Foreclosures poised to swamp Sandy-hit homeowners

October 29, 2013 02:57PM

Homeowners in Sandy-affected areas, already plagued by a host of problems, may soon be adding foreclosure to their long list of woes.

The continued cost of renovations and repairs, delays and contractor fraud have forced many residents of storm-damaged homes to shell out big bucks for temporary rentals that have gone far longer than expected and well beyond respective budgets. The extra cash, pulled away from mortgage payments, could lead to a wave of foreclosures as loan obligations, temporarily suspended by most banks after the storm, come to a close.

Condominium owners, in particular, are struggling against the cost of pricey rentals as they wait for repairs to be completed in their buildings. Belle Shore Condominiums in the Rockaways, for one, has hit a snag thanks to the condo board running out of money for needed repairs. In the meantime, the owners of units there must balance the costs of both temporary rentals and their respective mortgages.

Adding insult to injury, a number of hard-hit Sandy areas, including the Rockaways and Carnarsie, were already struggling against a wave of foreclosures before the storm.

“The level of complexity of their cases has definitely increased,” Keiko Cervantes-Ospina, a lawyer with the New York Legal Assistance Group, told DNAinfo. “It’s just a vicious cycle, and a year later you can imagine how frustrated people are because it’s overwhelming.” [DNAinfo]Julie Strickland