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Mortgage help for Sandy victims

By Polyana da Costa · Bankrate.com
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

Mortgage borrowers whose homes were damaged by Superstorm Sandy may get some mortgage relief if their loans are owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

The mortgage giants have offered to temporarily reduce or waive mortgage payments for borrowers affected by the storm.

Freddie has authorized mortgage servicers to suspend collection, foreclosure and eviction proceedings for up to a year for borrowers in areas declared by the president as major disaster areas. The servicers will determine assistance eligibility case by case.

Freddie also encourages servicers to waive late fees and penalties and to not report forbearances and delinquencies to the credit bureaus if they occurred due to Sandy.

Fannie allows servicers to grant forbearance or temporarily reduce a homeowner's mortgage payments up to 90 days if the servicer believes Sandy affected the borrower's ability to make payments or damaged the home. The relief is available to any affected borrower, even if the servicer can't reach the homeowner immediately.

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