With money already tight, many people returned to their homes after Hurricane Irene to find not only their homes damaged, but their mortgages also at risk. As so many are struggling to stay out of foreclosure, natural disasters like Irene have a tendency to only make financial matters worse. Limited savings, time off from work and poor home owners insurance is leaving many of the hurricane victims with few options.
Big Names Step Up For Service
One of the largest governors of the mortgage industry, Freddie Mac, is stepping up to help hurricane victims find mortgage relief. Their mission is to provide homeowners with stable and affordable opportunities for homeownership, a key point that is often threatened in the wake of a disaster like Irene.
Freddie Mac is extending several mortgage relief options for mortgage holders affected by the storm, primarily those listed in the areas declared to be Major Disaster Areas. These areas have also been granted federal Individual Assistance programs to help fund the cost of cleanup and repairs.
The most common mortgage relief option being offered is a forbearance agreement, or a temporarily suspension of mortgage payments, for up to one year. Freddie Mac is authorizing the forbearance on mortgage payments for eligible homeowners on a case-by-case basis and encouraging lenders to assist by:
- Halting foreclosure proceeding or evictions for up to 12 months
- Refrain from reporting mortgage delinquencies caused by the storm to the credit bureaus
- Waiving penalties or fees for borrowers that have homes damaged by the storm