Photo via @theadvocatebr
We owe first responders a debt of gratitude for their terrific job during this disaster, so far saving thousands of stranded Americans. Special praise goes to many civilian volunteers risking their lives to rescue those in need, such as the Cajun Navy, a Louisiana-based group using recreational boats to transport flood victims to safety.
In this sensitive time, Mid America Mortgage will be matching 100% of employee donations to the American Red Cross and Houston Food Bank up to $20,000 total. Other mortgage companies can consider a similar matching program to provide relief to our fellow Americans.
Beyond donation matching, the mortgage industry has a special link to natural disasters such as Harvey. Mid America has 3,649 borrowers in the affected area, and my team and I are getting serious about helping them with a simple and clear process.
Our servicing department is making it a top priority to assist borrowers who have been affected, working diligently to provide immediate responses. In addition, we are working closely with our sub-servicer to solve issues concerning property damage and financial hardship. Late charges on mortgages in the affected areas will not be assessed for 90 days, and credit bureau reporting will be suppressed for 90 days. Loss mitigation assistance will be available to those who reach out and qualify, and we are working with our investor partners to best serve the borrower.
After Tropical Storm Harvey has ended, tens of thousands of people will see significant property damage or the loss of their homes altogether. As these affected homeowners and home buyers move on with their lives, Mid America Mortgage will be utilizing the 203(h) FHA program to help these people rebuild.
The 203(h) program allows lenders to issue FHA-insured mortgages “to victims of a major disaster who have lost their homes and are in the process of rebuilding or buying another home.” This allows people to re-establish themselves as homeowners, either with a reconstruction or purchase of a new home.
Through matching donations, providing top-notch servicing to affected borrowers, and planning for programs to help rebuild, mortgage companies can attempt to help in the ways we can.
Special thanks to all of those who are taking action, and prayers to those affected, including some of our own team members in Magnolia, TX and Houston.
Jeff Bode is the owner and chief executive officer of Addison, Texas-based Mid America Mortgage, Inc. He can be reached at Jeff.Bode@midamericamortgage.com
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