Ignorance keeps homeowners from mortgage insurance refunds

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If a private company has approached you to help track down funds you might be owed from paying off a Federal Housing Administration home loan, try taking on the chore yourself. The steps are simply much easier than they used to be, and the cash could come in handy to pay off those holiday credit card bills. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which oversees all FHA loans, increased its research efforts three years ago to locate approximately 348,000 homeowners owed $250 million in FHA mortgage insurance refunds. However, some homeowners could not be found--usually because they had moved and the new mailing address was not in HUD's records. When homeowners pay off their FHA-insured loan within five years, a portion of the mortgage insurance upfront premium is returned. It works much like a homeowner's fire insurance policy that's canceled before the term expires. If you pay $600 to insure your home for a year and move after eight months, a portion of the $600 would be...