What Is Specialized Lien Servicing?
Specialized Loan Servicing (SLS) is a subsidiary of Computer Share Loan Services and currently has three location in Denver, CO., Tempe, AZ., and Ponte Vera Beach FL. Originally an Australian based company, Computer Share Loan Services acquired Specialized Loan Servicing LLC in 2011. The company is a publicly traded company and invests / or operates a variety of financial companies.
SLS LLC Phone number
Is Specialized Loan Servicing Legit?
Yes. SLS LLC or Specialized Loan Servicing is a mortgage servicing company which collects on residential mortgages. Many consumers will receive a notice from SLS when they had originally had their mortgage held at Bank of America or even Country Wide.
Is SLS LLC A Debt Collector?
In May 11, 2020 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau settled with Specialized Loan Servicing LLC (SLS) and ordered SLS to pay millions in monetary relief to consumers. However, SLS LLC is not a collection agency. SLS claims to be an asset management company and has purchased many of the loans it now owns from Bank of America. They process delinquent debt, try to collect on this debt (sometimes with high associated fees), and if they are unsuccessful with their efforts, will initiate a foreclosure against the homeowner.
Currently, Zoom Info estimates their revenue to be > than $800,000,000 dollars per year relating to their business activities.
Specialized Loan Servicing Complaints
Better Business Bureau Complaints
At the time of this writing, the Better Business Bureau reports that SLS LLC has a total of 737 complaints closed in the last 3 years, with 419 complaints closed in the last 12 months. BBB evaluates Specialized Loan Servicing at a 1 star out of 5 with 195 customer reviews.
One such review is as follows –
SLS LLC Payoff Requests May Be More Than What You Owe
SLS LLC Google Reviews
At the time of this writing, Google reports a total of 293 reviews with a rating of 1.2 stars out of 5. Some of these reviews are reported by actual customers of SLS LLC as follows –
Are you facing Foreclosure By SLS LLC
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SLS LLC Mortgage Foreclosure
f you have received a foreclosure notice or phone calls from Specialized Loan Servicing threatening foreclosure of your 1st or 2nd mortgage, then it is possible that SLS LLC purchased your loan and has legal right to your property.
However it is important to remember that SLS LLC must provide proof of ownership regarding your 1st or 2nd mortgage or assignment of the servicing rights to service your 1st or 2nd mortgage. It is not uncommon for a bank failure to provide such documentation.
Can SLS LLC The 2nd Lien Holder Foreclose On My Property?
A second mortgage lien holder has the right to foreclose on your property even if the 1st mortgage holder is current on their payments. However, the 2nd lien holder must receive approval from the 1st lien holder to approve the foreclosure proceedings.
If a 2nd lien holder is unable to receive approval for their foreclosure request in court, they still have the right to recover losses. This is known as a deficiency judgement.
Statute Of Limitations
There is no per se statute of limitations with respect to SLS LLC and/or any second lien mortgage holder. We have seen this come up where borrowers believe that the second lien holder is “past the statute of limitations so they cannot come after me for the debt.” This is a common misconception because borrowers apply the applicable statute of limitations for a contractual default to their unpaid second mortgage lien. While this is something that could apply depending on the circumstances (i.e. a situation where the property has already been foreclosed upon and the second lien mortgage lender is seeking to obtain additional amounts owed beyond the foreclosed amount in the form of a deficiency judgment.)
However, if you still live in your property and the second lien is with Specialized Loan Servicing LLC or another second mortgage servicer remains intact, there is no statute of limitations and all the rights associated with that lien remain whether or not in default, and without regard to any limitation on duration.
Be Proactive With 2nd Lien Holders
This is one of the main reasons why it is important to be proactive in how you approach these second lien mortgages and evaluate and identify servicing errors and other issues early enough to put you in a position to negotiate down or address your second lien rather than being surprised at an unexpected time.
We have seen clients who have not heard from their second lien holder for 10 years and when they start the process to sell or refinance their property they are surprised by Specialized Loan Servicing suddenly showing up and submitting a payoff request with an inflated mortgage balance with unaccounted late fees, charges, interest and penalties. This can ruin any refinance attempt or makes the sale of the property not feasible.
SLS LLC Short Sale
It is possible to settle your debt through a short sale with SLS LLC. However, you must first get approval from your financial institution(s) and fill out the following documents provided on SLS website.
