FEMA Information about SBA Loan Applications

Returning SBA Loan Application May Open Doors to More FEMA Assistance

WINDSOR, Conn. – Hurricane survivors who receive a loan application from the U.S. Small Business Administration after registering for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency need to complete and return it. The application deadline is Dec. 31, 2012.

While SBA’s low-interest disaster loans represent the major source of federal funding for recovery, the application itself may open the door to other FEMA grant programs. People who do not qualify for a loan may be eligible for grants to replace essential household items, replace or repair a damaged vehicle, or cover storage expenses.

“In a disaster, SBA helps individuals as well as businesses,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Albert Lewis. “No one is obligated to accept an SBA loan. If you receive a loan application, it’s important to fill it out and return it. If you don’t submit the loan application, the assistance process may stop prematurely.”

Registering with FEMA often prompts SBA to send an application for a low-interest disaster loan. The application takes little time to complete.

FEMA grants are designed to jump-start the recovery process and may not cover all damage or property loss. SBA low-interest disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to eligible homeowners to repair or replace disaster-damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters may apply for loans up to $40,000 for personal property. Loan amounts cannot exceed uninsured losses.

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets.

Recovery officials note several reasons for completing the application. For instance:

● An insurance settlement may fall short. A survivor may be underinsured for the amount of work needed to repair or replace a structure. An SBA low-interest disaster loan can cover the cost. Survivors are encouraged not to miss the filing deadline by waiting for an insurance settlement. A settlement can be used toward the loan.

● SBA can offer a loan that fits an applicant’s budget. SBA specialists can help with an affordable low-interest loan. In some cases, SBA can refinance all or part of an existing mortgage.

● SBA can help renters replace household contents and vehicles. Renters and homeowners may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace clothing, furniture, cars or appliances damaged or destroyed in the hurricane.

Applications can be downloaded from www.sba.gov. For more information, call the SBA’s toll-free line at 800-659-2955. If you use TTY, call 800-877-8339. Homeowners and renters who want to apply online can visit SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.

People with storm losses who still need to register with FEMA can register anytime online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or with a smartphone or device at m.fema.gov. Survivors can also register by phone anytime day or night by calling FEMA at 800-621-3362. People who use TTY can call 800-462-7585. Multilingual operators are available. The deadline to register is Dec. 31, 2012.