• Five Federal Agencies Request Comment on Proposed Flood Insurance Rule
  • October 30, 2014
  • Law Firm: Colodny Fass P.A. - Fort Lauderdale Office
  • In a news release issued today, October 24, 2014, the U.S. Federal Reserve and other federal regulatory agencies announced proposed rulemaking to amend regulations pertaining to loans secured by property located in special flood hazard areas.

    If amended, the Rule would implement provisions of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 ("HFIAA") relating to escrowing flood insurance payments and the exemption of certain detached structures from the mandatory flood insurance purchase requirement. HFIAA amends the escrow provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 ("Biggert-Waters").

    In accordance with HFIAA, the proposed Rule would require regulated lending institutions to escrow premiums and fees for flood insurance for loans secured by residential improved real estate or mobile homes that are made, increased, extended or renewed on or after January 1, 2016, unless the regulated lending institution or a loan qualifies for a statutory exception. In addition, the proposed Rule would require institutions to provide borrowers of residential loans outstanding on January 1, 2016 with the option to escrow flood insurance premiums and fees. The proposal includes new and revised sample notice forms and clauses concerning the escrow requirement and the option to escrow.

    Finally, the amended Rule would eliminate the requirement to purchase flood insurance for a structure that is a part of a residential property located in a special flood hazard area if that structure is detached from the primary residential structure and does not also serve as a residence. However, under HFIAA, lenders may nevertheless require flood insurance on the detached structures to protect the collateral securing the mortgage.

    In a separate rulemaking, the agencies will address other provisions of the Biggert-Waters Act for which they have jurisdiction and that were not amended by HFIAA.

    The proposed Rule is being issued by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Farm Credit Administration, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

    Comments will be due 60 days after the Rule is published in the Federal Register, which is expected shortly.