By Kevin Shannahan
Natchitoches area homeowners may have recently received notices from their mortgage lenders requiring them to get flood insurance as their home is now considered to be in a flood plain. The Natchitoches Board of REALTORS held an educational seminar this Tuesday at the Freedom Life Church for local homeowners to answer questions and address their concerns.
The problem was a result of the Federal Emergency Management Agency redrawing flood maps last July. These maps are used by insurance companies and mortgage lenders to determine whether or not a property is in a flood plain and needs to have flood insurance. The redrawing resulted in expanded floodplains taking in larger areas than in the older maps. The requirement to have flood insurance can add a significant cost to a mortgage payment as well as decrease the value of the property. The insurance may not actually be needed.
Teaching homeowners about their options, the Board of REALTORS seminar showed community members how to obtain a Letter of Map Amendment, or LOMA, that removes a structure or property from a floodplain map. This letter, when submitted to the lender, shows that the property is not actually in danger of flooding. This can save the homeowner from having to purchase increasingly expensive flood insurance as well as help preserve the value of his or her property. Brad Ferguson, President of the Natchitoches Board of REALTORS, and his fellow REALTORS invite local homeowners who have any questions to contact any of them for help.