TRENTON, N.J. -- Hurricane Sandy survivors in New Jersey who do not return their Small Business Administration disaster loan applications could be missing out on valuable funds for their recovery.
Returning SBA disaster loan applications is a critical step for homeowners and renters who registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be considered for federal loans or grants that could be valuable recovery assets.
SBA disaster loans are not just for businesses. They are the largest federal disaster recovery funds for homeowners, who may be able to qualify for low-interest loans up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence. Homeowners and renters may apply to receive up to $40,000 for personal property losses.
Homeowners can receive an additional 20 percent of the approved loan amount for mitigation improvements including building elevation, retaining walls, seawalls, sump pumps and relocating utilities.
In some cases, the SBA may be willing to refinance all or part of a previous mortgage when the survivor does not have credit available elsewhere and has suffered substantial disaster damage not covered by insurance.
Proceeds from insurance coverage on a survivor’s home will be deducted from the total damage estimate to determine eligible loan amount. The SBA is not permitted to duplicate benefits.
The simplest way to apply is online at DisasterLoan.gov/ELA. More information is available by calling the SBA customer service center at 800-659-2955 or TTY 800-877-8339. Help is also available by visiting a disaster recovery center for one-to-one assistance. Centers can be located by going to FEMA.gov/DRC.
Survivors can register with FEMA online at DisasterAssistance.gov or via smartphone or tablet at m.fema.gov. They can also call 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585. Phone lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
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