Urgent Notice for Homeowners Affected by Disasters
Fannie Mae stands ready to assist homeowners and communities affected by hurricanes as well as other disasters. Read about special mortgage relief options below that help ease the financial burdens of disaster recovery.
Fannie Mae works directly with mortgage servicers to offer special options for those impacted by disasters. Eligible homeowners who are having difficulty paying their Fannie Mae mortgage may qualify for:
- A forbearance to temporarily suspend or reduce mortgage payments for up to 12 months
- No late charges for missed payments
- No reporting of missed payments to credit bureaus while payments are suspended
- A loan modification to avoid a burdensome repayment or higher monthly payments after a forbearance
- Possible suspension of legal proceedings (i.e., foreclosure)
If your home is impacted by a natural disaster, it is imperative that you contact your servicer as soon as possible.
Get Help Now
- Call your mortgage company/servicer (the company listed on your monthly mortgage statement) to see what options you qualify for. If you do not have access to your mortgage records, you can check our Contact Your Mortgage Company list or search online for contact information.
- You can use the Fannie Mae Loan Lookup to confirm whether Fannie Mae owns your loan—a requirement for Fannie Mae mortgage assistance.
- If Fannie Mae owns your loan, the Loan Lookup also provides the name and contact information for your mortgage company.
- You can also call 1-800-2FANNIE (1-800-232-6643) to check.
- Contact a Fannie Mae Mortgage Help Network partner if you need additional assistance or if you are having difficulty working with or reaching your mortgage company. Free personal assistance is available in person or over the phone (English and Spanish) through our Mortgage Help Network.
- Check for local homeowner events where you can talk with housing counselors and mortgage companies in person to get the help you need. Check our Events page for events in your area and details on what you may need to take with you.
Beware! Scam artists will attempt to offer assistance and services to support those affected by a disaster. Here are some ways you can protect yourself:
- Confirm that you are working with a legitimate company—search for the name of the company in the email address or on the letterhead and use Google or another search tool/resource to confirm the company’s legitimacy.
- Note inconsistencies like grammar mistakes, typos, names of organizations that are slightly off. For example, Making Home Affordable (singular) is the name of the government-sponsored program that helps homeowners, Making Homes Affordable (plural) is not.
- Never feel pressured to “take immediate action.” Do your research and check the facts before signing any agreement or sending any money.
- Never give out your bank account/routing information until you have verified and confirmed the source. And remember, mortgage help is FREE. So always be leery of someone demanding payment or promising guaranteed results.
For more tips on how to avoid scams, visit here.
- Hurricane Relief Options Flyer (PDF)
- Freddie Mac: freddiemac.com
- Homeowners HOPE™ Hotline: 1-888-995-HOPE
- HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development): www.hud.gov
- FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency): www.disasterassistance.gov
- American Red Cross: 1-800-733-2767
Hurricane Sandy directly hit the Rockaway Park, New York, beachfront on October 30, 2012, tearing up the boardwalk, washing away train tracks and caving in buildings—including the apartment building where Robert, wife Meng, and 3-year-old Jack lived in Apartment 5B.
The family had moved inland during the storm, but returned the next day to find no power or hot water and a lobby submerged in six feet of water. Worse, once the water receded, the lobby had four feet of sand for residents to tackle with shovels and pails. They climbed five flights of stairs to reclaim some belongings and joined the thousands of displaced families looking for nearby rental housing.
The family received a letter from Fannie Mae’s Borrower Outreach Team about a mortgage assistance event in Rockaway for homeowners affected by Hurricane Sandy. Although they could not attend, they called the number on the letter on January 30 and were connected with Housing Advisor Bernard Francois in Fannie Mae’s Mortgage Help Center in Miami. “Bernard was amazing,” Meng says, “he explained our options and helped us work with our mortgage company.”
Their case was submitted to their mortgage company on February 12 and they signed an agreement for a 12-month forbearance on April 16.
A forbearance temporarily suspends or reduces monthly mortgage payments for a specific period of time. After the forbearance period has ended, the homeowner repays the amount that was reduced or suspended. This can be paid as one lump payment, or the mortgage can be modified and the delinquent payments moved to the end of the mortgage, which lengthens the term of the loan.
In their case, Bernard recommended they pursue a modification at the end of the forbearance period. “This arrangement helps the family stay up-to-date with their mortgage payments while the building is being rehabilitated and they can move back,” explains Angelica Vasquez, the manager of the Miami Mortgage Help Center.
Returning to Normal
Today, the sand is gone, the power has been restored and the elevator is working. If repairs to their apartment stay on schedule, they may be back in by summer. “We’re very thankful for the help we’ve received from Fannie Mae during this difficult time,” says Meng, “we feel blessed to have found Fannie Mae and Bernard Francois.”
Our Commitment to Others
Fannie Mae supports national and local relief efforts following natural disasters through financial contributions (and often matching our employee’s contributions) as well as contributing to relief programs managed by charitable relief organizations. For more information, visit www.fanniemae.com.