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Valued Member
Posts: 74
Registered: ‎04-24-2008
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How do I get my escrowed property taxes lowered in my monthly mortgage payment?

Hello all, I just bought a home in Sept. 2008 (first time homebuyer). I was stuck with non homestead property taxes since I bought after May 1. I recently received something from the Tax assessor showing a "nice" drop in my property taxes, I am now "Homestead."  My taxes are escrowed. So what steps do I need to take so my monthly mortgage payment reflects the lower property taxes?  My mortgage is a FHA with Flagstar Bank.  I thank you in advance for your suggestions.
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3,017
Registered: ‎06-03-2008
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Re: How do I get my escrowed property taxes lowered in my monthly mortgage payment?

Don't have an answer for you but will be in the same boat as you if I ever find a house! I have been wondering about this myself. Hopefully someone will have an answer.
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Senior Contributor
Posts: 3,482
Registered: ‎11-30-2007
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Re: How do I get my escrowed property taxes lowered in my monthly mortgage payment?

It's adjusted after the 12th month.  OR you can get a letter from you county auditor on his letterhead and submit it to your lender.

 

Some lenders will adjust and some will make you wait until the 12th month.  Chase told me to go ahead and submit.

 

For new homeowners, you're better off letting that adjust after the 12th month.  It seems there is always a shortage at month 12 & you don't want to be caught short...grrrrrr

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 393
Registered: ‎11-06-2008
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Re: How do I get my escrowed property taxes lowered in my monthly mortgage payment?

As fish says, it depends on the lender.  I asked around and am finding that the trend is to suck it up for the frst year and then it will adjust.  I am in the same boat as yourself and must wait the year to adjust on both the taxes AND the HO insurance, as both were overestimated.
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Valued Contributor
Posts: 3,017
Registered: ‎06-03-2008
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Re: How do I get my escrowed property taxes lowered in my monthly mortgage payment?

Do you get reimbursed for what you over paid?  The reason I ask is that if I suck it up, it will be about $1000 for the year....that's a lot of money.
Established Member
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎10-17-2007
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Re: How do I get my escrowed property taxes lowered in my monthly mortgage payment?

I went through the same process when I bought my home last February.  My home came back at 170,000 in the tax appraisal even though I purchased it for $126,000 and my property appraisal at closing came back at $131, 500.  I disputed the county's tax appraisal, submitted the paperwork and they went with my appraisal amount of $131,500.  For 12 months I paid the higher taxes knowing I was overpaying and my escrow balance kept getting larger and larger.  Tax time came and went, they paid out my taxes.   Countrywide adjusted my escrow balance automatically and issued me a partial check of a little over $600.  Apparantly they figured the lowest escrow would reach throughout the year (around $1300), they then kept 16.6% of the base escrow amount (about $700) and subtracted the $700 from the $1300 and refunded me the rest.  It seems there will always be some overage in the account as a just in case, however, they have adjusted my monthly payment down for future tax costs. All of this was automatically done at around 12 months.

 

I suspect that like me they will reimburse you for part of it, the rest they will keep in your escrow account. 

Regular Contributor
Posts: 203
Registered: ‎03-08-2009
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Re: How do I get my escrowed property taxes lowered in my monthly mortgage payment?

This is good to know. The place we're trying to buy last sold for $60,000 more than what we're paying for it, so the assessment is higher than it should be for us. I didn't know how that would work.
TU 674 6/13/09
EQ 662 6/13/09
EX 660 8/6/09 (FICO from LO)

I'M A HOMEOWNER!! Closed 9/10/09!
Established Contributor
Posts: 721
Registered: ‎03-15-2008
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Re: How do I get my escrowed property taxes lowered in my monthly mortgage payment?


Lily wrote:

I went through the same process when I bought my home last February.  My home came back at 170,000 in the tax appraisal even though I purchased it for $126,000 and my property appraisal at closing came back at $131, 500.  I disputed the county's tax appraisal, submitted the paperwork and they went with my appraisal amount of $131,500.  For 12 months I paid the higher taxes knowing I was overpaying and my escrow balance kept getting larger and larger.  Tax time came and went, they paid out my taxes.   Countrywide adjusted my escrow balance automatically and issued me a partial check of a little over $600.  Apparantly they figured the lowest escrow would reach throughout the year (around $1300), they then kept 16.6% of the base escrow amount (about $700) and subtracted the $700 from the $1300 and refunded me the rest.  It seems there will always be some overage in the account as a just in case, however, they have adjusted my monthly payment down for future tax costs. All of this was automatically done at around 12 months.

 

I suspect that like me they will reimburse you for part of it, the rest they will keep in your escrow account. 


I don't own a home, but from others I've heard, it's always better to have an overage in your escrow account rather than a shortage.  I've heard some horror stories about people owing so much to Escrow that they can't find the money on such short notice.  

4/16/09: TU: 775, EQ: 805
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Goals for 2009: 0 Credit Card Debt & 0% Util (achieved 2/6/09), Mortgage! (achieved 11/2/09), getting closer to 800 scores (I crossed this earlier this year, but I'm sure I'm not there anymore!)
Established Member
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎10-17-2007

Re: How do I get my escrowed property taxes lowered in my monthly mortgage payment?

Disputing the tax appraisal was actually quite easy - and I did most of it online.  It was nice to get a chunk of money back for a little bit of work.  This year I got to file for homestead as well - which should help a little bit also Last year we bought in February so we couldn't file homestead exemption for last year - you have to be actually living on the property on the first of the year in my state to claim it.

 

I'm not at all bothered that they are leaving some in escrow - it actually makes me sleep a little better at night knowing I've got a cushion and won't necessarily have to come up with an unexpected chunk of money down the line.  Because they have decreased my monthly payment to account for the change in taxes, I'm now putting the difference into savings and living like we are still making the same payment.

Established Member
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎07-15-2008
0

Re: How do I get my escrowed property taxes lowered in my monthly mortgage payment?

Lily,

where did you go to get the process done? btw, thanks for the informtion!

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