Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) today called on banks and mortgage lenders to set up regional endorsement centers to help expedite insurance payments to victims of Superstorm Sandy.
Many residents whose homes were damaged during Superstorm Sandy are facing delays in obtaining insurance funding because their claim check is issued jointly to them and their bank or mortgage company. This requires the bank or mortgage company to also endorse the check before the homeowner can receive the funding. However, many banks require the homeowner to mail the insurance check to an out of state location in order to be endorsed. This causes significant delays in allowing homeowners to receive their insurance funds to make needed repairs to their homes.
Establishing regional endorsements centers would allow residents to visit a local site where their bank or mortgage lender could endorse their insurance claim check. This would significantly expedite the process and allow residents to receive insurance funds more quickly.
"After several months of living in damaged homes, in trailers on their property, or somewhere else entirely, the victims of Superstorm Sandy are desperate to restore their homes, put this storm behind them, and move on with their lives. They cannot do that until their bank or mortgage lender releases these much needed insurance funds. Numerous residents have contacted me about how slow, and in many cases unresponsive, their bank and/or mortgage company is in disbursing these funds. Nearly four months after the storm, that is unacceptable. Establishing regional endorsement centers would remove a major delay and help expedite disbursement of these funds to residents so they can repair their homes and move on with their lives as quickly as possible,” said Senator Fuschillo.
According to the New York State Department of Financial Services, servicers representing 95% of the New York market were holding approximately $208 million in insurance proceeds for residents as of late January. The Department estimates that those numbers are rising as more insurance checks are issued.