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Catastrophic Hurricane Michael prompts Freddic Mac to issue relief policies

Victims will be eligible for up to 12 months of mortgage forbearance

Hurricane Michael has finally landed on the Florida Gulf coast, potentially threatening about 57,002 homes in its wake.

The Category 4 storm could be the Florida panhandle’s strongest landfall in the last 13 years, and has an estimated reconstruction cost value of approximately $13.4 billion.

As of yesterday, 120,000 people have been ordered to evacuate their homes, as fears of catastrophe continue to heighten.

In response to this threat, Freddie Mac is reminding servicers of its disaster relief policies for borrowers who have been affected by Hurricane Michael.

Freddie Mac’s Vice President of Single-Family Servicer Performance Management Yvette Gilmore said safety is Freddie’s top priority for those in the Florida panhandle and nearby states as the hurricane approaches.

Freddie Mac borrowers who live or work in areas that have been presidentially declared Major Disaster Areas and have access to federal individual assistance programs are eligible for Freddie’s disaster relief options.

“Once safe from this dangerous storm, we strongly encourage homeowners whose homes or places of employment have been impacted by Hurricane Michael to call their mortgage Servicer—the company to which borrowers send their monthly mortgage payments—to learn about available relief options,” Gilmore said. “We stand ready to ensure that mortgage relief is made available.”

However, in areas where the Federal Emergency Management Agency has yet to make individual assistance available, mortgage servicers are encouraged to leverage Freddie Mac’s short-term forbearance programs for those affected by the hurricane, according to the company.

Freddie Mac mortgage relief options eligible for those in disaster areas include:

  • Suspending foreclosures by providing forbearance for up to 12 months
  • Waiving assessments of penalties or late fees against borrowers with disaster-damaged homes
  • Not reporting forbearance or delinquencies caused by the disaster to the nation's credit bureaus

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