If my morgagee gave out an incorrect mortgage payment address, can they charge me late fees?

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If my morgagee gave out an incorrect mortgage payment address, can they charge me late fees?

I just bought a house and made my first mortgage payment, using a check, and sending it to the address given by the bank. When the check never was processed, I called the bank to make sure I had the correct address and they confirmed it. It still was not processed, so I called again, and the woman I spoke to said the address was actually incorrect and now I had to pay an additional $30 to do it over the phone. Do I have any legal action for this since the bank is giving false information?

Asked on October 12, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Technically, if it was the bank's error--and you can prove it was the error--they should not charge you the late fee.

Practically, banks are large bureaucratic organizations, and if the rules there say that a late fee should be imposed when a check is late, it may be very difficult getting someone at the bank to approve not imposing it.  If you don't pay but the bank thinks you had to, they could potentially try to make collections efforts against you. You should try to speak to someone and get the fee waived, of course; but if they won't waive it, you need to ask yourself is damage to the banking relationship, dealling with collections, etc. worth $30?


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