Washington, D.C.—Fannie Mae is reminding servicers of options for homeowners affected by natural disasters in the wake of the Moore, Okla., tornado. Under Fannie Mae’s guidelines for single-family mortgages, servicers have the ability to grant an initial period of forbearance to any borrower they believe has been affected by the tornado. Additional forbearance is available with approval from Fannie Mae. Within ninety days, servicers are expected to establish contact with homeowners who have been affected and determine if additional assistance is necessary, such as a loan modification. In addition, Fannie Mae guidelines authorize servicers to delay foreclosure sales and other legal proceedings in areas affected by the tornado.
Under Fannie Mae’s disaster relief guidelines, a servicer may temporarily suspend or reduce a homeowner’s mortgage payments if the servicer believes a natural disaster has adversely affected the value or habitability of the home or if the natural disaster has impacted the homeowner’s ability to make payments on their mortgage. Since a storm or other disaster may make it difficult to reach homeowners, Fannie Mae allows servicers to grant this relief even if they cannot contact the impacted homeowner immediately.