On Thursday, Fannie Mae announced the launch of a comprehensive "action plan" to help homeowners who are impacted by natural disasters. The Fannie Mae Disaster Response Network™ is a comprehensive case-management service for disaster-affected homeowners whose mortgage loans are backed by the company and is a supplement to the company's current post-disaster mortgage relief options. The program provides homeowners broader 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,” said Michael T. Hernandez, VP 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.”
As part of Fannie Mae's commitment to disaster response, on Friday Hernandez will address mortgage banking executives, servicers, government representatives, and more at Five Star's PR18. PR18 attendees will discuss the current state of housing in Puerto Rico and possible solutions and infrastructure the industry can put in place to aid recovery. Hernandez will present on affordable housing and key components for stabilizing communities and the local economy. He will also address the effectiveness of current programs in place.
"Today's announcement demonstrates and further solidifies Fannie Mae's commitment to ensuring that homeowners are protected," said Five Star Institute President and CEO Ed Delgado. "The weather and fire events of the previous two years serve as a solemn reminder of the inevitability of the occurrence of natural disasters. I applaud Fannie Mae's proactivity in taking steps to empower and educate borrowers so that they may quickly begin picking up the pieces when disaster strikes."
Fannie Mae's Disaster Response Network is operated by Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions through their Project Porchlight program. Utilizing a call-center model, staffed exclusively by HUD-certified counselors within the United States, the Disaster Response network will help homeowners navigate the challenging and unfamiliar post-disaster recovery process and will include:
- A comprehensive case assessment and action plan designed to meet the homeowner’s needs.
- Assistance in filing FEMA, insurance, and Small Business Administration (SBA) claims as well as providing additional referrals and resources for disaster recovery and resiliency.
- Tri-party calls with assistance providers and homeowners, plus ongoing counselor-homeowner check-ins to help ensure a successful recovery.
- A web-based platform designed to educate borrowers, provide resources and updates and create a supportive online community of neighbors facing similar challenges.
Fannie Mae has said that homeowners with a Fannie Mae-owned loan whose property is in a FEMA-declared zone are eligible for free assistance from the Disaster Response Network. If the home was not damaged, but the borrower’s employment/income was negatively affected, they are still eligible for the program.