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HUD Announces Mortgage Rate Cut To 6.0 Percent For America's Military

September 24, 2001

WASHINGTON - Reservists and members of the National Guard called to active duty will receive a cut in their home loan interest rates for the first time since the Gulf War, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld announced today at a Pentagon briefing.

Under the 1940 Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act, HUD is advising all FHA-approved lenders to reduce mortgage interest rates to no more than six percent for military personnel on active duty.

"When our sons and daughters in uniform are called upon to serve this great nation, we will stand behind them. We want to reassure our servicemen and women that while they are focused on protecting America, we will do everything we can to protect their families' housing needs," said Martinez today in a joint appearance with Rumsfeld. "Today's announcement with the Department of Defense is another example of the cooperation we've seen throughout the federal government as we look for ways to assist American families."

"During this crisis, it is important that the Department of Defense and Department of Housing and Urban Development work together to develop inter-agency programs to assist uniformed men and women and their families to relieve their mortgage burden," said Rumsfeld. "The Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act will enable our military forces to focus on combating terrorism and not have to worry about their families' financial security at home. The Department of Defense and the U.S. Government will do everything they can to support our troops as they serve and sacrifice for our country."

Reservists and Guardsman on active duty should immediately contact their lenders to take advantage of the mortgage rate cap. The Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act prohibits any mortgage lender from initiating foreclosure action against persons in military service while on active duty and three months thereafter without court approval or an agreement between the parties.

Some active duty military personnel may also qualify for this interest rate cap if they incurred their mortgage debt prior to their active duty.

In addition to the mortgage rate reduction and expanded foreclosure protection, Martinez is taking the extraordinary step of encouraging mortgage lenders to postpone principal payments for all servicemen and women during their activation and three months thereafter.

Martinez also reminded military members that the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act provides renters a measure of protection against eviction and the ability to terminate their leases during this recall period.

Beginning on Tuesday, September 25, HUD will activate a toll-free number for servicemen and women with questions concerning their mortgage. For more information, call 1-888-297-8685 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays.

Source: Department of Housing and Urban Development

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