×

UPDATE 2-Over 200,000 Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac-backed homes in Harvey's path

(Adds agency figures)

NEW YORK, Aug 28 (Reuters) - More than 200,000 homes with mortgages guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are in areas hit by Hurricane Harvey, the most powerful storm in Texas in more than 50 years, the mortgage agencies said on Monday.

These figures were preliminary as more homes will likely be impacted this week as Harvey is forecast to bring more flooding to these areas. Inspectors have not been able to assess the homes.

"While the situation on the ground remains uncertain, areas impacted are subject to change. Based on the rainfall totals and flooding reports we are expanding this impact zone," Fannie said in a statement.

On Monday, Fannie Mae said it guarantees loans on some 36,000 homes in Harvey's initial impact area with about $5.1 billion in unpaid principal balance.

Freddie Mac said it has so far counted about 167,000 homes whose mortgages it secured in the 18 counties affected by Harvey.

Under Fannie Mae's disaster relief guidelines, a mortgage servicer may suspend or reduce a homeowner's mortgage payments for up to 90 days if it believes a natural disaster has adversely affected the value and habitability of the property.

The same criteria can apply if a natural disaster has temporarily had an impact on the homeowner's ability to make mortgage payments.

Freddie Mac said it would provide mortgage relief to borrowers whose homes have not been impacted but whose places of employment have been impacted by the storm.

Harvey has resulted in the death of at least two people and heavy flooding is forecast for several more days. More than 30,000 people are expected to be placed temporarily in shelters, FEMA Administrator Brock Long said.

"Please note that, until the storm and flooding are over, we will not be able to fully assess the impact and determine which properties have actually sustained damage," Freddie Mac spokeswoman Lisa Tibbits said in a statement.

In 2005, then Texas Governor Rick Perry requested about $2 billion in federal aid for the state including $320 million for home repairs in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. (Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)