Specialized Loan Servicing Settlement
How To Navigate
Best way to navigate and approach second liens being foreclosed upon and/or collected upon by a second lien mortgage holder or servicer like Specialized Loan Servicing is to first request that they account for and prove that they actually have the rights to either service the second lien or collect payments on behalf of themselves or a third party investor. It’s important to identify if they are acting as a servicer only on behalf of a third party investor, or if they actually acquired the debt and are seeking collection on the debt. Once doing so it is important to evaluate whether your property has significant equity to cover the second lien in the event of a foreclosure as this will help you set up the best plan of attack with respect to obtaining either a negotiated lien reduction, short sale, or other loss mitigation alternative with respect to the second mortgage.
What Are My Rights?
There are various rights you may have depending on the manner in which SLS is seeking action on your second mortgage. If they are simply the servicer, then there are specific regulations that they need to follow in how they send you statements, how they apply the principal and interest, and how they report all of this to you periodically or when you make request in the form of a Qualified Written Request.
The first step in identifying your rights is to serve a Qualified Written Request and Request for Verification of the Debt (“QWR”) on SLS. This triggers a host of federal regulations that require that they respond with specific information outlined in the QWR and within a set period of time. This serves the purpose of gathering what we call “free discovery” which is key documents that support their claim to ownership or the right to service your mortgage. This also puts the ball in the court of Specialized Loan Servicing to make sure they comply with the requirements of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the Truth in Lending Act. After doing so, the next step is to take a business approach by evaluating the equity in your property and determining how resolution of the second lien can help improve your financial situation and/or allow you to sell the property and/or refinance, depending on your ultimate goal.
Finally, once you have requested the relevant information that supports their ownership and/or servicing of the second mortgage, you can determine the appropriate affirmative action to take either by serving follow up demands outlining any servicing violations, reporting wrongful conduct to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or hiring an attorney to file a lawsuit against SLS. Common reasons to bring a lawsuit against SLS include but are not limited to: Failure to properly account for the application of payments on your second mortgage, failure to provide necessary mortgage statements from the date that they acquired the servicing rights or ownership rights of the mortgage, failure to properly respond to a Qualified Written Request, failure to comply with the State’s nonjudicial foreclosure requirements, to name a few.
What Should I watch out For?
There are a host of things to watch out for but it is important to review your monthly mortgage statements (if Specialized Loan Servicing actually sends them to you.) We have noticed that at times they fail to send required monthly mortgage statements and suddenly show up at the time of a refinance or sale of the property to claim the full amount owed with additional late fees, interest, and penalties.
Watch Out For Initial Correspondence
Keep an eye out for any initial correspondence when Specialized Loan Servicing either takes over or is assigned the servicing rights on your existing second mortgage. They are required to notify you in writing and a lot of times they do not so within the required time periods and we always ask for this information when we are retained to take action against them.
Sudden Increases In The Total 2nd Loan Amount
Also keep an eye out for sudden increases in the total amount of the mortgage loan on any given mortgage statement, especially on a payoff demand submitted by SLS LLC at the time of a refinance or sale of your property.
Watch Out For “Notice Of Intent To Accelerate Debt and Foreclosure”
Lastly, they tend to mail out different types of documents but the most important ones to pay attention to are the “Notice of Intent to Accelerate Debt and Foreclosure” as well as any “Notice of Default”. These typically trigger that they are ready to proceed with foreclosure proceedings so this would be something to take seriously and consult with an Attorney as it could lead to them commencing foreclosure proceedings against your home.
Specialized Loan Servicing Lawsuit? How a Law Firm Can Help Protect You.
A Law Firm that is familiar with second lien mortgages can really help you navigate and take action against SLS LLC for its common legal violations.
Unfortunately, we have seen issues with Specialized Loan Servicing not being responsive or taking requests from borrowers seriously until they retain legal counsel, and once you have an experienced law firm on your side you can take a proactive approach in first investigating how they came to acquire the servicing or ownership rights on your mortgage loan, whether they did so in compliance with applicable federal and state requirements, and if not, take the necessary action to assert the pressure needed to get them to respond.
Sometimes a Law Firm can successfully bring such issues to their attention and then utilize that to obtain a settlement of the second lien mortgage. In other instances, a Law Firm can properly set things up for a lawsuit against SLS LLC in situations where they fail to properly account for the total amount of the mortgage or blow off a Qualified Written Request.
The right Law Firm will know from evaluating the your specific circumstances and the underlying documents as to whether a lawsuit or a pre-lawsuit demand and negotiation is the best and most cost-effective option for you.