Fannie Mae is reminding those affected by the floods in Louisiana 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.
“We know that many people have had their lives disrupted by the flooding in Louisiana,” says Malloy Evans, vice president of Servicing at Fannie Mae. “Our servicers are committed to helping homeowners affected by natural disasters, and we are grateful for their efforts to offer the appropriate assistance to families in need. Our thoughts are with all of those who have been impacted.”
Under Fannie Mae’s disaster relief guidelines, a servicer may temporarily suspend or reduce a homeowner’s mortgage payments for up to 90 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 90 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 flooding. 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.