Hurricane Dorian barrels towards US coast but home relief stands at the ready

As Hurricane Dorian – forecast to become a Category 4 storm – barrels toward the U.S. this Labor Day weekend, homeowners that find themselves in the storm’s path have relief options.

Fannie Mae on Thursday issued a reminder about available mortgage assistance and disaster relief options for those that may be affected by the strengthening storm.

“We are monitoring the situation, and we urge those in the path of the storm to focus on their safety first as they prepare for the potential impact of Hurricane Dorian,” Malloy Evans, Fannie Mae senior vice president and single-family chief credit officer, said in a statement. “We encourage residents whose homes, employment, or income are affected by the storm to seek available assistance as soon as possible.”

Mortgage servicers can suspend or reduce payments immediately, for up to 90 days, if the servicer believes a homeowner was affected. That can happen even if a person does not contact the servicer.

Eligible homeowners can reduce or suspend mortgage payments for up to a year –during those 12 months no late fees will be levied and credit bureau reporting will be suspended.

Fannie Mae can also help with personalized recovery plans and requesting assistance from FEMA and other sources.

Dorian is expected to make landfall in the U.S. on Monday, along the Florida or Georgia coasts. Sustained winds could be as high as 130-plus mph.

Currently  Dorian is a Category 1 storm with sustained winds up to 85 mph. Dorian has already barreled through Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Homeowners can request mortgage assistance by contacting their servicer.