203H Mortgage Program Helps Disaster Victims Finance Homes

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The FHA 203H program empowers disaster victims to purchase or refinance a home under more lenient guidelines if their home was severely damaged or destroyed in a federally declared disaster area.  

The 2017 hurricane season left many home owners homeless from Hurricane Harvey in Texas to Hurricane Irma in Florida and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the Virgen Islands. In addition, there have been other natural disasters from storms to floods to fire displacing victims throughout the country.

203H Program Provides Mortgage Insurance

The FHA 203H program provides mortgage insurance (and thus loan approval) for both homeowners and renters displaced by these disasters.

The mortgage insurance is paid in a similar manner as other FHA programs, with both an up-front mortgage premium that can be financed into the loan, as well as a monthly PMI (private mortgage insurance) payment. However, the qualification process is more lenient and the loan to value allowable is up to 100% so that borrowers do not have to give a down payment.

Basic Qualifications and Guidelines for the Program

  • Borrowers must have had their home (rented or owned) destroyed or severely damaged by a federally declared disaster area.
  • Minimum FICO score of 500.
  • Up to 100% financing. No down payment required.
  • The loan must be for a principal owner-occupied residence of a one family home.
  • The purchase price of the home must fall within the FHA mortgage limits.
  • Allowances are made for derogatory credit during the time after the disaster.
  • Documentation requirements are more lenient to make allowances for missing or destroyed documents.

The FHA 203H program is a strong instrument for disaster recovery for many residents who’ve been displaced by these disasters. The 100% financing and more lenient guidelines make it possible for them to recover. 

If you or someone you know may benefit from this program, contact me today to learn more and get in contact with a loan officer who can help with your pre-approval process. 

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