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All the answers.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Adjustable Rate Mortgages
    • What is an ARM?
      • An Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) is a mortgage for which the interest rate is not fixed but changes during the life of the loan, according to movements in an index rate.

    • Will I know in advance how much my payment will increase/decrease?
      • With an ARM loan, your future monthly payment is uncertain. Some types of ARMs put a ceiling on your payment increase or interest-rate increase from one period to the next, and a floor and ceiling on the interest rate during the life of the loan. Planet Home Lending, LLC (PHL) will send a letter to notify you of changes in the payment amount before it is due.

    • How is the interest rate calculated?
      • Most ARM loans calculate the interest rate by adding a margin to a recent index value.

    • May I convert my ARM loan to a fixed rate loan?
      • Unless your note specifically allows for this option, you may not convert your ARM loan to a fixed rate loan without paying off your current ARM loan by refinancing to a fixed rate mortgage loan. If your mortgage loan documents allow you to convert your ARM loan to a fixed rate mortgage loan, they will specify when you can exercise this option and how the fixed rate will be determined.

    • What is an Index?
      • An Index is an economic indicator that lenders use to set the interest rate for ARM loans. Each ARM loan Note specifies the Index for that loan. Some indexes move up and down faster than others. The index is not controlled by the lender.

  • Escrow
    • What is an Escrow/Impound Account?
      • Your mortgage or deed of trust may require the lender to establish an escrow account for payment of real property taxes and/or insurance premiums (these are called “escrow items”), unless the lender waives this requirement in writing. Your loan payment includes funds to pay accrued interest, a small portion of the principal of the loan, and a portion of the funds needed to pay escrow items. Please note that the escrow account requirement cannot be waived when flood insurance is required by your lender. The servicer places the portion of each monthly mortgage payment for escrow items into the escrow account.

    • What is an Escrow Analysis?
      • You will receive a statement at least once each year while your payments are current detailing the amount paid into the escrow account, the amount disbursed from the escrow account, the amount that you will need to pay into the escrow account in each month in the coming year, and any surplus or shortage in the escrow account. This information is determined during an escrow analysis by the loan servicer.

    • If there is a surplus in my escrow account, will I get the funds back?
      • If the escrow surplus existing at the time of the escrow analysis is more than $50.00, and your loan payments are current, the surplus funds will be returned to you.  If the surplus in the escrow account is less than $50.00, the funds will reduce  your monthly payments for escrow items that are due in the coming year.

    • What is a cushion or reserve?
      • Loan documents may refer to an escrow account reserve or cushion. This is a lender option allowed by federal and most state laws to cover unanticipated increases in the cost of escrow items. Cushions or reserves collected by servicers are usually equal to the escrow portion of two monthly payments.

    • Can I add an escrow account to my loan if the lender waived the escrow account requirement?
      • Yes. In order for us to set up an escrow account we will need the following information and documents:

        To escrow Taxes:

        • Copies of your paid tax receipts from your local Tax Collector (usually the city or county Treasurer) for the current year
        • A written statement signed by all mortgagor(s) requesting that an escrow account be established

        To escrow Insurance premiums:

        • Copy of your current homeowners insurance policy, including the declarations page
        • A written statement signed by all mortgagor(s) requesting that an escrow account be established

        Please forward the requested information to:

        Planet Home Lending, LLC
        321 Research Parkway Suite 303
        Meriden, CT 06450
        ATTN:  Escrow Department

        Once your request to establish escrow has been received with the required documentation, we will send you an escrow projection for the upcoming year. This projection will show the up-front amount you will need to pay into the escrow account when we establish the escrow account for you. The escrow account is established when we receive your up-front payment to fund the escrow account.

    • Can I cancel the escrow account for my loan and pay the escrow items myself?
      • It may be possible for you to request that we waive the escrow account requirement for your loan.  We will consider your loan status and the loan-to-value ratio for your loan, as well as the requirements of the owner of the loan.  Please contact Customer Service for a letter detailing our escrow waiver requirements.

