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HUD Announces Aid for Some Chinese Drywall Victims

Dec 23, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is offering help to some Chinese drywall victims who have mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).  The agency is also making money from the Community Development Block Grant program available to states and communities to help remediate Chinese drywall homes.

According to a HUD press release, all  activities funded through the Community Development Block Grant program must meet one of the its three national objectives: Provide benefit to low- and moderate-income persons; Eliminate slums or blighting conditions; or address an immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community.

The FHA is also reminding its approved lenders that they are to offer special forbearance for borrowers confronted with the sudden effects of damaging drywall products in their homes including the financial hardship associated with related home repairs.  Lenders also are being encouraged not to charge late fees and to give the homeowners time to make up past-due payments.  This aid  only available to homeowners whose  mortgages are FHA- insured and who may qualify for help under an existing mortgage-forbearance program intended to prevent foreclosures.

For questions on mortgage forbearance terms, Chinese drywall homeowners may call HUD at (888) 297-8685.

So far, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has received 2,360 reports from residents in 35 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico concerning Chinese drywall.  Homeowners insurance does not cover damage from Chinese drywall, and builders have estimated that remediating a home with Chinese drywall could cost as much as $100,000.

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