Don't relax just yet...
Somewhere, buried in that heap of papers you signed at closing, is a document that tells you when your first payment is due, how much to pay and where to send it. It’ll be called “First Payment Letter” or something quite close to that and may even come with some payment coupons. Most of the time you will not receive a statement or bill notifying you of your first payment—this letter is it. Fish it out of the pile and tape it to your fridge!
What is “servicing”?
Servicing is the collection of the monthly payments on your loan. Your servicing will likely change hands once or twice during the first couple of months after you close. This can be a little alarming if you’re not expecting it, but it’s totally normal.
Transfers to expect
We close most loans under our own name: Guaranteed Rate. You’ll probably make one payment to us, but after that, the chances are pretty high that your servicing will transfer to another company. After this transfer your servicing is likely to stay put for the long haul. You’ll receive letters notifying you as each transfer happens and we’re here for you and happy to answer any questions that come up.
What if I pay the “wrong” entity?
If you make a payment to the “wrong” entity during this interim period, don’t fret. Any check that crosses in the mail with a transfer letter will be forwarded to the right place.
Expect an avalanche of junk mail after closing. You’ll think we sold your name to every mailing list we could think of. after we closed your loan. We didn’t. Remember that warranty deed that the title company recorded? It was recorded in public record, emphasis on public. A good number of businesses troll public record, looking for you, the Newly Minted Homeowner, hoping to sell you Stuff (although the coupons are nice) (thank you, Home Depot!). The Federal Trade Commission has some great tips if you prefer to cut down on unsolicited mail (and phone calls and credit card solicitations and spam).
Don’t fall for it!
In the weeks after closing you will likely receive mail from an entity called “Records Recovery Services” or “Local Records Office” (or some other variation on the “records” theme) offering to mail you a copy of your deed for mere $80-90.
Although it will clearly state that they have no affiliation with a government agency, these letters always originate in Salem and contain specific information about your home and recent purchase. Add in lots of black print on white paper, jargon and reference to the importance of your deed (“the only document that identifies you as a property owner”) these letters are clearly designed to deceive. (Especially cheeky to say “this is not a bill” on a document formatted as, um, a bill, isn’t it?)
Public Record is Public
You paid the County for recording services when you closed. On the day of closing, the title company gave your deed to the County to record. After recording the County will mail the original deed back your way (although they do take their sweet time getting around to it sometimes). And should you ever lose it, don’t sweat it… your deed is part of, well, public record, there for you (and anybody… including these yo-yos), to retrieve at any time.