NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Sen. Charles Schumer met with victims of superstorm Sandy on Sunday morning.
New York’s senior senator called on banks to extend their “payment delay period” known as a forbearance period and provide flexible payback plans to help storm victims recover without bankrupting themselves.
Following Sandy, banks allowed homeowners to delay mortgage payments for three to six months, but that window is set to expire.
Schumer said many banks are now demanding an immediate lump-sum payment from homeowners.
“The banks should simply extend the forbearance period to at least six months and longer. Homeowners who lost everything in this storm should get a break from the mortgage payments while they’re picking up and reassembling the pieces. It’s hard enough to rebuild without having to worry about foreclosure,” Schumer said.
Schumer said it is critical to these families that they be given more time to pay their mortgages.
“No one is asking the banks to do something that’s against their own financial interests. Just remember, foreclosure’s very expensive to banks,” said Schumer.
The families Schumer met with from New York City and Long Island joined in the call for an extension of the payment period and for a payment plan to avoid paying six months at once.
“The front of the home, it looks somewhat like a movie facade – the front is intact but the entire back has been essentially blown out,” Massapequa resident Peter Chaplin told reporters including WCBS 880′s Monica Miller.
Chaplin said he’s currently paying about $6,000 a month in rent on a temporary house and his mortgage.
“We’ve had multiple mortgages, paid them off ahead of time. And this time, we’re reaching out and they need to look beyond the business model of making money and collections,” he told Miller.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently extended to payment delay period another 90 days and Schumer has called on other lenders to follow suit.
On Saturday, Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm also called for banks to provide mortgage relief to Sandy victims.
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