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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of May 26, 2020

Title 12Chapter XPart 1024Subpart C → §1024.37


Title 12: Banks and Banking
PART 1024—REAL ESTATE SETTLEMENT PROCEDURES ACT (REGULATION X)
Subpart C—Mortgage Servicing


§1024.37   Force-placed insurance.

(a) Definition of force-placed insurance—(1) In general. For the purposes of this section, the term “force-placed insurance” means hazard insurance obtained by a servicer on behalf of the owner or assignee of a mortgage loan that insures the property securing such loan.

(2) Types of insurance not considered force-placed insurance. The following insurance does not constitute “force-placed insurance” under this section:

(i) Hazard insurance required by the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973.

(ii) Hazard insurance obtained by a borrower but renewed by the borrower's servicer as described in §1024.17(k)(1), (2), or (5).

(iii) Hazard insurance obtained by a borrower but renewed by the borrower's servicer at its discretion, if the borrower agrees.

(b) Basis for charging borrower for force-placed insurance. A servicer may not assess on a borrower a premium charge or fee related to force-placed insurance unless the servicer has a reasonable basis to believe that the borrower has failed to comply with the mortgage loan contract's requirement to maintain hazard insurance.

(c) Requirements before charging borrower for force-placed insurance—(1) In general. Before a servicer assesses on a borrower any premium charge or fee related to force-placed insurance, the servicer must:

(i) Deliver to a borrower or place in the mail a written notice containing the information required by paragraph (c)(2) of this section at least 45 days before a servicer assesses on a borrower such charge or fee;

(ii) Deliver to the borrower or place in the mail a written notice in accordance with paragraph (d)(1) of this section; and

(iii) By the end of the 15-day period beginning on the date the written notice described in paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section was delivered to the borrower or placed in the mail, not have received, from the borrower or otherwise, evidence demonstrating that the borrower has had in place, continuously, hazard insurance coverage that complies with the loan contract's requirements to maintain hazard insurance.

(2) Content of notice. The notice required by paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section shall set forth the following information:

(i) The date of the notice;

(ii) The servicer's name and mailing address;

(iii) The borrower's name and mailing address;

(iv) A statement that requests the borrower to provide hazard insurance information for the borrower's property and identifies the property by its physical address;

(v) A statement that:

(A) The borrower's hazard insurance is expiring, has expired, or provides insufficient coverage, as applicable;

(B) The servicer does not have evidence that the borrower has hazard insurance coverage past the expiration date or evidence that the borrower has hazard insurance that provides sufficient coverage, as applicable; and

(C) If applicable, identifies the type of hazard insurance for which the servicer lacks evidence of coverage;

(vi) A statement that hazard insurance is required on the borrower's property, and that the servicer has purchased or will purchase, as applicable, such insurance at the borrower's expense;

(vii) A statement requesting the borrower to promptly provide the servicer with insurance information;

(viii) A description of the requested insurance information and how the borrower may provide such information, and if applicable, a statement that the requested information must be in writing;

(ix) A statement that insurance the servicer has purchased or purchases:

(A) May cost significantly more than hazard insurance purchased by the borrower;

(B) Not provide as much coverage as hazard insurance purchased by the borrower;

(x) The servicer's telephone number for borrower inquiries; and

(xi) If applicable, a statement advising the borrower to review additional information provided in the same transmittal.

(3) Format. A servicer must set the information required by paragraphs (c)(2)(iv), (vi), and (ix)(A) and (B) in bold text, except that the information about the physical address of the borrower's property required by paragraph (c)(2)(iv) of this section may be set in regular text. A servicer may use form MS-3A in appendix MS-3 of this part to comply with the requirements of paragraphs (c)(1)(i) and (2) of this section.

(4) Additional information. Except for the mortgage loan account number, a servicer may not include any information other than information required by paragraph (c)(2) of this section in the written notice required by paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section. However, a servicer may provide such additional information to a borrower on separate pieces of paper in the same transmittal.

