The world lost a great leader today. Anti-apartheid activist, former South African President and philanthropist Nelson Mandela has passed away at the age of 95, leaving behind an immeasurable legacy. May he rest in peace.
USA TODAY: 15 of Nelson Mandela’s Best Quotes
Homeownership not only brings joy and a place to create memories, but also new responsibilities. As a first-time homebuyer, one of the many questions you might have is “How does an escrow account work, and why do I need it?”
What – An escrow impound account (also known as an impound account) is a separate savings account set up by your Lender to cover the property taxes and insurance premiums that are traditionally due in a lump sum once or twice a year. Instead of making one or two large payments per year, your Lender divides the annual cost into a monthly amount to add to your mortgage payment. When the time comes, the Lender then makes the large payment on your behalf.
Why – Most Lenders charge a .25 point fee for borrowers who opt out of an escrow account. This happens when homeowners are not prepared to make large tax and insurance payments once or twice a year.
Having an impound account ensures that a sufficient reserve has been built up to pay this amount, helping you remain a responsible homeowner.
When – An impound account is necessary for most first-time homebuyers, especially when the down payment is less than 20 percent of the home’s value.
Who – Although a Lender is collecting the money from you to pay on your behalf, you are still legally responsible for the payment. Federal law requires that the Lender review the impound account on a yearly basis and refund you any extra money collected throughout the year. You can request a detailed spending analysis of your impound money to ensure that your taxes and insurance are being paid on-time and correctly.