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A USDA spokesperson tells the Richfield Mall: “In the event of a Presidential Emergency Declaration, any individual with a USDA Rural Development Single Family Housing Direct loan who is unable to make their payments under criteria included in the declaration may be eligible for moratorium assistance.”

For information, contact the USDA Rural Development servicing center at 1-800-414-1226.

The USDA describes a moratorium as: “A moratorium on USDA home loans provides immediate but temporary assistance by suspending borrower payments for up to 24 months. USDA may consider and grant a moratorium when an event is deemed temporary and beyond the borrower’s control.”

This option may have serious repercussions for homeowners, and speaking with an official representative is a must. Negative impacts of a moratorium may include negative credit ratings, higher payments later, and so forth.

Another USDA representative suggested that further assistance may be forthcoming. They suggested that homeowners, who are not already in distress, wait and see.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development — which fulfills similar functions in urban/suburban areas as USDA does in rural parts of the country — recently unveiled more generous and expansive assistance for homeowners.