What's a mortgage note?
A mortgage note is the document you signed when you purchased your home loan. Mortgages contain lots of paperwork - but only the original mortgage note with your signature is proof that you owe the debt. That's why banks need the note to prove that they own the loan and can collect payments from you. The problem is, banks now buy and sell mortgages up and down Wall Street - slicing them up and repackaging them to sell to other banks. The bank you bought your mortgage from two years ago may not be the bank that owns it today. But, in all the shuffle, the mortgage notes often don't get transferred along with your debt.
The Wall Street banks' foreclosure system is a mess. Their total disregard for mortgage laws and standards is what created the foreclosure epidemic in the first place. Now, their total mismanagement is catching up to them. As of today, some of the largest mortgage lenders - JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and GMAC (now called Ally) - have been forced to halt foreclosures in 23 states and growing. We can't rely on Wall Street banks to follow basic rules. We have to hold them accountable. At very least, they must provide the mortgage notes.
When Wall Street banks securitized, packaged, sold, and resold our mortgages, they created a system where it is often impossible to figure out who actually owns mortgage notes and therefore has the authority to foreclose on properties. But the big banks are getting tangled up in their own web. Recent events have exposed a handful of banks that are throwing families out of their homes even though they don't have the mortgage note that proves they actually have a legal right to do so. There have been instances of two banks trying to foreclose on the same home, and in at least one case, of a bank trying to foreclose on a house where the homeowner had never even taken out a mortgage with anyone in the first place.
Whether you are facing foreclosure, have an underwater mortgage, or are just a concerned homeowner, it's important that you contact your bank and demand to see the original note on your mortgage. It only takes a few minutes using our free online tool.