  • Fee Schedule
    • Fee Schedule 2016
      • The following is a list of fees that you may be assessed by Planet Home Lending depending on the terms of your loan, your use of services offered to our customers, and applicable laws.1

        Fee Amount Description
        Payment with Check by Phone2 $0 – $10 Assessed if a payment is made using our website, automated phone system, or with an agent.
        Late Fee3 See Below Assessed if your payment is not received before the expiration of the grace period stated in your loan documents.
        Returned Check (NSF) Fee2 $10 – $35 Assessed if your bank declines a check.
        Payoff Processing Fee2 $20 – $60 Assessed when a payoff statement is prepared and delivered to the borrower or an authorized party.
        Satisfaction Fee2 Varies by County/Town Assessed for processing or recording a release/satisfaction if you pay your loan in full.
        Request to Wire Funds2 $10 Assessed if you request funds to be wired to a specific bank account.
        Amortization Schedule $15 Assessed if a copy of the loan amortization schedule is requested.
        Subordination Fee $300 Assessed when a request is made to acknowledge in writing that a debt is inferior to the interest of another on the same property. Requests are received from other lenders to subordinate our lien position to theirs.
        Partial Release Fee $250 Assessed for the review and recording the partial release if you or a third party requests a release of a portion of the property from the existing mortgage lien.
        Assumption Fee $250 Assessed to the individual who assumes responsibility for an existing loan.

        1 This fee schedule is not all inclusive. Additional fees may be charged in connection with services not listed above. All fees are subject to change without notice and may not be applicable in all states. If you have a question about this fee schedule, please contact Planet Home Lending’s Customer Service Department at (866) 882-8187.

        2 Subject to limits of applicable state law.

        3 Subject to terms of your loan and limits of applicable state law.

  • Homeowners Assistance
    • What is the Online Loan Solution Center?
      • The Online Loan Solution Center is a user friendly online tool that provides borrowers an automated process to apply for assistance if they are having difficulty making their monthly payment.

        The Online Loan Solution Center allows borrowers to electronically upload their borrower’s assistance application, check status, and submit the required documents to complete the review.
        Loan Solutions Center

    • What should I do if I am not able to make the payment by the end of the grace period?
      • If you are having difficulties in making your monthly payment or have fallen behind, Planet Home Lending has experienced servicing specialists to assist you. Planet Home Lending will assign you a single point of contact that will guide you through your options and help you during a difficult period.

        As all state and federal agencies recommend, the most important thing you can do if you are having trouble making the payments is to call your mortgage loan servicer. We are here to help you determine the best option available based on your present situation.  If you are not able to make the payment, please call our Mitigation Department at 1 (855) 884-2250. We have a number of options that may be beneficial to you.

    • What are my options?
      • If you are having difficulties in making your monthly payment or have fallen behind, Planet Home Lending has experienced servicing specialists to assist you. Planet Home Lending will assign you a single point of contact that will guide you through your options and help you during a difficult period.

        If you are having difficulty making your payments and would like to remain in your home, the following options may be able to assist you in doing so while avoiding foreclosure:

        1. Modification: A permanent change to your existing mortgage note. This may include the capitalization of the delinquent balance of the loan if applicable, a reduction of your current interest rate or an extension of the term of your present note.
        2. Forbearance: A temporary reduction or suspension of your monthly mortgage obligation. This is designed to help borrowers whose hardship is temporary, such as short term disability or unemployment.
        3. Repayment Plan: A scheduled payment arrangement that results in bringing your loan current at its conclusion.

        To expedite your review please begin to gather the following documents we will need to determine whether you are eligible for any of the options listed above:

        • Most recent year’s Tax Returns
        • Paystubs for last 60 days
        • Other pertinent income documents if applicable (Social Security awards letter, pension, current P&L statement)
        • Last 3 months bank statements (All pages)
        • Other documentation showing hardship

        If you can no longer afford to stay in your home or have vacated your property, the following options may help you avoid foreclosure:

        1. Short Sale: The sale of your current property for an amount less than what is currently owed on the property.
        2. Deed in Lieu: An agreement to deed the property back to the Lender in an effort to avoid foreclosure in exchange for the discharge of the debt.

