12 CFR 591.5 - Limitation on exercise of due-on-sale clauses.
(a) General. Except as provided in § 591.4 (c) and (d)(4) of this part, due-on-sale practices of Federal savings associations and other lenders shall be governed exclusively by the Office's regulations, in preemption of and without regard to any limitations imposed by state law on either their inclusion or exercise including, without limitation, state law prohibitions against restraints on alienation, prohibitions against penalties and forfeitures, equitable restrictions and state law dealing with equitable transfers.
(b) Specific limitations. With respect to any loan on the security of a home occupied or to be occupied by the borrower,
(1) A lender shall not (except with regard to a reverse mortgage) exercise its option pursuant to a due-on-sale clause upon:
(i) The creation of a lien or other encumbrance subordinate to the lender's security instrument which does not relate to a transfer of rights of occupancy in the property: Provided, That such lien or encumbrance is not created pursuant to a contract for deed;
(ii) The creation of a purchase-money security interest for household appliances;
(iii) A transfer by devise, descent, or operation of law on the death of a joint tenant or tenant by the entirety;
(iv) The granting of a leasehold interest which has a term of three years or less and which does not contain an option to purchase (that is, either a lease of more than three years or a lease with an option to purchase will allow the exercise of a due-on-sale clause);
(v) A transfer, in which the transferee is a person who occupies or will occupy the property, which is:
(A) A transfer to a relative resulting from the death of the borrower;
(B) A transfer where the spouse or child(ren) becomes an owner of the property; or
(C) A transfer resulting from a decree of dissolution of marriage, legal separation agreement, or from an incidental property settlement agreement by which the spouse becomes an owner of the property; or
(vi) A transfer into an inter vivos trust in which the borrower is and remains the beneficiary and occupant of the property, unless, as a condition precedent to such transfer, the borrower refuses to provide the lender with reasonable means acceptable to the lender by which the lender will be assured of timely notice of any subsequent transfer of the beneficial interest or change in occupancy.
(i) Declares by written notice that the loan is due pursuant to a due-on-sale clause or
(ii) Commences a judicial or nonjudicial foreclosure proceeding to enforce a due-on-sale clause or to seek payment in full as a result of invoking such clause.
(3) A lender shall not impose a prepayment penalty or equivalent fee when the lender or party acting on behalf of the lender fails to approve within 30 days the completed credit application of a qualified transferee of the security property to assume the loan in accordance with the terms of the loan, and thereafter the borrower transfers the security property to such transferee and prepays the loan in full within 120 days after receipt by the lender of the completed credit application. For purposes of this paragraph (b)(3), a qualified transferee is a person who qualifies for the loan under the lender's applicable underwriting standards and who occupies or will occupy the security property.
(4) A lender waives its option to exercise a due-on-sale clause as to a specific transfer if, before the transfer, the lender and the existing borrower's prospective successor in interest agree in writing that the successor in interest will be obligated under the terms of the loan and that interest on sums secured by the lender's security interest will be payable at a rate the lender shall request. Upon such agreement and resultant waiver, a lender shall release the existing borrower from all obligations under the loan instruments, and the lender is deemed to have made a new loan to the existing borrower's successor in interest. The waiver and release apply to all loans secured by homes occupied by borrowers made by a Federal savings association after July 31, 1976, and to all loans secured by homes occupied by borrowers made by other lenders after the effective date of this regulation.
(5) Nothing in paragraph (b)(1) of this section shall be construed to restrict a lender's right to enforce a due-on-sale clause upon the subsequent occurrence of any event which disqualifies a transfer for a previously-applicable exception under that paragraph (b)(1).
(c) Policy considerations. Paragraph (b) of this section does not prohibit a lender from requiring, as a condition to an assumption, continued maintenance of mortgage insurance by the existing borrower's successor in interest, whether by endorsement of the existing policy or by entrance into a new contract of insurance.