Tami Chanel, President of C&T Mortgage Company, answers questions homeowners have asked about their mortgages after Harvey:

1. What do mortgage companies do for their homeowner customers after a disaster like this?
Mortgage companies can offer various types of loan programs for their clients when disasters like this occur.
a. Home equity loans – these can be in first or second lien positions. By law, you are only allowed one home equity loan at a time. Home equity loans in first lien position always have much better rates then second lien positions. In Texas you are limited to the amount of equity you can pull out of your home. The loan amount cannot exceed 80% for the home value. These are great loans for people that want to add pools, renovations/repairs, credit card debt, outdoor patio covers etc. A lot of people do not want to make insurance claims as well because of meeting deductibles etc. and their damage is mainly cosmetic.
b. Home Improvement loans – these are taken out in second lien position. You are able to do renovation/repairs to your home with these loans. Home improvement loans allow for you to tap into more equity in your home – sometimes up to 95% of the appraised value. The rates are higher and typically they will only lend 40.75 for every $1.00 your contractor calls for.
c. 203H – FHA Loans – these are programs that allow for disaster victims to get out of temporary housing and buy a home at 100% financing. These are for purchase loans only. If potential borrowers can prove that they have been victim of the disaster this is a great way to get into a new home quickly. If you are currently a homeowner and have fallen victim they too CAN qualify for this program.
These are just some of the programs out there. Home equity loans and home improvement loans are offered all year round. There are many more programs out there; credit unions have great programs as well given to their members. Make sure to research.

2. What is the FHA program 203H for homeowners who have a total loss in the current home? No money down financing. Who is eligible?
Anyone that has at least a 600 FICO score that have been a victim of a natural disaster can qualify for a 203H FHA loan; regardless if they currently own a home or are in a current FHA loan. They must occupy the new home as a primary residence; must provide conclusive evidence that their previous residence was located in a disaster area and was destroyed or damaged to such an extent that replacement is necessary (uninhabitable). Documentation showing a permanent residence in the affected area before the disaster includes a valid driver’s license, a voter registration card, utility bills, etc. Documentation regarding destruction of the residence may include an insurance report, an inspection report by an independent fee inspector or government agency or conclusive photographic evidence showing the destruction or damage. The victim may have been the owner or a renter of the property affected.

3. What’s a good hypothetical example of a situation where homeowners should seriously consider this program?

203H loans are great for clients that need to get out of their current situation fast and in a hurry. Most victims have lost almost everything. If we can help them get back to “normal” by helping them buy a home with no money down, what is a better way than that?

4. Are all mortgage companies offering this special financing?

The 203H loans are uncommon because they are only allowed when a natural disaster occurs. Most lenders can do them, but that does not mean much. Do research and ask questions upfront. If the information the company/loan officer is providing is confusing call someone else. Not every person, scenario, loan or mortgage company is the same. Check out all different programs that is being offered and decide what works best for your specific need and your family.

5. What is the deadline for applying for this program?
The deadline is 1 year after a county is declared a disaster area. I would NOT use this deadline though. The sooner the better. I would personally say within 90 -120 days after the disaster occurred. Remember, 203H loans are 100% financing so you really need to have a great reason why it took so long to wait 1 year and will have to document where you have been staying since the storm. Everything MUST make sense in the eyes of FHA and an underwriter.

Please note that all information is deemed accurate at the time of publication on Sept. 13, 2017. The programs mentioned including 203H loans, FEMA assistance, and other government programs regarding mortgages may change. If you are interested in refinancing your mortgage, or have questions about eligibility for mortgage assistance programs, contact:

Tami Chanel, C&T Mortgage Company
25250 NW Freeway, Suite 260
Cypress, TX 77429
Office: 832-220-1480 ext. 301
Toll Free: 877-834-5710
Fax: 832-220-1486
Company NMLS:  1231852
Individual NMLS:  333134

“These are just some of the programs out there. Home equity loans and home improvement loans are offered all year round. There are many more programs out there; credit unions have great programs as well given to their members.

Make sure to research.”

Tami Chanel
C & T Mortgage


In our first Facebook Live video interview for the “What’s Next?” series, Brad of Brazelton Auto in Spring Branch answers Kayla’s questions that people are asking about their flooded cars, trucks, and SUVs.

Learn some tips about what to do if your car is flooded, what happens if you still have a loan on a car that’s flooded, and how do you know if you car was flooded, how Brazelton Auto of Spring Branch can help people with flooded vehicles, and how FEMA might work with you on car repair and replacement after Hurricane Harvey. Call Brad at Brazelton Auto (713) 439-0090



Recovery Houston, a volunteer group that formed after Harvey, is doing remarkable work all over the Harvey-damaged Houston area. Their teams flow out 7 days/week helping people remove drywall and more from their flood damaged homes. This is just one of many volunteer efforts that are active in and around Houston. We applaud everyone who’s working hard to help rebuild and restore the neighborhoods and communities after Harvey!

Recovery Houston needs your help to…

  • maintain their list of homes needing work,
  • assign volunteer teams,
  • deliver water & snacks to work teams,
  • volunteer time on a team that’s tearing out flood-damaged home interiors,
  • volunteer on a team to help clean up after the demo,
  • assist in packing and moving residents, or
  • donate tools & supplies for work teams or residents who are in need.

Recovery Houston  is attracting teams of volunteers from companies, alumni groups, families, churches and neighborhoods. They’ve even had groups from outside Texas drive down to pitch in!

From Recovery Houston’s Facebook Group (9/13/17): “Volunteers can call 936.931.8098 or just come to command center. We dispatch seven days a week at 9am and 1pm. Current address is 298 Garden Oaks Blvd 77018 Facebook group is the best way to keep up to date: www.facebook.com/groups/recoveryhouston.com

So much love is being showered on Houston and our entire area to help recover from Harvey’s devastation. It’s a long road . . . we’re #HoustonStrong!

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