(a) It is the mortgagee's responsibility to make escrow disbursements before bills become delinquent. Mortgagees must establish controls to insure that bills payable from the escrow fund or the information needed to pay such bills is obtained on a timely basis. Penalties for late payments for items payable from the escrow account must not be charged to the mortgagor unless it can be shown that the penalty was the direct result of the mortgagor's error or omission. The mortgagee shall use the procedures set forth in § 3500.17 of this title, implementing Section 10 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (12 U.S.C. 2609), to compute the amount of the escrow, the methods of collection and accounting, and the payment of the bills for which the money has been escrowed.
(c) In the case of escrow accounts created for purposes of § 203.52 or § 234.64 of this chapter, mortgagees may estimate escrow requirements based on the best information available as to probable payments that will be required to be made from the account on a periodic basis throughout the period during which the account is maintained.
(d) The mortgagee shall not institute foreclosure when the only default of the mortgagor occupant is a present inability to pay a substantial escrow shortage, resulting from an adjustment pursuant to this section, in a lump sum.
(e) When the contract of mortgage insurance is terminated voluntarily or because of prepayment in full, sums in the escrow account to pay the mortgage insurance premiums shall be remitted to HUD with a form approved by the Secretary for reporting the voluntary termination of prepayment. Upon prepayment in full sums held in escrow for taxes and hazard insurance shall be released to the mortgagor promptly.
(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 2502-0474)