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Should mortgage borrower have an escrow account?

Answer will likely surprise by-the-book buyers
Published on Apr 22, 2004

DEAR BOB: I am in the process of refinancing my home loan to reduce the interest rate. The mortgage lender asked if I want an "escrow account" for the property taxes and fire insurance. I've never had an escrow account before. As I understand it, I would pay one-twelfth of the annual property tax and insurance premium each month along with my mortgage payment. Then the lender will pay the property taxes and insurance bills when they come due. However, the lender insists on having a two-month reserve in the escrow account. My wife thinks this is a bad idea. But the lender says if we don't have an escrow account we must pay a $750 "escrow waiver fee." What should we do? – Gordon S. DEAR GORDON: Mortgage escrow accounts are rip-offs for borrowers. They are financial bonanzas for mortgage lenders because they get the free use of your money until the property tax and insurance payments come due. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. To make matters worse, many mortgage lenders are notori...

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