Help for Sandy victims in the Rockaways

Seven On Your Side
January 4, 2013 2:32:36 PM PST
Sticking it out in the Rockaways is no easy task right now. Just getting around is hard, and it's even harder if you have no car because it was flooded and your leaseholder pirates part of your insurance refund. It was high time for us to bail out these Brooklyners.

Gabrielle and her firefighter husband both grew up in Brooklyn, and despite many hardships are sticking out Sandy's aftermath at home with their four kids. The bay totaled their finished basement and sent both cars afloat.

"All of the businesses that we would support aren't up and running yet. The deli isn't up. The bank isn't up. The bakery isn't up. The supermarket isn't up. We've all been in Brooklyn every single day, I didn't even realize until recently just how few us of make it here on a day to day basis," Gabrielle said.

One of their biggest losses was a brand new Jeep. Just three months ago, they put down a whopping 10 grand deposit down on it, all to lower the per month lease bill.

After the storm, Gabby's insurance company paid off the full amount of the car and the money went to her leasing company, Hann Financial Service Corp.

"It was clarified that they would be writing a check to the lien holder and not to us," she said.

But what about her 10k deposit? Gabby says Hann Financial told her it would be keeping that too.

"Extremely frustrating because it was a considerable amount of money. In the whole scheme of things, I can't believe I have to focus on this," she said.

For weeks, Gabby says, she called the leasing company.

"I didn't get a call back until I contacted you all," Gabby said.

So we called the leasing company, and that's when the couple's luck started to change.

She got the full deposit, minus the taxes and fees, just in time to celebrate the New Year, and like the family's card says, "all you need is love and a little help from your friends."

A Hann Financial Corp. representative apologized for their mistake, acknowledging Gabby and her husband should have received their deposit back. The big takeaway: most experts would probably say 10 grand is too much to put down on a lease. The tip with leases - try to put as little down as you can.



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