GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico – FEMA has teamed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to counsel hurricane survivors in Puerto Rico who are facing foreclosure or other difficulties with their mortgages.
The nonprofit Hope Now Alliance is offering free counseling and education to homeowners about reverse mortgages and delinquencies. Disaster survivors can also connect with mortgage counselors, servicers, investors and insurers and learn whether it’s best to keep a home, rent it or pay a mortgage.
“By dealing with the issue right now, you can make a plan. If you communicate with your servicers, chances are you can get a repayment plan if you want to keep your house,” said Julio Artiga, a consultant with Hope Now.
One option for homeowners facing foreclosure include a short sale, in which the bank allows the delinquent homeowner to sell the home for less than what's owed. It doesn't absolve the borrower from the debt incurred with the original mortgage, but it can be better than a foreclosure.
“The law has a lot of protections,” Artiga said. “If you are aware of the processes and the options involved, our counselors can give you guidance, set up an action plan and help you through it.”
Hope Now counselors are available until July 13 at the San Juan disaster recovery center at Museo de Vida Silvestre, 1075 Ave. John F. Kennedy (Marg.). Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Survivors may call 888-753-5302 to schedule an appointment and should be prepared to complete an assistance form during their visit. Preview the form online at HopeNow.com/pdf/AssistanceForm.pdf.
Survivors may also learn more about Hope Now at HopeNow.com.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362) 711/VRS - Video Relay Service). Multilingual operators are available. (Press 2 for Spanish). TTY call 800-462-7585.
Follow us at: