Silver Lining Huh?

Categories: Hurricane Ike
The U.S. Housing and urban Development Department has announced it won’t allow anyone to be foreclosed upon if they live in the areas affected by Hurricane Ike – at least not for now.

HUD Secretary Steve Preston announced today that his agency will send disaster assistance of the sort that provides “foreclosure relief” for families insured through HUD’s Federal Housing Administration.

The Rest of the Relief Statement:

"Hurricane Ike cut a wide path across Louisiana and Texas, and possibly uprooted many families," said Preston. "FHA's foreclosure moratorium will give these families the breathing room they need to put their lives back together without worrying about the prospect of losing their homes."

A presidential disaster declaration triggers a variety of federal assistance including grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

HUD is granting immediate foreclosure relief - In certain storm and flooded ravaged counties, HUD granted a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures of FHA-insured home mortgages and strongly recommended that loan servicers take such actions as special forbearance, loan modification, refinancing, and waiver of late charges. Foreclosure relief is available for FHA-insured families living in the following counties:

TEXAS

Angelina, Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Cherokee, Fort Bend, Galveston, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler, Walker, Waller, and Washington Counties.

LOUISIANA

Acadia, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, Sabine, St. Mary, Vermilion, and Vernon Parishes.

In addition, HUD is:

• Offering states and local communities the ability to re-allocate existing federal resources toward disaster relief - HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME programs give the State the flexibility to redirect millions of dollars to address critical needs, including housing and services for tornado victims. HUD is currently contacting State and local officials to explore their needs for streamlining the Department's CDBG and HOME programs in order to expedite the repair and replacement of damaged housing;

• Making mortgage insurance available - HUD's Section 203(h) program provides FHA insurance to disaster victims who have lost their homes and are facing the daunting task of rebuilding or buying another home. Borrowers are eligible for 100 percent financing, including closing costs;

• Making insurance available for both mortgages and home rehabilitation - HUD's Section 203(k) loan program enables those who have lost their homes to finance the purchase or refinance of a house along with its repair through a single mortgage. It also allows homeowners who have damaged houses to finance the rehabilitation of their existing single-family home; and

• Offering Section 108 loan guarantee assistance - HUD will offer state and local governments federally guaranteed loans for housing rehabilitation, economic development and repair of public infrastructure.

For more information about these and other HUD programs designed to assist disaster victims, visit www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/communitydevelopment/programs/dri/

-- Margaret Downing

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