        To expedite your review please begin to gather the following documents we will need to determine whether you are eligible for any of the options listed above:

        • Most recent 2 Years tax returns
        • Paystubs for last 60 days
        • Other pertinent income documents if applicable (Social Security awards letter, pension, current P&L statement)
        • Last 3 months bank statements (All pages)
        • Other documentation showing hardship
        • If your property is currently listed with a real estate agent, we require a third party authorization form containing the agents name and contact information.

        In order to complete a Short Sale please be aware of the following requirements:

        • You must cooperate and allow us access to the interior of your property to enable us to determine an appraised value.
        • The sale must be an “Arm’s Length Transaction” which means that all parties involved must be unrelated or unaffiliated.
        • If there is a deficiency, or shortage between how much you owe and the final proceeds received from the sale of your property, you may be required to make a contribution toward any such deficiency. The contribution could be in cash or a promissory note.
        • If the property is sold as a Short Sale you will not be permitted to receive any proceeds from the sale of the property, or to receive funds that may be paid in relation to a hazard/flood insurance claim.

        To discuss any of the above options, or to request a Borrower Response Package which must be completed and returned to us along with the aforementioned documents, please contact us at 1 (855) 884-2250. In addition you may call the Housing and Urban Development office at 1 (800) 569-4287 or you may use the following link to find a HUD certified counseling agency: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/fc

  • Insurance
    • What is the required coverage for homeowners insurance?
      • The amount of coverage required for homeowners insurance is determined by the following:

        • If your Unpaid Principal Balance is higher than the cost to rebuild the home after its complete destruction, you are required to have coverage equal to the amount it would cost to rebuild your home.
        • If your Unpaid Principal Balance is lower than the cost to rebuild the home after complete destruction, you are required to have coverage in the amount that is the higher of the Unpaid Principal Balance or 80% of the cost to rebuild the home.
    • What are the requirements for flood insurance?
      • Homes located in a Special Flood Hazard Area, are required by law to maintain Flood Insurance coverage. The amount of coverage required is equal to the lesser of:

        • Your Unpaid Principal Balance
        • The replacement value of your property improvements
        • The maximum amount of coverage currently sold under the Emergency Program of the NFIP for the type of improvements insured; or $250,000.
    • What is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)?
      • PMI protects a lender against loss if a borrower defaults. PMI is required from most homebuyers who obtain loans that are more than 80 percent of their home’s value. PMI premium payments may be cancelled under certain conditions when the amount owed on the loan is less than 80% of the value of the home. Ask us for our conditions and procedures to request cancellation of PMI premium payments.

    • Why did I receive a notice stating you do not have an updated homeowners insurance policy for me?
      • Either we did not receive a copy of your insurance policy when we received your loan, or the policy in our files has expired and we did not receive a notice of renewal of the policy. There are two things you should do if you receive this notice:

        1. Please contact your insurance company, and ask them to forward an updated homeowners insurance declarations page to us via fax: 1 (248) 878-2350, ATTN: Insurance Department. Please ask them to include your loan number on the declarations page.
        2. In order for your insurance company to send us updates and renewal notices in the future, they should include our mortgagee clause on the declarations page. Please provide the following mortgagee clause to your insurance company:

        Planet Home Lending, LLC
        ISAOA, ATIMA
        PO BOX 5023
        Troy, MI 48007-5023

  • Payment Processing
    • Payment Options
      • How do I make a payment?

        Planet Home Lending, LLC (PHL) accepts payments by personal check or money order. Payments can be sent by mail to:

        Planet Home Lending, LLC
        PO Box 660016
        Dallas, TX 75266-0016

        or by overnight delivery to:

        Planet Home Lending, LLC
        321 Research Parkway Suite 303
        Meriden, CT 06450

        ATTN: Cash Management

        Online at https://planethomelending.customercarenet.com  you can enroll for a one- time electronic payment draft or for our automatic payment program. Please log in to your account for more details. There may be fees associated with the one-time electronic payment draft. Please have your routing and account number available from the checking or savings account you will be using.

