Mortgage Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions, we have answers.

Find answers to questions about escrow, year-end statements, relationship rewards and more.

  • Mortgage Loans that have transferred to SunTrust

  • Understanding Escrow

    • For your benefit, we have addressed the most frequently asked questions about mortgage escrow accounts.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      What is escrow?

      • An escrow account is a separate account that is established to collect homeownership-related expenses such as property taxes and insurance.
      • Once a year, you will receive an escrow disclosure statement that details what was paid from escrow and projects the coming year expenses.
      • The total annual costs for homeowner related expenses are divided equally and collected over twelve months allowing you to pay a portion into escrow each month when you make your total mortgage payment.

      How is my escrow calculated?

      Prior to closing, the mortgage company will calculate how much they need to add to your mortgage payment to cover these obligations based on the information available. Available information is usually an insurance quote or premium amount for existing coverage, and tax bill information from the previous year. If there is a shortage in any year, you will be required to pay that difference. If there is a surplus, you will receive a credit or refund. Every year SunTrust will review your escrow account to recalculate the amount you pay based on the most recent billing information.

      If I pay an escrow shortage, will my monthly mortgage payment still increase?

      Yes, even if you pay your shortage, your mortgage payment will increase if your escrowed bills change or increase from the previous year. The escrow totals are based on the last known amount paid or the estimated amount provided at closing for new purchases and/or new construction.

      What if I have a shortage or surplus in escrow?

      If there is a shortage in escrow, you will be required to pay the shortage but you will have a choice in how to repay it:

      • Shortgage payment can be paid in a lump sum amount.
      • Shortage can be divided by 12 months and included as part of your escrow payment for repayment over the next twelve months or annual escrow computation period.
      • If there is a surplus, you will receive a credit or refund for excess of funds greater than $3.00. Your loan must be current when the escrow analysis is performed to receive a credit or refund of any surplus funds.

      What does the Escrow Account Disclosure Statement look like?

      Click here for a preview of a sample statement with guidance on how to read this statement.

      Understanding your Escrow Account.

      Helping you understand your escrow statement. As your property taxes and insurance bills fluctuate we'll help you understand your monthly mortgage payment. Download the guide to understanding escrow >Link opens a new window

  • Real Estate Taxes

    • If you have real estate tax questions, we have the answers...starting with these most commonly asked questions.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      How does SunTrust obtain my real estate tax information?

      • SunTrust obtains tax amounts based on the parcel number. The parcel number identifies the property based on the legal descriptions and property addresses from the tax and/or assessor's office.
      • Tax amounts are obtained in an automated manner from the taxing localities, except in those areas where the tax office does not release bills to a third party. If this is the case, you will receive a letter requesting that you forward your real estate tax bill to us.

      What real estate tax bills are paid from my escrow account?

      • Regular real estate tax bills are paid on your behalf by SunTrust from your escrow account.
      • Occasionally, your local government may charge you an additional amount affecting your property - which is not covered by your escrow account and which will remain your responsibility.
      • Examples of the bills you are responsible for paying include, but are not limited to, supplemental, Pro-Rata, ½ Year or ¾ Year Levy, special assessment, solid waste, utility, HOA (Homeowner Association) and water/sewer usage bills. Your escrow account does not include funds to pay these bills.

      How are my real estate taxes paid?

      • We obtain your real estate tax amount based on your tax identification number/assessor parcel number and disburse the funds from your escrow account.
      • Taxes are paid prior to the due date. If the tax office offers an early pay discount, your taxes will be paid early enough to utilize that discount.
      • If you did not opt to have an escrow account, you are responsible for paying all real estate taxes and you must provide evidence to SunTrust that your taxes were paid. Please place your 10 digit loan number on any receipts and send to:
        Tax Department-0011883
        Centralize Bill Request
        P.O. Box 9201
        Coppell, Texas 75019

      Who can answer questions about my real estate tax bill?

      Questions about real estate tax increases, your assessed value and tax rates can best be answered by directly contacting your local real estate taxing authority.

      What should I do if I receive a real estate tax bill in the mail?

      Please write your 10 digit loan number on your real estate tax bill and forward it to:

      Tax Department
      Attention: SunTrust - 0011883
      P. O. Box 92370
      Rochester, NY 14692

      Please note: If you receive a real estate tax bill marked "COPY" or "FOR YOUR INFORMATION," you do not need to send it to SunTrust.

      Will SunTrust pay your interim/supplemental/pro rata/occupancy real estate bill on your behalf?

      • Yes, In the event your taxing locality provides us with information regarding supplemental bills, we will disburse funds from escrow.
      • All bills or documentation pertaining to taxes can be faxed to our Tax Customer Service Department at 817.826.0436. (Please remember to include your mortgage loan number.)

      Are real estate taxes deductible on my income tax return?

      • Yes, real estate taxes are usually deductible if you itemize deductions on your tax return. However, you should consult your tax advisor for more information.

      How do I handle a Special Assessment Tax Bill?

