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1024.40—Continuity of contact.

(a) In general. A servicer shall maintain policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to achieve the following objectives:

(1) Assign personnel to a delinquent borrower by the time the servicer provides the borrower with the written notice required by § 1024.39(b), but in any event, not later than the 45th day of the borrower's delinquency.

(2) Make available to a delinquent borrower, via telephone, personnel assigned to the borrower as described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section to respond to the borrower's inquiries, and as applicable, assist the borrower with available loss mitigation options until the borrower has made, without incurring a late charge, two consecutive mortgage payments in accordance with the terms of a permanent loss mitigation agreement.

(3) If a borrower contacts the personnel assigned to the borrower as described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section and does not immediately receive a live response from such personnel, ensure that the servicer can provide a live response in a timely manner.

Official Interpretation

40(a) In general.

1. Delinquent borrower. A borrower is not considered delinquent if the borrower has refinanced the mortgage loan, paid off the mortgage loan, brought the mortgage loan current by paying all amounts owed in arrears, or if title to the borrower's property has been transferred to a new owner through, for example, a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, a sale of the borrower's property, including, as applicable, a short sale, or a foreclosure sale. For purposes of responding to a borrower's inquiries and assisting a borrower with loss mitigation options, the term “borrower” includes a person authorized by the borrower to act on the borrower's behalf. A servicer may undertake reasonable procedures to determine if a person that claims to be an agent of a borrower has authority from the borrower to act on the borrower's behalf, for example by requiring that a person who claims to be an agent of the borrower provide documentation from the borrower stating that the purported agent is acting on the borrower's behalf.

2. Assignment of personnel. A servicer has discretion to determine whether to assign a single person or a team of personnel to respond to a delinquent borrower. The personnel a servicer assigns to the borrower as described in § 1024.40(a)(1) may be single-purpose or multi- purpose personnel. Single-purpose personnel are personnel whose primary responsibility is to respond to a delinquent borrower's inquiries, and as applicable, assist the borrower with available loss mitigation options. Multi-purpose personnel can be personnel that do not have a primary responsibility at all, or personnel for whom responding to a delinquent borrower's inquiries, and as applicable, assisting the borrower with available loss mitigation options is not the personnel's primary responsibility. If the delinquent borrower files for bankruptcy, a servicer may assign personnel with specialized knowledge in bankruptcy law to assist the borrower.

3. Delinquency. See § 1024.31 for the definition of delinquency applicable to subpart C of Regulation X.

 

(b) Functions of servicer personnel. A servicer shall maintain policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure that servicer personnel assigned to a delinquent borrower as described in paragraph (a) of this section perform the following functions:

(1) Provide the borrower with accurate information about:

(i) Loss mitigation options available to the borrower from the owner or assignee of the borrower's mortgage loan;

(ii) Actions the borrower must take to be evaluated for such loss mitigation options, including actions the borrower must take to submit a complete loss mitigation application, as defined in § 1024.41, and, if applicable, actions the borrower must take to appeal the servicer's determination to deny a borrower's loss mitigation application for any trial or permanent loan modification program offered by the servicer;

(iii) The status of any loss mitigation application that the borrower has submitted to the servicer;

(iv) The circumstances under which the servicer may make a referral to foreclosure; and

(v) Applicable loss mitigation deadlines established by an owner or assignee of the borrower's mortgage loan or § 1024.41.

(2) Retrieve, in a timely manner:

(i) A complete record of the borrower's payment history; and

(ii) All written information the borrower has provided to the servicer, and if applicable, to prior servicers, in connection with a loss mitigation application;

(3) Provide the documents and information identified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section to other persons required to evaluate a borrower for loss mitigation options made available by the servicer, if applicable; and

(4) Provide a delinquent borrower with information about the procedures for submitting a notice of error pursuant to § 1024.35 or an information request pursuant to § 1024.36.

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