        Payments may be made using our automated phone system. Please call 1 (866) 882-8187 and choose Option 2 to utilize this function. There may be a fee associated with this payment option.

        Payments are also accepted over the phone as a one-time electronic payment draft. There is a fee for this service. Contact our Customer Service Department at (866) 882-8187 to schedule your payment today. Please have your routing and account number available from the checking or savings account you will be using.

    • I mailed my payment on time but it has not been credited to my account, what should I do?
      • If two or more weeks have elapsed since you sent the payment, we suggest for your protection, that you ask your bank to put a Stop Payment on the check. You will then need to resubmit your payment to us. If you elect to place a stop payment on the check, PHL will not be responsible for the stop payment charge from your bank, and a returned check fee may be assessed (based on applicable law) to your account if the check is returned unpaid. Contact our Customer Service Department at 1 (866) 882-8187, Option 3, to assist you with payment methods.

    • How will my payments be applied?
      • Payments received will be applied in accordance with the terms of your mortgage note. This generally means that funds will first be applied to any payments past due. Payments received for an amount less than the total payment due will be held on your loan in a suspense account until a full payment is received. Once the full payment is received the funds will be posted to the payment due. Once current, any additional available funds will be applied to outstanding fees, costs and advances prior to being applied as a principal reduction. Should you have any questions regarding a specific payment, please call our Customer Service Department at 1 (866) 882-8187, Option 3.

    • How long does it take for my payment to be posted after you receive it?
      • Payments that are properly noted with your loan number and mailed to the address on your statement will post within 24 hours of the day of receipt provided they are received on any regular business day, Monday through Friday. Payments received on a weekend or holiday will post on the next regular business day. We will credit a payment to your loan account as of the date it is received if the payment arrives before 5 PM Eastern Time. Payments received for an amount less than the total payment due will be held on your loan in a suspense account until a full payment is received.   Once the full payment is received the funds will be posted to the payment due.

    • When is my payment considered late?
      • Late charges are specified in your Note. A payment is considered late one day after the payment due date. However, late charges are assessed in accordance with the “grace period” as identified in your Mortgage Note.

    • When will I be charged a late fee?
      • Late fees are determined by your Note. If your payment does not reach us within the grace period specified in your Note, you will be assessed a late fee. Again, this is determined by the date the payment is actually received by PHL and not by the mailing date, postal date, or the date on the check.

    • I mailed my payment to the prior servicer before I received the notification of transfer. Will my account be credited?
      • If you mailed your payment to the prior servicer, please be assured that it will be endorsed and forwarded to PHL for proper credit to your account. If you receive a notice from us that it has not been received, please advise us immediately. Our Customer Service department will work with you to either secure the payment you sent, or make arrangements to resubmit the payment to us.

    • What do I do if I have lost my account statement or did not receive an account statement?
      • You are still responsible for making your payment on time. Please write your address and loan number on your check or money order, and a telephone number where we may call you if necessary, and send your payment to the address below:

        Planet Home Lending, LLC
        PO Box 660016
        Dallas, TX 75266-0016

    • I have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) loan which has/is about to adjust…what will happen to my monthly payment?
      • We’re here to help explain exactly how your loan may be affected and what we can do to assist you. We can also review other loan solutions that might better fit your needs. Please contact our Customer Service Department at 1 (866) 882-8187, Option 3, to answer your questions about ARM loans or see our ARM FAQs for more information.

    • How can my monthly payment increase when I have a fixed rate mortgage?
      • The increase is due to the escrow portion of your payment, not the principal and interest.  Your principal and interest payments are calculated according to a fixed interest rate that never changes.  Please see our Escrow FAQs for more information.

  • Payoffs
    • What is a payoff?
      • A mortgage loan payoff is payment of the full amount owed on an existing loan, including the outstanding principal balance, accrued interest, unpaid fees, late charges, and any miscellaneous servicing charges and collection costs. All payoffs and other prepayments should be labeled as such. All payments must be made in US Dollars by Certified, Official Bank check or wire transfer. On the memo line of the check or within the wire instructions, indicate that the funds are to pay the loan in full.   Contact our Customer Service department for wire instructions.

