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Frequently Asked Questions

Escrow

General

What should I do if my escrow check is lost?

Oh no! A lost overage check? Let us help! Please contact our Customer CARE Team at customercare@servicingbranch.com. We will be able to determine whether this check has yet to be cashed and the next steps to get your overage funds in your hands.

How often will my mortgage servicer review my escrow account and adjust my monthly payment?

Essex Mortgage will review your escrow account at least once per year to ensure that the amount you are paying towards your escrow account is sufficient to cover future disbursements for property taxes and insurance. This also ensures that Essex returns any addiitonal escrow funds to you that are no longer required for escrow disbursement.

What is an escrow account and how does it work?

This is no simple question! In a quick glance, an escrow account is used by Essex to hold a portion of your monthly mortgage payment to disburse tax, insurance and mortgage insurance payments on your behalf when they become due. These funds will sit on your account and act like a savings that Essex can pull from to make your required tax and insurance payments.

Does Essex accept bi-weekly payments?

Essex Mortgage does not accept bi-weekly payments. Partial payments are not accepted and any payments received that are less than the full monthly payment amount may be automatically applied to the principal balance if your loan is current. To ensure your payment is applied on time, please make your full payment in one transaction each month. Please see the FAQ 'What Payment Options Does Essex Offer?" for further payment options.

Can I use the bill pay option from my bank to make a payment?

Bill Pay is an option in which you advise your financial institution to set up recurring payments to pay your mortgage each month. In order to have this set up, you would need to provide your financial institution with the date to draft your payment, the amount of your monthly payment, and the complete address where the funds will be mailed to.

Below Essex Mortgage's payment mailing address:

Essex Mortgage
ATTN: Cashiering
1417 N. Magnolia Ave.
Ocala, FL 34475

Can I add additional principal payments to my account?

You are welcome to add additional principal payments to your monthly mortgage payment. In order for funds to be applied to additional principal, your account must show current with no pending charges present (such as late fees or NSF fees). If you are mailing in a check, we ask that you please indicate your loan number and supply instructions on the check memo to add the funds to additional principal. When making your payment via your online customer portal, there is a line item to add an "Additional Principal Amount".

Where do I submit my new insurance policy?

Please submit your proof of insurance to www.expressinsuranceinfo.com/3144268. You can also fax this documentation in to 947-622-1091 or mail it to Essex Mortgage at P.O. Box 391313
Solon, OH 44139-8313.

How can I change my payment due date?

All Essex loans require payments to be made by the 1st of each month.

What are the benefits of having an escrow account?

Did you know there are benefits to having an escrow account, even if an escrow account is not required for your loan? These benfits will sure help you out! Instead of having to manage large expenses such as your property taxes and insurance in one lump sum, your payments are spread out equally over 12 months with no additional financing fees. Another great benefit is you do not have to stress about the due date of your tax or insurance bills. We have you covered! We will ensure all escrowed items are paid from your escrow account. Did I mention that if there is an unanticipated bill increase, these bills will be paid on time no matter the increase? This benefit ensures all bills are paid no matter the price!

What are the advantages of recurring autodraft payments?

Automatic drafting of your monthly payment will ensure that your payment is received timely by Essex Mortgage each month. You will not need to worry about missing a payment. Automatic drafting reduces the stress of making payment change updates. Any changes in your payment due to escrow or adjustable interest rate changes (if applicable) will be updated automatically for you.

When will I receive my escrow check?

Essex Mortgage is required to conduct an analysis of your escrow account on a yearly basis. If an overage of $50 or more is found and your loan is current, the additional funds will be mailed to you within 30 days. If the overage on your account is less than $50, the overage amount will be subtracted from your next monthly payment. If your loan is past due, the escrow overage check will be mailed once your account is brought current. Please allow additional time for postal service delivery.

What are next steps after filing a claim on my property?

Initial assistance will be provided by your insurance carrier who will review the property damage and determine the amount of claims funds they will provide for repairs. Please ensure the claims check is endorsed by all parties named. Afterwards, please forward this check to our Insurance team using the below mailing address:

Essex Mortgage
ISAOA / ATIMA
P.O. Box 391313
Solon, OH 44139-8313

After this check has been endorsed byEssex and placed into a reserve account, funds can be provided back to you for property repair. For more information, please contact our Loss Draft department at 855-327-9297. Our hours are Monday - Friday 7:30 AM - 8:00 PM EST.

Where can I view the upcoming changes to my monthly payment?

Your escrow analysis statement will provide infiormation regarding any upcoming payment change related to escrow. This will automatically be mailed to you upon completion and/or is viewable in your online portal.

What is your mailing address for payments?

