Mortgage Relief, COVID, Wildfires, And More

Your Mortgage, COVID, Wildfires, And More

Homeowners are being hit hard on all fronts, it seems. Those seeking mortgage relief from COVID-19 economic hardship are joined by those who have had homes threatened, damaged, or destroyed by forest fires in the west, hurricanes in the east, and there seems to be a never-ending supply of problems coming hand-in-glove with coronavirus issues.

What is a homeowner to do about their financial situation when dealing with these disasters? Where can you find mortgage relief?

Home Owners Should Reach Out For Mortgage Relief

To begin, the moment you anticipate not being able to make a mortgage payment, you should reach out to your loan servicer immediately. The sooner you act, the more options you have. But talking to your lender is only the first step. Especially if your home has been damaged or destroyed. Do not let any time pass between the time you learn of your difficulty maintaining your monthly mortgage payment before talking to your loan servicer.

Check With FEMA

Regions of the United States that have been declared federal disaster areas are eligible for certain kinds of mortgage relief and other measures. But some benefits are ONLY for federally-declared natural disaster zones. FEMA maintains the database for all current disaster declarations, and there are many across the USA after multiple fires, hurricanes, and other issues.

Check the FEMA site to learn if you currently reside in such a disaster zone and contact your lender to see about taking full advantage of home loan relief that may be open to you as a result of your status as a homeowner in a federal disaster zone.

Don’t Be Rushed Into Early Insurance Settlements

If your house was damaged by a fire, flood, storm, etc. an insurance agent may be in touch with you sooner than you anticipate. It is crucial not to let yourself be rushed or pressured into signing agreements to accept insurance payouts–you may not get the full amount you are due. It’s best to work with your lender, take your time, and think carefully about what paperwork to sign and when.

If Your Home Is Uninhabitable

If your home is uninhabitable after damage from a natural disaster like a wildfire, mudslide, flood, hurricane, or other issues, it’s important to continue making your mortgage payments regardless until you have worked out with the lender what you will do about your home loan.

If you stop making payments without making arrangements with your loan servicer, you will be in danger of loan default and eventual foreclosure–even with the availability of mortgage loan relief and foreclosure moratoriums, borrowers who don’t work with their lender and choose to stop making payments can find the damage done from that may be long-lasting.

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