      • For improvements: 
        A special assessment may be charged against your property due to improvements from which you benefit, including street and sidewalk repairs or sewer construction. If you receive this interim/supplemental/pro rata/occupancy bill, it is very important that you pay it, because SunTrust has no knowledge of this bill and did not plan for payment of the bill from your escrow account.
      • A Special Notice to Georgia Homeowners: 
        In Georgia, if you appeal your property value you have an opportunity to request SunTrust be billed for the full tax amount. If you win your appeal, the tax office will refund you the difference. If you lose your appeal, all taxes are paid. In the event you didn’t request the property be billed for the full tax amount and the appeal is lost, the tax office will send you a bill for the balance owed. This bill is not received by the mortgage company and it is your responsibility to notify us if payment is needed.
      • A Special Notice to South Carolina Homeowners: 
        South Carolina offers a legal residence exemption, if the property is your primary home. Please contact your local tax office to obtain the specific requirements.
      • For New Construction: 
        Typically, the first real estate bill for new construction is for the lot/land only. You may receive an interim/supplemental/pro rata/occupancy real estate tax bill, in most cases collection for this bill is not included in the current escrow collection and SunTrust has not received a bill.

      For more information, please contact our Client Services Department at 800.634.7928, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., ET, on Saturday.

  • Homeowner's Insurance

    • Understanding your homeowner's (hazard) insurance options and responsibilities is an important part of protecting your home. That's why we've outlined the types of policies available, some general insurance information, plus tips on how you can reduce insurance costs on your home.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      What are my homeowner's insurance responsibilities?

      All mortgage lenders require the homeonwers to have homeowner's insurance. As a homeowner, and in accordance with your Deed of Trust or Mortgage, you need to maintain adequate homeowner's insurance coverage at all times.

      Your homeowner's policy must meet the following requirements:

      • Provide at least minimum protection for fire and extended coverage property insurance in an amount that is sufficient to rebuild or replace your property's structure/improvements at today's replacement cost.
      • SunTrust Bank must be listed as the mortgagee on all policies.
      • Insurance must be with a company of carrier rated B or higher by the A.M. Best Rating Guide.
      • Unless a higher maximum deductible is required by state law, the maximum allowable deductible for a home mortgage is 5% of the face amount of the policy.
      • SunTrust Bank requires that your flood insurance deductible not exceed $10,000 on non-condos or $25,000 on condos. If you have an FHA, VA, or Affordable Housing loan, the maximum deductible is $5,000 on non-condos or $25,000 on condos.


      What types of home insurance policies are available?

      • Homeowner’s Insurance ensures that your home will be replaced or the damage will be repaired, up to the amount of coverage obtained, for losses from fire and other hazards covered by the standard extended coverage endorsement.
      • Flood insurance is required in areas where the dwelling is located in a Special Hazard Flood Area. Flood insurance is highly recommended for all clients, regardless of flood zone, to fully protect their interest. Please contact your insurance agent if you have questions regarding the below requirements for flood insurance:
        • The flood insurance policy should reflect the same zone as the property rating as determined by a Special Flood Hazard Determination.
        • The flood insurance policy should also meet the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) guidelines for a private flood insurance policy.
      • For condominium units, the homeowner’s association typically provides the minimum hazard and flood insurance that we require. You should consult an insurance professional for advice on any additional insurance you may need for your own protection. Keep in mind that if the association’s policy is not sufficient, then you will be required to obtain additional coverage.
      • Earthquake Insurance is usually carried on a voluntary basis.
      • Windstorm coverage is typically covered in the extended coverage endorsement of the standard homeowner’s insurance policy. If your homeowner’s insurance policy excludes Windstorm coverage, a separate policy providing Windstorm coverage is required in addition to the homeowner’s policy.

      Should I inform SunTrust if I make changes to my homeowner's insurance policy?


      • Yes. It is important to maintain the required insurance policies on your home. If you need help paying for your non-escrowed insurance policy, please call us to discuss how we can pay your premium and establish an escrow account. If SunTrust does not have proof of the appropriate insurance coverage, we are required to obtain lender placed insurance to protect our interest in your property.
      • Insurance mailing address: 
        SunTrust Bank
        P.O. Box 47047 
        Atlanta, GA 30362
      • Fax number to send proof of insurance:

        You can also update the hazard insurance coverage information online at, referencing PIN STM942. Please note: this link can also be used by your agent.
  • Year-End Mortgage Statement

  • Mortgage Relationship Rewards

    • Frequently Asked Questions

      How can I enjoy greater savings through Mortgage Relationship Rewards?

      We offer several avenues for greater savings, including discounts on other bank services such as auto loans, home equity lines/loans, personal banking and credit card.

      One additional benefit our new clients enjoy is one-year’s enrollment (at no cost to you) in Genworth Mortgage Insurance’s Homebuyers Privileges®.* This money-saving program will help you save on the things you need most to make your house a dream home. You'll receive discounts and special offers from national retailers on home furnishings, garden supplies, major appliances, truck rentals, home security systems, and much more! 

      How do I access the savings and discounts available through Genworth’s Homebuyer Privileges®?

