A bill before the Senate Banking Committee Sept. 15 may require lenders to escrow flood insurance premiums if the lenders require escrow accounts as a loan origination condition for any government-backed loan.

"If any institution sells their loans to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. or if a loan is otherwise guaranteed by another federal agency, such as the [Federal Housing Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs or Farmers Home Administration], and it requires the escrow of any taxes, insurance premiums. fees or other charges, then it has to escrow flood insurance premiums as well," said Jonathon Weiner, legislative assistant to Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., creator of the bill.

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