Hurricane Sandy Storm Relief for Homeowners

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Governor Cuomo Announces Homeowners Will Not Have to Pay Hurricane Deductibles

From the press release on the NY Governor's Website:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York homeowners will not have to pay potentially large hurricane deductibles on insurance claims stemming from damage caused by Monday’s storm.

The New York State Department of Financial Services has informed the insurance industry that hurricane deductibles should not be triggered for this storm. This will prevent coastal homeowners from having to pay deductibles in their insurance policies.


“Homeowners should not have to pay hurricane deductibles for damage caused by the storm and insurers should understand the Department of Financial Services will be monitoring how claims are handled,” Governor Cuomo said.

Many homeowners’ insurance policies for homes located in downstate areas contain hurricane deductibles based on a percentage of a property’s insured value. These deductibles typically range from one percent of a home’s insured value to five percent. So for example, with a five percent deductible on a home insured for $300,000, the homeowner would have to pay for the first $15,000 of damage.

Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, said, “We have informed the insurance industry that hurricane deductibles are not triggered because Sandy did not have sustained hurricane-force winds when it made land in New York. We will be working with insurers to help them respond as quickly as possible to homeowners who need to file claims. And we will be sending our mobile command center to hard hit areas to help consumers with insurance questions and problems.”

DFS urges homeowners who experienced property losses to file insurance claims with their insurers promptly and as soon as possible after losses occur. It is important to provide policy numbers and all information relevant to the loss. To best document losses, homeowners should to take photos or videos showing the extent of the losses before cleaning up damage.

Homeowners should make only necessary repairs to prevent further damage to property, like covering broken windows. Permanent repairs should not be made until after insurers have inspected losses. Damaged personal property should be kept until after an insurance settlement has been reached.

In addition, homeowners should cooperate fully with their insurer and keep a diary of all conversations with the insurance agent, including the agent’s name, as well as the times and dates of all calls or visits.

Homeowners are also reminded that flood damage is only covered by flood insurance, which is a federal program administered by FEMA. Homeowners who have flood insurance and have flood damage should make claims through that insurance.

DFS will be sending its mobile command center to hard hit areas to help consumers with insurance questions and problems.

DFS has activated a Disaster Hotline to answer consumer questions and help with problems. The Disaster Hotline number is 800-339-1759. It is staffed Monday – Friday from 8 AM – 8 PM and Saturday - Sunday from 9 AM – 4 PM.

Homeowners unable to resolve disputes with insurers can file complaints at http://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumer/fileacomplaint.htm.

HUD SECRETARY ANNOUNCES FORECLOSURE PROTECTION FOR CONNECTICUT STORM VICTIMS

From the HUD website:

WASHINGTON – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced HUD will speed federal disaster assistance to the State of Connecticut and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes due to Hurricane Sandy.

Yesterday, President Obama issued a disaster declaration for Fairfield, Middlesex, New Haven and New London Counties. The declaration also includes Mashantucket Pequot Indian Reservation. The President’s declaration allows HUD to offer foreclosure relief and other assistance to certain families living in these counties.

“Families who may have been forced from their homes need to know that help is available to begin the rebuilding process,” said Donovan. “Whether it’s foreclosure relief for families with FHA-insured loans or helping these counties to recover, HUD stands ready to help in any way we can.”

HUD is:

  • Granting immediate foreclosure relief– HUD granted a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and forbearance on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages;
  • Making mortgage insurance available– HUD's Section 203(h) program provides FHA insurance to disaster victims who have lost their homes and are facing the daunting task of rebuilding or buying another home. Borrowers from participating FHA-approved lenders are eligible for 100 percent financing
  • Making insurance available for both mortgages and home rehabilitation– HUD's Section 203(k) loan program enables those who have lost their homes to finance the purchase or refinance of a house along with its repair through a single mortgage. It also allows homeowners who have damaged houses to finance the rehabilitation of their existing single-family home; and
  • Information on housing providers and HUD programs -The Department will share information with FEMA and the State on housing providers that may have available units in the impacted counties.  This includes Public Housing Agencies and Multi-Family owners.  The Department will also connect FEMA and the State to subject matter experts to provide information on HUD programs and providers.

Read about these and other HUD programs designed to assist disaster victims.