Please ensure you include your loan number on your payment alongside direction on how you wish for your funds to be applied.

Please mail your payment to:

Essex Mortgage
ATTN: Cashiering
1417 N. Magnolia Ave.
Ocala, FL 34475

How is my escrow payment determined?

Your T&I Disclosures/ Annual Escrow Analysis will be mailed to you and/or is available in your online portal.

The amount you'll pay into your escrow account each month will vary depending on your property taxes and insurance premiums. Essex reviews your total disbursements for the next year and divides the total disbursements by 12 to determine your monthly escrow payment. Additional escrow funds may be required in your monthly escrow payment if there is a shortage present on your account.

What happens when I have an insurance covered claim on my property?

If there has been a natural disaster in your area, we hope you, your loved ones, and your home are all safe. If you were impacted in some way, we'd like to know how we can help. Please contact our Loss Draft Department at 855-327-9297. Our hours are Monday - Friday 7:30 AM - 8:00 PM EST. They will be able share specific details and where to send your check after filing an insurance claim with your insurance carrier.

If the damage of this event has impacted your ability to make payments, please contact our Customer CARE team at 888-892-0881. Our hours are Monday - Friday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM EST.

What is an escrow shortage? How do I go about paying a shortage?

An escrow shortage occurs any time in which your escrow account does not have enough funds to pay the upcoming estimated tax and insurance installments due for your property. This is evaluated through the use of an escrow analysis. Essex may initially front these funds for your account to ensure your escrow bills are paid timely.

If there is a shortage found in your escrow account, you will be responsible to pay the amount back to Essex. Any shortage will automatically be added to your escrow amount due and spread out equally over 12 monthly installments. You may also choose to pay off the shortage in a lump sum to avoid your payment increasing in your online portal.

What are the cut off times for making a payment?

Payments made using the automated phone system or online customer portal are posted effective the same business day if the payment is made prior to 2:59 p.m. Eastern Time. Payments made after 2:59 p.m. Eastern Time on a business day or processed on a non-business day (weekend or holiday) are posted effective the next business day.

What is an overage in relation to my escrow account?

An escrow overage occurs when your escrow account contains more funds than required for Essex to pay your taxes and insurance. If your loan is current and the overage amount is $50 or more, these excess funds will be mailed to you within 30 days of the escrow analysis.The most common reason for an escrow overage in relation to your escrow account is a decrease in the cost of your property tax and/or homeowners insurance. An overage can also occur if there was excess funds collected at closing.

How do I change my bank information on my recurring auto-draft payments?

You can make updates to your recurring automatic draft through your online customer portal. After logging in, select Payment Options and then Recurring Payments to update your banking information. Please be advised, changes to recurring payments must be made at least 3 business days prior to the next scheduled draft date.

I made my payment to my prior servicer. How can I notify Essex to research my missing payment?

If you made your payment to your prior servicer, Essex Mortgage can reach out to your prior servicer to have these funds transferred to us. In order to complete this request, please provide your Essex Mortgage loan number(s) and proof of your cleared payment(s) ( i.e.: a copy of the front and back of a cleared check or a bank account statement showing payment(s) cleared your account) for us to research further. This can be emailed to CustomerCare@EssexMortgage.com. We want to ensure you that during the first 60 days of your mortgage transfer, your loan will have a 60 day protection period from late fees and negative credit reporting so long as you are attempting to make your monthly payment.

How can I make an escrow-only payment?

To make an escrow-only payment in your online account, select Payment Options. At the top, there is an option to select the Payment Type. Select "Escrow Only payment" from the Payment Type drop-down menu. If you are mailing in a check, we ask that you please indicate your loan number and specify that the funds should be applied to escrow only.

How do I submit documentation of any tax exemptions?

Please submit your tax exemption to CustomerCare@servicingbranch.com. Please include your loan number and the reason for your submission. Updates required for your tax lines with be updated by Essex's tax team once all documentation has been reviewed.

Why did I receive a bill for my taxes if my taxes are escrowed?


Tax authorities are required to send out tax bills and assessments to both the mortgage servicer and the homeowner. You can keep this bill for your personal records and Essex will handle the rest!

How do I set up a recurring autodraft payment?

Set up recurring automatic drafting by visiting our web portal at: www.essexmortgage.com/myaccount. Once you have logged in, please select "Payment Options". From there, you will have the option to set up Auto Pay - Recurring Draft or Auto Pay - One-Time Payment. To set up recurring payments, select "Auto Pay - Recurring Draft". In the event of a payment change, you will receive notice of this change, and your auto-draft will update to reflect the new amount. If you wish to cancel your auto-draft, please contact our Customer CARE Team at least 3 business days prior to your next draft date.

What can I do about a large increase in my escrow payment?

