So you got a “mortgage late”. You thought you paid your mortgage on time, but for some reason the bank never got your mortgage payment.
It happens everyday. Homeowners fail to pay their mortgage on time for one reason or another. I’ve heard every excuse in the book as a former Account Executive. But usually mortgage lates occur when homeowners are between homes. It’s understandable when you move from one home to another, paying off one mortgage and acquiring a new one. But you need to be extremely careful during that period to ensure everything is paid as agreed.
Put simply, mortgage lates kill your credit score. And mortgage lenders and banks aren’t particularly keen on lending to homeowners who couldn’t pay their mortgage on time in the past.
However, because of the frequency of mortgage lates committed by homeowners in recent years, some mortgage lenders and banks now allow one 30-day mortgage late in the past 24 months before loan application.
Unfortunately, that only allows you to be late once in the last two years. What happens if you miss your payment more than once, or get a “rolling late,” which essentially counts for two late payments? Or if you get a 60-day late, or worse? What do you do?
Get the Mortgage Late Removed from Your Credit Report
You’ll likely need to get those mortgage lates removed from your credit report if you plan on financing any new lines of credit, especially if you plan on getting a new purchase mortgage, or refinancing your current mortgage.
If you don’t, you’ll be stuck paying a premium for any new financing you qualify for in the form of a higher mortgage rate.
Here’s the problem. If your mortgage late is substantiated, there is little you can do about removing it from your credit history. You got the late for a reason that was nobody’s fault but your own, and you have to pay the price.
But if for any reason that mortgage late was the fault of the bank or lender, the loan servicer, or another third party, you can get it removed from your credit report.
The first step is to determine what mortgage account is showing up as delinquent on your credit report. Get a free credit report and find out exactly when and from whom the mortgage late is reporting.
The next step is to call, e-mail, or write to the lender or bank reporting the mortgage late on your credit report. Discuss the late payment with a representative of the bank or lender and explain why you believe it is erroneous. This step can be quick and easy, or painful depending on how easy it is make your point and clear up the mistake.
Assuming the bank or lender recognizes their error, they will send you a letter on their company letterhead detailing the mortgage late, complete with the account number and the time the late or late payments occurred. They should also inform the credit bureaus of their mistake, which will boost your credit score once the delinquency is eventually removed.
It is essential to keep the letter you receive from them in a safe place, or even make copies of it. You may need to use this letter next time you apply for a mortgage or another line of credit.
If you need to resolve the mortgage late payment immediately, once your credit is pulled by a bank or lender, simply send the letter to the credit reporting company the bank or lender used to pull your credit. Once they receive the letter, they will be able to remove the late(s) and issue a credit supplement.
This will solve the mortgage late problem, but your Fico score may still be deflated for a while before the credit bureaus take notice. In that case, you will likely need to do a rapid rescore as well to update your scores immediately.
Do not waste your money on rapid rescoring if you don’t have a legitimate excuse for the lates, or paperwork to document any error made by the issuing bank or lender.
If you aren’t doing any new financing, but want the mortgage lates removed, simply make a copy of the letter, and send a copy to the credit bureau(s) reporting the error. Explain that you want the mortgage lates removed and they will remove them after verifying your letter. This is a great way to remove the late payments, but it will take time, so this method isn’t useful if you need quick removal.
Assuming you aren’t able to get the bank/lender to cooperate, you can dispute any late mortgage payments with the credit bureaus directly by visiting their respective websites and looking for the dispute page. If they take your side, the late payments will be removed and your credit score will rise, though the process can take several months.
Always pay your mortgage on time, no matter what the circumstances. Mortgage lates are one of the best ways to harm good credit, and poor credit will lead to a higher mortgage rate.