Account used and maintained by mortgage firm to collect amounts such as property taxes, hazard insurance, homeowners insurance, private mortgage insurance, and other required payments by the mortgage holder. The payments are necessary to keep the home but are not part of principal and interest. There are instances these accounts are mandated of borrowers who put down less than 20%, but optional in some cases. It aims to protect the lender. Because low down payment borrowers are deemed high risk, the account assures the lender the borrower won’t lose the home due to liens or loans, as the lender pays off insurance and taxes, among others, from that account once these are due. Also called escrow accounts.