On the Storm Front: Mobilizing Mortgage Relief
After the storm hit, Freddie Mac staff began – and continue – to train housing counselors on disaster relief options for borrowers and work directly with hundreds of families at local borrower outreach events. Our outreach teams have mobilized and connected with non-profit organizations and federal, state, and local government task forces and commissions to expedite assistance and provide critical resources, including the short-term use of suitable REO homes as rental housing.
Where to Get Help
If you’re a homeowner affected by Hurricane Sandy, you should contact your mortgage servicer. You can also visit our Hurricane Sandy Resource Center to learn more about Freddie Mac’s range of mortgage relief options for storm victims.
In the coming weeks, our Housing and Community Outreach team members will join with New York and New Jersey organizations to conduct workshops for borrowers struggling with delinquency or imminent default. Upcoming events are now planned for February 6 on Coney Island in Brooklyn, NY with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; March 9 in Sayerville, NJ with the HOPE NOW Alliance; and on March 11 in Long Island, NY. More are being discussed.
Getting accurate mortgage relief information into the hands of servicers, borrowers, and communities is our Housing and Community Outreach team's top priority in a disaster. Equally important is the job of learning from each disaster to improve our responses to the next one. What we are doing in the Tri-State area today reflects lessons learned after Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Isaac struck the Gulf Coast. Today we are in continuous contact, exchanging information about community impacts with the Enterprise Foundation, the Local Initiatives Support Council, and NeighborWorks America to develop better disaster recovery information for consumers.
The challenges created by Hurricane Sandy for borrowers and communities are serious and ongoing. That's why on January 31, 2013 we announced that we are extending our foreclosure sales and eviction moratoria through April 30 to give more borrowers, servicers, and targeted eligible communities more time to recover. (Freddie Mac disaster relief policies are targeted to presidentially declared Major Disaster Areas where individual assistance is available.)
Specifically, Freddie Mac is authorizing servicers of Freddie Mac owned-or guaranteed mortgages to:
- Continue until April 30 the mandatory suspension of foreclosure sales involving borrowers whose homes or places of employment are located in eligible Hurricane Sandy disaster areas.
- Continue until April 30 the mandatory suspension of any eviction lockouts involving homes located in eligible disaster areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.
- Expedite the distribution of insurance proceeds on storm damage claims to speed up repairs of storm-damaged homes.
- Extend forbearance and repayment plans for up to 12 months on a case-by-case basis without prior Freddie Mac approval. Freddie Mac strongly encourages borrowers in eligible disaster areas to contact their servicers to discuss their situation.
Borrowers can determine if Freddie Mac owns their mortgage by using our loan look-up tool. Freddie Mac’s general disaster relief policies are posted here. Housing professionals are invited to view a self-paced presentation highlighting our most recent disaster relief guidelines, including those for Hurricane Sandy.
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