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GLOSSARY OF TERMS

What is a mortgage servicer?

A mortgage servicer is a company that manages the day-to-day maintenance of your mortgage loan account. Your mortgage servicer may be the same company that issued you the loan, but it may be a completely separate company. Mortgage loans and the right to collect payments on them are often bought and sold, so the lender you originally got the loan from may change over the course of your mortgage. It’s important to know who’s servicing your mortgage and to make sure that it’s in good hands.

Mortgage servicers often hold an escrow account for you, which is used to pay your property taxes and homeowners insurance as they are due throughout the year. If you do not have an escrow account with your servicer, you must make these payments yourself.

The mortgage servicer generally handles the following tasks:

  • Respond to any inquiries the borrower might have
  • Collect principal and interest and keep track of amounts paid
  • Manage your escrow account
  • Initiate foreclosure if you don’t pay your mortgage payments
  • Pay the premiums for insurance and annual real estate taxes from the escrowed funds

Other items that can be collected by the mortgage servicer as escrowed funds are Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) on conventional loans and FHA insurance premiums on FHA loans. These types of insurance protect the lender against borrowers with lower credit ratings or those who have much smaller cash down payments.

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