Regulations effective January 10, 2014 create a right for homeowners to issue a Request for Information to the servicer of the mortgage on their principal residence.
In contrast to the Qualified Written Request, the RFI doesn’t assume you have identified a problem with the servicing of your loan. It simply allows you to ask for information about the loan and requires the servicer to respond.
Here’s the full text of the regulation on Requests For Information:
CFR REG X §1024.36 Requests for information
(a) Information request. A servicer shall comply with the requirements of this section for any written request for information from a borrower that includes the name of the borrower, information that enables the servicer to identify the borrower’s mortgage loan account, and states the information the borrower is requesting with respect to the borrower’s mortgage loan. A request on a payment coupon or other payment form supplied by the servicer need not be treated by the servicer as a request for information. A request for a payoff balance need not be treated by the servicer as a request for information. A qualified written request that requests information relating to the servicing of the mortgage loan is a request for information for purposes of this section, and a servicer must comply with all requirements applicable to a request for information with respect to such qualified written request.
(b) Contact information for borrowers to request information. A servicer may, by written notice provided to a borrower, establish an address that a borrower must use to request information in accordance with the procedures in this section. The notice shall include a statement that the borrower must use the established address to request information. If a servicer designates a specific address for receiving information requests, a servicer shall designate the same address for receiving notices of error pursuant to §1024.35(c). A servicer shall provide a written notice to a borrower before any change in the address used for receiving an information request. A servicer that designates an address for receipt of information requests must post the designated address on any Web site maintained by the servicer if the Web site lists any contact address for the servicer.
(c) Acknowledgment of receipt. Within five days (excluding legal public holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays) of a servicer receiving an information request from a borrower, the servicer shall provide to the borrower a written response acknowledging receipt of the information request.
(d) Response to information request. (1) Investigation and response requirements. Except as provided in paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section, a servicer must respond to an information request by either:
(i) Providing the borrower with the requested information and contact information, including a telephone number, for further assistance in writing; or
(ii) Conducting a reasonable search for the requested information and providing the borrower with a written notification that states that the servicer has determined that the requested information is not available to the servicer, provides the basis for the servicer’s determination, and provides contact information, including a telephone number, for further assistance.
(2) Time limits. (i) In general. A servicer must comply with the requirements of paragraph (d)(1) of this section:
(A) Not later than 10 days (excluding legal public holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays) after the servicer receives an information request for the identity of, and address or other relevant contact information for, the owner or assignee of a mortgage loan; and
(B) For all other requests for information, not later than 30 days (excluding legal public holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays) after the servicer receives the information request.
(ii) Extension of time limit. For requests for information governed by the time limit set forth in paragraph (d)(2)(i)(B) of this section, a servicer may extend the time period for responding by an additional 15 days (excluding legal public holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays) if, before the end of the 30-day period, the servicer notifies the borrower of the extension and the reasons for the extension in writing. A servicer may not extend the time period for requests for information governed by paragraph (d)(2)(i)(A) of this section.
(e) Alternative compliance. A servicer is not required to comply with paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section if the servicer provides the borrower with the information requested and contact information, including a telephone number, for further assistance in writing within five days (excluding legal public holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays) of receiving an information request.
(f) Requirements not applicable. (1) In general. A servicer is not required to comply with the requirements of paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section if the servicer reasonably determines that any of the following apply:
(i) Duplicative information. The information requested is substantially the same as information previously requested by the borrower for which the servicer has previously complied with its obligation to respond pursuant to paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section.
(ii) Confidential, proprietary or privileged information. The information requested is confidential, proprietary or privileged.
(iii) Irrelevant information. The information requested is not directly related to the borrower’s mortgage loan account.
(iv) Overbroad or unduly burdensome information request. The information request is overbroad or unduly burdensome. An information request is overbroad if a borrower requests that the servicer provide an unreasonable volume of documents or information to a borrower. An information request is unduly burdensome if a diligent servicer could not respond to the information request without either exceeding the maximum time limit permitted by paragraph (d)(2) of this section or incurring costs (or dedicating resources) that would be unreasonable in light of the circumstances. To the extent a servicer can reasonably identify a valid information request in a submission that is otherwise overbroad or unduly burdensome, the servicer shall comply with the requirements of paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section with respect to that requested information.
(v) Untimely information request. The information request is delivered to a servicer more than one year after:
(A) Servicing for the mortgage loan that is the subject of the information request was transferred from the servicer receiving the request for information to a transferee servicer; or
(B) The mortgage loan is discharged.
(2) Notice to borrower. If a servicer determines that, pursuant to this paragraph (f), the servicer is not required to comply with the requirements of paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, the servicer shall notify the borrower of its determination in writing not later than five days (excluding legal public holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays) after making such determination. The notice to the borrower shall set forth the basis under paragraph (f)(1) of this section upon which the servicer has made such determination.
[78 FR 10876, Feb. 14, 2013, as amended at 78 FR 60437, Oct. 1, 2013]