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Fannie Mae Offering Relief Programs in Wildfire Areas

Fannie Mae has expanded the menu of post-disaster services it is offering to its borrowers.  The new services are in addition to the up to 12 months of forbearance, waived fees, and temporary foreclosure moratorium that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (the GSEs) traditionally offer in the wake of hurricanes, wildfires, and other disasters.

A press release from Fannie Mae, probably prompted by the unprecedented destruction and loss of life from wildfires in both the northern and southern parts of California, announces personalized case management services through its Disaster Response Network. The program will provide personalized support "to address safety and basic needs, property repairs, employment, and financial recovery-all of which affect a borrower's ability to meet their mortgage obligations."

"Communities face extraordinary challenges dealing with the impacts of a natural disaster," says Michael T. Hernandez, Vice President Disaster Recovery & Rebuild, Fannie Mae. "For homeowners, the process can be complex, stressful, and time-consuming. We want to help families regain their personal and financial footing beginning with mortgage relief, but also by helping more broadly to ensure a successful recovery."

Services offered by the Network include:

  • A comprehensive case assessment and action plan.
  • Assistance with filing claims and forms with FEMA, insurance companies, and the Small Business Administration and providing referrals for disaster recovery resources.
  • A web-based platform with information, resources, and updates and the ability to interact with others facing similar challenges.
  • Tri-party calls with assistance providers and homeowners, plus ongoing counselor-homeowner check-ins to help ensure a successful recovery.

Fannie Mae will be operating the project through Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions and their Project Porchlight Program. Fannie Mae borrowers with properties located within FEMA-declared disaster zones may utilize Clearpoint's call center which is staffed by HUD-certified counselors.  Assistance is also available to those whose homes are not damaged but whose employment or income were negatively affected by the event.

Homeowners needing assistance can contact their mortgage servicer for a referral or call Fannie Mae directly at 1-800-232-6643.

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