    • Should I use my principal balance for a payoff figure?
      • No, the principal balance will not pay your loan in full. You may request a payoff statement from PHL, which will be provided within a reasonable time. A payoff amount consists of your principal balance, interest due, and, if applicable, the following other items: prepayment charge, fees, servicing advances, negative escrow balance, miscellaneous servicing fees, and collection costs. The payoff statement includes interest that will be due as of the date stated in the payoff statement. Daily interest owed on your loan is determined as of the date that your full loan payment is received. All payoffs are subject to final audit upon presentation to PHL.  Payoffs that are less than the total amount due will be returned and interest will continue to accrue.

    • How long will the payoff figures be valid?
      • Payoff statements provide a projected amount due as of a certain date, which may be up to 30 days in the future. Any payments, advances, and costs incurred after the payoff statement is prepared by us will change the amount due to pay your loan in full. A new payoff statement should be requested if the full payment will be received by PHL after the date in the current payoff statement. All payoffs are subject to final audit upon receipt of payment by PHL. The final audit will determine if you still owe funds due to changes occurring after the payoff statement was prepared, or we owe funds to you due to payment before the date in the payoff statement.

    • How can I request a payoff?
      • If requested by the borrower or the borrower’s representative, such as an attorney representing the individual, a non-profit consumer counseling or similar organization, or a creditor with which the consumer is refinancing and which requires the payoff statement to complete the refinancing: a written request signed by the borrower(s) or other identifying documents are required. If requested by anyone else: a written request, accompanied by the borrower’s authorization (signed by all borrowers on the loan).

        The written request should specify the payoff date, up to 30 days in advance, that PHL may expect to receive the full payment. The payoff date may be any day that PHL is open to conduct substantially all of its business (the payoff date should not be a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday).

        All requests for a payoff statement can be faxed or mailed to:

        Planet Home Lending, LLC
        321 Research Parkway Suite 303
        Meriden, CT 06450
        ATTN: Payoff Department
        FAX: 1 (443) 927-1245

    • What fees are associated with requesting a payoff?
      • A recording fee may be charged by your County/Town Recorder’s Office to record the release of lien after the loan is paid in full. In some states, the borrower will pay this recording fee. Consult the terms of your mortgage or deed of trust regarding payment of this recording fee.

        A payoff preparation fee may be charged for the issuance of a payoff statement when applicable and when allowed by law.

    • Will I be charged a Pre-Payment Penalty?
      • There may be a prepayment charge on your loan if you pay it off early. You should refer to your Note or Addendum/Rider to the Deed of Trust/Mortgage to see if your loan has a prepayment charge.  If you cannot locate your closing documents or don’t understand your prepayment charge, please contact the Customer Service Department at 1 (866) 882-8187.  All payoffs are subject to final audit upon receipt by PHL.

    • When will I receive a refund for an overpayment on my payoff?
      • Any overpayment from the payoff on your account and/or any balance of your escrow account will be sent to you, by mail, within 20 days (excluding legal public holidays, Saturdays and Sundays) of payment of a mortgage loan in full.   20 days is needed to allow for an accurate audit of the payoff. It is very important for you to update your mailing address at the time of your payoff to ensure that any refund or underpayment notice is sent to the correct mailing address. Call the Customer Service Department at 1 (866) 882-8187 option 3, to update your mailing address.

    • What kinds of funds are accepted for payoff and where do I send the funds?
      • Your Certified or Official Bank check can be mailed/sent overnight to:
        Planet Home Lending, LLC
        321 Research Parkway Suite 303
        Meriden, CT 06450
        ATTN: Cash Management

        Your payment may also be sent by wire transfer. Contact our Customer Service department at 1 (866) 882-8187 for wire instructions.

        The loan account number must be included with the payment. If the loan account number is not included with a payment, the payment will be returned to the sender within 48 hours.

