Hurricane Harvey (now downgraded to a tropical storm) has impacted the states of Texas and Louisiana, dumping heavy amounts of rainfall in the area. Harvey has caused massive amounts of property damage and forced people to evacuate their homes.
We understand this is a difficult situation. If you’re in one of the affected areas, we’ve put together this list of resources to help you out.
Temporary Shelter and Assistance
If you’ve been displaced by the flooding, your most immediate concern may be where to find some temporary shelter and assistance with the most basic necessities. The American Red Cross is mobilizing its local chapters to help provide the following assistance:
- evacuation shelters
- shelter, water, food and relief supplies
- medical care and first-aid treatment
- recovery plans to help people get back on their feet
You can find your local Red Cross chapter online or call (800) 733-2767.
In both Texas and Louisiana, emergency offices have been set up to handle the government response to the crisis in each of the affected counties and parishes. If you’re in need of disaster-related assistance, these are a good place to start.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a list of local emergency offices where you can register, if necessary. These offices may be able to help you find resources in your area as well as grants available to help you rebuild.
You can also contact FEMA directly at (800) 621-3362.
There are a variety of resources available in order to help you rebuild. We’ll go over an option backed by the government as well as how to submit a homeowners insurance claim.
Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration provides disaster relief loans to businesses of all sizes as well as private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters. You can use the loans to repair or replace the following items that have been destroyed or damaged in a declared disaster area:
- real estate
- personal property
- machinery and equipment
- inventory or business assets
Making a Homeowners Claim
One of the things you may be looking to do in the aftermath of this storm is to submit a homeowners insurance claim to help repair and replace damaged items and construction. There are a few considerations here.
The first thing you need to figure out is whether your homeowners insurance policy covers flooding. Unfortunately, many don’t. The easiest way to find out whether you’re covered in this situation is to contact your insurance company directly.
If you’re not covered, you can take a look at applying for one of the disaster relief grants or loans mentioned above. Otherwise, it’s time to move on to submitting an insurance claim. Follow your insurance company’s guidelines for submitting a claim.
It’s key to document all losses. Take pictures if you can. Be as thorough as possible.
If you currently have a mortgage, your lender will need to sign off on claims above a certain dollar amount because mortgage investors such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA need to make sure the home is in as good or better shape as it was when you bought it.
When filing a claim, contact your insurance company first. Be sure to also contact your mortgage lender to work with you during the claims process to make sure everything goes smoothly.
If you’re a Quicken Loans client, you can contact our insurance claims department at (866) 947-8425. We’re happy to assist you in getting back in your home as soon as possible. Our hours have been extended to help clients impacted by this disaster. Additionally, if a client leaves us a message, we’ll respond within 24 hours.
If you’d like more information, check out our post on filing a homeowners insurance claim.
Mortgage Payment Assistance
A situation like this has the ability to put a strain on your finances. If you’ve had to spend money on temporary shelter, it’s understandable that your budget would be a little stretched. While you should absolutely make your mortgage payment if you’re able, recovering from displacement is an unusual situation.
If you think you’re going to have trouble making your mortgage payment for the upcoming month, reach out to your lender or servicer as soon as possible.
If you’re a Quicken Loans client, you can reach out to us by calling (800) 508-0944 and selecting option 8. We’re here to help, and we have options available for those in the affected areas.
Our thoughts are with you. We’ll be happy to answer questions or try to direct you to the right place if you leave a comment for us below.
Source: Home Loans