"Laurie Nunziato will never forget wading through a knee-high flood to flee Superstorm Sandy with her family, as a storm surge claimed Staten Island’s Midland Beach.
Sump pumps at the ready, the family had attempted to ride out the storm in a desperate bid to protect their home.
Post-Sandy, owning that home has become a nightmare. The Nunziato family home, and another small property that
generated rental income, were rendered uninhabitable, with repairs estimated at a combined $135,000. The family has relocated to a Brooklyn rental.
Now the $7,000 bill for delayed mortgage payments has come due — and the insurance company still hasn’t come
“It’s hard enough to have lost our house, but then trying to do the right thing [and getting nowhere] . . . frustrating is not the word,” said Laurie Nunziato, 36. “Some days I feel like walking away.”
Joseph Sanders, Co-Director of the Homeowner Defense Project at SILS, warns that New York City will face a glut of new foreclosures if mortgage servicers continue their practice of forbearing payments for storm-battered homeowners, only to demand that homeowners catch up a few months later by paying a single lump sum. These lump sum payments come due while families are still reeling from the financial shock of being displaced from their homes and fronting enormous repair bills.
Lawyers say the only real hope for homeowners is longer forbearance periods — up to 12 months — and a chance to tack on those payments to the end of the loan.
“It’s got to be put on the back end of the loan, or it’s just a default bomb waiting to happen,” said Joseph Sanders of Staten Island Legal Services.
Read the entire article at the NY POST.