Being a bankruptcy lawyer in Indiana is all about help – giving help and finding help. Lately, Indiana homeowners in many of the 38 counties I serve have been needing all the help they can get. Columbus, in Bartholomew County, is one of the four cities in which I have bankruptcy law offices, and that area was one of the hardest hit. In an earlier blog, For Flood Victims, FEMA Aid Can Help Without Hurting In Bankruptcy, I talked about the special aid offered through FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), through the Small Business Administration, and through the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
Helping clients avoid foreclosure on their home (whether they are renters or owners) often plays a large part in the assistance I offer through my four Indiana bankruptcy law offices. It’s important for me to be familiar with all the resources available to clients facing possible foreclosure. It was welcome news to me, therefore, when HUD (U.S. Housing and Urban Development) announced support for homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes during the severe storms. There are several varieties of help offered, but one of the most significant is that HUD is granting immediate foreclosure relief by granting a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures of FHA insured home mortgages. HUD also urged loan servicing companies to offer loan modifications, re-financings, and to waive late charges. What’s more, HUD has a loan program for rehabbing homes that are salvageable. These relief efforts are being offered in almost all the counties I serve, but Columbus was certainly one of the hardest-hit , with hundreds of homes and dozens of businesses severely damaged or even totally destroyed.
Emerging from bankruptcy always involves rebuilding of financial lives. Now, because of the flood damage, many of my clients will be involved in rebuilding of another sort as well. By helping my clients locate and take advantage of all the different flood assistance resources, I’ll be involved in their rebuilding process on both counts!