Homeowners battle with banks over Sandy money

Many banks are stalling on releasing funds paid

Many banks are stalling on releasing funds paid out on flood insurance claims.

EDISON - Homeowners desperate to rebuild their homes after Sandy say their banks and the flood insurance system are overcomplicating the process.

Over the past several weeks, many homeowners have contacted Kane In Your Corner with complaints that their banks are stalling in releasing funds for emergency cleanup.

Like all flood insurance claims, checks are made out to a mortgage company. In the case of Denise Schultz, the check went to her mortgage company, Citibank.

According to Schultz, it's been more than three weeks, and the bank has yet to sign off on releasing the $20,000 she received from her insurance company after Sandy wiped out everything on the first floor of her home.

Schultz says the bank first wanted a signed contract with a home improvement company, along with an itemized breakdown of the entire repair project.

She says they also asked her for a letter from the company saying the money was for emergency funds. Schultz says this info can be found right there on the stub of the check.

The delay is also affecting contractors, some of whom are putting up their own money to get repair projects going while they wait on the banks to release the funds.

Citibank told Kane In Your Corner that all claims in excess of $20,000 are monitored to ensure the repairs to the property are completed, and that the first payment won't be released without receipt of the check and required documentation.

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