Many nonprime lenders are suspending mortgage payments, waiving late payment fees, and ensuring that late payments will not damage credit ratings in order to provide short-term relief for hurricane victims, according to the National Home Equity Mortgage Association.NHEMA president Jeffrey Zeltzer said members are also working with secondary-market purchasers, insurers, government officials, and others to develop longer-term relief programs. Many have also made corporate donations, and "thousands of their employees" have done so as well, he said. The association urged borrowers to contact their mortgage lenders and other creditors as soon as possible to discuss their situation, and to contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency about applying for long-term housing if their home has been destroyed. Other advice offered by NHEMA includes warnings against rushing to sell property, borrow money (especially from contractors), or declare bankruptcy, and a reminder to beware of scam artists. The association can be found online at http://www.nhema.com.

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