Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is a monthly premium that you are required to pay if you put less than a 20% down payment on a home. It protects the lender if you default on the loan. The Homeowners Protection Act of 1998 establishes rules for automatic termination and borrowers cancellation of PMI on home mortgages. PMI can end up costing you thousands of dollars during a loan. Check your annual escrow account statement or call your lender to find out exactly what it costs you each year. This act is applicable for certain mortgages signed on or after July 29,1999 for the purchase, initial construction, or refinance of a single-family home. It does not apply to government-insured FHA or VA loans or to loans with lender-paid PMI. To receive information from the Federal Trade Commission on the removal of PMI, contact Federal Trade Commission, Public Reference, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20580; 877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) ; www.ftc.gov
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