FHA Provides Property Inspection Waiver for Florida and Foreclosure Relief for Georgia Counties

The Federal Housing Administration published a policy waiver on the timeframe for completing inspections of properties prior to closing or submitting mortgages for insurance endorsement in Presidentially-Declared Major Disaster Areas of Florida impacted by Hurricane Irma.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced separately that it would grant a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and forbearance on foreclosures of FHA-insured home mortgages for Georgia storm victims living in Camden, Chatham, and Glynn counties.

In communicating the policy waiver, FHA Info #17-41 instructed mortgagees to comply with the Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1 (SF Handbook) Section II.A.7.c, Inspection and Repair Escrow Requirements for Mortgages Pending Closing or Endorsement in Presidentially-Declared Major Disaster Areas. FHA’s current policy requires that a damage inspection be performed following the close of the Incident Period as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). 

FHA believes that the situation in Florida has stabilized to the extent that further property damage appears unlikely. However, mortgagees should continue to monitor FEMA’s website to ascertain the latest information in Florida as additional counties may be designated as disaster areas until the Incident Period has closed.

As a result, FHA issued a waiver regarding the timing of the required inspection, allowing damage inspections to be completed beginning September 19, 2017, for Presidentially-Declared Major Disaster Areas in Florida.    

FHA Info #17-41 stated that nothing in this waiver affects mortgagees’ obligations to exercise prudent lending practices and ensure the mortgages they submit for endorsement fully comply with FHA’s property eligibility requirements, as well as any property condition requirements related to claims processing. A copy of the waiver is also posted at HUD.gov.