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A new law in one northeastern state will help the victims of Hurricane Sandy and could be a stepping stone for aid to others in coastal areas. For those victims who are still having a hard time paying their mortgages, this law could keep them out of foreclosure. People whose homes were damaged by the storm can request a payment delay for as much as two years to give them time to get back on their feet and have their homes repaired. The new law could set a precedent for people in other coastal states that are prone to hurricane damage, such as Florida.

Applications for this mortgage forbearance program are accepted by the Department of Community Affairs in their state. It works by pausing loan payments on homes that were damaged by the storm. The payments can be delayed for up to two years, and then tacked back onto the end of the mortgage. It will help those who have been struggling since 2012 to repair the damages to their homes and catch up on their loans.

In order to qualify for the program, a person’s mortgage loan must be on a property damaged by the hurricane. The home has to be the person’s primary residence. The residence also must be in need of repair from construction or elevation that is needed because of that damage.

Although this bill will not affect Florida residents, it could be an example for new legislation in this state. Any homeowner in the state of Florida who is facing foreclosure can contact a knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer to discuss available alternatives to losing their home. Different types of bankruptcy can stop foreclosure proceedings, and these attorneys can show their clients how.

Source: nj.com, “Help on the way for Sandy victims struggling to fend off foreclosure“, MaryAnn Spoto, March 31, 2017