DCLID: Disaster Letter-97-15
Summary: Liberalized forbearance policy for parts of North Dakota that have been severely impacted by recent flooding.
April 25, 1997
SUMMARY: Liberalized forbearance policy for parts of North
Dakota that have been severely impacted by recent
Dear Guaranty Agency Director:
On April 8, we notified you that President Clinton had designated
NORTH DAKOTA as a disaster area on April 7 because of severe
winter weather and flooding that began February 28. On April 24,
we wrote to Student Loans of North Dakota in response to its April
23 letter to us describing the extraordinarily difficult circumstances
that many North Dakotans have experienced because of the flooding.
To provide additional assistance to borrowers in North Dakota
during the immediate situation, we have modified our disaster
forbearance policy by allowing loan holders to grant an
administrative forbearance to certain borrowers in North Dakota
without the requirement that the borrower contact the loan holder to
request the forbearance. We are taking that action because the
severity and extent of the flooding in North Dakota warrants that
modification. The modified forbearance policy applies to the areas
in North Dakota in which the U.S. Postal Service has been unable to
pick up or deliver mail.
We have been notified by Student Loans of North Dakota that the
following counties in North Dakota are areas in which the U.S. Post
Office has been unable to maintain normal postal service: CASS,
GRAND FORKS, PEMBINA, RICHLAND, TRAILL, and WALSH.
Loan Holders may administratively grant a 3-month forbearance to
borrowers who reside in those counties, retroactive to February 28,
without an actual request from the borrower. After the 3-month
disaster forbearance period has elapsed and normal delivery of mail
resumes, the Department encourages loan holders to grant
discretionary forbearances under 34 CFR 682.211(c) to those
borrowers who still need assistance.
Lenders and guaranty agencies may contact 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 for further updates. This letter has also been
sent to each regional office of the Department, plus the National
Council of Higher Education Loan Programs, Inc., the Consumer
Bankers Association, and the National Association of Student
Financial Aid Administrators.
Pamela A. Moran
Chief, Loans Branch
Policy Development Division
Student Financial Assistance Programs