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New servicer on mortgage can affect credit report

What to do when you fall behind on payments.

DEAR HARRY: We were one payment behind on our mortgage in October. Sometime in September, we were notified of a new servicer on the mortgage. They sent us a form in which we would agree to pay the deficiency equally over the next four months. We could not afford that, so we never signed it. Our November stub showed the added payment they wanted. You can almost guess the rest of the story. After hours of phone calls, they insisted that they had the option to do this. They could not cite a law or my mortgage agreement that had that in it. I insisted that they stop lying and send me a note agreeing with me. Nothing. I know that I have to pay the arrearage and a penalty, but I cannot do it now. So far, this does not appear on my credit report. How can I get them to do what's right?

WHAT HARRY SAYS: Your real problem is your credit report. They can report your arrearage. Do not fall further behind. Make each payment faithfully when due. When you make a payment on the arrearage, be sure to use a separate check with a clear designation of what that check is for. It might be helpful to contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (855-411-2372) to get the servicer back on the ball.

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