New FEMA Emergency Declaration; Guidance for FHA-Approved Mortgagees and Servicers Re Presidentially-Declared Major Disaster Areas

HUD issued the following Disaster Recovery Information for Housing Counselors on September 16, 2018:

New FEMA Emergency Declaration:

North Carolina Hurricane Florence (DR-4393): Incident period: September 07, 2018, Major Disaster Declaration declared on September 14, 2018.


Disaster Recovery Training for Housing Counselors:

 The National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s (NCRC) National Training Academy offers state-of-the-art disaster training and technical assistance online via webinars and instructor led courses. Visit them at: For any questions please contact or 202-524-4884. NCRC is seeking your feedback on training before September 19, 2018.


UnidosUS: Disaster Training for Housing Counselors. Contact UnidosUS for scholarship information:


NeighborWorks Disaster Training for Housing Counselors:  Visit their Disaster Relief, Recovery and Preparedness website for more information and registration.


The Counselors Corner: Training, Membership and all webinars are free. Most webinars have a short online test afterwards to get continued education hours’ credit and Certificates of Completion. To see all webinars at a glance, please go to the TCC master webinar calendar.


Guidance for FHA-Approved Mortgagees and Servicers Regarding Presidentially-Declared Major Disaster Areas:

 The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is issuing this reminder to mortgagees about its guidance for originating and/or servicing FHA-insured forward and reverse mortgages in locations in the U.S. and its territories when the President declares it a major disaster area. This declaration is made when natural or other events are of such severity that it is beyond the combined capabilities of state and local governments to respond. The following guidance applies to all areas covered by a Presidentially-Declared Major Disaster Area (PDMDA):

  • FHA-insured mortgages secured by properties in a PDMDA are subject to a 90-day foreclosure moratorium following the disaster.
  • FHA-insured reverse mortgages (HECMs) that become due and payable for reasons other than the death of the last surviving borrower and eligible nonborrowing spouse are subject to a 90-day extension of HECM foreclosure timelines.
  • In PDMDAs only, HUD provides mortgagees an automatic 90-day extension from the date of the foreclosure moratorium expiration date to commence or recommence foreclosure action or evaluate the borrower under HUD’s loss mitigation program.

Mortgagees should review complete servicing guidance in the Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1 (SF Handbook), Sections III.A.2 and III.A.3.c relating to the servicing of mortgages in PDMDAs.

Mortgagees are reminded that they should begin reaching out to affected borrowers who may require loss mitigation assistance as soon as possible post-disaster. In preparation for assisting homeowners with longer-term recovery efforts, mortgagees should also review:

  • FHA’s 203(h) Mortgage Insurance for Disaster Victims requirements in Section II.A.8.b of the SF Handbook. The 203(h) program allows FHA to insure mortgages for victims of a major disaster who have lost their homes and are in the process of rebuilding or buying another home.
  • FHA’s 203(k) Rehabilitation Mortgage Insurance Program requirements in Section II.A.8.a of the SF Handbook. The 203(k) program provides mortgage financing or refinancing which includes the cost of home repairs – both structural and non-structural – into the loan amount.

Mortgagees can find more information about the policies referenced above and other FHA PDMDA policies on the FHA Resource Center’s Online Knowledge Base.

 Reminders for Housing Counselors:

All HUD participating housing counseling agencies impacted by recent disasters are encouraged to review the Disaster Resource Page for Housing Counselors and the Housing Counseling Disaster Recovery and Emergency Preparedness Toolkit located on HUDExchange. It contains disaster recovery and emergency preparedness resources specifically for housing counseling programs. The toolkit provides immediate access to Disaster Recovery Flyers, the Housing Counseling Disaster Program Guide and other HUD, FEMA, and other helpful resources. Also, please visit HUD’s Disaster Recovery Resource Webpage for even more information. Also read the Federal Register Notice on Allocations, Common Application, Waivers, and Alternative Requirements for 2017 Disaster Community Development Block Grant Disaster (CDBG-DR) Recovery Grantees. This notice has important information for housing counseling agencies and participation in CDBG-DR related activities.

For more information watch “How HUD Helps Communities Recover After a Disaster”. This informative video will help housing counselors learn about HUD’s role in disaster recovery.

 Housing Counseling Handbook 7610.1, Chapter 5-11, B. 3-d, requires when any aspect an agency’s purpose is impaired and can no longer comply with programmatic requirements, regulations or grant agreement (e.g., not functioning due to a disaster or emergency) the agency must notify their HUD Point of Contact (POC) within 15 days.

If your agency needs assistance on reports, grant documents, deadlines and similar issues in the aftermath of the recent disasters, please contact your HUD POC for help.

If your agency’s operational status is impacted by a disaster, it is important to let your clients and partners know of changes in operating hours, locations and services.  Please place appropriate messages on your agency voicemail(s), email(s) and social media. In areas experiencing a loss of power and communications please also consider posting signage with contact and status information at your office or other appropriate emergency service centers within your community.

Please send your questions to  Please type “Disaster Assistance” in the subject line.

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