The U.S. Small Business Administration urges residents and business owners in Alabama affected by the severe storms, tornadoes, high winds and flooding that occurred on April 16 through May 31, 2011 to return their disaster loan applications for physical damage by July 18th.
"The recent extension of the filing deadline gives survivors in the declared counties more time to complete the application process," said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA Field Operations Center East in Atlanta. "Currently, we have approved 933 loans for $52,186,600 for individuals and businesses in Alabama.
"Many people may be concerned about getting a loan during these difficult economic times. It's important to note that homeowners and renters who apply for an SBA disaster loan and are approved are under no obligation to accept the loan. They can choose to use all or part or none of the approved amount. By applying for the loan, they give themselves an important financial option in the recovery process," added Skaggs.
Disaster survivors should not wait to settle with their insurance company before applying for disaster loan assistance. Residents with severe damages and mortgages may qualify for some form of refinancing. The SBA encourages homeowners, renters and businesses affected by the Alabama storms to keep their options open and apply now.
Survivors in the declared counties are urged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 800-462-7585. Those who received SBA loan applications are encouraged to return them as soon as possible or before the July 18th deadline even if they do not want a loan. If the SBA is not able to approve a home loan, the individual may be referred to FEMA for possible grant assistance. Homeowners and renters may return the completed SBA application to a Disaster Recovery Center.
SBA offers disaster loans up to $200,000 for primary residences, $40,000 for personal property (including automobiles) and $2 million for businesses and non-profits for physical losses. Interest rates are as low as 2.563% for homeowners and renters, 3% for non-profits and 4% for businesses. To be considered for assistance, survivors need to apply by the deadline.
More information about the loan application process can be obtained 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. ET or by sending an e-mail to email@example.com. Loan applications can be downloaded from www.sba.gov. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
Those affected by the disaster may also apply for disaster loans electronically from SBA's website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.
The deadline for physical loan applications is extended to July 18th; the deadline for economic injury applications remains January 30, 2012.