Q: Fees 2 – May charges made for life-of-loan reviews by flood determination firms be passed along to the borrower?
A: Yes, with limitations noted below. In addition to the initial determination at the time a loan is made, increased, renewed, or extended, many flood determination firms provide a service to the lender to review and report changes in the flood status of a dwelling for the entire term of the loan (i.e., life-of-loan monitoring). The fee charged for the service at loan closing is a composite fee for conducting both the original and subsequent reviews. Charging a fee for the original determination is clearly authorized by the Act. The Agencies agree that a determination fee may include, among other things, reasonable fees for a lender, servicer, or third party to monitor the flood hazard status of property securing a loan in order to make determinations on an ongoing basis.
However, the life-of-loan fee is based on the authority to charge a determination fee and, therefore, the composite determination/life-of-loan monitoring fee may be charged only if the events specified in the answer to Q&A Fees 1 occur. Further, a lender may not charge a composite determination and life-of-loan fee if the loan does not close, because such life-of loan fee would be an unearned fee in violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.