Fannie Mae is reminding those in the Gulf Coast area impacted by Hurricane Harvey of the options available for mortgage assistance. Under Fannie Mae’s guidelines for single-family mortgages, servicers have the ability to grant an initial period of forbearance to any borrower they believe has been affected by this natural disaster. Additional forbearance is available with approval from Fannie Mae. In addition, Fannie Mae guidelines authorize servicers to delay foreclosure sales and other legal proceedings in these areas.
“At this time, it is important for those in the path of the storm to focus on their safety as they deal with the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey,” said Carlos Perez, Senior Vice President and Chief Credit Officer at Fannie Mae. “The primary focus of Fannie Mae and our servicers continues to be with the homeowners who have been impacted by this disaster and to ensure assistance is offered to borrowers and communities in need.”
Under Fannie Mae’s disaster relief guidelines, a servicer may temporarily suspend or reduce a homeowner’s mortgage payments for up to ninety days if the servicer believes a natural disaster has adversely affected the value or habitability of the property or if the natural disaster has temporarily impacted the homeowner’s ability to make payments on their mortgage. Since these events can make it difficult to reach homeowners, Fannie Mae allows servicers to grant this temporary relief even if they cannot contact the impacted homeowner immediately. If a servicer establishes contact with a homeowner, the servicer may offer forbearance for up to six months, which may be extended for an additional six months, for those homeowners that were current or ninety days or less delinquent when the disaster occurred.
In addition, lenders who are originating loans that will be sold to Fannie Mae are reminded that they must verify the condition of the property if it is in the area affected by the hurricane. Additional lender guidelines can be found here.
Borrowers should reach out to their servicer as soon as possible for assistance. In addition, homeowners can reach out to Fannie Mae directly by calling 1-800-2FANNIE. For more information, visit http://www.knowyouroptions.com/relief.
Fannie Mae helps make the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and affordable rental housing possible for millions of Americans. We partner with lenders to create housing opportunities for families across the country. We are driving positive changes in housing finance to make the home buying process easier, while reducing costs and risk. To learn more, visit fanniemae.com and follow us on twitter.com/fanniemae.