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CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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I think I have been paying two home owners insurance

Customer Question

I think I have been paying two home owners insurance premiums for years. When I got a mortgage for my home through Countrywide, I had to purchase insurance through them. With the mortgage crisis several years ago, my loan was assumed by Bank of America and I was told by someone that I would have to purchase home owner's insurance, which I did. In fact, I had a flood on my 2nd floor which caused my ceiling to collapse, followed by a fire a few years later which destroyed my 2nd floor. Both claims were filed through my outside insurance which is Farmer's Insurance Company. My premiums are automatically withdrawn and I know the amount that is taken very two weeks and so have not reviewed paper statements since I can check the amounts taken from online banking. Upon reviewing a statement to check on my payoff amount, I noticed a breakdown of my escrow with taxes and insurance parenthesized. What is the best way to approach my Mortgage Company when inquiring about this insurance charge in escrow totaling $337.34/mo for taxes AND insurance? I feel like an idiot for not recognizing this.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.
Dear Customer,Thank you for using our forum, my name is ***** ***** I look forward to assisting you today.You will first want to check very carefully to determine what exactly the insurance is that you are paying for with your mortgage payments. In most cases you are not doubling up on your homeowners insurance, rather you are paying for mortgage insurance, (such as "PMI").Assuming that you really are doubling up on homeowner's insurance, you will want to first address the situation with the lender to stop the doubled insurance (make sure that you are getting the right insurance for your property, which usually means keeping the one you are paying for separately, and dropping the one the bank purchased for you) - this will stop the additional payments from continuing to occur. You will do this by contacting the lender's servicing department first by phone (this is how you are going to get the information necessary to draft your letter), then in writing to keep everything documented, noting that you have been carrying the additional insurance (how long and what the policy covers - you may even need to attach a copy of the policy to show the coverage).After that you can attempt to get them to credit you for these past insurance payments. This is going to be a more difficult task as you are going to need to show that the bank was somehow negligent in failing to show that you were already covered with homeowners insurance and misrepresented to you that you needed to obtain your own separate insurance. This part is going to require you to do some very detailed review of your original mortgage documents (all of the paperwork that you received and signed when you first purchased the property). If you can show that the bank made representations which made it appear that you needed to purchase insurance in addition to the insurance they were already providing, you could raise a reasonable claim that you are entitled to reimbursement for at least a portion of this money. (There are some defenses they will want to raise (one of which being that they identified "taxes and insurance" in their billing, the other being the statute of limitations which may limit how far back you are going to be able to go), but this is still something you can investigate, and it may give you an angle to recover some of this money if in fact you are doubling up on your homeowner's insurance.