Recently the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published the final list of counties designated as rural or underserved. This final list is identical to the preliminary list published on March 12.
The list is used to determine if escrows are required for certain higher-priced mortgage loans. Escrow rules for higher-priced mortgage loans (HPMLs) are scheduled to go into effect on June 1, 2013. The rules require creditors to create and maintain escrow accounts for a minimum of 5 years for HPMLs. The rule exempts HPMLs made by certain small creditors that operate predominantly in rural or underserved counties from this requirement.
The list is also used to determine if certain creditors are eligible:
- To make balloon qualified mortgages under § 1026.43(f);
- For an exemption from the balloon payment prohibition on high-cost mortgages for balloon-payment qualified mortgages; and
- For an exemption from a requirement to obtain a second appraisal for certain HPMLs.
The final list is available here.