Assistance in Disasters

We are committed to working with our lender customers to provide mortgage relief to homeowners whose lives have been disrupted by disasters, terrorist attacks, or other natural or man-made catastrophes not caused by the borrower. To help communities recover, we provide detailed policies in our Single-Family Selling and Servicing Guides. Should a disaster be significant, we may amend these policies to expand the relief available to homeowners.

Sign-Up for Email Updates

External Resources


Guidance for Servicers

For guidance on special circumstances related to servicing loans in areas affected by natural disasters, servicers may:

Contact the National Servicing Organization at 1-888-326-6438, or

Contact their Servicing Consultants or Account Managers directly.

Following a disaster, we rely on our customers to implement our disaster relief policies and assist impacted homeowners. We require servicers to assess property damage and the needs of homeowners in order to provide appropriate relief. In addition, our Account Teams work closely with our customers to determine physical and operational impacts to their business operations and their ability to service mortgages owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae.

How to Respond in the Event of a Disaster

Determine if the locality is designated in a Major Disaster Declaration
The Servicing Guide requires servicers to focus relief efforts on borrowers with properties located within federally defined disaster areas. To find a list of recent emergency and disaster declarations and locations, visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) website.

Look for Fannie Mae Announcements
When a significant disaster occurs that adversely affects either the value or habitability of mortgaged properties or borrower's ability to make further payments or payments in full on mortgage loans, we may issue special announcements such as press releases, Guide Announcements, Lender Letters, or Notices with updates or temporary relief policies.

Refer to the Servicing Guide, Guide Announcements/Lender Letters, and the Selling Guide
Our policies related to disasters are included the Servicing Guide and may be amended by Servicing Guide Announcements. We also provide relief in the Selling Guide by providing lenders with mortgage loan flexibilities for borrowers seeking a mortgage following a disaster.

Summary of Servicing Guide Requirements for Disaster Relief
Our servicing policy covering disasters can be found in the Servicing Guide in Part III, Chapter 11: Assistance in Natural Disasters and Part VII, Chapter 4: Special Relief Measures. To protect the financial stability of those affected by a disaster, servicers must follow the disaster relief requirements outlined in the Guide, which include:

  • determining whether the property is adequately insured against the damage;
  • counseling the borrower on the availability of appropriate relief provisions;
  • assessing property damage and impact to properties for loans in process at a time a disaster strikes;
  • waiving any late payment charges that result from the disaster's impact;
  • ensuring that insurance claims are filed and settled promptly and that properties are fully repaired; and
  • determining the facts and circumstances related to a borrower and the mortgaged property to determine if a foreclosure prevention alternative is appropriate even though the borrower's mortgage loan is current, based on the servicer's determination that a payment default is reasonably foreseeable.

Summary of Selling Guide Requirements for Disaster Relief
Our selling policy covering disasters can be found in the Selling Guide in B5-4-07, Disaster-Related Limited Cash-Out Refinance Flexibilities and B3-4.3-07, Disaster Relief Grants or Loans. The Selling Guideoutlines steps lenders can take to accommodate borrowers who have been impacted by a disaster, including flexibilities to standard limited cash-out refinance policies on a borrower's principal residence that:

  • Permit a refinance to consolidate non-purchase money subordinate mortgage loans that had been obtained to finance disaster-related property repairs; and
  • Provide for a higher cash-out amount to reimburse borrowers for documented out-of-pocket expenses related to disaster-related repairs.

In addition, borrowers may use lump-sum disaster-relief grants or loans to satisfy Fannie Mae's minimum borrower contribution requirement.