(d) Reminder notice—(1) In general. The notice required by paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section shall be delivered to the borrower or placed in the mail at least 15 days before a servicer assesses on a borrower a premium charge or fee related to force-placed insurance. A servicer may not deliver to a borrower or place in the mail the notice required by paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section until at least 30 days after delivering to the borrower or placing in the mail the written notice required by paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section.

(2) Content of the reminder notice—(i) Servicer receiving no insurance information. A servicer that receives no hazard insurance information after delivering to the borrower or placing in the mail the notice required by paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section must set forth in the notice required by paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section:

(A) The date of the notice;

(B) A statement that the notice is the second and final notice;

(C) The information required by paragraphs (c)(2)(ii) through (xi) of this section; and

(D) The cost of the force-placed insurance, stated as an annual premium, except if a servicer does not know the cost of force-placed insurance, a reasonable estimate shall be disclosed and identified as such.

(ii) Servicer lacking evidence of continuous coverage. A servicer that has received hazard insurance information after delivering to a borrower or placing in the mail the notice required by paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section, but has not received, from the borrower or otherwise, evidence demonstrating that the borrower has had sufficient hazard insurance coverage in place continuously, must set forth in the notice required by paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section the following information:

(A) The date of the notice;

(B) The information required by paragraphs (c)(2)(ii) through (iv) and (ix) through (xi) and (d)(2)(i)(B) and (D) of this section;

(C) A statement that the servicer has received the hazard insurance information that the borrower provided;

(D) A statement that requests the borrower to provide the information that is missing;

(E) A statement that the borrower will be charged for insurance the servicer has purchased or purchases for the period of time during which the servicer is unable to verify coverage;

(3) Format. A servicer must set the information required by paragraphs (d)(2)(i)(B) and (D) of this section in bold text. The requirements of paragraph (c)(3) of this section apply to the information required by paragraph (d)(2)(i)(C) of this section. A servicer may use form MS-3B in appendix MS-3 of this part to comply with the requirements of paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(2)(i) of this section. A servicer may use form MS-3C in appendix MS-3 of this part to comply with the requirements of paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(2)(ii) of this section.

(4) Additional information. Except for the borrower's mortgage loan account number, a servicer may not include any information other than information required by paragraph (d)(2)(i) or (ii) of this section, as applicable, in the written notice required by paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section. However, a servicer may provide such additional information to a borrower on separate pieces of paper in the same transmittal.

(5) Updating notice with borrower information. If a servicer receives new information about a borrower's hazard insurance after a written notice required by paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section has been put into production, the servicer is not required to update such notice based on the new information so long as the notice was put into production a reasonable time prior to the servicer delivering the notice to the borrower or placing the notice in the mail.

(e) Renewing or replacing force-placed insurance—(1) In general. Before a servicer assesses on a borrower a premium charge or fee related to renewing or replacing existing force-placed insurance, a servicer must:

(i) Deliver to the borrower or place in the mail a written notice containing the information set forth in paragraph (e)(2) of this section at least 45 days before assessing on a borrower such charge or fee; and

(ii) By the end of the 45-day period beginning on the date the written notice required by paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this section was delivered to the borrower or placed in the mail, not have received, from the borrower or otherwise, evidence demonstrating that the borrower has purchased hazard insurance coverage that complies with the loan contract's requirements to maintain hazard insurance.

(iii) Charging a borrower before end of notice period. Notwithstanding paragraphs (e)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section, if not prohibited by State or other applicable law, if a servicer has renewed or replaced existing force-placed insurance and receives evidence demonstrating that the borrower lacked insurance coverage for some period of time following the expiration of the existing force-placed insurance (including during the notice period prescribed by paragraph (e)(1) of this section), the servicer may, promptly upon receiving such evidence, assess on the borrower a premium charge or fee related to renewing or replacing existing force-placed insurance for that period of time.

(2) Content of renewal notice. The notice required by paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this section shall set forth the following information:

(i) The date of the notice;

(ii) The servicer's name and mailing address;

(iii) The borrower's name and mailing address;

(iv) A statement that requests the borrower to update the hazard insurance information for the borrower's property and identifies the borrower's property by its physical address;

(v) A statement that the servicer previously purchased insurance on the borrower's property and assessed the cost of the insurance to the borrower because the servicer did not have evidence that the borrower had hazard insurance coverage for the property;

(vi) A statement that:

(A) The insurance the servicer purchased previously has expired or is expiring, as applicable; and

(B) Because hazard insurance is required on the borrower's property, the servicer intends to maintain insurance on the property by renewing or replacing the insurance it previously purchased;

(vii) A statement informing the borrower:

(A) That insurance the servicer purchases may cost significantly more than hazard insurance purchased by the borrower;

(B) That such insurance may not provide as much coverage as hazard insurance purchased by the borrower; and

(C) The cost of the force-placed insurance, stated as an annual premium, except if a servicer does not know the cost of force-placed insurance, a reasonable estimate shall be disclosed and identified as such.

(viii) A statement that if the borrower purchases hazard insurance, the borrower should promptly provide the servicer with insurance information.

(ix) A description of the requested insurance information and how the borrower may provide such information, and if applicable, a statement that the requested information must be in writing;

(x) The servicer's telephone number for borrower inquiries; and

(xi) If applicable, a statement advising a borrower to review additional information provided in the same transmittal.

(3) Format. A servicer must set the information required by paragraphs (e)(2)(iv), (vi)(B), and (vii)(A) through (C) of this section in bold text, except that the information about the physical address of the borrower's property required by paragraph (e)(2)(iv) may be set in regular text. A servicer may use form MS-3D in appendix MS-3 of this part to comply with the requirements of paragraphs (e)(1)(i) and (2) of this section.

(4) Additional information. Except for the borrower's mortgage loan account number, a servicer may not include any information other than information required by paragraph (e)(2) of this section in the written notice required by paragraph (e)(1) of this section. However, a servicer may provide such additional information to a borrower on separate pieces of paper in the same transmittal.

(5) Frequency of renewal notices. Before each anniversary of a servicer purchasing force-placed insurance on a borrower's property, the servicer shall deliver to the borrower or place in the mail the written notice required by paragraph (e)(1) of this section. A servicer is not required to provide the written notice required by paragraph (e)(1) of this section more than once a year.

(f) Mailing the notices. If a servicer mails a written notice required by paragraphs (c)(1)(i), (c)(1)(ii), or (e)(1) of this section, the servicer must use a class of mail not less than first-class mail.

(g) Cancellation of force-placed insurance. Within 15 days of receiving, from the borrower or otherwise, evidence demonstrating that the borrower has had in place hazard insurance coverage that complies with the loan contract's requirements to maintain hazard insurance, a servicer must:

(1) Cancel the force-placed insurance the servicer purchased to insure the borrower's property; and

(2) Refund to such borrower all force-placed insurance premium charges and related fees paid by such borrower for any period of overlapping insurance coverage and remove from the borrower's account all force-placed insurance charges and related fees for such period that the servicer has assessed to the borrower.

(h) Limitations on force-placed insurance charges—(1) In general. Except for charges subject to State regulation as the business of insurance and charges authorized by the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, all charges related to force-placed insurance assessed to a borrower by or through the servicer must be bona fide and reasonable.

(2) Bona fide and reasonable charge. A bona fide and reasonable charge is a charge for a service actually performed that bears a reasonable relationship to the servicer's cost of providing the service, and is not otherwise prohibited by applicable law.

(i) Relationship to Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973. If permitted by regulation under section 102(e) of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, a servicer subject to the requirements of this section may deliver to the borrower or place in the mail any notice required by this section and the notice required by section 102(e) of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 on separate pieces of paper in the same transmittal.

[78 FR 10876, Feb. 14, 2013, as amended at 81 FR 72372, Oct. 19, 2016]

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