FEMA created the Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) and Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill (LOMR-F) processes to correct and change the flood maps (FIRMs and FHBMs) to reflect actual ground surveys or better topographic mapping. The Letters are issued by FEMA officially removing lots, portions of lots, or structures from the SFHA or changing the boundaries of the SFHA. These letters are dated and sent to the applicant and are also filed with the municipality or county within which the property is located. In the case of a LOMA, the property or building site is removed from the high-risk flood zones designated by the letters A or V, and placed in the less risk-prone flood zones designated as B, C, or X, which are not considered to be SFHAs.
When a LOMA or LOMR-F is issued removing a building site or lot from the SFHA, the mandatory insurance purchase requirement is lifted. However, the lender always has the option of requiring the purchase of flood insurance as a condition of the loan. For example, the proposed site might be just a few inches above the BFE, so the lender feels that there is still a threat of flood damage to the property -their interest. On the plus side, once the flood zone has been changed to the B, C, or X zone, the building may qualify for a Preferred Risk Policy, the least expensive flood insurance policy available.
Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA): This is used to amend the effective flood map by letter and establishes a property's location in relation to the SFHA based on detailed elevation surveying and/or topographic mapping of natural conditions. If the entire property or the building site, including the lowest floor of the building is above the BFE, FEMA can amend the FIRM or FHBM by letter to remove the lot or building from the SFHA.
Letter of Map Revision Based on FiJI (LOMR-F): When fill has been placed on the property to raise the lot or building site to an elevation that is above the BFE, FEMA can revise the FIRM or FHBM by letter to remove the raised area from the SFHA. This is a man-made change to the floodplain.