Hurricane Dorian is forecasted to slam the Florida coast this weekend as a Category 4 hurricane.
As Florida prepares for Hurricane Dorian's wrath, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development are offering relief services for those affected by the storm.
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will allow forbearance on mortgage payments for up to 12 months for those who live in eligible disaster areas, including not reporting forbearance or delinquencies to credit bureaus.
“We are monitoring the situation, and we urge those in the path of the storm to focus on their safety first as they prepare for the potential impact of Hurricane Dorian,” said Malloy Evans, senior vice president and single-family chief credit officer, Fannie Mae.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson also said that the department is "ready to assist" people who are impacted by Dorian.
Once Hurricane Dorian hits, an estimated 668,052 homes will be exposed to the storm surge, facing a reconstruction cost of around $144.6 billion, according to CoreLogic.
(Photo courtesy of CoreLogic. Click to enlarge.)
“As Hurricane Dorian approaches, we stand ready to ensure mortgage relief is made available to affected borrowers in eligible disaster areas,” said Yvette Gilmore, Freddie Mac’s Vice President of Single-Family Servicer Performance Management. “Once safely out of harm’s way, we strongly encourage homeowners whose homes or places of employment are impacted by the hurricane damage to call their mortgage servicer—the company borrowers send their monthly mortgage payments to— so they can learn about available relief options.
Fannie Mae is also offering assistance to its borrowers with help requesting financial relief from FEMA, insurance, servicers, and other sources and guidance from experienced disaster relief advisors.
“Along with our lending and servicing partners, Fannie Mae is committed to ensuring assistance is available to homeowners and renters in need. We encourage residents whose homes, employment, or income are affected by the storm to seek available assistance as soon as possible," Evans said.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac relief options eligible for single-family mortgages include:
- Servicers are authorized to suspend or reduce a homeowner's mortgage payments immediately for up to 90 days without any contact with the homeowner if the servicer believes the homeowner has been affected by a disaster.
- Servicers must suspend foreclosure and other legal proceedings if the servicer believes the homeowner has been impacted by a disaster.
- Waiving assessments of penalties or late fees against borrowers with disaster-damaged homes; and
- Not reporting forbearance or delinquencies caused by the disaster to the nation's credit bureaus.