The Mortgage Bankers Association is urging members to offer mortgage relief to victims of Southern California's wildfires.In a letter to members dated Oct. 31, MBA chairman Robert Couch noted that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the federal departments of Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs allow for disaster relief such as temporary suspension or reduction of mortgage payments or (in certain cases) modification of existing mortgages. "We ask that you consider implementing these options for affected borrowers," the letter says, referring to those who have lost homes, suffered property damage, or incurred a loss of employment due to workplace damages. Mr. Couch also urged MBA members to seek out such borrowers. "During these trying times, individual homeowners may feel overwhelmed by the issues they must address, the emotional toll of losing their homes, and the financial hardship the events have imposed," he said. "We, therefore, encourage MBA members to reach out to potentially affected customers to inform them of the relief options available to them and to assist them where possible." The MBA can be found online at http://www.mbaa.org.

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