HUD announces relief for Texas disaster victims

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced this week that it is extending a 90-day foreclosure moratorium for all Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured mortgages to the federal disaster area in Texas stemming from severe weather, tornadoes and flooding that hit several counties beginning on April 26.

The initially-declared federal disaster zone included the counties of Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity and Walker. On Wednesday, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) added Calhoun, Delta, Jones and Lamar counties to the state-designated disaster area, but these areas have yet to be added to the federally declared area.

The HUD relief includes a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures for FHA-insured loans, in addition to those under the Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee program for Native American borrowers. Additionally, Texas residents with Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs) in these counties will be granted a 90-day extension in a foreclosure evaluation.

“Homeowners affected by the disaster should contact their mortgage or loan servicer immediately for assistance,” HUD said in its announcement. “Conventional mortgage holders may also be eligible for additional relief through their mortgage holder.”

The areas suffered severe damage after a total of 14 tornadoes struck the region beginning April 26, according to the National Weather Service and reporting from a local NBC News affiliate. One tornado had wind speeds of 110 mph while others severely damaged homes, trees and vehicles.

Subsequent reporting by The Texas Tribune said that at least three people were killed by the storms as the state and federal governments began tallying the damage.

A separate system of severe weather struck the city of Houston last week, which could leave parts of the city without power for weeks. At least four fatalities have been confirmed.

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