In the wake of the damage and disruptions caused in Texas, Florida and other parts of the Deep South by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, some people are finding it difficult to make their regular mortgage payments. Thankfully, most — if not all — lenders are willing to work with customers affected by natural disasters like these.
Here’s the mortgage relief available to people impacted by Harvey and Irma
Department Housing and Urban Development spokesman Jerry Brown has said that anyone whose loan is backed by Freddie Mac or Fannie May is eligible for some kind of relief, including suspending payments for up to 12 months or waiving late fees and penalties, according to WTSP.
You can use the following tools to find out if your loan qualifies:
Homeowners who have loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA loans) are also eligible for relief, but you will need to call your individual lender to discuss your options.
So, even though the guidelines allow for relief for impacted consumers for up to a year, not all lenders are forthcoming in presenting that option — if you are dealing with one of those, money expert Clark Howard says you have to push them to get the time you need to get your finances in order.
If your mortgage is held by another company and not backed by Freddie Mae, Freddie Mac or The FHA, there are not any federal laws or regulations that require them to offer disaster relief.
However, most companies are offering borrowers in the hardest hit areas more time to make their payments — called forbearance — waiving certain fees, or some combination of the two. Depending on your bank, you may need to live in a place that’s been designated as a disaster area by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but not all banks are requiring that if you’ve been affected by one of the storms. To check to see if you are in a disaster area, please visit DisasterAssistance.gov.
Keep in mind that whatever solution you arrive at with your bank, you will still ultimately be responsible for your payments and any interest that accrues.
The bottom line, though, is that in almost all cases you must contact your lender if you want to be considered for relief. Here, we include as much information as we have on what the biggest lenders in the U.S. are offering, as well as ways to get in touch with them.
- Providing payment relief for 90 days
- Waiving late charges for 90 days
- Suppressing any negative credit bureau reporting for up to 90 days
For relief, contact: (888) 818-9147
For more information: Disaster Assistance and Property Damage Support site
- 90-day grace period for all customers who live in a FEMA-designated hurricane disaster area
- Catch-up options on all payments that come due during that period
- No late fees during the period
- No negative information reported to credit bureaus during the period
For relief, contact: (888) 356-0023
For more information: Hurricane assistance
- Waiving late fees for those affected by the hurricanes
- Pausing credit reporting
- Offering an initial period of up to three months with no payments
For relief, contact: (800) 508-0944, option 8
For more information: Helpful Resources for People Impacted by Hurricane Season
- No specific information provided
- Contact (800) 365-7772 to inquire about your options
Bank of America
- No specific information provided, says it will contact affected customers directly with details
- Contact (800) 451-6362 to inquire about your options
PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust
- “If you experience any financial hardship from a disaster or property damage, please contact our Customer Service Department so that we can discuss all options available to assist you with your mortgage payments.”
For relief, contact: (800) 777-4001
For more information: Property Damage & Payment Assistance
- No specific information provided
- Contact (800) 449-8767 to inquire about your options
- Mortgage forbearance programs in FEMA-designated disaster areas
- Waived late fees for September mortgage payments in FEMA-designated disaster areas
For relief, contact: (800) 283-7918
For more information: Hurricane Relief (PDF)
- For those in FEMA-designated disaster areas
- Negative credit reporting automatically blocked for three months
- Late fees not assessed for three months
- Phone pay convenience fees waived for three months
For relief, contact: (800) 968-7700
For more information: Emergency Relief Center
- “If your employment status has been impacted by the recent natural disaster, you may qualify for a
forbearance plan due to the financial impact incurred.”
- “If your property is located in a FEMA declared disaster zone, you may be eligible for forbearance. If
your property is not located in a FEMA declared disaster zone, please monitor https://www.fema.gov/disastersfor additional updates. If the natural disaster will cause you a financial hardship and you are not in a FEMAdeclared disaster zone, please contact us for alternative options.”
For relief, contact: (866) 258-6572
For more information: Hurricane Disaster Relief Information (PDF)