New rules designed to prevent 'runaround' with mortgages


ATLANTA - A federal crackdown on mortgage abuse is aimed at fixing lending mistakes and preventing foreclosures.

North Georgia homeowner Cheryl Gudz told Channel 2 consumer reporter Jim Strickland that her case illustrates what the federal government is now trying to fix.

“I have the proof of what they did. They just don’t want to fix it,” Gudz said.

Gutz showed Strickland the paper trail she has amassed in her fight with Bank of America over a messed up mortgage.

“They will not fix their mistake and they’re trying to make me pay for their mistake,” Gudz said.

Gudz said Bank of America told her to pay only principal and interest on her home until a mistake with her escrow got fixed. She provided a handful of payment receipts. But then, she said, Bank of America demanded payment in full, and she wonders where the original money she paid went.

“They don’t do anything on time and nobody does anything about them,” Gudz said.

The new proposed mortgage rules require prompt application of payments and swift action to correct errors. The new rules would require a clear warning from the bank when adjustable interest rates are going up.

The head of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau said the goal is for there to be, “No runaround. No surprises.”

Consumer protection attorney Bob Thompson scrolled through the 400 pages of rules and noted that the one on crediting payments is among the most vital.

“That’s a huge problem, because then you’re late, they can make money. Part of the big problem we have seen is that anything can be done to charge fees, is done,” Thompson said.

The public can comment on the rules until October and they should become final next year.

Both Bank of America and Wells Fargo said they are reviewing the rules.

Click here and here to read the new rules.