NY Governor Andrew Cuomo Urges Banks To Stop Holding Up $130 Million In Sandy Relief Payments
NY Governor Andrew Cuomo Urges Banks To Stop Holding Up $130 Million In Sandy Relief Payments Reuters/HuffPo
Posted: 02/12/2013 3:15 pm EST | Updated: 02/12/2013 4:47 pm EST
NEW YORK, Feb 12 (Reuters) - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called on the nation's four largest banks on Tuesday to speed up payment of more than $130 million in relief to homeowners who suffered damages when superstorm Sandy smashed into the northeast coastline last October.
The state's Department of Financial Services says hundreds of New York homeowners have complained that banks have been too slow to process paperwork or have placed too many conditions before disbursing funds.
While the banks have "substantial discretion" to release funds to homeowners who are current on their mortgages and in cases where damage was less than catastrophic, significant funding has been held up, Cuomo said.
"Families need to be able to return to their homes and the state economy, which took a hit from superstorm Sandy, needs the boost from spending on repairs," Cuomo said. "After insurance companies have sent homeowners checks to pay for repairs, the money should not be sitting with the bank because of red tape. Banks need to use maximum discretion to get money into homeowners' hands as quickly as possible," he said.
Cuomo said Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citibank and JP Morgan Chase are collectively holding more than 4,000 relief checks.