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1024.34—Timely Escrow Payments and Treatment of Escrow Account Balances.

(a) Timely escrow disbursements required. If the terms of a mortgage loan require the borrower to make payments to the servicer of the mortgage loan for deposit into an escrow account to pay taxes, insurance premiums, and other charges for the mortgaged property, the servicer shall make payments from the escrow account in a timely manner, that is, on or before the deadline to avoid a penalty, as governed by the requirements in § 1024.17(k).

(b) Refund of escrow balance. (1) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, within 20 days (excluding legal public holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays) of a borrower's payment of a mortgage loan in full, a servicer shall return to the borrower any amounts remaining in an escrow account that is within the servicer's control .

(2) Servicer may credit funds to a new escrow account. Notwithstanding paragraph (b)(1) of this section, if the borrower agrees, a servicer may credit any amounts remaining in an escrow account that is within the servicer's control to an escrow account for a new mortgage loan as of the date of the settlement of the new mortgage loan if the new mortgage loan is provided to the borrower by a lender that:

(i) Was also the lender to whom the prior mortgage loan was initially payable;

(ii) Is the owner or assignee of the prior mortgage loan; or

(iii) Uses the same servicer that serviced the prior mortgage loan to service the new mortgage loan.

Official Interpretation

Paragraph 34(b)(1).

1. Netting of funds. Section 1024.34(b)(1) does not prohibit a servicer from netting any remaining funds in an escrow account against the outstanding balance of the borrower's mortgage loan.

Paragraph 34(b)(2).

1. Refund always permissible. A servicer is not required to credit funds in an escrow account to an escrow account for a new mortgage loan and may, in all circumstances, comply with the requirements of § 1024.34(b) by refunding the funds in the escrow account to the borrower pursuant to § 1024.34(b)(1).

2. Borrower agreement. A borrower may agree either orally or in writing to a servicer's crediting of any remaining balance in an escrow account to a new escrow account for a new mortgage loan pursuant to § 1024.34(b)(2).

 

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