The Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Michael in Florida.
According to a HUD press release, the government will “speed federal disaster assistance to the State of Florida and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes due to Hurricane Michael” following a presidential declaration of a major disaster area in several Florida counties including Bay, Franklin, Gulf, Taylor, and Wakulla.
The declaration means those living in the affected areas are eligible for a 90-day moratorium on foreclosure on FHA mortgages. To get the benefit of this moratorium borrowers should call their loan officers and contact the FHA Resource Center at 1-800-304-9320.
Never assume it is safe to simply stop making payments on an FHA mortgage after a natural disaster. You must call your loan officer as soon as possible to make payment arrangements or discuss foreclosure avoidance. Additional help may be available with information provided by FEMA and the Small Business Administration; contact both agencies to see what assistance may be available.
Living in a federally-declared major disaster area also makes home owners in those areas eligible for an FHA 203(h) rehab loan or FHA 203(h) rehab refinance loan. These mortgages, available only to those in such disaster areas, allows a borrower to repair or replace a primary residence with 100% financing and no down payment required.
The non-disaster version of this FHA rehab loan, the FHA 203(k) rehabilitation loan, can be used in conjunction with the 203(h) but a down payment is required in such cases.
These loans are for single-family homes that are used as the borrowers residence, and cannot be used for investment properties or homes where the borrower or borrowers will not occupy as a residence.
The White House official site advises those who have losses in the counties designated above to start applying for assistance immediately by registering online at http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.