Freddie Mac offers mortgage relief options to Hurricane Ian victims

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – For homeowners affected by Hurricane Ian, federally backed mortgage company Freddie Mac has released a statement detailing their forbearance options to help them get back on their feet after the storm. . Those who apply can get short-term relief, up to a year with no late fees or penalties on their mortgages after the storm.

Now that Florida’s application for a major disaster declaration has been approved and then expanded to cover counties impacted by Hurricane Ian as it swept through the state, there are several disaster relief options, both both at the federal and state level.

Freddie Mac said homeowners with their residences or businesses and workplaces that are inside the president’s declared major disaster zone can get individual assistance, and that foreclosures and other legal proceedings involving homes are suspended while they apply for forbearance plans.

The area included in the disaster declaration spans several counties, all impacted by Hurricane Ian after making landfall in southwest Florida. The counties included in the disaster area are Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia counties.

The rest of Florida has been included, in a limited capacity, for Public aid B, which covers emergency protection measures. Counties in the disaster area are also eligible for federal debris removal coverage as long as it occurs within the next six months.

“As Floridians and other homeowners in the southeastern states prepare for Hurricane Ian, it’s important they have their critical paperwork in order, including their mortgage and home insurance numbers.” , Bill Maguire, vice president of portfolio management for single-family services at Freddie Mac, said. “We also remind our servicers that our immediate mortgage relief options are available to support homeowners impacted by Hurricane Ian.”

Maguire noted that options were also available for those in Puerto Rico recovering from Hurricane Fiona. Once clear of the impact zones, Freddie Mac said homeowners should contact their mortgage services to discuss rescue options. Once “back on their feet”, Freddie Mac said owners have several ways to catch up on missed payments and potentially qualify for additional forbearance.

Freddie Mac listed the fallback options as follows:

  • Reintegration. The option of a lump sum payment is available, but never required, if the owner’s loan is owned by Freddie Mac. If possible, however, this is the quickest way to get back on track.
  • Repayment plan. Homeowners pay more each month on top of their existing mortgage payment to make up for missed payments.
  • Payment deferral. This option is available if homeowners can resume making their regular monthly payments. With payment deferral, homeowners immediately become current on their mortgage and missed payments are added to the end of the mortgage term without interest or penalty.
  • Loan modification. If a homeowner is facing long-term financial hardship but can make a reduced mortgage payment, a modification may be the best option.

The company said “disaster relief options are available to affected homeowners outside declared disaster areas if their home suffers an insured disaster-related loss that affects their ability to make their mortgage payment.”

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