Verify: Can hurricane survivors defer mortgage payments for 3 months?

Can a homeowner, who has suffered home damage in a disaster area, defer mortgage payments to their lender for 90 days?

QUESTION:

Can a homeowner, who has suffered home damage in a disaster area, defer mortgage payments to their lender for 90 days?

ANSWER:

Yes, but it doesn't happen automatically. You must contact your lender.

SOURCES:

Brian Sullivan, Supervisory Public Affairs Specialist, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 

Disaster Relief Options for FHA Homeowners- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 

Georgia Announcement, U.S. Virgin Islands Announcement, Florida Announcement, Puerto Rico Announcement, Texas Announcement

HUD Disaster Resources- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Wells Fargo Customers Impacted by Hurricane Irma

JPMorgan Chase Waives Some Consumer and Business Fees in Hurricane Irma Areas

Bank of America Announces Hurricane Irma Relief Efforts

Fannie Mae Offers Relief Options for Homeowners and Servicers in Areas Impacted by Hurricane Harvey and Irma

Freddie Mac to Suspend All Evictions and Foreclosures in Hurricane Irma Major Disaster Areas

PROCESS:

A slew of hurricane rumors are stewing around social media. Verify wants to clear your channels of the fake stuff so that you know how to help loved ones in Texas, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, St. Thomas, St. James, and Puerto Rico.

The storms placed extra burdens on families already struggling to meet their monthly mortgage payments. 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development wants homeowners to know they offer a glimmer of hope. For people already struggling, there's a three month grace period so that homeowners can delay mortgage payments. 

"If you or your family live within the geographic boundaries of a presidentially declared disaster area, you're automatically covered by a 90-day foreclosure moratorium," Brian Sullivan, a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development spokesperson said. 

"Not everybody is having difficulty making mortgage payments but after a big disaster when your home is damaged and maybe you can't go to work...your employer's property has been damaged, you may be experiencing an interruption in your income making it difficult for you to continue making mortgage payments," Sullivan said. "The thing you should do is pick up your phone, call your mortgage lender and tell them your situation."

Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America, all FHA-insured mortgage lenders, are informing storm survivors of the three-month grace period. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, conventional, not government backed lenders, are also letting those affected take some time to breathe, recover and rebuild. 

It's not a forgiveness program. It's time to get back on their feet. 

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