42 U.S.C. § 4012a - Flood insurance purchase and compliance requirements and escrow accounts

Cite as:42 U.S.C. § 4012a
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-135 (03/26/2020)
 
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(a) Amount and term of coverage

After the expiration of sixty days following December 31, 1973, no Federal officer or agency shall approve any financial assistance for acquisition or construction purposes for use in any area that has been identified by the Administrator as an area having special flood hazards and in which the sale of flood insurance has been made available under the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 [ 42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq.], unless the building or mobile home and any personal property to which such financial assistance relates is covered by flood insurance in an amount at least equal to its development or project cost (less estimated land cost) or to the maximum limit of coverage made available with respect to the particular type of property under the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, whichever is less: Provided, That if the financial assistance provided is in the form of a loan or an insurance or guaranty of a loan, the amount of flood insurance required need not exceed the outstanding principal balance of the loan and need not be required beyond the term of the loan. The requirement of maintaining flood insurance shall apply during the life of the property, regardless of transfer of ownership of such property.

(b) Requirement for mortgage loans

(1) Regulated lending institutions

Each Federal entity for lending regulation (after consultation and coordination with the Financial Institutions Examination Council established under the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council Act of 1974 [ 12 U.S.C. 3301 et seq.]) shall by regulation direct regulated lending institutions-

(A) not to make, increase, extend, or renew any loan secured by improved real estate or a mobile home located or to be located in an area that has been identified by the Administrator as an area having special flood hazards and in which flood insurance has been made available under the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 [ 42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq.], unless the building or mobile home and any personal property securing such loan is covered for the term of the loan by flood insurance in an amount at least equal to the outstanding principal balance of the loan or the maximum limit of coverage made available under the Act with respect to the particular type of property, whichever is less; and

(B) to accept private flood insurance as satisfaction of the flood insurance coverage requirement under subparagraph (A) if the coverage provided by such private flood insurance meets the requirements for coverage under such subparagraph.

(2) Federal agency lenders

A Federal agency lender may not make, increase, extend, or renew any loan secured by improved real estate or a mobile home located or to be located in an area that has been identified by the Administrator as an area having special flood hazards and in which flood insurance has been made available under the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, unless the building or mobile home and any personal property securing such loan is covered for the term of the loan by flood insurance in the amount provided in paragraph (1)(A). Each Federal agency lender shall accept private flood insurance as satisfaction of the flood insurance coverage requirement under the preceding sentence if the flood insurance coverage provided by such private flood insurance meets the requirements for coverage under such sentence. Each Federal agency lender shall issue any regulations necessary to carry out this paragraph. Such regulations shall be consistent with and substantially identical to the regulations issued under paragraph (1)(A).

(3) Government-sponsored enterprises for housing

The Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation shall implement procedures reasonably designed to ensure that, for any loan that is-

(A) secured by improved real estate or a mobile home located in an area that has been identified, at the time of the origination of the loan or at any time during the term of the loan, by the Administrator as an area having special flood hazards and in which flood insurance is available under the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, and

(B) purchased by such entity,

the building or mobile home and any personal property securing the loan is covered for the term of the loan by flood insurance in the amount provided in paragraph (1)(A). The Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation shall accept private flood insurance as satisfaction of the flood insurance coverage requirement under paragraph (1)(A) if the flood insurance coverage provided by such private flood insurance meets the requirements for coverage under such paragraph and any requirements established by the Federal National Mortgage Association or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, respectively, relating to the financial solvency, strength, or claims-paying ability of private insurance companies from which the Federal National Mortgage Association or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation will accept private flood insurance.

(4) Applicability

(A) Existing coverage

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), paragraph (1) shall apply on September 23, 1994.

(B) New coverage

Paragraphs (2) and (3) shall apply only with respect to any loan made, increased, extended, or renewed after the expiration of the 1-year period beginning on September 23, 1994. Paragraph (1) shall apply with respect to any loan made, increased, extended, or renewed by any lender supervised by the Farm Credit Administration only after the expiration of the period under this subparagraph.

(C) Continued effect of regulations

Notwithstanding any other provision of this subsection, the regulations to carry out paragraph (1), as in effect immediately before September 23, 1994, shall continue to apply until the regulations issued to carry out paragraph (1) as amended by section 522(a) of Public Law 103-325 take effect.

(5) Rule of construction

Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to supersede or limit the authority of a Federal entity for lending regulation, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, a Federal agency lender, the Federal National Mortgage Association, or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation to establish requirements relating to the financial solvency, strength, or claims-paying ability of private insurance companies from which the entity or agency will accept private flood insurance.

(6) Notice

(A) In general

Each lender shall disclose to a borrower that is subject to this subsection that-

(i) flood insurance is available from private insurance companies that issue standard flood insurance policies on behalf of the national flood insurance program or directly from the national flood insurance program;

(ii) flood insurance that provides the same level of coverage as a standard flood insurance policy under the national flood insurance program may be available from a private insurance company that issues policies on behalf of the company; and

(iii) the borrower is encouraged to compare the flood insurance coverage, deductibles, exclusions, conditions and premiums associated with flood insurance policies issued on behalf of the national flood insurance program and policies issued on behalf of private insurance companies and to direct inquiries regarding the availability, cost, and comparisons of flood insurance coverage to an insurance agent.

(B) Rule of construction

Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as affecting or otherwise limiting the authority of a Federal entity for lending regulation to approve any disclosure made by a regulated lending institution for purposes of complying with subparagraph (A).

(7) Private flood insurance defined

In this subsection, the term "private flood insurance" means an insurance policy that-

(A) is issued by an insurance company that is-

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