The Department of Housing and Urban Development recently announced disaster relief for victims of storms in Nebraska and Iowa.
The agency issued press release stating it would “speed federal disaster assistance “to the State of Iowa and the State of Nebraska to offer “support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes in areas affected by severe storms and flooding”.
In March, there was a declaration of a major disaster area for Iowa counties including Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, and Woodbury.
There was also a major disaster declaration in March for Nebraska counties including Boone, Buffalo, Butler, Cass, Colfax, Custer, Dodge, Douglas, Knox, Nemaha, Richardson, Santee Indian Reservation, Sarpy, Saunders, Thurston, and Washington.
These declarations allow HUD to offer FHA borrowers in the affected areas foreclosure relief in the form of an automatic 90-day moratorium on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages.
Affected homeowners in these counties (see above) may also be eligible for Section 203(h) Rehabilitation loans for disaster victims whose homes were destroyed, and for homes damaged “to such an extent that reconstruction or replacement is necessary and are facing the daunting task of rebuilding or buying another home” according to the HUD official site.
Home owners in these areas are eligible for 100 percent financing up to and including closing costs.
Section 203(k) Rehab loans are also available-the 203(k) is the non-disaster version of the FHA rehab loan but may be used in conjunction with the FHA 203(h) loan program.
In any natural disaster situation, affected home owners should contact their lenders as soon as possible. It’s not safe to assume that your mortgage payments are no longer due even if your home has been destroyed-you and your lender will need to work together to explore your options.
Do not stop making mortgage payments without discussing your circumstances with the lender. You should also contact FEMA to see what disaster relief options may be open to you in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
There may be other relief options available to you offered by local agencies, the Small Business Administration, or other agencies. Be sure to ask your lender about any resources offered to storm victims in federal disaster areas.