2011 has brought one of the worst summers on record for homeowners–hurricanes, floods, and other disasters have given FHA borrowers plenty to worry about when it comes to their property.
The FHA has a lot of resources that can help. Borrowers who need assistance in the wake of disasters can find a wealth of information, application forms and counseling online.
Some excellent general assistance is available at http://www.katrinarecovery.disasterhelp.gov/, which was originally set up to assist those recovering in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Another resource many are in need of, especially in the early days of disaster recovery, is assistance with emergency housing and registering with FEMA. Get help with those issues, plus much more at the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s official help page.
In federally-declared disaster areas such as the 2011 sites in Kentucky, New Hampshire, Wyoming and many others, the FHA has issued foreclosure moratoriums and other actions designed to help borrowers in need of mortgage relief. Call 1-888-297-8685 to find out what options may be available to you in your location.
The FHA offers rehab loans for those affected by disasters. The FHA 203(k) rehabilitation loan is available from FHA-approved lenders and can help qualified borrowers with the costs of restoring a property damaged in a storm or other disaster. Additionally, FHA offers additional help by providing funds to local agencies for disaster relief grants and/or loans. Check with your local government information websites or telephone centers for details on local disaster recovery programs.
One important area that’s easy to overlook in the disaster recovery effort? Taxes. If your home was damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster, you could be eligible for a tax break. The IRS calls this a tax deductible casualty loss, and there are specific rules you need to know before making a claim.
The information presented at http://www.hud.gov/katrina/taxpub4512c.pdf was intended for those filing their 2006 taxes, but many of the same rules could apply to your situation if you qualify. Ask your tax preparer for more information or contact the IRS directly to get more details.