You could be paying more than you owe for your home. According to the American Homeowners Association (AHA), as many as 70 percent of unwitting homeowners are being overcharged in their escrow accounts (money set aside and maintained by lenders to pay property taxes, hazard insurance and other fees). That overcharge creates a large pool of cash on which the lenders can earn interest. To solve this problem, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has recently issued new rules to regulate lenders' escrow charges. To get a copy of a consumers' guide to the new rules, call the AHA at 1-800-470-2AHA. You'll also get a worksheet to help you figure out if you're due a refund or a reduction in your monthly escrow payments.
-Kelli Arena, Your Money