FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Sept. 28, 2017 – Question: While we survived Hurricane Irma, we missed a lot of work and had to spend our savings to get things back to normal. Now we can't afford to make our mortgage payment. Are we going to lose our home? – Agnes
Answer: When disaster strikes, we all need to do what we have to do in order to get through it. As a small business owner, I understand the difficulties that such a disruption can cause to our finances. When your funds are limited, it's better to buy water and gasoline and worry about paying your mortgage when things return to normal.
Fortunately, most lenders and the government understand this and have offered relief to people affected by the hurricanes. As soon as you can, call your lender and see what programs are available to you.
If you have a federally backed mortgage, which most homeowners do, you will most likely be offered the chance to skip your next three payments and have those payments added to the end of your loan. Other lenders are offering similar programs, but they will spread the skipped payments out over a year instead.
Your lender may be busy and you may need to jump through some hoops, but by all accounts, lenders have been trying hard to make it easy for Mother Nature's latest victims.
There's also relief in the form of student loan payment forbearance and Internal Revenue Service extensions, although you still will need to pay any taxes due now. Reach out to the appropriate agencies, or to a financial professional, and you most likely will find the help you need.
About the writer: Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He practices real estate, business litigation and contract law from his office in Sunrise, Fla. He is the chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is a co-host of the weekly radio show Legal News and Review. He frequently consults on general real estate matters and trends in Florida with various companies across the nation.
Copyright © 2017 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Gary M. Singer. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.