As tens of thousands of Americans file Chapter 13 each year in hopes of saving their homes, they do so without all the facts from the bank. A recent research paper by *Professor Katherine Porter reveals that frequently, banks do not provide homeowners an accurate statement of their accounts before (or after) the debtors are forced into bankruptcy.
The problem with this is, if a homeowner does not know how much is owed on their mortgage then they are making life-changing decisions without the most important facts. As Professor Porter points out, a homeowner may have made a different choice had they known the true amount of the debt. Debtors may have borrowed from family, friends or another source to get the account up-to-date instead of going through court.
Often banks do not comply with requests for an accurate statement of an account. If you make a written request for a statement, they must reply. Be sure to send the letter to your bank via certified mail. If the bank does not comply, file a complaint with your state attorney general and request they get the info for you.
In my own situation, even after I received a statement of my account no one could understand how much was owed and for what. This problem infests both civil and bankruptcy courts as servicing companies offer very few examples of good, or accurate, accounting. Even after the legal process of discovery and a resulting jury trial, I still have not seen an accurate statement of my account. The same may be true for you.
*Professor Katherine Porter- Misbehavior and Mistake in Bankruptcy Mortgage Claims, 11/2007.
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