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2000 - Rules and Regulations


PART 339—LOANS IN AREAS HAVING SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARDS

Sec.

339.1 Authority, purpose, and scope.
339.2 Definitions.
339.3 Requirement to purchase flood insurance where available.
339.4 Exemptions.
339.5 Escrow requirement.
339.6 Required use of standard flood hazard determination form.
339.7 Forced placement of flood insurance.
339.8 Determination fees.
339.9 Notice of special flood hazards and availability of federal disaster relief assistance.
339.10 Notice of servicer's identity.

Appendix A to Part 339—Sample Form of Notice of Special Flood Hazards and Availability of Federal Disaster Relief Assistance

AUTHORITY:  42 U.S.C. 4012a, 4104a, 4104b, 4106, and 4128.

SOURCE:  The provisions of this Part 339 appear at 61 Fed. Reg. 47506, August 29, 1996, except as otherwise noted.

§ 339.1  Authority, purpose, and scope.

(a)  Authority. This part is issued pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 4012a, 4104a, 4104b, 4106, and 4128.

(b)  Purpose. The purpose of this part is to implement the requirements of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 and the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4001-4129).

(c)  Scope. This part, except for §§ 339.6 and 339.8, applies to loans secured by buildings or mobile homes located or to be located in areas determined by the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to have special flood hazards. Sections 339.6 and 339.8 apply to loans secured by buildings or mobile homes, regardless of location.

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 339.1]

[Section 339.1 amended at 61 Fed. Reg. 45706, August 29, 1996, effective October 1, 1996]

§ 339.2  Definitions.

(a)  Act means the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4001--4129).

(b)  Bank means an insured state nonmember bank and an insured state branch of a foreign bank or any subsidiary of an insured state nonmember bank.

(c)  Building means a walled and roofed structure, other than a gas or liquid storage tank, that is principally above ground and affixed to a permanent site, and a walled and roofed structure while in the course of construction, alteration, or repair.

(d)  Community means a state or a political subdivision of a State that has zoning and building code jurisdiction over a particular area having special flood hazards.

(e)  Designated loan means a loan secured by a building or mobile home that is located or to be located in a special flood hazard area in which flood insurance is available under the Act.

(f)  Director of FEMA means the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

(g)  Mobile home means a structure, transportable in one or more sections, that is built on a permanent chassis and designed for use with or without a permanent foundation when attached to the required utilities. The term mobile home does not include a recreational vehicle. For purposes of this part, the term mobile home means a mobile home on a permanent foundation. The term mobile home includes a manufactured home as that term is used in the NFIP.

(h)  NFIP means the National Flood Insurance Program authorized under the Act.

(i)  Residential improved real estate means real estate upon which a home or other residential building is located or to be located.

(j)  Servicer means the person responsible for:

(1)  Receiving any scheduled, periodic payments from a borrower under the terms of a loan, including amounts for taxes, insurance premiums, and other charges with respect to the property securing the loan; and

(2)  Making payments of principal and interest and any other payments from the amounts received from the borrower as may be required under the terms of the loan.

(k)  Special flood hazard area means the land in the flood plain within a community having at least a one percent chance of flooding in any given year, as designated by the Director of FEMA.

(l)  Table funding means a settlement at which a loan is funded by a contemporaneous advance of loan funds and an assignment of the loan to the person advancing the funds.

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 339.2]

[Section 339.2 amended at 61 Fed. Reg. 45706, August 29, 1996, effective October 1, 1996]

§ 339.3  Requirement to purchase flood insurance where available.

(a)  In general. A bank shall not make, increase, extend, or renew any designated loan unless the building or mobile home and any personal property securing the loan is covered by flood insurance for the term of the loan. The amount of insurance must be at least equal to the lesser of the outstanding principal balance of the designated loan or the maximum limit of coverage available for the particular type of property under the Act. Flood insurance coverage under the Act is limited to the overall value of the property securing the designated loan minus the value of the land on which the property is located.

(b)  Table funded loans. A bank that acquires a loan from a mortgage broker or other entity through table funding shall be considered to be making a loan for the purpose of this part.

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 339.3]

[Section 339.3 amended at 61 Fed. Reg. 45707, August 29, 1996, effective October 1, 1996]

§ 339.4  Exemptions.

The flood insurance requirement prescribed by § 339.3 does not apply with respect to:

(a)  Any state-owned property covered under a policy of self-insurance satisfactory to the Director of FEMA, who publishes and periodically revises the list of states falling within this exemption; or

(b)  Property securing any loan with an original principal balance of $5,000 or less and a repayment term of one year or less.

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 339.4]

[Section 339.4 amended at 61 Fed. Reg. 45707, August 29, 1996, effective October 1, 1996]

§ 339.5  Escrow requirement.

