How to Remove Mortgage Lates

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.

[When are mortgages due?]

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.

Tip: How to get a mortgage with a low credit score.



76 Comments

  1. Jeff January 9, 2018 at 3:29 pm - Reply

    I haven’t tried that yet, would you recommend going thru the 3 credit bureaus or going straight to Bank of America?

    • Colin Robertson January 9, 2018 at 4:16 pm - Reply

      Jeff,

      Not sure; if you believe your case is a winner, you could go through the bureaus and hope BofA doesn’t bother fighting it, and if they do, be prepared to produce documentation to state your case. Or just try BofA first, though not sure how that’ll go either with a big bureaucratic bank.

  2. Jeff January 9, 2018 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Colin,

    There were no late payments before the modification, when I check it earlier as I applied for a car loan they had it down as a foreclosure. They removed that from my credit, under the late payments it says that it was a modification.

    • Colin Robertson January 9, 2018 at 3:24 pm - Reply

      Jeff,

      If you were never late on your mortgage and only applied for a modification, you may want to reach out to BofA directly and explain that to get them removed. If you already did that, what was the reason why they wouldn’t remove the late payments?

  3. Jeff January 9, 2018 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    Paul,
    I applied for a modification thru Bank of America show’s me late from 8/14 thru 4/15. I paid every trial payment on time. The loan modification was approved and started on 7/2015 and has shown “paid on time” ever since. Bank of America will not remove the late reporting on my credit, has anyone been successful with getting Bank of America to remove the negative reporting? Please help if possible.

    • Colin Robertson January 9, 2018 at 3:14 pm - Reply

      Jeff,

      Are the lates before the loan mod? The modification probably doesn’t excuse the prior late payments, at least when it comes to your credit.

  4. Brady April 26, 2017 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    Hi Chad. Would you mind sending over your contact info?

  5. Geri Pitts April 3, 2017 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    I have a question.. my husband and I recently sold a home and loan is paid off. We looked at our credit reports before getting preapproved to start looking for another home. We found that the payment for our home loan had been reported late for 24 consecutive months. It looks like a partial payment was applied to the principal on the loan instead of the payment amount due and through the payment off. I contacted the loan officer and he said the quickest way to get it cleared up was to file a dispute with the credit bureaus. My question is why wouldn’t the loan officer just change the late payments reported to the credit bureaus to current payments? I have filed the disputes and waiting patiently now sure if this was the correct way to get this fixed.

    • Colin Robertson April 4, 2017 at 11:10 am - Reply

      Geri,

      The loan officer probably can’t help you, either because the loan isn’t with his/her company and is serviced elsewhere, or because their role just doesn’t give them direct access to the payment/servicing department. A dispute might work, but if the lender/servicer doesn’t realize it was a mix-up and fights it and says you were in fact in default for failing to make full payments, you might have to clarify with the lender/servicer (so they know it was a mix-up and not really a late payment) and dispute again.

  6. Michael February 17, 2017 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    I had a medical emergency in 2015, I wrote the bank to say I would be late with my mortgage, but would pay my regular with the missed amount in the next month. I did that, and had the clerk sign the bank slips to ensure that the payments were understood that way. I checked my credit in 2016, and to my amazement the Bank not only had me 30 day late for that one month, but I was 30 day late for every month since! I talked to the local branch, they printed out my pay schedule that showed I was not 30 days late in my actual payments. They said they would take care of it, they never did. I disputed it with the credit bureaus, they said the 30 day late were valid. I have called the bank and got nowhere. They send me threatening letters every month saying I did not pay my mortgage, with varying amounts of what I supposedly owe – together with packets of foreclosure information. I have written them a letter with all my proof, its been beyond 30 days since the last time and no response. I have lost a $20,000 home improvement loan due to this ruining my credit. What should I do?

