Federal Housing Agencies Issue Reminder of Mortgage Assistance for Those Impacted by the Maui Wildfires
WASHINGTON – Today, Federal Housing Agencies – Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae), Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and United States Department of Veterans Affairs (Veterans Affairs) – issued the following joint statement pledging their offices’ ongoing support for Hawaiian residents affected by the devastating wildfires on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
Joint Statement from Ginnie Mae, Federal Housing Administration, Federal Housing Finance Agency (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), USDA, and Department of Veterans Affairs:
“We stand in solidarity with the people of Maui and offer our deepest condolences and sympathies to those who have lost loved ones, homes, businesses, and communities to these devastating fires. As fire suppression and search and rescue efforts continue, federal housing agencies are engaging with state officials and local partners, and in interagency efforts, to monitor the impact to households and the housing sector and ensure awareness of available disaster assistance for homeowners. We are committed to providing homeowners flexibilities and assistance so they feel the security of knowing they will have the option to return and rebuild when it is safe to do so. This community will need all the support it can get, including federal aid and private sector involvement. FHFA through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Department of Veterans Affairs, USDA, Ginnie Mae and FHA have tools to help lenders, servicers, and issuers meet the needs of homeowners in this difficult time. Additionally, USDA and HUD are working to provide assistance and resources to tenants who have been displaced in federally assisted multifamily rental homes, as well as impacted owners and operators.”
Homeowners and Renters
- For homeowners and renters who need immediate housing and disaster recovery assistance, HUD-certified housing counselors are prepared and well-trained to provide guidance on the options that are available to you. To find a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, use our online search tool at hud.gov/findacounselor or use our phone search by calling (800) 569-4287 or (202) 708-1455 (TTY).
- Homeowners are encouraged to contact their mortgage servicer (the company listed on your mortgage statement) for disaster assistance.
- If you have a home with a mortgage insured by FHA in the Maui County disaster area and are unable to make your mortgage payments, immediate relief is available. Homeowners are likely to have a range of options that can help them avoid the need to default on their mortgage or to sell their home or land. Contact your mortgage servicer for assistance as soon as practical. Homeowners may also contact the FHA Resource Center at (800) CALL-FHA (1-800-877-8339; or for TTY 1-800-877-8339) for assistance.
FHA-Approved Mortgage Servicers Doing Business in Maui County:
- Servicers should use every permissible means to contact affected homeowners who may need mortgage payment relief.
- Because of the extensive destruction in Maui and disruption to modes of communication unique to the island, servicers may offer temporary forbearance to borrowers and may provide that forbearance unless the borrower affirmatively declines the offer.
- FHA’s 90-day moratorium on foreclosures in Maui County started on the date of the Presidentially Declared Major Disaster Area, which was August 10, 2023. Servicers must not initiate new, or continue with existing, foreclosure actions in Maui County during the moratorium.
- Servicers of Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs) must implement a 90-day extension period for all HECMs in the disaster area with unpaid property charges.
FHA-approved Mortgage Lenders Doing Business in Maui County
- We encourage FHA-approved lenders doing business in Maui to prepare to assist homeowners in the coming weeks and months by familiarizing your loan officers and operational teams with FHA’s 203(h) Disaster Mortgage, which provides up to 100 percent financing on a new mortgage to financing rebuilding in the same location, or for the purchase of a home in a new location. Similarly, FHA’s 203(k) program can provide financing or refinancing that includes the cost of structural and non-structural home repairs in one mortgage.
For Ginnie Mae Issuers:
- Ginnie Mae is reaching out to potentially impacted issuers of Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities collateralized by loans in Maui County guaranteed or insured by FHA, Veterans Affairs, USDA and rural and tribal programs. We encourage impacted issuers in need of assistance to notify us.
- Affected issuers may qualify for certain assistance as the full extent of the impacts of this disaster become known over the coming weeks and months.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Backed Mortgages:
FHFA, through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has existing guidelines for single-family mortgages impacted by a natural disaster:
- Mortgage servicers are authorized to offer a forbearance plan for up to 90 days – even without establishing contact with the homeowner – if the servicer believes the home was affected by the disaster.
- Homeowners affected by a disaster are often eligible to reduce or suspend their mortgage payments for up to 12 months by entering into a forbearance plan with their mortgage servicer. During this temporary reduction or pause in payments, homeowners will not incur late fees and foreclosure and other legal proceedings are suspended.
- Following a forbearance plan, there are a number of options available to potentially help homeowners catch up on missed payments, including Disaster Payment Deferral or Flex Modification (https://yourhome.fanniemae.com/get-relief/options-to-stay-in-your-home)
- The following resources are available for Disaster Impacted Victims:
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Housing Service:
- USDA is providing immediate servicing relief to borrowers of the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) mortgages impacted by Maui wildfires
- Servicers must immediately put a moratorium in place for borrowers whose properties or place of employment is directly impacted by the Maui Wildfires.
- The servicer must immediately suspend all foreclosure actions for borrowers in the affected area. This applies to both the initiation of new foreclosures, as well as foreclosures already in process. This moratorium shall expire no earlier than 180 days after the date of the President’s Declaration unless extended by USDA.
- SFHGLP loan servicers are encouraged to evaluate forbearance options for borrowers in distress as a result of the Maui Wildfires. Borrowers impacted may be placed on a forbearance of up to 12 months to provide payment relief from their mortgage obligation during this time.
- Additional details can be found in this announcement. Questions may be directed to the SFHGLP Servicing Division at [email protected] or (202) 720-1452.