DCLID: Disaster Letter-98-12
Summary: Ice storm in Vermont.
February 24. 1998
Disaster Letter 98-12: Ice storm in Vermont.
Dear Guaranty Agency Director:
We have learned that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has amended its major disaster declaration for Vermont so that the counties that previously qualified under FEMA's "Public Assistance" Program (aid to state and local governments) now qualify forfederal assistance under FEMA's "Individual Assistance" program because of a severe ice storm that began January 6. Those counties are: Addison, Chittenden, Franklin, Grand Isle, Orange, and Windsor counties. Guaranty agencies and lenders
are authorized to use the Department's disaster-related forbearance policies to assist all FFEL borrowers who live in those counties and need assistance because of the ice storm.
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 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.
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, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, and the Student Loan Servicing Alliance.
Chief, Policy Section
Federal Family Education Loan Program
Policy Development Division
Student Financial Assistance Programs