Do Not Wait For Insurance Settlement; Apply Now For SBA Disaster Assistance

ATLANTA, Oct. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Survivors should not wait to settle with their insurance companies before applying for disaster loan assistance. The SBA encourages survivors of the heavy rain and flooding on Sept. 18, 2012 to return their completed applications, even if they have not settled with their insurance company.

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"Waiting to file an SBA application could cause unnecessary delays in receiving disaster assistance, and the victims may miss the application deadline," said Frank Skaggs, Director of SBA Field Operations Center East.

If a survivor does not know how much of their loss will be covered by insurance or other sources, 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.

"Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate.   Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property," said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA's Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.  SBA's customer service representatives are on hand at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program, explain the process, issue and help individuals complete their applications.

Businesses and non-profit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets," said Pravina Raghavan, SBA's New York district director.

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.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.  EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Interest rates are as low as 1.688 percent for homeowners and renters, 3 percent for non-profit organizations and 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years.  Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Individuals and businesses unable to visit the Center may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Loan applications can also be downloaded from the SBA's website at www.sba.gov. Completed applications should be returned to the Center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is December 10, 2012.  The deadline to return economic injury applications is July 10, 2013.

For more information about the SBA's Disaster Loan Program, visit our website at www.sba.gov.

Contacts: Michael Lampton
Phone: 404-331-0333

SOURCE U.S. Small Business Administration



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