Was your home or your ability to make your mortgage payments impacted by an event that the President declared a disaster – fires in Napa or Sonoma County or the recent hurricanes? You may qualify for relief to help you keep your home. If you have a conventional mortgage, you’ll need to contact your lender for further information and to see if you are eligible for relief. If you have an FHA-insured mortgage, you may have several options available to you.

If you are delinquent on your loan, you may qualify for FHA Disaster Relief if you meet one of the following three basic qualifications for a 90-day foreclosure moratorium:

  1. You or your family live within the geographic boundaries of a Presidentially-declared disaster area, you are automatically covered.
  2. You are a household member of someone who is deceased, missing or injured directly due to the disaster.
  3. Your financial ability to pay your mortgage debt was directly or substantially affected by a disaster.

FHA Disaster Relief can take several different forms:

  • During the term of a foreclosure moratorium, your loan may not be referred to foreclosure if you were affected by a disaster.
  • Your lender will evaluate you for any available loss mitigation assistance to help you retain your home.
  • Your lender may enter into a forbearance plan, or execute a loan modification or a partial claim, if these actions will help retain and pay for your home.
  • If saving your home is not feasible, lenders have some flexibility in using the pre-foreclosure sales program or may offer to accept a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.

FHA’s Foreclosure Moratorium only applies to borrowers in default. If you were current, but now you are unable to pay your loan as a result of the disaster, your lender may waive any late fees normally charged and let you know about other options. Also, if you think you will have future problems making your mortgage payments because of disaster-related changes in your financial status, you should contact your lender immediately.

If you are not satisfied after discussing possible relief actions with your lender, you can call a HUD-approved counseling agency toll free at (800) 569-4287 or contact HUD’s National Servicing Center.