Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Real Estate litigation attorney here to assist you.
Is the payment for delinquent taxes or for you escrow account to pay taxes as they're due?
Ok. Thanks for the information.
The first thing you need to do is ask what the additional fee is for. If it is some type of penalty, etc., then you should ask where your loan documents say you agree to pay that as a penalty. If the payment is to pre-pay part of next year's taxes, the lender may have the right to collect it if you have an escrow requirement in your loan agreement.
Without looking at your loan agreement/closing documents, there's no way to know whether or not the lender can assess this to you or not. However, you have the right to ask them what the fee is for and what authority the lender has to demand it. If they can provide a provision in your loan agreement that requires payment, then you would have to comply or face being in breach of the agreement.
This is all a matter of contract between you and the lender. If the loan documents you signed states that you agree to pay this amount as a penalty, etc., then you would be bound.
That's why it's important to ask the lender what authority it has to collect this amount as it would have to be something in your loan agreement that authorizes this fee.
If they can't prove that they're entitled to the fee, that should be the end of it. If they still demand this money despite the fact that there's no agreement or obligation under the loan documents or in the law that requires this of you, you should contact the Consumer Protection unit of your state attorney general's office (http://ag.ca.gov/consumers/general.php) and also the state department of financial institutions (http://www.dfi.ca.gov/) and ask for help with resolving this matter with the lender.
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