On August 24, the OCC issued a proclamation permitting OCC-regulated institutions to close their offices affected by Hurricane Lane in Hawaii. OCC Bulletin 2012-28 provides further guidance on natural disasters and other emergency conditions.
On August 23, Fannie Mae also reminded servicers of mortgage assistance options for homeowners impacted by the hurricane. Specifically, qualifying homeowners are eligible to stop making mortgage payments for up to 12 months, during which time late fees will not be incurred nor delinquencies reported to the credit bureaus. Additionally, servicers may immediately suspend or reduce mortgage payments for up to 90 days without any contact with homeowners believed to have been affected by the hurricane. Further, foreclosures and other legal proceedings must be suspended for impacted homeowners.
The same day, Freddie Mac confirmed its disaster relief options are available to borrowers with homes or places of employment impacted by the hurricane, emphasizing that borrowers in FEMA-declared disaster areas have access to federal individual assistance programs. The relief suspends foreclosures by providing forbearance for up to 12 months. Penalties and late fees will also be waived, and servicers should not report forbearance or delinquencies caused by the disaster to credit bureaus. Moreover, Freddie Mac also reminded servicers to consider borrowers who live and work in affected areas but have homes outside the eligible disaster area for standard relief policies.
Find continuing InfoBytes coverage on disaster relief here.