Hurricane Irma has affected the entire State of Florida and since Florida has been declared a federal disaster area, there may be some help for Florida homeowners who may have trouble making their mortgage payments. As Florida has been declared a federal disaster area, you may be eligible for a mortgage loan deferment, also known as a forbearance. A forbearance means your mortgage may be waived for a set amount of months with NO credit implications to you. Take note, however, this is NOT automatic, and you must reach out to your mortgage lender to apply for this forbearance. Each lender has different rules, so please, call and ask.
In some situations, mortgage agencies will permit you to skip your next three payments, but they will be added to the end of the loan without any negative implications to your credit. Interest, however, would still accrue. In other cases, when the deferment period has ended, missed payments become due either in a lump sum or according to a payment plan. It is imperative that you double check with your lender.
Homeowners who suffer a financial setback, due to job loss or possibly injury, as a direct result of a disaster also may be offered temporary mortgage relief, even if their home was spared. Documentation will probably be required to prove the hardship.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have both told loan servicers to extend a 90-day forbearance to anyone who calls and requests it. Click here to find out more about their programs. You can look up your loan agency here for Fannie and here for Freddie.
To talk with a Department of Housing and Urban Development-approved housing counselor before agreeing to forbearance, call 1-800-569-4287.
Here are some other links that may be helpful in learning more about forbearance mortgage relief in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
- Mortgage Relief For Hurricane Irma
- Hurricane Help
- FEMA Helpline: 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362)
- Disaster Assistance Website
The IRS has announced that people who extended their 2016 income tax filings can submit their paperwork next year. It’s not a payment extension but rather a filing extension.
Finally, please note that credit card companies will offer a similar disaster forbearance upon request and banks are also offering breaks to those in Hurricane Irma’s path.
At Khani & Auerbach, we are dedicated to providing as much information to guide you in the wake of this disaster. Please be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+ for additional useful information.