Financial relief programs are offered by lenders to homeowners in Texas and Florida affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have affected thousands of Americans in Texas and Florida. Livelihoods were halted, homes were damaged, and many citizens are left on their knees to rebuild from scratch.
Unfortunately, their financial obligations continue to demand from them, putting a strain to an already economically-overwhelming situation.
Good to know that lenders and government institutions alike are offering help to those homeowners who live in the affected areas.
Many lenders in severely hit places in Florida and Texas are now offering financial relief programs to their clients. These come in the form of forbearance, foreclosure freezing, as well as special loans for rebuilding.
But experts and regulatory bodies are giving out warnings to homeowners to be wary of potential scammers who might take advantage of the situation and the people’s need for their own interests.Get today’s mortgage rates!
Contact your lender
It is advised that before you enter into a transaction with any person or entity offering relief, you should first contact your lender for a confirmation.
Most of these phony lenders will send you an email with a quick link to their page or they may call directly.
If your lender has a website, they will most likely post a blog page or a new PR about the program.
Assess your finances to see if your savings or emergency fund can cover for the needed home repairs or perhaps a few months of mortgage payments to avoid taking any unnecessary debts.
One of the most common forms of financial relief offered by lenders is forbearance. That means suspending their mortgage payments for a certain period to give them time to recover financially.
Most Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgages allow forbearance for a period of 12 months. During this time, you will not have to worry about incurring late fees or damaging your credit due to failure of payment on your mortgage.
Aside from forbearance, some lenders may also offer a loan modification where terms of your mortgage is modified such that the resulting arrangement will be more affordable for the payor.
Those facing foreclosures may also be given a delay period of 90 days to give delinquent borrowers more time to catch up on their loan payments.
If, however, your lender is not proactively reaching out and offering help, you may refer to the HUD or the FHFA website to check for relief programs you may qualify for. You may also call your lender to ask if you are eligible for such programs and if they will be willing to give it.
The CFPB released a warning to hurricane victims to be cautious of people offering help in exchange for fees or information upfront.
“Government employees never charge to help you get a benefit or service and will never ask for payment or financial information,” the bureau wrote in a recent blog post.
Other financing products are also given as alternatives such as Home Equity Lines of Credit and personal loans.
If you have earned significant equity in your home, you may borrow against it to use for your rebuilding needs. Or, if you want fast cash, a personal loan can cover for the cost.
Before you commit to any one product, find out first which options would suit your current needs and situation.
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