Mortgage mess for Superstorm Sandy victims in New Jersey

Monday, October 16, 2017 06:02PM
Nine Pineda reports on a post-Superstorm Sandy mortgage mess

BRICK, New Jersey - It's been nearly five years since Superstorm Sandy pummeled the Tri-State area, but for one family, the road to recovery has been a nightmare.

They were forced to leave their home but still pay the mortgage, so they called Nina Pineda and Seven On Your Side to help them out of the mess.

Tracy and David Maltby were almost finished with repairs when they had to move out to raise the ranch for new post-Sandy building codes in New Jersey.

"We had to get out of our house," David said. "We had to rent a home and pay our mortgage at the same, and the cost of repairs, it's immense."

They were relieved to qualify for New Jersey's Department of Community Affairs forbearance program signed into law by Governor Chris Christie. It gave eligible homeowners still out of their homes due to Superstorm Sandy a break in paying home loans for months.

"This gives us a forbearance," Tracy said. "Allows us to put our mortgage on hold at least until we are back in the house."

The Maltbys got their approval April 24, sending it to their lender, Ditech the next day.

"We uploaded the certificate and put it on Ditech's website," Tracy said.

But every single month since, the Maltbys have been mistakenly billed for their mortgage.

"We started getting notices we were delinquent," Tracy said. "We got certified mail that they were threatening foreclosure. It's just been a nightmare dealing with it."

In August their lender finally acknowledged the forbearance, but still sent this delinquency notice demanding more than $8,000 in back mortgage.

"That should be zero," Tracy said.

In the meantime, their credit scores nosedived.

"We are in severe delinquency, they won't stop reporting us," David said.

7 On Your Side contacted Ditech headquarters asking why the storm victims were not getting the benefits afforded to them by law.

"They extremely apologized over and over, they are making everything correct the way they're supposed to be," Tracy said.

The mortgage was finally on hold. The credit bureaus were also informed the Maltbys were never a day or dollar late and at last there was some breathing room for this Sandy soaked family.

"Thank you 7 On Your Side, no one did anything until you got involved," Tracy said.

A Ditech representative told 7 On Your Side they reached out to their customers, apologized and that they reached a "mutual understanding." As for the Maltbys, they hope to be back in their home by Christmas.

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