Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are reminding homeowners and mortgage servicers that their disaster relief options are in effect for those affected by the outbreak of tornadoes last week that struck Kentucky, Tennessee, and Illinois. The options are available to homeowners whose homes or workplaces are located in presidentially declared major disaster areas.

Both GSEs have authorized servicers to grant up to 12 months of forbearance from mortgage payments. This relief will not result in late fees or penalties. Foreclosures and other legal proceedings are suspended during the forbearance period.

"We encourage everyone to make their safety the priority," said Bill Maguire, Freddie Mac's Vice President of Single-Family Servicing Portfolio Management. "Along with our mortgage servicers, Freddie Mac stands ready to provide immediate mortgage relief options to those affected by the severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding and tornadoes that impacted Kentucky and the surrounding areas."

Once safe, homeowners whose homes are impacted should contact their mortgage servicer-the company they send their monthly mortgage payments to- as soon as possible to talk about available mortgage relief options. This also includes homeowners whose places of employment have been impacted resulting in a financial hardship that prevents them from being able to make their monthly payment. Some disaster relief options are available to affected homeowners outside the declared disaster if their home incurs a disaster-related insured loss that impacts their ability to make mortgage payments and Fannie Mae offers relief to some renters.

Homeowners currently in COVID-19 forbearance and who suffered storm-related damage should also contact their services for options.