Unfortunately, disasters happen. When they do, you need to take special care to ensure you will be able to continue your day-to-day life without greatly disrupting your financial situation.
Unfortunately, disasters happen. Hurricanes, tropical storms, and tornadoes are just a few of the catastrophic events that can leave you with little to no time to prepare. When they do happen, you need to take special care to ensure that you will continue your day-to-day life without significantly disrupting your financial situation.
This is especially true for Veteran homeowners whose loans are guaranteed by the VA.
There are specific steps that homeowners with VA-backed loans should take when disaster strikes. The steps listed below ensure that you receive the assistance you need.
The first and most important step is to contact FEMA and begin the disaster application process. You can start this process online at disasterassistance.gov or by phone at 800-621-3362.
You must register with FEMA before their cut off date. This is crucial as you cannot receive the maximum financial relief for uninsured losses or damages if you have not registered with FEMA.
You must still pay your mortgage, even if the home is no longer habitable. After contacting FEMA, homebuyers affected by natural disasters should immediately reach out to their lender or loan servicer for guidance on their mortgage.
If you cannot make mortgage payments following a natural disaster, speak with your lender about the options available, such as forbearance or loan modification.
Next, contact your insurance provider. If you have flood or earthquake insurance with a different provider than your homeowners, contact them immediately as well. Your insurance provider will provide guidance on how to properly recover losses.
For damaged, yet repairable homes, the VA recommends getting at least two bids from qualified contractors before agreeing to an insurance settlement.
If your home is no longer habitable, you must change your address to keep receiving VA benefit checks. To do this, contact your local post office and VA Regional Office to change your address.
In short, be sure to contact the authorities as well as your insurance company to make sure that your life can restart as soon as possible after a disaster.
While we all like to think that a disaster will never happen to us, it is imperative to know what to do in these situations to avoid additional difficulties.