WASHINGTON — U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Thursday offered help for residents who lost their homes in the Oso mudslide, including a 90-day moratorium on any foreclosures.
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan also gave Washington state the option to redirect its share of the federal Community Development Block Grant for disaster relief. The state could decide, for instance, to help write off existing mortgages on some three dozen homes that were wiped out by the mudslide.
The 90-day clock on foreclosures started Wednesday with President Obama’s declaration of major disaster for Snohomish County. The reprieve applies to homeowners whose mortgages with insured by the Federal House Authority (FHA). In the Seattle area, the FHA currently insures mortgages for single-family homes up to $506,000.
The FHA also will insure zero-down mortgages for victims seeking to buy new homes.