This is the money management category in which we receive the greatest number of questions and requests for assistance. Again, because every situation is different, the information and recommendations made are designed to be of benefit to the greatest number of survivors.


Every credit purchase and loan contract, from a basic credit card to a mortgage contains the same basic repayment language:

“By signing … you agree to pay us the Amount Financed, Finance Charge, and any other charges in this contract according to the terms and conditions... If more than one person signs as a buyer, you agree to keep all the promises in this agreement even if the others do not.”

Generally speaking, the terms specify payment either in full or partial payments on a regular monthly basis.


When physical damage occurs to an item that is used as collateral for a loan – for example your vehicle was last seen under a giant oak tree - most loan contracts contain language such as:

“If the [item] is a total loss, you must use the insurance proceeds to pay what you owe us. If your insurance … doesn’t pay all you owe, you must pay what is still owed.”


Regardless of whether or not you have insurance that covers loss or damage to items purchased via installment payments, failure to pay all that you agreed to pay, could result in the lender turning your account over to a collection agency, filing a law suit against you, and/or taking the item and selling it in order to get back the money they lent you to make the original purchase. Examples of items often purchased via installment agreements include, but are not limited to:

  • Vehicles
  • Appliances
  • Furniture
  • Electronics


Any change to the current terms and conditions of any debt you currently owe is at the discretion of the creditor. In general you must contact each creditor individually if you want to request:

  • Interest rate adjustment
  • Late payment penalty fee waiver
  • Hardship payment deferral


The one known exception is the following notice of immediate and temporary foreclosure relief on FHA-insured home mortgages.

“Immediate Foreclosure Relief from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) may be available for Texas residents. HUD is granting a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and forbearance on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages. There are approximately 200,000 FHA-insured homeowners living in these impacted counties that may be eligible. HUD is also offering longer-term recovery assistance to survivors and impacted communities. For more information, visit HUD’s website.”


As mentioned before, check out all of the special waivers, assistance, and other programs being made available from Federal Agencies. These are listed at: