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e-CFR data is current as of July 8, 2020

Title 24Subtitle BChapter IISubchapter BPart 206Subpart D → §206.205


Title 24: Housing and Urban Development
PART 206—HOME EQUITY CONVERSION MORTGAGE INSURANCE
Subpart D—Servicing Responsibilities


§206.205   Property charges.

(a) General. (1) The borrower shall be responsible for the payment of the following property charges before or on the due date: ground rents, condominium fees, planned unit development fees, and homeowners' association fees.

(2) Payment of the following property charges are obligations of the borrower and shall be made through the LESA, by the borrower, or by the mortgagee, in accordance with paragraphs (b) through (e) of this section on or before the due date: property taxes, including any special assessments levied by local or State law, hazard insurance premiums, and applicable flood insurance premiums.

(b) Method of property charge payment—(1) LESA required. For fixed or adjustable interest rate HECMs, based on the results of the Financial Assessment, the mortgagee may require the borrower to have a Fully-Funded LESA for the payment of property charges identified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. For adjustable interest rate HECMs, based on the results of the Financial Assessment, the mortgagee may require the borrower to have a Partially-Funded LESA for the payment of property charges identified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

(2) LESA not required. (i) If, based on the results of the Financial Assessment, the mortgagee does not require the borrower to have a LESA, the borrower shall elect one of the following at closing, whereby an election of the option in paragraph (b)(2)(i)(B) or (C) of this section cannot be cancelled by the borrower:

(A) Borrower is responsible for the independent payment of all property charges;

(B) Borrower elects to have a Fully-Funded LESA for the payment of property charges identified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section; or

(C) For adjustable interest rate HECMs only, borrower elects to have the mortgagee pay property charges listed in paragraph (a)(2) of this section which would have otherwise been required to be paid by the borrower, in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section.

(ii) Through Federal Register notice, the Commissioner may establish an incentive for voluntarily electing a LESA under paragraph (b)(2)(i)(B) of this section.

(c) Life Expectancy Set Aside—(1) General. (i) For a Fully-Funded LESA, the mortgagee shall:

(A) Make payments for property charges identified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section before bills become delinquent and establish controls to ensure that the information needed to pay such bills is obtained on a timely basis;

(B) Make early payments to take advantage of a discount whenever it is to the borrower's advantage;

(C) Not charge the borrower penalties for late payments for property charges unless it can be shown that the penalty was the direct result of the borrower's error or omission;

(D) Ensure that LESA funds are not held in an escrow account;

(E) Add payments for property charges to the outstanding loan balance when the mortgagee disburses funds to the taxing authority or insurance carrier; and

(F) Provide written notification to the borrower and FHA within 30 days of the mortgagee receiving notification that a property charge payment is outstanding when there are no funds or insufficient funds remaining in the LESA, and recommend that the borrower speak with a HUD-Approved Housing Counselor.

(ii) For a Partially-Funded LESA, the mortgagee shall:

(A) Ensure that LESA funds are disbursed to the borrower semi-annually;

(B) Establish controls to ensure the taxing authority, insurance carrier, or both, received the borrower's payment;

(C) Ensure the LESA funds are not held in an escrow account;

(D) Add payments disbursed to the borrower for the payment of property charges identified in paragraph (a)(2) to the outstanding loan balance when the mortgagee disburses the funds; and

(E) Provide written notification to the borrower and FHA within 30 days of the mortgagee receiving notification that a property charge payment is outstanding when there are no funds or insufficient funds remaining in the LESA, and recommend that the borrower speak with a HUD-Approved Housing Counselor.

(2) Calculation of property charges. (i) The projected cost of property charges that will be required over the life expectancy of the youngest borrower shall be calculated based on a formula established by the Commissioner.

(ii) The mortgagee shall not require any LESA to be funded in excess of the projected cost of property charges.

(iii) For a Fully-Funded LESA, the amount withheld from the mortgage proceeds shall equal the projected cost of property charges.

(iv) For a Partially-Funded LESA, the amount withheld from the mortgage proceeds is based on a calculation of the gap in residual income and may not exceed the projected cost of property charges.

(v) Mortgagees shall use the HECM Financial Assessment and Property Charge Guide, or subsequent guide issued by the Commissioner, to determine whether a LESA is required; view the formula for calculating the projected costs of property charges; and view the formulas for calculating the Fully- and Partially-Funded LESA amounts.

(3) Annual analysis of LESA. Mortgagees shall perform an annual analysis of the LESA to determine whether the funds are sufficient to make required distributions for the next year. If funds are exhausted or there is an insufficient balance determination, the mortgagee shall notify the borrower, in writing and within 15 calendar days of the annual analysis of the determination, that LESA funds are exhausted or insufficient and the borrower will be responsible for the payment of property charges.

(4) Non-payment of property charges—(i) Fully-Funded LESA for an adjustable interest rate HECM with no remaining funds. (A) If the LESA is exhausted and the borrower fails to make property charge payments, the mortgagee shall use any available principal limit to pay the outstanding property charge amount in full and charge the borrower's account.

(B) The mortgagee shall provide the borrower with a written notification within 30 days of the mortgagee receiving notification that a property charge payment is outstanding. The borrower shall have 30 days to respond to the mortgagee to explain the circumstances which resulted in the non-payment. (C) If there is no available principal limit from which the mortgagee can pay the property charge amount in full, and the borrower fails to pay the property charges, the mortgage will become due and payable under §206.27(c)(2).

(ii) Fully-Funded LESA for a fixed interest rate HECM with no remaining funds. If the LESA is exhausted and the borrower fails to make property charge payments, the mortgage will become due and payable under §206.27(c)(2).—

(iii) Partially-Funded LESA with remaining funds. If funds remain in the LESA and the borrower fails to make property charge payments, the mortgagee shall:

(A) Immediately suspend future semi-annual payments to the borrower from the Partially-Funded LESA, although scheduled and unscheduled payments from the borrower's payment option may continue;

(B) Disburse funds from the Partially-Funded LESA to pay the full amount owed for the past due property charge; and

(C) Provide written notification to the borrower, within 30 days of the mortgagee receiving notification that a property charge payment is outstanding, that funds were advanced from the Partially-Funded LESA to pay the outstanding property charge. The borrower shall have 30 days to respond to the mortgagee to explain the circumstances which resulted in the non-payment.

(iv) Partially-Funded LESA with no remaining funds. (A) If the LESA is exhausted and the borrower fails to make property charge payments when due, the mortgagee shall use any funds available in the principal limit to pay the outstanding property charge amount in full and charge the borrower's account.

(B) The mortgagee shall provide written notification to the borrower within 30 days of the mortgagee receiving notification that a property charge payment is outstanding. The borrower shall have 30 days to respond to the mortgagee to explain the circumstances which resulted in the non-payment.

(C) If there is no available principal limit from which the mortgagee can pay the property charge amount in full, and the borrower fails to pay the property charges, the mortgage will become due and payable under §206.27(c)(2).

(5) Unused LESA funds. During a Deferral Period or when one of the events listed in §206.27(c)(1) or (c)(2) have occurred, no unused funds from the LESA shall be disbursed.

(6) Assignment of mortgage to the Commissioner. If the insured first mortgage is assigned to the Commissioner, or if payments are made through the second mortgage under the Demand Assignment process, the Commissioner is not required to assume the responsibility for property charge payments, but may continue to administer payments for property charges for a borrower with a Fully-Funded LESA or semi-annual disbursements to a borrower with a Partially-Funded LESA to the extent that there are any funds available in the LESA. For adjustable interest rate HECMs, if the LESA has a positive remaining balance but funds are insufficient to pay all property charges due or semi-annual disbursements to the borrower, the Commissioner may provide the remaining funds to the borrower as a line of credit.

(d) Borrower elects to have mortgagee pay property charges. If, based on the results of the Financial Assessment, the mortgagee does not require the borrower to have a LESA, for adjustable interest rate HECMs, the borrower may elect at closing to require the mortgagee to pay property charges identified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section by withholding funds from monthly payments due to the borrower or by charging such funds to a line of credit. This voluntary election to have funds withheld by the mortgagee to pay property charges cannot be canceled by the borrower at any time. If the sum of the outstanding loan balance and any unused set aside for repairs and servicing charges has reached the principal limit or the HECM proceeds are otherwise insufficient to pay the property charges, the borrower shall pay such property charges, even though the borrower elected payment to be made by the mortgagee. Through Federal Register notice, the Commissioner may expand the borrower's options for property charge payment by the mortgagee.

(1) Assignment of mortgage to the Commissioner. If the insured first mortgage is assigned to the Commissioner under §206.107(a)(1) or §206.121(b), or if payments are made through the second mortgage under §206.121(c), the Commissioner is not required to assume the mortgagee's responsibility under paragraph (d) of this section, despite the election by the borrower.

(2) Mortgagee's responsibilities. (i) Funds withheld from payments due to the borrower for property charges under paragraph (d) of this section shall not be paid into an escrow account. When property charges are actually paid, the mortgagee may add the amount paid to the outstanding loan balance.

(ii) It is the mortgagee's responsibility to make disbursements for property charges before bills become delinquent. Mortgagees shall establish controls to ensure that the information needed to pay such bills is obtained on a timely basis. Penalties for late payments for property charges must not be charged to the borrower unless it can be shown that the penalty was the direct result of the borrower's error or omission. Early payment of a bill to take advantage of a discount should be made whenever it is to the borrower's benefit.

(iii) Not later than the end of the second loan year the mortgagee shall establish a system for the periodic analysis of the amounts withheld from monthly payments. The analysis shall be performed at least once a year thereafter. The amount shall be adjusted, after analysis, to provide sufficient available funds to make anticipated disbursements during the ensuing year. The borrower shall be given at least ten days' notice of adjustment in the amount of withholding and an adequate explanation of the reasons for any change. When the amount withheld is analyzed in accordance with this paragraph, any surplus shall be paid to the borrower and added to the outstanding loan balance. Any shortage shall be corrected through increasing the monthly withholding as provided in paragraph (d)(2)(iv) of this section. If amounts withheld are insufficient to pay a property charge before it is delinquent, and the borrower could request a payment equal to the shortage under §206.26(b), then the mortgagee shall pay the full property charge and treat payment of the shortage as a payment requested by the borrower under §206.26(b).

(iv) The mortgagee's estimate of withholding amount shall be based on the best information available as to probable payments which will be required to be made for property charges in the coming year. If actual disbursements during the preceding year are used as the basis, the resulting estimate may deviate from those disbursements by as much as ten percent. The mortgagee may not require withholding in excess of the current estimated total annual requirement, unless expressly requested by the borrower. Each monthly withholding for property charges shall equal one-twelfth of the annual amounts as reasonably estimated by the mortgagee.

(e) Borrower elects to pay property charges. (1) If, based on the results of the Financial Assessment, the mortgagee does not require the borrower to have a LESA, the borrower may elect to be responsible for the independent payment of all property charges and shall pay all property charges in a timely manner and shall provide evidence of payment to the mortgagee as required in the mortgage.

(2) Failure to pay property charges. If the borrower fails to pay the property charges in a timely manner, and has not elected to have the mortgagee make the payments in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section:

(i) The mortgagee may make the payment for the borrower and charge the borrower's account if there are available funds from which the mortgagee may make payment. If a pattern of missed payments occurs, the mortgagee may establish procedures to pay the property charges from the borrower's funds as if the borrower elected to have the mortgagee pay the property charges under this section.

(ii) The mortgagee shall provide a written notification to the borrower and notify the Commissioner that an obligation of the mortgage has not been performed within 30 days of the mortgagee receiving notification of a missed payment when there are no available HECM funds from which the mortgagee may make payment. The borrower shall have 30 days to respond to the mortgagee to explain the circumstances which resulted in the non-payment. The mortgagee may provide any permissible loss mitigation made available by the Commissioner through notice. If the borrower is unable or unwilling to repay the mortgagee for any funds advanced by the mortgagee to pay property charges outside of a LESA, the mortgagee shall submit a due and payable request under the provisions of §206.27(c)(2).

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