Was your home or your ability to make your mortgage payments harmed by an event that the President declared a disaster? You may qualify for relief to help you keep your home. Much of the mortgage industry and The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development are committed to assisting borrowers whose lives and livelihoods are thrown into turmoil by a disaster.
If you can't pay your mortgage because of the disaster, your lender may be able to help you. If you are at risk of losing your home because of the disaster, your lender may stop or delay initiation of foreclosure for 90 days. Lenders may also waive late fees for borrowers who may become delinquent on their loans as a result of the disaster.
If you have a conventional mortgage, you are strongly encouraged to contact your lender for further information, and to see if you are eligible for relief.
If you have an FHA-insured mortgage, please continue reading to find out what options may be available to you.
How Can This FHA Disaster Relief Help Me?
HUD has instructed FHA lenders to use reasonable judgment in determining who is an "affected borrower." Lenders are required to reevaluate each delinquent loan until reinstatement or foreclosure and to identify the cause of default. Contact your lender to let them know about your situation. Some of the actions that your lender may take are:
- During the term of a moratorium, your loan may not be referred to foreclosure if you were affected by a disaster.
- Your lender will evaluate you for any available loss mitigation assistance to help you retain your home.
- Your lender may enter into a forbearance plan, or execute a loan modification or a partial claim, if these actions will help retain and pay for your home.
- If saving your home is not feasible, lenders have some flexibility in using the pre-foreclosure sales program or may offer to accept a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.
Section I - First, Answer These Basic Questions
- Did my home suffer damage in the disaster?
- Am I without other resources, such as insurance settlements, to catch up?
If the answer to these questions is yes, and you have missed mortgage payments, please continue to Section II.
If the answer to these questions is yes, and you believe you will miss future mortgage payments, please continue to Section IV.
Section II - Are You Eligible for a Foreclosure Moratorium
You may be eligible for FHA Disaster Relief if you are one of the affected borrowers as described below. You must be in one of three basic groups in order to qualify for a moratorium on foreclosure:
- You or your family live within the geographic boundaries of a Presidentially-declared disaster area, you are automatically covered by a 90-day foreclosure moratorium.
- You are a household member of someone who is deceased, missing or injured directly due to the disaster, you qualify for a moratorium.
- Your financial ability to pay your mortgage debt was directly or substantially affected by a disaster, you qualify for a moratorium.
If you are in one of the three groups above, please proceed to Section III. If not, please proceed to Section V.
Section III - Take Action to Qualify for Foreclosure Relief
A Foreclosure Moratorium applies only to borrowers who are delinquent on their FHA loan. If you are current on your loan payments, then you should continue to make them.
FHA lenders will automatically stop all foreclosure actions against families with delinquent loans on homes within the boundaries of a Presidentially-declared disaster area.
It is very important that you notify your lender to be sure that they realize you are an affected borrower. Your lender may request supporting documentation and use it to determine if you meet the relief criteria. Once identified as an affected borrower, foreclosure action may be stopped for the duration of the moratorium period.
If your home was damaged in the disaster or you will not be able to make your monthly loan payment(s) because your finances were adversely affected, contact your lender immediately to request assistance.
Borrowers who were injured or whose income relied on individuals who were injured or died in the disaster will be asked for documentation such as medical records or death certificates, if available. Your lender will ask you for financial information to help evaluate what assistance can be provided to you to reinstate your loan.
Section IV - If Your FHA Loan Was Current before the Disaster but Now You Can't Make Your Next Month's Payment
FHAÔÇÖs Foreclosure Moratorium only applies to borrowers in default. If you are current, you should continue to make your mortgage payment whenever possible. If, however, you are unable to pay your loan as a result of the disaster, your lender may waive any late fees normally charged and let you know about other options. Also, if you foresee ongoing problems in making your mortgage payments resulting from changes in your financial status, you should contact your lender immediately and continue to Section V below.
Section V - If Your Lender is Unable to Assist You
HUD is confident that your mortgage lender will make every attempt possible to assist you. If you are not satisfied after discussing possible relief actions with your lender, please call a HUD-approved counseling agency toll free at (800) 569-4287 or contact HUD's National Servicing Center.