GSE Fannie Mae recently reminded those impacted by Hurricane Laura and the California wildfires that mortgage assistance and disaster relief options are available.
Under Fannie Mae's guidelines for single-family mortgages impacted by a natural disaster, homeowners may request mortgage assistance by contacting their mortgage servicer following a disaster.
Mortgage servicers are authorized to suspend or reduce a homeowner's mortgage payments for up to 90 days – even without establishing contact – if the servicer believes the homeowner was affected.
Homeowners affected by disaster often are eligible to reduce or suspend their mortgage payments for up to 12 months. During the related temporary payment break, homeowners will not incur late fees, foreclosure and other legal proceedings are suspended, and there also are a number of options available to potentially help homeowners catch up on missed payments.
In addition, homeowners currently on a COVID-19-related forbearance plan who are subsequently impacted by the storm or fires should contact their mortgage servicer to discuss options.
Fannie Mae also offers help navigating the broader financial effects of a disaster to homeowners with a Fannie Mae-owned mortgage and renters living in Fannie Mae-financed properties through its Disaster Response Network, operated by Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions, including a needs assessment and personalized recovery plan; help requesting financial relief from FEMA, insurance, and other sources; and web resources and ongoing guidance from experienced disaster relief advisors.
Homeowners and renters can call 877.833.1746 to access Fannie Mae's Disaster Response Network or other available resources.
"We are monitoring these situations, and we urge those in the path of the storm and fires to focus on their safety first as they prepare for the potential impact of these events," said Malloy Evans, Senior Vice President and Single-Family Chief Credit Officer, Fannie Mae. "Along with our lending and servicing partners, Fannie Mae is committed to ensuring assistance is available to homeowners and renters in need. We encourage residents whose homes, employment, or income are impacted by this storm and fires to seek available assistance as soon as possible."
Learn more about how to mitigate the impact of natural disaster at the Five Star Virtual Conference, which will include a panel discussing "The Impact of Natural Disasters on Servicing." Register here.