As they have following other natural disasters, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have announced that their "full menu of disaster relief policies" will be available to homeowners whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Matthew. The GSEs' disaster relief policies authorize mortgage servicers to help their borrowers in areas declared Major Disasters by the President and where federal Individual Assistance programs have been extended.
- Provide forbearance to affected borrowers for an initial period with extensions available with the approval of the GSEs
- Suspend foreclosures and other legal actions in affected areas
- Waive assessments of penalties or late fees against borrowers with disaster-damaged homes; and
- Not report forbearance or delinquencies caused by the disaster to the nation's credit bureaus.
Servicers are also reminded to consider providing this assistance to borrowers who work in the eligible disaster areas, but have homes in unaffected areas.
"We understand that many families and communities are hurting as they deal with the damage caused by Hurricane Matthew. Fannie Mae and our servicers stand with homeowners who have been impacted by these extremely challenging conditions," said Malloy Evans, Vice President of Servicing at Fannie Mae. "We are working with our servicers to ensure assistance is offered to borrowers and communities in need. Our thoughts are with all of those who have been impacted."
Affected borrowers should immediately contact their mortgage servicer -- the company to which they send their monthly mortgage payment. Lenders who are originating loans that will be sold to the GSEs are reminded that they must verify the condition of the property if it is in areas affected by the hurricane.