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Can a mortgage company send my monthly payment back to me and and refuse it unless I send them the total amount due?

Clinton Township, MI |
Filed under: Debt Estate planning

I currently owe $2792.96 to my mortgage company. I sent them a payment of $841.73 which is one month payment. I have been chronically behind due to a bad tenant. I have not lived in the house for 3 years because I am unemployed and can't afford to make my payments. They returned my payment and demanded the full amount. Is that legal?

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Attorney answers 2


It will depend on the terms written in the mortgage.


A standard Michigan mortgage contains the following provision:

Payments are deemed received by Lender when received at the location designated in the Note or at such other location as may be designated by Lender in accordance with the notice provisions in Section 15. Lender may return any payment or partial payment if the payment or partial payments are insufficient to bring the Loan current. Lender may accept any payment or partial payment insufficient to bring the Loan current, without waiver of any rights hereunder or prejudice to its rights to refuse such payment or partial payments in the future, but Lender is not obligated to apply such payments at the time such payments are accepted.

So, the short answer is "yes" (if you have a standard mortgage) the lender may refuse partial payments based upon the specific terms of the mortgage. Many people question why lenders do this, but it is very common. One option would be to call your lender and setup a formal re-payment plan. Once they have agreed, they must accept the amount they agreed to. Good luck.

Glenn R. Matecun
Michigan Estate Planning Attorney | Michigan Probate Lawyer

Toll Free: (888) 487-6150

DISCLAIMER: This response is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship or any right of confidentiality between you and the responding attorney. This response is intended only to provide general information. Attorneys cannot evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.

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