May 11, 2021

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Texas Home Owners Get Federal Disaster Relief

HUD Announces Fair Housing Act Protection Improvements

Millions of homeowners in Texas were affected by severe winter weather and unprecedented freezing conditions there; On Monday, February 22, 2021 Texas residents woke up having had their state declared a federal disaster area.

Those with FHA mortgages who own homes in the state of Texas are getting help from the federal government in the wake of deadly winter storms in the area affecting some half a million homeowners in the Lone Star State.

President Biden has declared the state of Texas as a federal disaster area, and that means federal assistance for state and local recovery efforts. It also means Texas homeowners have access to disaster relief to help repair or replace homes damaged by the winter weather there.

Do you have an FHA home loan? Contact your loan servicer immediately to learn their options for foreclosure relief (your options require you to coordinate with your lender) and get information about disaster recovery resources from agencies like FEMA and the Small Business Administration.

When the President declares a major disaster area, it triggers several things including foreclosure moratoriums from the FHA, but those with homes damaged or destroyed by a disaster also have the option to apply for an FHA 203(h) Rehabilitation loan for disaster victims. 

The 203(h) loan is only provided for those who are in a federal disaster area and features the following:

  • No downpayment required.
  • Closing costs and prepaid expenses are paid by the borrower in cash or paid through premium pricing or by the seller, subject to a 6 percent limitation on seller concessions.
  • May be used to finance the purchase or reconstruction of a one-family home that will be the principal residence of the homeowner. 
  • These loans can be used in conjunction with the FHA 203(k) Rehabilitation loan or 203(k) refinance loan.

In addition to contacting loan servicers and FEMA, home owners should call the Small Business Administration (SBA) since in some cases homeowners may qualify for SBA assistance if they are in a federal disaster area.

SBA assistance in these instances is NOT restricted to small business owners–don’t let the name of the agency confuse you into thinking there is no help for a homeowner!

Who is affected by the federal disaster declaration? At the time of this writing, the following counties in Texas:

Angelina, Aransas, Bastrop, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Brazoria, Brazos, Brown, Burleson, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Collin, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, DeWitt, Ellis, Falls, Fort Bend, Galveston, Gillespie, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hood, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Kaufman, Kendall, Lavaca, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Maverick, McLennan, Montague, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Nueces, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Polk, Rockwall, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Scurry, Shelby, Smith, Stephens, Tarrant, Travis, Tyler, Upshur, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Wharton, Wichita, Williamson, Wilson, and Wise.

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