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SBA Regional Administrator Visits Disaster Survivors And Advises That Loans Also Are For Homeowners And Renters

BIRMINGHAM, AL – May 16, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — For many Alabamians recovering from the recent tornadoes, completing a disaster loan application may be overwhelming, but it is an essential step in recovery.

“Many Alabamians have endured a tremendous amount of devastation and we want them to have access to every option for assistance and support,” said Cassius Butts, regional administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, who visited the disaster-damaged areas in Alabama on Friday. “Completing an SBA application opens the door to other types of disaster assistance.”

SBA disaster loans are not only available for businesses – the low-interest disaster loans can also help homeowners and renters rebuild and recover. No one is required to take out a loan, but the application must be completed to be considered for other assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, such as grants to cover personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, moving and storage expenses and medical and funeral costs.

Homeowners can borrow up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence. Homeowners and renters can borrow up to $40,000 to replace personal property lost in the disaster.

Business and nonprofit organizations of all sizes in all designated counties can apply for SBA loans to pay for disaster-related damages. Business owners can borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets.

Economic injury disaster loans are also available for ongoing business expenses to recover from the economic impact of a disaster. Economic injury disaster loans are available even if the businesses didn’t sustain physical damages.

Loan amounts and terms are determined on a case-by-case basis. Interest rates are as low as
2.563 percent for homeowners and renters, and as low as 4 percent for businesses and 3 percent for nonprofit organizations. Payment terms as long as 30 years are intended to make the loans affordable.

Registering with FEMA is the first step in seeking federal financial disaster assistance. It can be done online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 800-462-7585. For more information on disaster loans, call the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955, or visit the website at www.sba.gov. Survivors can also visit a disaster recovery center near them where an SBA representative can help survivors complete and submit loan applications and answer any questions.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.  If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.

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For more information on Alabama’s disaster recovery, visit www.fema.gov or http://www.ema.alabama.gov/.

For the joint Facebook page, go to www.facebook.com/AlabamaEMA. To receive Twitter updates: http://twitter.com/AlabamaEMA  or www.twitter.com/femaregion4.