ATLANTA - The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding disaster victims in eligible West Virginia counties they should not wait to settle with their insurance companies before applying for disaster loan assistance. The SBA encourages victims of the severe storms, flooding, mudslides and landslides from March 12 through April 9, 2010 to return their completed applications, even if they have not settled with their insurance company. Waiting to file an SBA application could cause unnecessary delays in receiving disaster assistance.
“Victims are urged to complete and return their SBA disaster loan application by the May 28 deadline,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA Field Operations Center East. “SBA is here to help you with your recovery efforts. I encourage anyone who has not completed their disaster loan application to do so and return it as quickly as possible,” Skaggs added.
If a victim does not know how much of their loss will be covered by insurance or other sources, the SBA will consider making a loan for the total loss up to its loan limits, provided the borrower agrees to use insurance proceeds to reduce or repay their SBA loan.
Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. Businesses of any size and most private non-profit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, inventory, machinery and equipment and other business assets.
For small businesses, and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.
The SBA may increase a loan up to 20 percent of the total amount of disaster damage to real estate and/or leasehold improvements, as verified by SBA, to make improvements that lessen the risk of property damage by future disasters of the same kind.
Interest rates can be as low as 2.625 percent for homeowners and renters, 3 percent for non-profit organizations and 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years. The SBA sets loan amounts and terms based on each applicant’s financial condition.
Homeowners and renters must call the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at 800-621-FEMA (3362) to receive all forms of disaster assistance for which they may qualify.
Anyone unable to visit the Centers may obtain applications and program information by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for people with speech or hearing disabilities), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Business loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA website at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
Victims may visit SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ to apply for disaster loans.
The deadline for physical loan applications is May 28, 2010; the deadline for economic injury applications is Dec. 29, 2010.