Federal Disaster Assistance: Navigating the Process

A total of 27 Tennessee counties have been declared disaster areas by the federal government and the number continues to rise. FEMA funds will be available to those in the affected areas by registering online or over the phone. You will need Social Security numbers of all family members (including children).  Click here and follow instructions and/or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or local (615) 790-5725.

FEMA will send someone to your property to assess damage. Be sure to document the damage and clean up efforts taking lots of pictures and/or video. There should be federal money available for hotels, temporary housing, repairs, construction costs, and even debris removal. Save all receipts as detailed documentation will be necessary to receive insurance reimbursement, to apply for grants and loans, and to take casualty tax write-offs for losses due to flood damage.

Contact your homeowner’s insurance as well. Tell them you wish to file a claim even if you think you don’t have flood insurance. You are entitled to have your situation reviewed by an adjuster.


Leadership and Perseverance in the Face of Disaster: Bone McAllester Norton Clients Rise Above

When more than six feet of flood water rushed into two of Nashville’s key business enterprises destroying property and shutting down operations, Ajax Turner President Scott Turner and Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center President Colin Reed did not retreat.

Instead, the leaders focused on the immediate crisis and number one priority of ensuring individual safety and salvaging property and next got down to the business of mapping out the shortest road to recovery.  Three weeks after the flood, Ajax Turner is reloading its inventory and making customer deliveries from a temporary location and Gaylord expects the hotel to be back in business before the end of the year.

National Flood Insurance Program: What Lenders Should Know

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created by the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968.

 Two subsequent laws, the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 and the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994, have made the purchase of flood insurance mandatory for Federal or Federally-related financial assistance for acquisition or construction of buildings in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs).

Flood insurance is mandatory for buildings in FEMA-identified high-risk flood areas, referred to as SFHAs.  Whenever you make, increase, extend or renew a mortgage, home equity, home improvement, commercial or farm credit loan in an SFHA, you must require flood insurance. You may require flood insurance on all loans, even those outside SFHAs.

Ensure that flood insurance coverage is maintained for the term of all the loans on a building. Escrowing flood insurance premiums can help make sure you meet this requirement, and it helps protect you and your borrowers from uninsured flood losses.

Know the amount of flood insurance coverage to require. The required coverage is the lesser of the following: (i) the maximum amount of NFIP flood insurance coverage available, (ii) the outstanding principal balance of the loan, or (iii) the value of the building only. (Land and land values are not covered under the NFIP.)

Notify borrowers in writing of the requirement to buy flood insurance for new and existing loans. If you determine that a home or business is in an SFHA before loan closing, you are required to notify the borrower within a reasonable time prior to the loan closing. If you determine that an existing loan for a home or business is in a SFHA, you are also required to notify the borrower within a reasonable time.

There is no waiting period for flood insurance to go into effect when it is purchased in connection with making, increasing, renewing or extending a loan. In most other instances, there is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance goes into effect.

For more information about the mandatory purchase of flood insurance requirements, and other related topics, read the .

Flood insurance and the mandatory purchase laws help protect your investments as well as your borrowers’ against uninsured flood losses. Floods can occur in unexpected areas of the country. Make sure you and your borrowers are protected from uninsured flood losses for their homes, businesses and belongings by following these requirements.


After The Flood

Bone McAllester Norton’s offices in Nashville and Hendersonville remain open and are fully operational, having escaped damage from the recent flooding in Middle Tennessee.  Many of our attorneys, employees, clients, friends and neighbors were not as fortunate. Some have been left homeless or had their property substantially damaged, and the flood has cost a number of people their lives. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with our clients, families and friends throughout this tragedy.
As the flood victims begin to assess the damage and put their lives, homes and businesses back together, our firm is here to help.  The following articles are designed to provide information for dealing with immediate and longer term recovery needs.  If there are specific topics you would like addressed in future articles, please contact Jessica Herndon.
For those facing business or personal losses who have questions following the flood, we hope you will not hesitate to contact us.