Flood Hazard Determinations

Flood hazard determinations must be performed before the closing of loans secured by buildings or mobile homes, including loans secured by commercial real estate. Lenders must document the determination using the Standard Flood Hazard Determination Form provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and retain that form for the life of the loan. The only exception to the rule requiring a determination before closing is when the permanent location of a mobile home will not be known until a later time. In that situation, the lender must ensure that the borrower informs the lender as soon as a permanent location for the mobile home is obtained, so that a flood hazard determination can be performed. If the mobile home is determined to be in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), then the borrower must be notified and the appropriate amount of flood insurance must be obtained. (Source: FDIC - 12 C.F.R. §§ 339.1, 339.6).



Flood Zone Certificates

Nationwide offers lenders a certification that determines whether or not a subject property is within a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Nationwide uses only State and Federally approved maps, as required by FEMA regulations, to ensure the flood determinations that we provide are 100% legal and accurate. Our Flood Zone Certificates are delivered on the official FEMA Standard Flood Hazard Determination form (SFHDF) and include a borrower’s notification letter. 

Nationwide offers Flood Zone Certificates on a one time or a Life-of-Loan basis. Each certificate includes Census Tract information at no additional charge. Life-of-Loan contracts include a monthly Flood Zone Report for the lender, listing all properties they contracted for service in the previous month that were in a Special Flood Zone Area, at no additional charge. Lenders can enjoy additional savings if they order their Life-of-Loan Flood Zone Certificates with Nationwide’s Basic Life-of-Loan Tax Service.



Manual Determinations

The flood determination industry is not regulated. The lending industry is. Flood determination companies are required to provide you a FEMA approved Special Flood Hazard Determination Form (SFHDF) with their findings, but how those determinations are made varies. We do manual research, not instant-hit computer determinations. Parcels are not points on a map, they have size and dimension. They can cross multiple flood zones, even city and county boundaries. Trust a person to do that research. 

We offer a premium product. We verify parcel to address with the county. An actual person locates the property using various resources, including county parcel data, pulls a FEMA flood map, and measures where the borrower’s property is on the FEMA map to determine the flood zone designation. If discovered to be in a Special Flood Hazard Area, then the researcher may pull aerial maps to look for structure location. We have free consultations and will re-look at any determination for free if the results are contested. 

Average turnaround time is under 60 minutes for ALL floods. If that isn't fast enough for you, we offer RUSH service for FREE. 

We understand that every company is looking to reduce costs within their organization. We also understand that borrowers do not want to pay more insurance than they have to, nor less than they need to. Only you can decide if the marginal savings of a computer determined flood certification is worth the risk of borrower losses on improperly insured properties due to inaccuracy.



N.F.D.A.  Certification

In 2005, Nationwide Real Estate Tax Service Inc. was one of the first companies certified in the National Flood Determination Association (NFDA). The National Flood Determination Association (NFDA) is a non-profit organization, recognized as the voice of the flood determination industry by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Federal Regulatory Agencies, and government sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and lending institutions and insurance companies. 

To qualify, Nationwide had to meet independently verified standards in: Accuracy, Business Recovery, Business Experience, Financial Viability, Flood Zone Determination Training Program, Quality Assurance, and Record Keeping.



Details of special flood hazard area

  • Zones of flooding determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

  • A Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) is any flood zone that begins with "A" or "V".

  • IMPORTANT: Everyone lives in a flood zone because all zones are flood zones.

  • SFHA zones require mandatory purchase of flood insurance in participating communities; all other zones are optional.

  • Current FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM's) must be used for flood zone determinations.

  • Zone "A" is the area within the 100-year flood plain - means there is a 1% chance of flooding in any given year - NOT flooding once every 100 years.

  • Typical property in a flood zone - has a 26% chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage.

  • Zone "V" are areas along coastlines where flooding may occur due to high
    velocity wave action.



H.M.D.A. / 2010 Census Tract Data

Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) and Census Tract information is included with every flood zone determination, at no extra charge for Nationwide customers, on FEMA Standard Flood Hazard Determination Form.