Disaster Areas
Flooding in New Jersey and California,
Tornadoes in Florida



Lenders and Schools
March 10, 1998
Disaster Areas - Flooding in New Jersey and California, Tornadoes in Florida


To assure that your Common Manual remains current, please record this document on your LPM/LPB index, and retain it in Appendix E of your manual.

Atlantic and Cape May counties in New Jersey have been designated to be disaster areas because of flooding caused by a coastal storm that began February 4. In addition, nine more counties Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernadino, San Diego, Stanislaus, Trinity and Tulare in California have been added to the 31 counties previously designated as disaster areas because of storms and flooding that began in California on February 2, 1998. Finally, Putnam county in Florida has been added, for a total of 32 counties in Florida that are designated as disaster areas because of tornadoes that struck that state on February 23, 1998.

The following disaster-related forbearance policies are authorized to assist FFEL borrowers who are residents of these areas.

Disaster-related Forbearance Policy

1. Loan holders are strongly recommended to grant forbearances to borrowers who contact them and indicate that they have been adversely affected by the disaster and need temporary relief from their loan obligations. If the holder believes that the borrower has been harmed and needs assistance, the holder may grant a forbearance for up to 3 months after the disaster strikes, based on either the borrower's oral or written request for assistance, which must be documented in the holder's files.

2. The holder does not need to obtain supporting documentation or a signed written agreement from the borrower to justify a forbearance for this initial 3-month period. The Secretary will decline to enforce the requirements of 34 CFR 682.211(c) for this period.

3. A continuation of the forbearance past this 3-month period will require supporting documentation and a written agreement from the borrower.

We will notify you if additional areas are designated. Questions and concerns may be addressed to the Department’s toll-free number at 1-800-433-7327, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST.


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