OXFORD, Miss. – January 25, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Mississippi tornado survivors who do not submit their U.S. Small Business Administration low-interest disaster loan applications may be saying no to a primary source of federal disaster assistance.
After registering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, some survivors receive a disaster loan application from SBA. By submitting the SBA disaster loan application, survivors keep the full range of disaster assistance available as an option. SBA may refer applicants who do not qualify for a home loan to FEMA for grants to replace essential household items and replace or repair a damaged vehicle. But if survivors do not submit their disaster loan applications, further assistance may stop. Survivors are not required to accept a loan offer.
Often, survivors think SBA disaster loans are only for businesses. Some may be counting on a future insurance settlement to cover rebuilding costs. They may not want to take out a loan or fear they cannot afford one. Others may simply need help completing the disaster loan application.
SBA offers disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters, for physical damage from the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding which affected northern Mississippi in late December. To be eligible for these loans, damage must have occurred in the following counties: Benton, Coahoma, Marshall, Quitman or Tippah.
Economic injury disaster loans are available to provide working capital to eligible small businesses and nonprofit organizations located in the following Mississippi counties: Alcorn, Benton, Bolivar, Coahoma, DeSoto, Lafayette, Marshall, Panola, Prentiss, Quitman, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tippah, Tunica and Union.
There are several good reasons for FEMA applicants who have been contacted by SBA to submit a completed disaster loan application before the March 4, 2016, deadline. Some of the top reasons include:
Your insurance settlement may fall short. You may find out you are underinsured for the amount of work it takes to repair or replace a damaged home. An SBA low-interest loan can cover the uninsured costs. By submitting the loan application, survivors may have loan money available when it is needed. SBA can approve a loan for the repair or replacement of a home up to $200,000. The loan balance will be reduced by your insurance settlement. However, the opportunity for an SBA disaster loan may be lost if you wait until after the application deadline.
SBA can help renters repair or replace disaster-damaged personal property. Renters, as well as homeowners, may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace clothing, furniture, appliances and damaged vehicles.
Disaster loans offer low rates and long-term repayment plans. Interest rates are as low as 4 percent for businesses, 2.625 percent for nonprofit organizations and 1.813 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. The SBA sets loan amounts and terms based on each applicant’s financial condition.
For more information, homeowners, renters and businesses may call the SBA at 800-659-2955 (TTY 800-877-8339), send an email to DisasterCustomerService (at) sba (dot) gov or visit SBA.gov/Disaster. Survivors can complete disaster loan applications online at https://DisasterLoan.SBA.gov/ELA.
Survivors can visit any of the five disaster recovery centers open in Mississippi to sit down and talk with an SBA representative in person. Disaster recovery center locations can be found by visiting FEMA.gov/DRC or by calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585.)
Survivors who have not yet registered with FEMA can do so online at DisasterAssistance.gov, or by calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362. Survivors who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired can call TTY 800-462-7585.
For more information on Mississippi’s disaster recovery, visit fema.gov/disaster/4248 and msema.org.
All FEMA disaster assistance will be provided without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex (including sexual harassment), religion, national origin, age, disability, limited English proficiency, economic status, or retaliation. If you believe your civil rights are being violated, call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585(TTY/TDD).
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.