Houstonians hit by Harvey face possible foreclosures

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HOUSTON – Hurricane Harvey didn’t just physically put Houston under water, it’s dragging a lot of homeowner’s mortgages under water too.

According to black knight, a mortgage and finance analyst, 40,200 mortgages in Southeast Texas are 90 days or more delinquent as a result of Hurricane Harvey.

“Some people can’t even be in their home right now, so not only are they responsible for a mortgage payment, but they may be paying rent on a temporary apartment or for a hotel room,” said Mary Lawler, the Executive Director with Avenue Community Develop Corp.

Lenders generally gave homeowners a 90-day delay on their next payment.

“So now people are seeing not just their regular mortgage payment is due, but also the back payment that had been delayed,” Lawler said.

While they risk foreclosure, many may be waiting to see how much money will come from the government, and where it’s going to go, before they make any decisions.

The Bayou City Initiative met today to discuss that very thing.

“They’ve come together to really talk about what would they want from their government in the future, and we’re going to talk today about the bond proposal that may be shortly considered by Harris County,” said Jim Blackburn, Founder of Bayou City Initiative.

But what about those drowning in debt now?

“First of all, be in communication with their lender, the worst thing you can do is avoid the calls, and ignore the letters. Request a reduced payment, or another delay before payment is due,” said Lawler.

The best bet is to seek out individual advice from a counselor approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

 

 

 

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