FHA Introduces New Foreclosure Avoidance Option for Disaster Victims

FHA is offering a new foreclosure avoidance option—a Disaster Standalone Partial Claim—to borrowers struggling to catch up on mortgage payments after a natural disaster.

If you have a FHA-insured loan and fell behind in your mortgage payments after a natural disaster in 2017, you might be eligible for a Disaster Standalone Partial Claim. With this option, FHA wraps up to 12 months of your missed mortgage payments into an interest-free second loan on your home. The loan doesn’t become due until you sell the home or refinance.

Who qualifies. FHA is offering this option to expand mortgage relief to FHA-insured homeowners who were impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as the California wildfires and resulting flooding and mudslides. In order to qualify, you must meet certain eligibility criteria. To find out details about eligibility requirements, see FHA’s Mortgagee Letter 2018-01. (Note: For updated eligibility requirements for victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, see Mortgagee Letter 2018-5).

When this option becomes available. As of May 1, 2018, the lender must evaluate borrowers for a Disaster Standalone Partial Claim at the end of the forbearance period if the borrower does not qualify for a modification. (For victims of Hurricane Maria, as of August 15, 2018, the Disaster Standalone Partial Claim is the first permanent home retention option in FHA’s disaster Loss Mitigation Waterfall, which means the lender must evaluate you for a Disaster Standalone Partial Claim before considering you for a loan modification. A "Loss Mitigation Waterfall" is the method FHA uses to determine borrower eligibility for loss mitigation options. The various loss mitigation options are considered in a particular order as part of the Waterfall process.)

When the program ends. The program expires May 1, 2019.

How to find out if you have a FHA-insured loan. To find out if your loan is FHA insured, call your loan servicer and ask if your loan is a FHA loan or check your loan paperwork.

Effective date: February 22, 2018