Home Loans and Mortgages – Help for Hurricane Katrina Victims
Article by Charles Essmeier
Hurricane Katrina swept through the Gulf Coast region recently and left nothing but destruction in her wake. Thousands of people are homeless, jobless and penniless, and it is not currently known how long the local economy will take to recover. Adding to the problems associated with being displaced and having no job is the fact that most of these thousands of displaced families have homes with mortgages that need to be paid. For them, help will be available. In the last five years, home prices have skyrocketed, and that has made basic home ownership more of a burden than in years past. Thanks to a slew of new loan options, more Americans own their homes than ever before, but the high prices mean that a larger portion of monthly income goes towards the mortgage. This makes it harder on homeowners when disaster strikes, and Hurricane Katrina has done just that. Not only are thousands homeless, but they still owe regular payments on mortgages for homes that may no longer even exist! For them, there is help. Several large mortgage companies, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and mortgage investors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have announced plans to offer assistance to distressed homeowners in the region affected by the hurricane. The offers will vary from lender to lender and the FDIC’s recommendations were merely guidelines, though most mortgage lenders will probably go along with them. These guidelines include suspending payments for several months, reducing payments for some period of time, and/or possibly changing the payback terms of the loan. Each lender will establish their own rules for how they may help their customers, but no help will be offered unless the homeowners contact the lenders first. Anyone who has been displaced by Hurricane Katrina or has had his or her home damaged or destroyed by the storm should call their lender to notify them about the situation. In all likelihood, the lender can offer some sort of assistance that can help ease the burden caused by this disastrous storm.
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