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, including:

  • You must live and/or work in a presidentially declared major disaster area.
  • You fell behind in your mortgage payments as a result of last year’s disasters.
  • Your initial mortgage forbearance period is ending.
  • You were current or less than 30 days past due on your mortgage payments as of the date of the disaster declaration.
  • Your income is equal to or more than your pre-disaster income.
  • You have the ability to resume paying the monthly mortgage payments.
  • You own and occupy the property.

To find out details about eligibility requirements, see FHA’s Mortgagee Letter 20180-01.

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. Though lenders may begin offering this option immediately. 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