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RESPA & Escrow Account

Mark Cappel
UpdatedDec 1, 2023

Is a mortgage escrow account for taxes and insurance required under RESPA?

I currently have a home mortgage with Chase. When I refinanced a few years ago I agreed to include an escrow account within the mortgage. Since then, I have tried twice to change this agreement and pay my insurance company and taxes directly once yearly. Chase has told me that I can not do this unless I refinance. The representative said this situation is a part of the RESPA law. I have excellent credit, a good amount of savings, and owe approximately 60K on my home. Was the representative correct about(this)law? Thank you.

No, the Chase customer service representative (CRS) was incorrect about RESPA and escrow accounts, but his or her misinformation is irrelevant for the purposes of your question.

First, some background information about the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), which took effect January 1, 2010. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) describes RESPA on its Web site thusly: "RESPA is about closing costs and settlement procedures. RESPA requires that consumers receive disclosures at various times in the transaction and outlaws kickbacks that increase the cost of settlement services. RESPA is a HUD consumer protection statute designed to help homebuyers be better shoppers in the home buying process, and is enforced by HUD."

According to the RESPA FAQs About Escrow Accounts for Consumers, an escrow account is not required under RESPA. Therefore, that portion of what the CSR told you was an incorrect statement of law.

However, the mortgagee is allowed to require an escrow account as a condition of you, the mortgagor, doing business with it. That is allowed under RESPA. Therefore, the CSR telling you that you need to refinance to lift the escrow account requirement is probably true, if that is a condition of your mortgage.

You may want to consider refinancing. See the resource Refinance Rates to learn more about refinancing your mortgage.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.



The Latest on Mortgage Rates

It is expected that mortgage rates are subject to change. Homebuyers and those refinancing their mortgages should pay close attention to the latest mortgage rate

Mortgage rates November 8, 2023
According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year mortgage rate for the week of November 8, 2023 stands at 7.50%. This 26 basis points decrease from the previous week's rate.
Additionally, Freddie Mac reports that the 15-year mortgage rate for November 8, 2023 is 6.81%, indicating a 22 basis points decrease from previous week’s rates.
Note: A basis point is equal to one-hundredth of one percent (0.01%). In numerical terms, if the mortgage rate changes by 20 basis points, it means the rate has changed by 0.20%.

Understanding the impact of mortgage rates on your finances
When it comes to determining your monthly payment, mortgage rates are a key factor to consider. Here are the avergage interest rates (APR) for November 14, 2023 based on Zillow data for borrowers with a high credit score (680-740) in the United States:

  • 30-year conventional loan is 7.61%
  • 15-year conventional loan is 6.74%
    Based on the provided rates, a $279,082 30-year mortgage would result in a monthly payment of $1,972. Alternatively, a 15-year mortgage would require a monthly payment of around $2,468.

Simplify your mortgage journey: Shop around and get pre-approved today!
To make the home-buying or refinancing process a breeze, we highly recommend shopping around for mortgages and getting pre-approved. So, why not Check Out mortgage rates now for the best options available.