The 2021 disaster season has seen a large number of federal disaster area declarations; that combined with a global pandemic and it’s easy to see that mortgage relief in any form is a much-needed thing.
In October 2021, the FHA and HUD announced foreclosure relief in areas of New Hampshire and Montana affected by natural disasters.
In New Hampshire, those areas included the counties of Cheshire and Sullivan which were harmed by severe storms and floods.
In Montana, areas affected by something known as the Richard Spring Fire received a major disaster declaration for Rosebud County and the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation.
In declaring these areas as federal disaster areas, HUD is able to offer foreclosure relief in those areas–a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures of FHA-insured mortgages starting on the date of the announcement that the area is a federal disaster area.
The FHA and HUD make 203(h) Rehabilitation loans and refinance loans available for those who have had homes damaged or destroyed in the disaster.
These rehab loans may be used in conjunction with other FHA mortgages such as the 203(k) Rehab loan intended for non-disaster use.
The FHA and HUD partner with FEMA and local agencies in the affected areas including, according to the HUD official site, “Public Housing Agencies, Tribally-Designated Housing Entities, and Multi-Family owners. The Department will also connect FEMA and the State to subject matter experts to provide information on HUD programs and providers” for relief and recovery in the area.
If you live in one of these areas, contact your lender immediately to discuss plans to save your home if it has been damaged, or to replace your home if it has been destroyed.
You will need to contact your insurance provider and make arrangements, but do not be rushed into a settlement until you know how much repair and replacement will cost and how much you may have to contribute toward repairs or replacement of the home beyond any settlement money you are entitled to receive.
It is never safe to assume your home loan payments are NOT due–continue to make mortgage payments or contact your loan servicer to discuss a loan modification, loan forbearance, or other measures to protect your investment while you are sorting out what to do in the aftermath of the damage caused.
Aside from the HUD 90-day foreclosure moratorium, disaster relief is not automatic and you will be required to contact your lender, the FHA, FEMA, and any other agency that offers assistance.
You will need to initiate the help you seek–reach out to these agencies as soon as you are able to do so to get the resources you need to save your home.