      To enjoy these savings, you will need a special Homebuyer Privileges Lender Participation Code and Homebuyer Privileges ID. This information will be mailed to you within 30 days of closing your loan.  You may also contact your mortgage loan officer for this information. Once you have your code and ID, simply click on the “Homebuyer Privileges” link from any Loan Officers website, complete your enrollment under “New Member Log In” and begin enjoying these savings.

      Am I eligible for other savings with your affiliate SunTrust Bank?

      Definitely, we value client relationships and offer several great opportunities to expand your savings. The chart below details a few of these benefits.

      Product Benefits

      Auto Loans
      from LightStream®
      a division of SunTrust Bank

      • Get a LightStream®1 loan and select AutoPay option to enjoy .50 percentage points lower than the invoicing option.
      • Refinance an existing auto loan or get a new loan on a pre-owned or new vehicle

      Equity Lines/Loans
      from SunTrust Bank

      • Leverage equity to consolidate your debt with low rates and flexible repayment terms.

      SunTrust Cash Rewards Credit Card3

      • Earn 5% Cash Backon up to $6,000 spent on gas and grocery qualifying purchases4 for the first 12 months after account opening (and 2% unlimited cash back5, thereafter).
      • Earn 1% unlimited cash back6 on all other qualifying purchases.
      • Receive a 10%, 25% or 50% Loyalty Cash Bonus based on your deposit relationship with SunTrust when you redeem your cash back directly into a SunTrust checking, savings, or money market account.7
      • Talk to your branch representative or visit to apply. Offer valid for new Cash Rewards accounts only.


      *Homebuyer Privileges® is brought to you by Genworth Mortgage Insurance through SunTrust Mortgage, a Division of SunTrust Bank, a participating lender. Contact Genworth's ionCenter® at 800.444.5664 with any questions.

      1 Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Loan proceeds may not be used to refinance an existing LightStream® loan or for business purposes.

      2 Additional terms and conditions apply, which SunTrust will provide to you when you become an enrolled program member (in SunTrust Cash Rewards). All credit cards are subject to credit approval. The MasterCard card is issued by SunTrust Bank, pursuant to a license from MasterCard International. ©2017 Mastercard. Mastercard is a registered trademark and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Visit for more information about the SunTrust Cash Rewards Credit Card.

      5% Cash Back Benefit: You will earn another additional 3% in Cash Rewards (5% Cash Rewards total), at Participating Merchants (gas and grocery stores), on Qualifying Purchases made with the Card (a) up to the $6,000 combined total of Qualifying Purchases made at Participating Merchants or (b) through the first 12 months after account opening, whichever comes first. After you have fully utilized the additional 3% benefit either by (a) spending up to the $6,000 combined total of gas and grocery Qualifying Purchases made at Participating Merchants or (b) reaching the end of the first 12 months after account opening, whichever comes first, you can then earn the unlimited 2% Cash Rewards Benefit. The 5% Cash Rewards Benefit is only available during the first 12 months after account opening. Participating Merchants are determined by the associated merchant category code (“MCC”) used by each merchant. Purchases made at merchants that do not process transactions under an eligible MCC will not qualify for the additional 1% or 3% bonus reward rate.

      Qualifying Purchase(s) - new net retail purchases (minus credits/returns/adjustments) at participating merchants based on merchant category codes. Non-purchase items do not qualify for Cash Back. See additional terms and conditions when you apply.

      5 2% Cash Back Benefit: You will earn an unlimited additional 1% in Cash Rewards (2% Cash Rewards total) at Participating Merchants (gas and grocery stores), on Qualifying Purchases made with the Card..

      1% Cash Back Benefit: You can earn cash back of 1% on new Qualifying Purchases on your Card, if your Card Account is in Good Standing, with no restriction on the amount of cash back that you may earn or redeem.

      7 Cash Rewards Redemption: After the close of the billing period in which you earn Cash Rewards, if your Card Account is in Good Standing, you may redeem a minimum of $5 for either a statement credit to your card account or an ACH credit to a deposit account. You can earn a Loyalty Cash Bonus of 10%, 25%, or 50% if you redeem through an ACH deposit into a SunTrust deposit account. See Program Agreement for details and tier levels as follows:

      • Clients who redeem Cash Rewards through an ACH deposit into any SunTrust checking, savings or money market account will receive a 10% Loyalty Cash Bonus.
      • Clients with a SunTrust Advantage Checking, Signature Advantage Checking, or Exclusive Checking account and meeting one of the following  Combined Consumer Deposits and Investment Balances will earn a Loyalty Cash Bonus of:
        • 25% Loyalty Cash Bonus if balances total between $25,000 and $100,000,
        • 50% Loyalty Cash Bonus if balances total greater than $100,000.
      • SunTrust Premier Program or Private Wealth Management clients will receive a 50% Loyalty Cash Bonus. See for details on advisory service levels.

      For example, a 10% Loyalty Cash Bonus on $100 in base Cash Rewards would earn an additional $10, totaling $110 in Cash Rewards earnings.

Please call us if you have additional questions. You can reach our Client Services Department at 800.634.7928, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., ET, on Saturday.

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