Many homeowners with active mortgage accounts have an escrow account with their lender. Your lender quotes how much you have to pay into escrow monthly at the beginning of each year. Sometimes the lender can overestimate your entire costs for property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. If this occurs, the lender owes you a refund at the end of the year or beginning of the following.
As a homeowner, you have the responsibility to pay real estate taxes and homeowner’s insurance as well as your monthly mortgage payments. If you do not pay these punctually, the tax collector can record a lien against your property or even the insurance company could drop coverage. Your mortgage lender doesn’t want either of those situations to occur, because it has an interest in your house before the loan is paid in full. Many lenders require their borrowers to utilize an escrow account. Every month you pay into the account. The money is saved before a tax or insurance payment is due. At this time, the lender pays the invoice directly on your own behalf with the money from the bank account.
Your mortgage lender calculates how much you must pay into your bank account each month. It takes the total annual amount owed for taxes and insurance and divide by 12, to reach the monthly payment. It can get the billing information in the tax collectors and insurance companies to produce a good estimate of the grand total. Most lenders will collect additional to save in case the invoices tend to be more than anticipated. However, by law it’s only allowed to accumulate to two month’s worth of additional payments.
Your escrow account is reviewed to year to find out whether any adjustments are necessary. At this time, the lender also complies a report on the entire activity for the past year. This will include payments into and out of the accounts. The lender sends you a copy of the statement each year.
If the lender overestimated your annual bills, an overage will occur in the accounts at the time of the annual adjustment review. Your lender is required by law to refund the amount. If the overage is less than $50, it can be used as a credit on the following year’s escrow payments. If the overage amount is over $50, the lender should issue you a check for the entire amount. You should also keep track of your escrow account. If your records do not match the annual statement, contact your lender to discuss the discrepancy.