HUD SECRETARY ANNOUNCES FORECLOSURE PROTECTION FOR NEW YORK STORM VICTIMS

From the HUD website:

WASHINGTON – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced HUD will speed federal disaster assistance to the State of New York and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes due to Hurricane Sandy.

Today, President Obama issued a disaster declaration for Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Richmond, Suffolk, and Queens counties. The President’s declaration allows HUD to offer foreclosure relief and other assistance to certain families living in these counties.

"Families who may have been forced from their homes need to know that help is available to begin the rebuilding process," said Donovan. "Whether it’s foreclosure relief for families with FHA-insured loans or helping these counties to recover, HUD stands ready to help in any way we can."

HUD is:

  • Offering the State of New York and other entitlement communities the ability to re-allocate existing federal resources toward disaster relief – HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME programs give the State and communities the flexibility to redirect millions of dollars to address critical needs, including housing and services for disaster victims. HUD is currently contacting State and local officials to explore opportunities to use the Department's CDBG and HOME programs in order to expedite the repair and replacement of damaged housing;
  • Granting immediate foreclosure relief – HUD granted a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and forbearance on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages;
  • Making mortgage insurance available - HUD's Section 203(h) program provides FHA insurance to disaster victims who have lost their homes and are facing the daunting task of rebuilding or buying another home. Borrowers from participating FHA-approved lenders are eligible for 100 percent financing;
  • Making insurance available for both mortgages and home rehabilitation – HUD's Section 203(k) loan program enables those who have lost their homes to finance the purchase or refinance of a house along with its repair through a single mortgage. It also allows homeowners who have damaged houses to finance the rehabilitation of their existing single-family home; and
  • Offering Section 108 loan guarantee assistance – HUD will offer state and local governments federally guaranteed loans for housing rehabilitation, economic development and repair of public infrastructure.
  • Information on housing providers and HUD programs -The Department will share information with FEMA and the State on housing providers that may have available units in the impacted counties.  This includes Public Housing Agencies and Multi-Family owners. The Department will also connect FEMA and the State to subject matter experts to provide information on HUD programs and providers.

Read about these and other HUD programs designed to assist disaster victims.

HUD SECRETARY ANNOUNCES FORECLOSURE PROTECTION FOR NEW JERSEY STORM VICTIMS

From the HUD website:

WASHINGTON – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced HUD will speed federal disaster assistance to the State of New Jersey and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes due to Hurricane Sandy.

Today, President Obama issued a disaster declaration for Atlantic, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union Counties. The President’s declaration allows HUD to offer foreclosure relief and other assistance to certain families living in these counties.

"Families who may have been forced from their homes need to know that help is available to begin the rebuilding process," said Donovan. "Whether it’s foreclosure relief for families with FHA-insured loans or helping these counties to recover, HUD stands ready to help in any way we can."

HUD is:

  • Offering the State of New Jersey and other entitlement communities the ability to re-allocate existing federal resources toward disaster relief – HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME programs give the State and communities the flexibility to redirect millions of dollars to address critical needs, including housing and services for disaster victims. HUD is currently contacting State and local officials to explore opportunities to use the Department's CDBG and HOME programs in order to expedite the repair and replacement of damaged housing;
  • Granting immediate foreclosure relief – HUD granted a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and forbearance on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages;
  • Making mortgage insurance available - HUD's Section 203(h) program provides FHA insurance to disaster victims who have lost their homes and are facing the daunting task of rebuilding or buying another home. Borrowers from participating FHA-approved lenders are eligible for 100 percent financing;
  • Making insurance available for both mortgages and home rehabilitation – HUD's Section 203(k) loan program enables those who have lost their homes to finance the purchase or refinance of a house along with its repair through a single mortgage. It also allows homeowners who have damaged houses to finance the rehabilitation of their existing single-family home; and
  • Offering Section 108 loan guarantee assistance – HUD will offer state and local governments federally guaranteed loans for housing rehabilitation, economic development and repair of public infrastructure.
  • Information on housing providers and HUD programs -The Department will share information with FEMA and the State on housing providers that may have available units in the impacted counties.  This includes Public Housing Agencies and Multi-Family owners. The Department will also connect FEMA and the State to subject matter experts to provide information on HUD programs and providers.

Read about these and other HUD programs designed to assist disaster victims.

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