If a bank requires the escrow of taxes, insurance premiums, fees, or any other charges for a loan secured by residential improved real estate or a mobile home that is made, increased, extended, or renewed on or after October 1, 1996, the bank shall also require the escrow of all premiums and fees for any flood insurance required under § 339.3. The bank, or a servicer acting on behalf of the bank, shall deposit the flood insurance premiums on behalf of the borrower in an escrow account. This escrow account will be subject to escrow requirements adopted pursuant to section 10 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 (12 U.S.C. 2609) (RESPA), which generally limits the amount that may be maintained in escrow accounts for certain types of loans and requires escrow account statements for those accounts, only if the loan is otherwise subject to RESPA. Following receipt of a notice from the Director of FEMA or other provider of flood insurance that premiums are due, the bank, or a servicer acting on behalf of the bank, shall pay the amount owed to the insurance provider from the escrow account by the date when such premiums are due.

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 339.5]

[Section 339.5 amended at 61 Fed. Reg. 45707, August 29, 1996, effective October 1, 1996]

§ 339.6  Required use of standard flood hazard determination form.

(a)  Use of form.A bank shall use the standard flood hazard determination form developed by the Director of FEMA when determining whether the building or mobile home offered as collateral security for a loan is or will be located in a special flood hazard area in which flood insurance is available under the Act. The standard flood hazard determination form may be used in a printed, computerized, or electronic manner. A non-member bank may obtain the standard flood hazard determination form by written request to FEMA, P.O. Box 2012, Jessup, MD 20794--2012.

(b)  Retention of form. A bank shall retain a copy of the completed standard flood hazard determination form, in either hard copy or electronic form, for the period of time the bank owns the loan.

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 339.6]

[Section 339.6 amended at 61 Fed. Reg. 45707, August 29, 1996, effective October 1, 1996; 64 Fed. Reg. 71274, December 21, 1999]

§ 339.7 Forced placement of flood insurance.

If a bank, or a servicer acting on behalf of the bank, determines, at any time during the term of a designated loan, that the building or mobile home and any personal property securing the designated loan is not covered by flood insurance or is covered by flood insurance in an amount less than the amount required under § 339.3, then the bank or its servicer shall notify the borrower that the borrower should obtain flood insurance, at the borrower's expense, in an amount at least equal to the amount required under § 339.3, for the remaining term of the loan. If the borrower fails to obtain flood insurance within 45 days after notification, then the bank or its servicer shall purchase insurance on the borrower's behalf. The bank or its servicer may charge the borrower for the cost of premiums and fees incurred in purchasing the insurance.

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 339.7]

[Section 339.7 added at 60 Fed. Reg. 35288, July 6, 1995, effective January 2, 1996; 61 Fed. Reg. 45707, August 29, 1996, effective October 1, 1996]

§ 339.8 Determination fees.

(a)  General. Notwithstanding any federal or state law other than the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4001--4129), any bank, or a servicer acting on behalf of the bank, may charge a reasonable fee for determining whether the building or mobile home securing the loan is located or will be located in a special flood hazard area. A determination fee may also include, but is not limited to, a fee for life-of-loan monitoring.

(b)  Borrower fee. The determination fee authorized by paragraph (a) of this section may be charged to the borrower if the determination:

(1)  Is made in connection with a making, increasing, extending, or renewing of the loan that is initiated by the borrower;

(2)  Reflects the Director of FEMA's revision or updating of floodplain areas or flood-risk zones;

(3)  Reflects the Director of FEMA's publication of a notice or compendium that:

(i)  Affects the area in which the building or mobile home securing the loan is located; or

(ii)  By determination of the Director of FEMA, may reasonably require a determination whether the building or mobile home securing the loan is located in a special flood hazard area; or

(4)  Results in the purchase of flood insurance coverage by the lender or its servicer on behalf of the borrower under § 339.7.

(c)  Purchaser or tranferee fee. The determination fee authorized by paragraph (a) of this section may be charged to the purchaser or transferee of a loan in the case of the sale or transfer of the loan.

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 339.8]

[Source:  Section 339.8 added at 61 Fed. Reg. 45707, August 29, 1996, effective October 1, 1996]

§ 339.9 Notice of special flood hazards and availability of federal disaster relief assistance.

(a)  Notice requirement. When a bank makes, increases, extends, or renews a loan secured by a building or a mobile home located or to be located in a special flood hazard area, the bank shall mail or deliver a written notice to the borrower and to the servicer in all cases whether or not flood insurance is available under the Act for the collateral securing the loan.

