DEAR BENNY: I own a house worth approximately $400,000. The current mortgage is $25,000. A company in Florida took over the mortgage about six months ago. The mortgage company handles the tax and insurance payments through an escrow account. Given the current schedule of payments, the account will have a positive balance all next year. The mortgage company now wants to double the escrow payments. What, short of paying off the mortgage, are my options? Can the mortgage company legally demand such payments? I have owned a number of homes, vacation homes and rental homes over the years and never experienced anything this outrageous. --John DEAR JOHN: Lenders throughout this country usually demand that their borrowers pay money monthly into escrow so that the lender will pay the an...
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