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Home / Opinion / 09-2182 Catalan v. GMAC Mortgage Corp.

09-2182 Catalan v. GMAC Mortgage Corp.

Consumer Protection

A qualified written request under RESPA need only identify the borrower, the account, and include a reasonably stated request for information.

“RESPA does not require any magic language before a servicer must construe a written communication from a borrower as a qualified written request and respond accordingly. The language of the provision is broad and clear. To be a qualified written request, a written correspondence must reasonably identify the borrower and account and must ‘include a statement of the reasons for the belief of the borrower, to the extent applicable, that the account is in error or provides sufficient detail to the servicer regarding other information sought by the borrower.’ 12 U.S.C. § 2605(e)(1)(B) (emphasis added). Any reasonably stated written request for account information can be a qualified written request. To the extent that a borrower is able to provide reasons for a belief that the account is in error, the borrower should provide them, but any request for information made with sufficient detail is enough under RESPA to be a qualified written request and thus to trigger the servicer’s obligations to respond. See 12 U.S.C. §§ 2605(e)(1)(a), (e)(2), and (e)(3); see also Garcia v. Wachovia Mortgage Corp., 676 F. Supp. 2d 895, 909 (C.D. Cal. 2009) (when construed in light most favorable to borrower, letter was a qualified written request even though it did not contain a statement of reasons for borrower’s belief of error; letter provided sufficient detail regarding ‘other information’ being sought); Rawlings v. Dovenmuehle Mortgage, Inc., 64 F. Supp. 2d 1156, 1162 (M.D. Ala. 1999) (plaintiffs’ claims survived summary judgment where court found that descriptions of payments made to a prior servicer sufficiently stated plaintiffs’ reasons for their belief that their account was in error and were qualified written requests).”


09-2182 Catalan v. GMAC Mortgage Corp.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Lindberg, J., Hamilton, J.

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