    • Colin Robertson February 17, 2017 at 6:21 pm - Reply

      Michael,

      First you may want to get clarification about what exactly you did wrong. Were you late or was the payment amount insufficient, or was it applied incorrectly, thereby making it appears as if payments were late? Lot of possibilities. Generally people file complaints with the CFPB or hire someone to step up the defense if they feel they were mistreated. Maybe you can up-line your complaint at the bank to a higher level of management and get someone to resolve it if they told you it was their mistake in the first place…

  7. Theresa February 15, 2017 at 8:19 pm - Reply

    Recently we sold a home in which closing date was oct then moved to nov in which we were moved out as told closing date we had to be out then closing date kept getting pushed back and back till finally dec 22. We didn’t make our nov payment as we had thought closing would be done. Now trying to buy a home, old mortgage company has never reported our payment history to credit bureaus or the nov late and new lender wants 12 month payment history to show true credit scores. They have pulled our credit the past three months now I’m afraid we may be in jeopardy of not getting a home due to this mortgage not reporting. I must say we have paid everything on time and scores are mid 600 for both my husband and I. Any suggestions?

    • Colin Robertson February 16, 2017 at 10:44 am - Reply

      Theresa,

      If you think you missed a payment you should have made it could come back to haunt you. However, it may be that the loan payoff factored in these payments (or lack thereof). May want to get some clarity there then determine if it’s going to be an issue for you.

  8. sheila December 1, 2016 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    Same here, BofA show’s me late from 11/2008 – 12/2011, I paid every trial payment on time. The loan modification was approved and started on1/2012 and has shown “paid on time” ever since. BofA will not remove the late reporting on my credit, has anyone been successful getting BofA to remove the neg reporting? PLease tell me how!

  9. Chad November 22, 2016 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    Hey Colin and everyone,

    Totally forgot about this forum/blog. I haven’t been back here in a long time.

    Colin, I sent you an email.

    Respectfully,

    C

    • Colin Robertson November 28, 2016 at 4:10 pm - Reply

      Chad,

      I e-mailed you back but never heard from you…check all your e-mail account folders.

    • Manny February 9, 2017 at 4:55 am - Reply

      Chad can I contact you so we can get help for our mortgage lates

  10. Cyth September 19, 2016 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    I separated from my (then) wife about 7 years ago and she stayed in the house. Long story short, she couldn’t afford the payments so was late numerous times which of course went on my Credit score.

    We finally got divorced almost two years ago, and got the house sold with a “forgivness” amount to be paid to the USDA to pay off the total. We got no money from the house it basically went to the USDA and Realtors for the fees, but was told that debt would be now “settled”.

    However they are still on my Credit Report after the fact. Just how long do these take to be taken off, and/or is there anything I can do to take these off my Credit Report now that the house is sold?

    • Colin Robertson September 19, 2016 at 5:35 pm - Reply

      Cyth,

      Lates are generally reported for seven years but you can always try to dispute the lates with the credit bureaus. Each bureau has an official website that allows you to do this. Sometimes they don’t fight and they get removed that way.

  11. leo August 28, 2016 at 10:23 am - Reply

    I have late payments on my credit that I want to get off I tired to dispute the late payments and was told it was reported right. the problem I have is that I was going threw a home modification and the company wouldn’t except any payments while in the process this company gave me the run around for almost a year saying that they haven’t received all my papers, every month they claimed something wrong on my end, I got tired of them and found help with Fannie Mae whom got my loan modified. the late payments and interest was deferred. what should I do

    • Colin Robertson August 29, 2016 at 1:44 pm - Reply

      Leo,

      Generally disputes only work if the reporting was in error, though if the company doesn’t respond you can also win the dispute and get the lates removed.

  12. Rich Zelek July 6, 2016 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    Chad- please send us your contact information. Thank you.

    • Colin Robertson July 7, 2016 at 7:24 am - Reply

      For all those looking for Chad’s info, I’m assuming he (and people like him) probably just dispute the information with the credit bureaus in the hope they don’t argue it, which thereby removes the late(s) from your credit report and boosts your credit score. This is how most of those companies operate and you can do it yourself if you’re diligent. And now that disputes can be done online it’s much easier.

  13. patrick munoz June 6, 2016 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    Chad – how do we get in contact with you to get help for a mortgage late reporting on our credit

  14. Paige Lancaster June 2, 2016 at 2:36 pm - Reply

    Hi. My loan is served by select portfolio. I was wrongly reported for being late. I appealed it ,and they found it was an error. However, for almost two weeks I have been begging for a letter. One sentence. I need it to qualify for another mortgage rapid restore. They keep giving me the run around. Everything they do has a process. My son has special needs and we are in a rural area. We need this mortgage. I can’t believe how heartless they are being. Unless told them we need this note. I even shared that I just had surgery for breast cancer. They don’t care so wrong.

