Foreclosure Help for New Jersey and New York Homeowners After Hurricane Sandy

Find out if you qualify for foreclosure relief in New Jersey or New York after Hurricane Sandy.

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If you own a home in New Jersey or New York you may qualify for foreclosure relief after Hurricane Sandy if you have an FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or Veteran's Affairs (VA) loan. Read on to learn out more about available foreclosure relief for these types of loans and how to determine if your loan is an FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or VA loan.

No State Foreclosure Moratorium Laws in New Jersey or New York

A few states have moratorium laws that prevent a lender from foreclosing after a natural disaster. Generally, once the governor has declared an emergency, those laws go into effect and prevent the lender from either initiating or pursuing a foreclosure against homes affected by natural disasters for a set period of time. Unfortunately, neither New Jersey nor New York has a state law that provides a moratorium on foreclosure during times of natural disaster, such as Hurricane Sandy.

However, if you have a certain type of loan, you may be entitled to relief anyway.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Loans

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has provided a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures of FHA-insured home mortgages following Hurricane Sandy, as long as:

  • the property is within the boundaries of a presidentially declared disaster area, and
  • the property was directly affected by the disaster.

If your property wasn't directly affected by the disaster, but Sandy did affect your financial viability, your mortgage might qualify for the moratorium. However, you'll have to provide evidence that demonstrates the hurricane's negative financial impact on you.

FHA lenders must stop all foreclosure actions against borrowers who are delinquent on their home loans. However, just to be safe, you should notify your lender if Hurricane Sandy affected you.

Mortgage Assistance for Borrowers After Hurricane Sandy

The foreclosure moratorium applies only to borrowers who are delinquent on their FHA loan. If you are current on your loan payments or at risk of defaulting on payments, but have not yet missed a payment, the moratorium does not apply to your situation.

However, if your inability to pay your loan resulted from the disaster, your lender may waive any late fees normally charged and let you know about other options such as:

  • mortgage modification
  • partial claim (this is an option that allows a borrower to gt a HUD loan to bring payments up to date), or
  • HAMP or other refinance options.

Contact your loan servicer to find out about these and other types of relief available to victims of Hurricane Sandy.

How to Determine if Your Loan is FHA-Insured

There are several easy ways to find out if your loan is FHA-insured:

  • Look at your mortgage. If there is a HUD case number in the upper-right corner of the first page, then your loan is FHA insured.
  • Look at your monthly mortgage statement, which will include the amount of monthly payment owed, as well as line items for homeowners insurance and mortgage insurance premium (MIP), which is what FHA calls its mortgage insurance. If you’re paying MIP, then you have an FHA-insured loan.
  • Call your loan servicer and ask if your loan is a FHA loan.

For More Information

For more information, go to http://portal.hud.gov. Click on “Learn More” under “Hurricane Sandy Recovery.” You can also contact a HUD-approved counseling agency toll free at (800) 569-4287 or call HUD’s National Servicing Center at (888) 297-8685 if you have further questions.

Fannie Mae Loans

Fannie Mae has implemented a 90-day foreclosure sale suspension and a 90-day eviction suspension for properties located within FEMA designated disaster areas. Find out if you are in a FEMA designated disaster area at www.fema.gov/disasters.

Mortgage Assistance for Borrowers After Hurricane Sandy

Servicers of Fannie Mae loans are offering special options for those impacted by Hurricane Sandy (or other natural disasters). For example, eligible homeowners with a Fannie Mae loan who are having difficulty paying their mortgage may qualify for a:

  • forbearance that suspends or reduces your mortgage payments for up to 12 months
  • loan modification
  • waiver of any late payment charges, and/or
  • a suspension of negative credit reporting.

For More Information

Go to http://knowyouroptions.com to learn more about Fannie Mae’s Hurricane Sandy relief. To find out if Fannie Mae owns your loan, click on “Loan Lookup” in the upper-right corner.

Freddie Mac Loans

If you have a Freddie Mac loan, foreclosure sales and evictions within FEMA designated disaster areas have been suspended for 90 days. You may also qualify for options such as:

  • suspending or reducing your mortgage payments for 90 days, and depending on your situation, up to 12 months
  • expediting the distribution of your homeowner's insurance proceeds to help speed up repairs and assist with emergency cost-of-living expenses, and
  • suspending collection, foreclosure, or eviction proceedings for up to 12 months depending on your situation.

Mortgage Assistance for Borrowers After Hurricane Sandy

Additionally, if your ability to make mortgage payments was affected by Hurricane Sandy, Freddie Mac is:

  • waiving assessments of mortgage-related penalties or late fees, and
  • not reporting missed payments or late charges caused by the disaster to the nation's credit bureaus.

For More Information

For more information on relief available for Freddie Mac loans, go to www.freddiemac.com and choose the “Hurricane Sandy Relief” link. To find out if Freddie Mac owns your loan, go to https://ww3.freddiemac.com/corporate.

Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Loans

There is no required foreclosure moratorium for VA loans, though the VA has encouraged loan holders and servicers to:

  • establish a 90-day moratorium on initiating new foreclosures, and
  • help individuals affected by Hurricane Sandy by offering forbearance or modification of veterans’ loans.

Ultimately though, the loan holder is responsible for determining when to initiate or continue a foreclosure.

For More Information

You can go to www.va.gov and search for “Hurricane Sandy” to find related articles pertaining to VA loans.

Moratorium Extension

In January, FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac extended their moratoriums through April 30, 2013.

Learn More About Available Relief For Hurricane Sandy Victims

To learn more about any of the options discussed in this article, contact your mortgage loan servicer. Tell them about your current situation and ask about possible options for mortgage relief. The telephone number for your loan servicer can be found on your monthly statement.

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