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Program Set Up To Keep Sandy Victims Out Of Foreclosure

Foreclosure - File / Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Foreclosure (credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A new program has been helping Superstorm Sandy victims keep their homes out of foreclosure.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, some residents of Long Island not only lost all of their belongings because of Sandy, but they are now struggling to make their mortgage payments.

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said through a new program, 150 homeowners are in the process of having their loans modified.

“In many cases, there are homeowners who have gotten through the worst of the crash,” Schneiderman said. “They’re making every possible effort to stay current on their mortgages, and Sandy was just one blow too many.”

The program puts together legal services and housing counselors with homeowners at risk of foreclosure.

Separately, Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week announced a review of banks and mortgage lenders who were allowed to delay payments as a result of damage from Superstorm Sandy, only to be asked to pay it all back in one lump sum.

The state Department of Financial Services has asked banks to allow homeowners more time to make back payments, and has been trying to determine whether banks have kept their promise not to use late payments as a result of Sandy to start foreclosure proceedings or damage homeowners’ credit ratings.

Some homeowners have reported receiving demands for lump sum payments, as well as pre-foreclosure notices stemming from missed payments that the banks had agreed to defer for Sandy victims.

While a minority of homeowners have received such notices, it was enough to prompt an investigation, state officials said. State Financial Services Supt. Ben Lawsky said a computer problem appears to be to blame.

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