank for cash, without “valuable consideration” given to obtain your note? Did the bank give you a deposit slip as a receipt for the promissory note you gave them, just as the bank would normally have to provide when you make a deposit to the bank?

    4. Were you told that the bank would create a new account at the bank that would contain this money that you gave them?

    5. Were you told that a check from this new account would be issued with your signature, without your knowledge, and that this new account would be the source of the funds behind the check that was given to you as a “loan”?

    If you answered “No” to any of these questions, YOU HAVE BEEN CHEATED! How does that make you feel? It is now up to you to demand your deposit back and to challenge the validity of this bank loan Agreement. Since the banks and other lending institutions cannot allow “full disclosure” of your loan Agreement and cannot answer your challenges about it, their silence is the key, along with other necessary steps that can be learned by you, to get your deposit back and/or “payoff” their alleged loan to you.
    Jonathan Says:
    October 30th, 2012 at 3:15 am

    test

    I have a same situation, please let me know, what i should do now.

    Thank you
    Elias Miah
    917-645-6603

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