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Seterus, Inc. is a mortgage loan servicer based in Oregon. Seterus has received consumer complaints, some of them alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) such as misrepresentation and improper sharing of information. If you have been contacted by Seterus regarding your home loan, make sure you understand your rights before responding.
According to its website, Seterus Inc us is “one of the nation’s leading specialty loan servicing companies, [offering]…fully integrated loan servicing…consisting of experienced, skilled professionals using leading technology.”
A review from a consumer on the BBB website reads: “They are NOT in the mortgage business at all! They act more like a collections agency. They do not want you to pay your mortgage, they want you to default so that they can get your house.”
Seterus services home loans that have been transferred from the original lender. As a result, many of these loans may be in default or in danger of defaulting. The Homeowner Assistance tab of Seterus’ website offers serval options for people “experiencing a financial hardship and having difficulty paying their mortgage.” For homeowners experiencing difficulty paying their mortgages, Seterus offers three basic options: loan modifications; short selling; and deed sales. These options are designed to assist homeowners to avoid foreclosure. Seterus accepts applications on the internet, by mail, and via overnight courier.
For homeowners currently not in default, Seterus’ Homeowner Resources page encourages enrollment in autopay; visiting the KnowYourOptions.com website; contacting the Department of Housing and Urban Development; and checking their credit reports annually. In addition, there is a New to Seterus tab with a brief list of Frequently Asked Questions and a Request a Payoff Quote tab for homeowners interested in paying off their balances at a reduced rate.
The BBB has closed 532 complaints against Seterus Inc in the past three years. Since March 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has received 873 complaints against Seterus. Justia lists at least 45 cases of civil litigation naming Seterus as a defendant.
Absolutely. Here are some Sample Cases against Seterus Inc.
In December 2015, in the United States District Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, a judge issued a decision in a case alleging Seterus’ business practices had violated the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). Previously, the plaintiff had filed a complaint alleging violations of the FDCPA and the Florida Consumer Collections Practices Act (FCCPA) in which the court had granted summary judgement in favor of Seterus. In this case, the plaintiff appealed that decision. Initially, the plaintiff had taken out a loan of $160,000 in 2004 to secure a mortgage for a home. He defaulted on the home loan in August 2012, and Seterus began servicing the loan in October 2012. Because the loan was in default, Seterus had begun foreclosure proceedings. The plaintiff asked Seterus to reinstate the mortgage in August 2013, which required that he meet “certain conditions, including paying all sums due; curing any defaults; paying any expenses incurred in the process; and taking any other actions that may be reasonably required. In September 2013, Seterus sent the plaintiff a letter indicating the total amount to reinstate the mortgage was $15,569.64. This amount included $3,175 in “estimated attorney’s fees.” The plaintiff paid the entire amount and the loan was reinstated. Seterus refunded the $3,175 in estimated attorney fees in November 2013, and subsequently, the plaintiff sued Seterus for two separate violations of the FDCPA.
The first violation cited the prohibition against “the collection of any amount (including any interest, fee, charge, or expense incidental to the principal obligation) unless such amount is expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt or permitted by law” The second violation cited the prohibition against using “any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt, including the false representation of (A) the character, amount, or legal status of any debt; or (B) any services rendered or compensation which may be lawfully received by any debt collector for the collection of a debt.”
Initially, the court granted summary judgement to Seterus because Seterus had identified the estimated attorney fees as estimates rather than actual fees, but the appeals court agreed that the FDCPA’s provision prohibiting “the false representation of any ‘compensation which may be lawfully received by any debt collector for the collection of a debt’…was violated… when Seterus demanded that the plaintiff pay estimated attorney’s fees before it would reinstate his loan, because Seterus could not ‘lawfully receive’ those fees…whether the plaintiff believed it was entitled to those fees” or not. Similarly, the appeals court reversed the earlier decision and found Seterus in violation of the FCCPA, which states that collection agents cannot “claim, attempt, or threaten to enforce a debt when such person knows that the debt is not legitimate, or assert the existence of some other legal right when such person knows that the right does not exist.”
14523 SW Millikan Way STE 200
Beaverton, OR 97005-2352
Understanding your Debt Collection Rights
The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) are enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The FDCPA regulates the behavior of collection agencies by prohibiting actions such as the use of abusive or threatening language; harassment; or the use of false or misleading information to collect a debt.
The FCRA regulates how collection agencies and creditors report delinquent debts to credit reporting agencies. Additional consumer protection laws include the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA). The complaint above illustrates how these laws can be extremely effective tools to hold accountable collection agencies who fail to adhere to their provisions.
These laws also provide individuals with a means to seek monetary damages in court. For example, the FDCPA allows consumers who have been violated to recover damages of up to $1,000, plus attorney fees and court costs.
Seek legal assistance to find the relief you may be entitled to if you are having difficulty resolving disputes with a debt collection agency.
Your debt harassment checklist:
- You are receiving multiple calls per week from third party collection agencies
- You are receiving early morning or late night calls from debt collectors
- You are recieving calls at work from a debt collection agency
- Debt collectors are calling your friends, neighbors, or coworkers
- Collectors are threatening you with violence, lawsuit, or arrest
- A debt collector attempts to collect more than you owe
- You are being threatened with negative credit reporting
- A debt collector attempts to intimidate you
- Criminal accusations are being made towards you
- Use of obscene language during an attempt to collect
- Automated robocalls are being made to your phone in an attempt to collect
If a Debt collection is recorded on illegal charges or taking any other action that is against the law, to speak with a representative directly and immediately call 844-685-9200 for a free, no obligation case evaluation. You have every right to maintain debt collectors accountable, and an attorney can help.
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