(b)  Contents of notice. The written notice must include the following information:

(1)  A warning, in a form approved by the Director of FEMA, that the building or the mobile home is or will be located in a special flood hazard area;

(2)  A description of the flood insurance purchase requirements set forth in section 102(b) of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4012a(b));

(3)  A statement, where applicable, that flood insurance coverage is available under the NFIP and may also be available from private insurers; and

(4)  A statement whether federal disaster relief assistance may be available in the event of damage to the building or mobile home caused by flooding in a federally-declared disaster.

(c)  Timing of notice. The bank shall provide the notice required by paragraph (a) of this section to the borrower within a reasonable time before the completion of the transaction, and to the servicer as promptly as practicable after the bank provides notice to the borrower and in any event no later than the time the bank provides other similar notices to the servicer concerning hazard insurance and taxes. Notice to the servicer may be made electronically or may take the form of a copy of the notice to the borrower.

(d)  Record of receipt. The bank shall retain a record of the receipt of the notices by the borrower and the servicer for the period of time the bank owns the loan.

(e)  Alternate method of notice. Instead of providing the notice to the borrower required by paragraph (a) of this section, a bank may obtain satisfactory written assurance from a seller or lessor that, within a reasonable time before the completion of the sale or lease transaction, the seller or lessor has provided such notice to the purchaser or lessee. The bank shall retain a record of the written assurance from the seller or lessor for the period of time the bank owns the loan.

(f)  Use of prescribed form of notice. A bank will be considered to be in compliance with the requirement for notice to the borrower of this section by providing written notice to the borrower containing the language presented in appendix A to this part within a reasonable time before the completion of the transaction. The notice presented in appendix A to this part satisfies the borrower notice requirements of the Act.

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 339.9]

[Source:  Section 339.9 added at 61 Fed. Reg. 45708, August 29, 1996, effective October 1, 1996]

§ 339.10 Notice of servicer's identity.

(a)  Notice requirement. When a bank makes, increases, extends, renews, sells, or transfers a loan secured by a building or mobile home located or to be located in a special flood hazard area, the bank shall notify the Director of FEMA (or the Director of FEMA's designee) in writing of the identity of the servicer of the loan. The Director of FEMA has designated the insurance provider to receive the bank's notice of the servicer's identity. This notice may be provided electronically if electronic transmission is satisfactory to the Director of FEMA's designee.

(b)  Transfer of servicing rights. The bank shall notify the Director of FEMA (or the Director of FEMA's designee) of any change in the servicer of a loan described in paragraph (a) of this section within 60 days after the effective date of the change. This notice may be provided electronically if electronic transmission is satisfactory to the Director of FEMA's designee. Upon any change in the servicing of a loan described in paragraph (a) of this section, the duty to provide notice under this paragraph (b) shall transfer to the transferee servicer.

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 339.10]

[Section 339.10 added at 61 Fed. Reg. 45708, August 29, 1996, effective October 1, 1996]

Appendix A to Part 339—Sample Form of Notice of Special Flood Hazards and Availability of Federal Disaster Relief Assistance

We are giving you this notice to inform you that:

The building or mobile home securing the loan for which you have applied is or will be located in an area with special flood hazards.

The area has been identified by the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a special flood hazard area using FEMA's Flood Insurance Rate Map or the Flood Hazard Boundary Map for the following community: _______ . This area has at least a one percent (1%) chance of a flood equal to or exceeding the base flood elevation (a 100-year flood) in any given year. During the life of a 30-year mortgage loan, the risk of a 100-year flood in a special flood hazard area is 26 percent (26%).

Federal law allows a lender and borrower jointly to request the Director of FEMA to review the determination of whether the property securing the loan is located in a special flood hazard area. If you would like to make such a request, please contact us for further information.

____________________________________________ The community in which the property securing the loan is located participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Federal law will not allow us to make you the loan that you have applied for if you do not purchase flood insurance. The flood insurance must be maintained for the life of the loan. If you fail to purchase or renew flood insurance on the property, federal law authorizes and requires us to purchase the flood insurance for you at your expense.

•  Flood insurance coverage under the NFIP may be purchased through an insurance agent who will obtain the policy either directly through the NFIP or through an insurance company that participates in the NFIP. Flood insurance also may be available from private insurers that do not participate in the NFIP.

•  At a minimum, flood insurance purchased must cover the lesser of:

(1)  the outstanding principal balance of the loan; or

(2)  the maximum amount of coverage allowed for the type of property under the NFIP.

Flood insurance coverage under the NFIP is limited to the overall value of the property securing the loan minus the value of the land on which the property is located.

•  Federal disaster relief assistance (usually in the form of a low-interest loan) may be available for damages incurred in excess of your flood insurance if your community's participation in the NFIP is in accordance with NFIP requirements.