    • Will I receive a satisfaction of mortgage (release of lien)?
      • Your satisfaction of mortgage (also called a mortgage discharge or mortgage release) is processed according to state guidelines and is mailed directly to the recording jurisdiction (usually the state or county Register of Deeds). It is very important for you to update your mailing address to ensure that you receive a copy of your satisfaction of mortgage. The satisfaction of mortgage is only returned in states where it is required. Call the Customer Service Department at 1 (866) 882-8187 option 3, to update your mailing address.

  • Service Transfers
    • My loan was just transferred to PHL, what does this mean?
      • The servicing of your loan may be transferred to PHL or the ownership of your loan may be transferred to PHL, or both. You will receive notices of the transfer of servicing of your loan and/or the transfer of ownership of your loan. Please read these notices carefully.

        If the servicing of your loan has been transferred, that means PHL will now be handling your loan payments. This does not always mean your loan has been sold; a mortgage servicing company is a company that services the daily maintenance of your mortgage loan. As your servicer we handle all of your monthly payments, disburse all escrow funds if/when applicable and assist with any of your mortgage questions.

    • Will the terms of my loan change?
      • No, the terms of your loan will not change when a loan is transferred. As your servicer, we follow the same mortgage documents that were signed at your closing. However, the escrow account that you had with your prior loan servicer may be reevaluated to determine whether the escrow portion of your payment should change.

    • What happens if I already mailed my payments to the previous servicing company?
      • Payments mailed to the previous loan servicer will be forwarded to PHL once they have been received.  If you receive a notice from us that it has not been received, please advise us immediately at 1 (866) 882-8187. Our Customer Service department will work with you to either secure the payment you sent, or make arrangements to resubmit the payment to us.

    • Should I wait for my first billing statement from PHL to arrive before I send you my payment?
      • No, you should always send your payment for arrival on or before your due date. The payment coupon is not required; you may mail your payment to us directly and include your address and loan number, and a telephone number where we may call you if necessary, on your payment. Our payment address is:

        Planet Home Lending, LLC
        PO Box 660016
        Dallas, TX 75266-0016

    • Currently, I have my tax and insurance payment made by my mortgage company. Will this continue?
      • Yes. If you currently have escrow funds held for the payment of your taxes and/or insurance premiums, the collection will continue and those payments will be made.

    • My loan was transferred to another loan servicer, what does this mean?
      • The transfer of loan servicing is common in the mortgage industry and is not related to the current status of your loan. You will receive a notice telling you when to begin making payments to the new loan servicer. Please note the effective date of the transfer and send all payments to your new servicer after that date.

    • Will PHL send me a statement of interest paid?
      • Typically, you will receive two statements at year-end, one from PHL and one from the previous servicing company. You may receive additional statements if your loan has been transferred more than once. You must combine the totals to get the correct amount of interest paid for the current tax year. Please refer to your notice of transfer of servicing letter for how interest will be reported as part of the transfer.

  • Taxes
    • I received a bill for taxes, but my loan is escrowed. Where do I send it?
      • Please send a copy of all tax notices to:

        Planet Home Lending, LLC
        321 Research Parkway Suite 303
        Meriden, CT 06450
        ATTN: Tax Department

        Or, you may send a fax to: 1 (443) 927-1244. Please include your address and loan number, and a telephone number were we may call you if necessary, on all correspondence.

    • Why did I receive a letter asking for a receipt of taxes paid?
      • If you do not have an escrow account with PHL and you received a letter asking you to send proof of taxes being paid, it is because we received information that your taxes are past due. If you have paid your taxes, please mail proof of payment to:

        Planet Home Lending, LLC
        321 Research Parkway Suite 303
        Meriden, CT 06450
        ATTN: Tax Department

        Or, you may send a fax to: 1 (443) 927-1244.   Please include your address and loan number, and a telephone number where we may call you if necessary, on all correspondence.

Anything else we can answer?

Planet Home Lending, LLC is your partner throughout the life of your loan.
So if you have a question, we have FAQ to provide the answers. If you have an issue or question that we did not answer here, or you need more assistance, please contact us. We will help you with any concern or inquiry you might have.