(1) Every lender of money, whether a natural person or an artificial entity, whose loans are secured by a mortgage on real estate located within the state and who receives funds incidental thereto or in connection therewith for the payment of property taxes or hazard insurance premiums when the funds are held in escrow by or on behalf of the lender, shall promptly pay the taxes or insurance premiums when the taxes or premiums become due and adequate escrow funds are deposited, so that the maximum tax discount available may be obtained with regard to the taxable property and so that insurance coverage on the property does not lapse.
(2) If an escrow account for the taxes or insurance premiums is deficient, the lender shall notify the property owner within 15 days after the lender receives the notification of taxes due from the county tax collector or receives the notification from the insurer that a premium is due.
(3)(a) If the lender, as a result of neglect, fails to pay any tax or insurance premium when the tax or premium is due and there are sufficient escrow funds on deposit to pay the tax or premium, and if the property owner suffers a loss as a result of this failure, then the lender is liable for the loss; except, however, that with respect to any loss which would otherwise have been insured, the extent of the liability shall not exceed the coverage limits of any insurance policy which has lapsed.
Terms Used In Florida Statutes 501.137
- Escrow: Money given to a third party to be held for payment until certain conditions are met.
- Mortgage: The written agreement pledging property to a creditor as collateral for a loan.
- person: includes individuals, children, firms, associations, joint adventures, partnerships, estates, trusts, business trusts, syndicates, fiduciaries, corporations, and all other groups or combinations. See Florida Statutes 88.6011
(b) If the lender violates paragraph (a) and the premium payment is not more than 90 days overdue, the insurer shall reinstate the insurance policy, retroactive to the date of cancellation, and the lender shall reimburse the property owner for any penalty or fees imposed by the insurer and paid by the property owner for purposes of reinstating the policy.
(c) If the lender violates paragraph (a) and the premium payment is more than 90 days overdue or if the insurer refuses to reinstate the insurance policy, the lender shall pay the difference between the cost of the previous insurance policy and a new, comparable insurance policy for a period of 2 years. If the lender refuses, the lender is liable for the reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of the property owner for a violation of this section.
(4) At the expiration of the annual accounting period, the lender shall issue to the property owner an annual statement of the escrow account.