If you got an FHA loan after September 1, 1983, but before December 8, 2004, paid an upfront mortgage insurance premium (MIP) at closing, and did not default on your mortgage payments, you may be able get a check from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The idea is that your upfront mortgage premium was paid to insure your loan for a number of years until you acquired enough equity to lower the risk on your mortgage. If you didn't use the insurance for that period of time, HUD may have a check for you.
HUD Refunds: The Exceptions
First, there are exceptions to this general rule -- not everyone gets a refund of their MIP. Exclusions include:
- Assumptions. If you sold your home and allowed the buyer to assume your FHA mortgage, the insurance remained in place and you wouldn't be due a refund.
- Refinancing to another FHA loan. In this case, your MIP refund should have been applied to your new loan. You can check this out by looking over your settlement statement (form HUD-1) from your refinance, and making sure that you received a credit for MIP if you qualified for one.
- Claims. If HUD paid a claim on your mortgage insurance (if you defaulted, for example), you would not be due a refund.
If You Didn't Get Your Refund
If you didn't get a refund, but think you should have, you could be right. If you retired your FHA mortgage, your mortgage lender should have filed a "Request for Termination" with HUD, and you should have received a check within 45 days, or your refund should have been applied to your new mortgage if it was an FHA-to-FHA transaction. Call your old mortgage lender's servicing people -- if they confirm that they sent the correct termination information, your next move should be to contact HUD. You can call 1-800-697-6967, or write HUD at P.O. Box 23669, Washington, DC, 20026-3699. Or, you can look for your name with the HUD refund search form.
How Much Can You Get?
First, take a look at your settlement statement from your FHA loan. If you can't find it, your title company should be able to get you a copy. If you don't know which title company to contact, you can get that information from your county recorder's office -- many such offices post their records online. The amount you are looking for is on line 902 of the HUD-1 form. Next, multiply that number as follows:
For mortgages closed on or after January 1, 2001:
For mortgages closed on or after December 8, 2004:
You will not receive any refund unless you refinance to another FHA loan. Your refund will then be applied towards your new MIP, according to the following percentages:
Statute of Limitations
HUD is not liable for unclaimed refunds once six years has elapsed from the date the notification was first sent to your last known address. However, if a notice wasn't sent, that statute of limitations doesn't apply.
Do Not Pay for FHA Refund Tracer Services
If you have an FHA mortgage, you may receive solicitations from companies or individuals claiming that they can help you get money from the FHA. You could also be contacted by firms claiming that you must refinance your loan with them to qualify for a refund, or they may quote some large refund available to you if you refinance your loan with their firm. HUD warns that it does not sponsor such programs. In fact, these companies can't do anything that you can't easily do yourself with a phone call or internet check.
Gina Pogol has been writing about mortgage and finance since 1994. In addition to a decade in mortgage lending, she has worked as a business credit systems consultant for Experian and as an accountant for Deloitte.