J Thomas Black
Board Certified, Consumer Bankruptcy Law- Texas Board of Legal Specialization

In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey did not do us any favors her in the Houston, Texas area.

Because of Hurricane Harvey which flooded the Houston, Texas area and all of southeast Texas, many mortgage loans will qualify for relief. If you have an “FHA” mortgage loan, HUD has announced several disaster assistance programs to help homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes because of the hurricane. HUD will expedite funds to repair and replace damaged housing, provide a 90 day moratorium on foreclosures and forbearances, and provide FHA insurance to disaster victims who have lost their homes, enabling them to finance the purchase or rehabilitation of a home. Borrowers may be eligible for 100% financing. 

If your home loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, contact your mortgage loan servicer to find out what disaster relief is available. They may suspend or reduce mortgage payments temporarily, suspend foreclosure or eviction activity for a period of time, and other relief. Not sure if your loan is owned by one of these? Google “loan lookup Freddie” or “loan lookup Fannie” and use the online tool.

If you have a Veterans Administration or VA guaranteed loan and your home is in the disaster area, your mortgage servicer is being encouraged to grant forbearance requests, institute a 90-day moratorium on initiating new foreclosures, waive late charges, and refrain from credit bureau reporting on affected loans. 

Many other mortgage lenders and servicers are also providing disaster relief for customers in the disaster area. The best way to find out what help is available is to go to your mortgage servicer’s website and/or call them and tell them you are in the disaster area. If you are in bankruptcy now, contact our office if you have questions. 

Worst case if you become delinquent on your home loan and are facing foreclosure, filing chapter 13 bankruptcy can stop foreclosure and give you a chance to catch up the delinquent payments over a three to five year period, while also helping with your other debts.

If you live in the Houston, Texas area or the surrounding counties of Austin, Brazoria, Brazos, Chambers, Colorado, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Grimes, Harris, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Walker, Waller, Wharton, call our office at 713-772-8037 for your first free consultation with one of our attorneys.

Do you think the government is doing enough for Hurricane Harvey survivors? Why or why not? Please leave your comments below.

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