Irma aid includes foreclosure delays
Residents also eligible for waived late fees
Central Florida’s Hurricane Irma victims have become eligible for everything from waived late fees on credit cards to tax extensions and delayed foreclosures under a wave of new public and private aid.
With the region designated for “individual assistance” by the federal government, a range of public and private programs become available. Some target residents impacted by the hurricane, while others are aimed more broadly at anyone who lives in the region.
“I cannot count how many folks in Lake County and throughout all of District 15 I spoke to personally, telling me they can’t even get to work or find groceries for their kids, let alone make a tax filing on time,” said U.S. Rep. Dennis A. Ross, a Republican who advocated for federal tax relief.
Aid and provisions granted to residents of Central Florida and other areas designated for greater federal relief include:
FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program offers affected residents financial help more medical, dental, child care, funeral, personal property and transportation expenses. The program also provides funds for temporary housing, repairs and construction. Details: 800-621-3362
Disaster Unemployment Assistance provides unemployment benefits and re-employment services to people who lost their jobs because of the hurricane and who are not eligible for state unemployment. Details: 800-621-3362
In partnership with the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association, FEMA provides free legal help to low-income disaster survivors who need assistance filing their storm-related complaints. Details: 800-621-3362
JPMorgan Chase will waive or refund late fees on mortgages, credit cards and auto loans through Sept. 24. It will also waive overdraft and service fees for that period. Details: 1-888-346-0023
HUD granted a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures for mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration. There are more than 280,000 FHA-insured Florida homeowners living in these impacted counties. Details: 1-800-569-4287
The IRS extended a deadline today for certain individual and business filings until Jan. 31. This includes an additional filing extension for taxpayers with valid extensions that run out Oct. 16, and businesses with extensions that run out today. So taxpayers in the region have until Jan. 31 to file returns and pay any taxes that had been due as of Sept. 4. This includes deadlines for quarterly payments. For individual tax filers, it also includes 2016 income tax returns that got an extension until Oct. 16. But late payments due in April don’t qualify.
For homeowners or renters who have lost their homes, HUD’s Section 203(h) program gives FHA insurance to disaster victims who have to rebuild or purchase another house. The loans come with no down payment and greater forgiveness of low credit scores. Details: 1-800-569-4287
Rebates could be on the way for cellphone and internet customers. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, requested the nation’s largest cable, telephone and internet providers today to provide Hurricane Irma victims rebates for service interruptions and impose a 60-day moratorium on late fees and other penalties. Nelson sent request letters to the CEOs of AT&T, CenturyLink, Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox Enterprises, Frontier Communications, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.
Texas and Florida are usually the biggest markets for ReelSonar’s fishing devices and apps, so the devastation from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma is expected impact on sales, though the firm is based in Seattle.