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Homeowners With Private Loans Stuck With Big Bills As Post Sandy Grace Periods Fade

A home along the shore in the Rockaways ravaged by Superstorm Sandy - Nov. 2, 2012 (credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A home along the shore in the Rockaways ravaged by Superstorm Sandy – Nov. 2, 2012 (credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — The Obama administration granted a one-year mortgage payment postponement to Superstorm Sandy victims with federally backed loans, on Friday.

However, for Sandy victims with private loans it’s a different story.

Naheed Akhter saw the restaurant that she worked at with her husband Manzoor, destroyed by Sandy. Repairs have cost the couple $75-thousand, a third of that was covered by insurance, the rest was borrowed from friends and family. But it may have all been for nothing, the Akhter’s recently received a letter from Bank of America threatening to foreclose on their home.

“Your mortgage is in default and your property bill will be referred to foreclosure,” a letter from the bank said.

Akhter told CBS 2’s Michelle Miller that with no restaurant and no job, paying bills has become impossible.

“I don’t have a job. Utility bills, credit card bills, everything, I cannot pay everything at once,” she said.

Lenders initially offered a three-month grace period following the storm but that period is ending and banks are looking for their money. Still, some say that the grace period was not enough.

“It’s a ticking time bomb. It’s simply not going to be realistic for homeowners who’ve been paying for repairs, paying for other housing expenses while they were dislocated from their own home, to save up all of their missed mortgage payments during that time,” explained Queens Attorney Franklin Romeo, director of the Homeowner and Consumer Rights project.

Ahkter told CBS 2 that Bank of America had failed to return a number of her calls. Following an inquiry by CBS 2 the bank agreed to defer Ahkter’s payments until June, when she will owe a $20-thousand lump sum payment. Ahkter said that she still fears losing her home.

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