  15. Kim April 28, 2016 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    back in Dec 2010 we had a home, we had renters living in it, we had to move because of military and was told about the loan remodification…but alas they said you have to be X months late and you would qualify after 6 months saying yes you qualify, they decided no you don’t qualify! I quickly put it up for a short sale 7/11, got offer on property before a foreclosure was even started, but took 3 months to close.11-11 I tried getting them to remove the foreclosure started since they accepted the offer before the date they said. I also now have 120+ late. I know they dragged it out, so we would get further behind because they wouldn’t accept payments while waiting for the loan modification process that they decided to deny. Is there any different wording I can use with credit reporting? We are getting ready to look for a new home purchase. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  16. Daniel April 25, 2016 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    Hi Colin,

    My mortgage was sold to a new lender in February. Not realizing this, I made payment for February to my old lender in early March. I got a call from my new lender around that time stating that they did not receive payment. I advised that I made payment to the old lender. The new lender customer service rep stated that he would research the matter and work on getting payment back from the old lender. Just checked my credit score and found that I was dinged due to late payment. I called the new lender again and was told that they did not receive February payment until early April, which is outside of the 60-day grace period given with transfer of a loan. They advised to dispute with the credit agencies. Is there anything I can do to rectify this situation? Doing some research, several places stated that if payment is sent to the old lender within a certain time frame, the new lender cannot report late payment to credit agencies. Is this correct? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    • Colin Robertson April 28, 2016 at 3:13 pm - Reply

      Daniel,

      As the lender suggested, you could dispute it with the credit agencies and speak with your lenders to ensure they don’t fight it so the lates can be removed via dispute.

  17. Jamie March 25, 2016 at 5:27 am - Reply

    Hi, we were behind on our mortgage for quite awhile (120 days +) and are now on a trial modification. Once the modification is complete and our account is reported as current will that improve our credit score at all, or will that only happen with time and consistent payments? Just wondered if we will see an initial boost when it reports as current for the first time in awhile.

    • Colin Robertson March 26, 2016 at 5:40 pm - Reply

      Jamie,

      It’s possible, though credit is never totally predictable due to the rest of your credit profile/history. It depends if the lates are removed or if they remain and the account is just brought up to current. May also want to see if anything else is holding your score back, such as large outstanding revolving balances.

  18. Paul Marshall March 13, 2016 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    HI Colin,

    I am taking your advice and personally seeing several banks this week about getting prequalified to get a mortgage. My daughters really want me to stay in the house they consider their true home. The neighborhood is one of the best in the town for my youngest and we have developed some great friends here. I feel I owe it to my daughters to try and stay in the house.

    Thanks for your help.

    Paul

  19. Paul Marshall February 26, 2016 at 6:03 am - Reply

    Hi Colin,

    I a worse case scenario, do you think I would be able to refinance after a year of on-time payments? I am willing to wait that long if needed> I really want to stay in my house for the sake of my kids and to keep my biggest asset.

    Thanks,

    Paul

    • Colin Robertson February 28, 2016 at 2:47 pm - Reply

      Paul,

      You may want to shop around now to see what’s available for your situation and to determine if you even need to wait. It may not hurt to prepare yourself now so you’ll be ready to go once you clean up your payment history.

  20. Paul Marshall February 24, 2016 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    Hi,
    I was not able to make my September 2015 mortgage payment. I set-up a payment plan with the mortgage company and paid the payment along with my regular payment during October, November, December and January. I made all those payment on the agreed upon date and for the amount agreed upon. The mortgage company reported my account as late for October, November and December. I did not realize that this would happen. Is this what is generally done? I am now getting a divorce and would like to purchase the house by refinancing the mortgage, but with these late payments I will probably not be able to. I was told I may be able to after a year of on-time payments. I am really desperate to get the house.

    • Colin Robertson February 25, 2016 at 9:58 am - Reply

      Paul,

      That’s unfortunate. It’s possible to ask that they remove the late payments since you worked out a deal with them, but if they won’t budge there’s the off chance a dispute with the credit bureaus could work if they don’t respond to the dispute.

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