____________________________________________ Flood insurance coverage under the NFIP is not available for the property securing the loan because the community in which the property is located does not participate in the NFIP. In addition, if the non-participating community has been identified for at least one year as containing a special flood hazard area, properties located in the community will not be eligible for federal disaster relief assistance in the event of a federally-declared flood disaster.

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. Part 339, Appendix A]

[Appendix A added at 61 Fed. Reg. 45708, August 29, 1996, effective October 1, 1996]


NOTE

Guidelines for extending and administering loans in special flood hazard areas.  When federal flood insurance is available for a community in a designated flood hazard area (i.e., when the community is participating in the National Flood Insurance Program), an insured nonmember bank cannot make loans secured by improved real estate or a mobile home located in the community unless the property securing the loan is covered by appropriate flood insurance. However, Part 339 permits an insured nonmember bank to make loans secured by improved real estate or a mobile home located or to be located in a designated flood hazard area where the community is not participating in the National Flood Insurance Program if the bank gives the proper notices as required by section 339.6. Sample notices are provided in this section.

The following two examples are included to assist you in determining which notices must be given to the borrower when making, increasing, extending, or renewing any loan secured by improved real estate or mobile home located or to be located in an area that has been identified by the Directors of the Federal Emergency Management Agency as an area having special flood hazards. In both instances two notices must be either mailed or delivered as soon as feasible but not less than ten days in advance of the closing of the transaction (or not later than the bank's commitment, if any, if the period between commitment and closing is less than ten days).

NOTICES TO BE GIVEN WHEN THE COMMUNITY IS PARTICIPATING IN THE NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM.

1.  Notice to the borrower that the property is or will be located in a flood hazard area.  With regard to the sample notice in section 339.6 pertaining to special flood hazards the bank should complete the notice by entering the name of the borrower in the first blank space and the name of the relevant community for which the flood map was issued in the second blank space.

2.  Notice to the borrower about the availability of Federal Disaster Relief Assistance.  This notice states that in the event such property is damaged by flooding in a federally declared disaster, federal disaster relief assistance, usually in the form of a loan with a favorable interest rate, may be available for damages incurred in excess of the flood insurance.

NOTICES TO BE GIVEN WHEN THE COMMUNITY IS NOT PARTICIPATING IN THE NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM.

1.  Notice to the borrower that the property is or will be located in a flood hazard area.  Again, the bank should complete the notice by entering the name of the borrower in the first blank space and the name of the relevant community for which the flood map was issued in the second blank space.

2.  Notice to the borrower about unavailability of Federal Disaster Relief Assistance.  This notice states that the community is not participating in the National Flood Insurance Program and the property is not eligible for federal flood insurance. If the property is damaged by flooding in a federally declared disaster, federal disaster relief assistance will not be available if the community has been identified as a flood-prone area for one year or longer.

Section 339.6 further states that each insured nonmember bank shall require the borrower, prior to closing, to provide the bank with a written acknowledgement that the borrower realizes the property securing the loan is or will be located in a special flood hazard area and that the borrower has received the appropriate notice regarding federal disaster relief assistance.

Part 339 does not preclude a bank from requiring on its own that flood insurance be obtained for improved real estate or a mobile home securing a loan when the property is located or to be located in a designated flood hazard area where the community is not participating in the National Flood Insurance Program. Nor would it preclude the Veterans Administration or other federal agencies from imposing a similar flood insurance requirement before providing assistance through a mortgage insurance, loan, or grant program.

To avoid possible delays in the closing of the loans in areas having special flood hazards, a bank could accept as proof of flood insurance at the time of loan closings a copy of the flood insurance application indicating that the full premium has been paid, a copy of the mortgagor's check issued in payment of the premium, or the insurance agent's certification that the mortgagor has purchased the requisite flood insurance.

The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) is currently distributing flood maps to lenders to use in determining whether improved real estate or a mobile home is located in a designated flood hazard area. The Community Status Book, a quarterly publication, provides the following information to the lender with respect to a community: a) the communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program; b) the effective date of currently effective flood maps; and c) the communities which are not participating in the National Flood Insurance Program, but whichhave a FEMA flood map showing special flood hazard areas.

FEMA has provided the following information regarding flood insurance:

For program information, such as community eligibility, call toll-free 800-638-6620. In Maryland call 800-492-6605, and in Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands call 800-638-6831.

For general information, write:

Federal Insurance Administration

Federal Emergency Management Agency

500 C Street, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20472

For map requests and Community Status Book information, write:

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Flood Map Distribution Center

6930 (A-F) San Tomas Road

Baltimore, Maryland 21227-6227

Or, call toll-free 800-638-6620


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