Unfortunately, Essex does not control the amounts that are billed for your property taxes or homeowners insurance. However, there are some steps that you can take that may decrease your payment. You may contact your taxing authority and request information about available tax exemptions or find out if you are able to appeal the amount of your current tax assessment. You may contact other insurance companies or carriers to find out if you can get the same coverage amount at a lesser premium amount.

Please contact us immediately if any changes are made to your taxes or insurance; Essex will need the revised escrow bill. Upon notification, we will verify the amount and make the necessary adjustments on your account.

You may also reduce your monthly mortgage payment amount by paying off any standing shortages in one lump sum.

What is a mortgagee clause?

A mortgagee clause is a part of your mortgage agreement that provides Essex Mortgage with additional lender protection in the case there is damage to your home. It is important because it ensures that Essex Mortgage, as the lender, will have notification of any property damage so we can monitor the completion of any repairs that are needed. As your mortgage requires you to have homeowners insurance, the mortgagee clause also ensures that Essex Mortgage is notified if the policy is canceled or allowed to lapse. All insurance documentation should be provided to the mortgagee clause listed on your policy. Your insurance carrier will provide Essex with any annual insurance renewals using this address.

Why is my monthly escrow payment increasing?

Your monthly escrow payment may be increasing due to changes in your property tax or insurance costs. The most common reason is the amount paid for property tax and/or homeowners insurance has increased. Other reasons could include changing your insurance policy, the underestimation of a tax assessment on a new construction loan, an unanticipated supplemental tax bill, and force placed taxes or insurance. This may result in an increase in your overall monthly payment.

Your local tax authority or insurance agent can answer specific questions about the change.

What payment options does Essex offer?

Essex Mortgage offer several different payment options for submitting your mortgage payment:

-Automatic Draft: Enroll in automatic drafts. Essex will automatically draft your monthly payment from your bank account each month.This option is free of charge and can be set up in your online customer portal.
-Online Customer Portal: Utilize the self- service option to make a one-time payment online or set up recurring automatic drafting on our secure borrower portal: www.essexmortagge.com/myaccount.
-Automated Phone Payment: Our Interactive Voice Response can take your payment over the phone by calling (888) 892-0881 and pressing 1.
-Mail Payment: Essex Mortgage accepts personal checks, cashier's checks, and money orders. Be sure to include your loan number on your mailed payment.

Why can't I make a payment online?

There may be several reasons you are unable to submit your online payment. Our online customer portal only allows payments due for 30 day or less to be made online, including loans in repayment plans and forbearances. Please contact our Customer CARE Team for further assistance at CustomerCARE@EssexMortgage.com

Can I choose not to have an escrow account and pay my property taxes and/or insurance directly?

An escrow account is required for all FHA loans, USDA (RHS) loans, and VA loans. Essex Mortgage allows full or partial escrow removal for conventional loans after meeting certain criteria. However, if you choose to remove your escrow account, you will be responsible for paying any non-escrowed items when they come due. Email our Customer CARE Team to confirm qualification and to request an Escrow Removal Form at customercare@servicingbranch.com

When are late fees applied?

Your loan payment is considered past due if Essex has not received your payment by the 1st of the month. A late fee will be applied to your account 15 days after the 1st of the month if your payment is not received by 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

How do I know if you have received my payment? Why has my payment not drafted from my bank account?

All payment application can be confirmed by visiting your borrower portal and looking at the payment application history. All payments made on weekends, holidays or after 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time will post the following business day. Additionally, ACH can take 3-5 business days to draft from your bank account. You can see your updated due date and payment reflect on your online customer portal.

What is the grace period for making my payment?

Your mortgage payment is due on the 1st day of every month. If your monthly payment is made after the 1st of the month, your payment is considered late. Essex Mortgage offers a 15 day grace period prior to late charge assessment. However, please note that although this protection delays late fees from applying to your loan, your payment is late if your payment is not received on or prior to the 1st.

Can I use a debit or credit card for my mortgage payment?

Essex does not accept debit or credit cards. Instead, Essex accepts payment drafts using your banking information; your routing and account number.

How can I pay down my mortgage faster?

You are welcome to add additional principal to your monthly mortgage payment so long as your loan is not past due and does not show any pending fees. Additional payments made towards your principal will assist you with paying down the principal balance of your loan, while simultaneously saving you money on interest.

What is the mininum balance required for my escrow account?

Your minimum escrow balance varies by state but is calculated to be not more than 2 months worth of your monthly escrow payment as required by RESPA. This minimum balance is called a 'cushion' and acts as an additional safeguard to cover increased disbursements, unexpected disbursements or disbursements made before receiving your monthly payment that may be due.

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