After Hurricane Harvey, Freddie Mac gears up for Hurricane Irma. This major government-sponsored enterprise announced their confirmation about providing disaster relief options especially for regions where Hurricane Irma would strike.
Specifically, the report mentioned regions such as Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and also the U.S. mainland. Their disaster relief options will be open to borrowers who have homes in “presidentially-declared Major Disaster Areas.”
This will provide leverage in Freddie Mac’s forbearance programs and will “provide immediate mortgage relief” to those borrowers who will be affected by the storm.
In their statement, Yvette Gilmore, Freddie Mac’s Vice President of Single-Family Servicer Performance Management, said: “Freddie Mac is monitoring the approach of Hurricane Irma. We stand ready to work with the nation’s servicers to ensure that mortgage relief is made available to homeowners who may be affected. If the storm impacts states and U.S. territories, we will instruct servicers to work with borrowers who have mortgages owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac to provide up to 12 months of forbearance.”
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Freddie Mac’s disaster relief options would authorize mortgage servicers would aid those who get affected in the major disaster areas listed where federal Individual Assistance programs have been extended. The list of the areas can be seen on FEMA’s official website.
Specific details for the mortgage relief policies are as follows:
1. Suspending foreclosures by providing forbearance for up to 12 months
2. Waiving assessments of penalties or late fees against borrowers with disaster-damaged homes
3. Not reporting forbearance or delinquencies caused by the disaster to the nation’s credit bureaus
For those who are working within the eligible disaster areas but their homes are in unaffected areas, they can also qualify for Freddie Mac’s relief policies. This includes mortgage modifications and forbearance.
In connection, those affected should contact their mortgage servicer and the company where they send out their mortgage payments immediately. And for a full description of Freddie Mac’s disaster relief options and policies, the information can be seen online.
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MORTGAGE EXTENSIONS IN HOUSTON
After Hurricane Harvey left Houston in devastation, Freddie Mac, alongside Fannie Mae and the FHA, announced that they will allow mortgage extensions for those borrowers who were affected by the storm.
Those agencies back up the majority of home loans in the area, they allowed forbearance for at least 90 days. They also added the possibility of giving an extension up to a year in some cases. No penalties would be charged during the period but they also stressed that interest would still accrue.
But other than that, the fate of the mortgages lies on the borrower’s policy. What happens on their existing loans would be based on their insurances. Homes should be assessed properly first in order to determine that.
And in connection with that and with Freddie Mac’s decision to provide disaster relief options before Hurricane Irma hits, it shows that these enterprises give value to their borrowers for giving them an opportunity to get help in times of difficulties.
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