Relief Available for Homeowners Impacted by Maui Wildfires

August 17, 2023

According to the Pacific Disaster Center and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as cited in a report by Risk Management Solutions Inc. (RMS), the Lahaina fire damaged or destroyed an estimated 2,207 structures and exposed 2,719. Insured losses from the wildfires could be "at least $1 billion," RMS reported.

Relief is available for homeowners impacted by the historic wildfires that have devastated Maui communities, announced the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ (DCCA) Division of Financial Institutions.

DCCA offers the following information for addressing the immediate needs of affected homeowners. Guidance will be further provided on longer-term mortgage loan relief programs as it becomes available.

  • Borrowers with a Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae mortgage loan will receive an automatic 90-day forbearance, meaning that no payment will be due for at least 90 days. This forbearance is automatic—no contact with mortgage servicers is necessary.
  • A 90-day forbearance is also available for Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Veterans Affairs (VA) borrowers; however, homeowners are required to contact their mortgage loan servicer to request the forbearance.
  • The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers housing counseling to any homeowner regardless of where they received their mortgage loan. Homeowners can contact the FHA housing counseling services at 1-800-569-4287 and the FHA Resource Center at 1-800-304-9320.
  • If you are unsure of who owns your mortgage loan, the following tools can assist.
  • Utilize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage look-up functions.

The following are estimates for the number of homes potentially impacted in Maui County (Lahaina and Kula areas are still being assessed):

  • 5,200 mortgages serviced by Freddie Mac
  • 9,800 mortgages serviced by Fannie Mae
  • 2,400 mortgages serviced by Ginnie Mae
  • 1,300 FHA mortgages (two public housing, two senior living buildings)
  • 927 VA mortgages

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has announced a series of steps intended to provide regulatory relief to financial institutions and facilitate recovery in areas of Hawaii affected by wildfires. The FDIC encourages depository institutions in the affected areas to meet the financial services needs of their communities. A copy of the guidance is available on the FDIC website. Highlights include:

  • Encourage banks to work constructively with borrowers experiencing difficulties beyond their control because of damage caused by wildfires.
  • Banks that extend repayment terms, restructure existing loans, or ease terms for new loans in a manner consistent with sound banking practices can contribute to the health of the local community and serve the long-term interests of the lending institution.
  • Banks may receive favorable Community Reinvestment Act consideration for community development loans, investments, and services in support of disaster recovery.
  • The FDIC also will consider regulatory relief from certain filing and publishing requirements.

Borrowers are encouraged to contact their lenders to identify if financial programs and mortgage deferral programs are available.

If you have questions or need assistance, contact DCCA’s Hawaii Division of Financial Institutions at 808-586-2820 or at [email protected].

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or [email protected].