Tornado victims: Lenders lend a hand

by Kelli Rogers22 May 2013

Lenders in Moore, Oklahoma are doing everything they can to help their customers impacted by the tornado which yesterday devastated the town on Monday. 

“We are definitely liberalizing our procedures right now in assisting with checks and helping people gain access to their funds,” said Neil Schemmer, president of First American Bank. 
In disasters, people lose everything, including their billfolds and their wallets, he said. Schemmer says First American, as a community bank, sees it as their job to help both their loan and deposit customers rebuild their lives any way they can.
“As far as those who have had serious damage, our job is to work with them, and if they have a mortgage with us, we will be open to deferring payments and assisting our borrower as they work through a difficult time,”Schemmer said.
Under Fannie Mae’s disaster relief guidelines, a servicer may temporarily suspend or reduce a homeowner’s mortgage payments if the servicer believes a natural disaster has adversely affected the value or habitability of the home or if the natural disaster has impacted the homeowner's ability to make payments on their mortgage.
First American Bank’s Moore location is covered in mud, Schemmer said, but the tornado remained about half a mile away from it. Their south Oklahoma City branch also survived the storm.
“The banking community feels pretty blessed,” Shemmer said, but shared that two financial institutions in Moore were leveled – a branch of First National Bank of Midwest City and the Moore branch of the Tinker Federal Credit Union.
Freddie Mac reminds servicers to consider borrowers who work in eligible disaster areas but have homes in unaffected areas for Freddie Mac's standard relief policies, which include forbearance or mortgage modifications.


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