Family to begin rebuilding home 7 years after Superstorm Sandy

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MIDDLETOWN -

Nearly seven years after Superstorm Sandy, a family from Middletown who got Kane in their Corner is finally starting to rebuild, but their plans were almost derailed until state lawmakers extended the state’s mortgage forbearance program for Sandy victims last week.

“We would have had to say, ‘Sorry our house is in foreclosure, we can't rebuild after all this time,’” says Carol Ferraioli. “That would have been sad, that would have been horrific. And it was a big worry.”

News 12 New Jersey’s Walt Kane has been chronicling the journey of Carol and Jim Ferraioli for several years now. Their home was badly damaged during Sandy, and they qualified for a FEMA reconstruction grant. But after elevating the home, their contractor walked off the job, leaving the house on temporary pilings, where it remained for years.

PODCAST: Listen to an extend conversation with Jim and Carol in a companion podcast for News 12 Talks New Jersey:

The family also encountered a serious problem with their mortgage company, Mr. Cooper. Like many Sandy survivors, the Ferraiolis fell behind on mortgage payments, so they enrolled in a state program that gave Sandy victims the right to delay mortgage payments for two years. The mortgage company insisted they did not have to honor the law, however, and even initiated foreclosure proceedings. After a Kane In Your Corner investigation in 2017, the mortgage company agreed to obey the law and ceased foreclosure action.

RELATED: Sandy contractor convicted of fraud out of jail before victims are back home 
RELATED: New Jersey marks $50M for Sandy victims still not home yet

In 2018, the Ferraiolis finally got a break when their contractor, Jamie Lawson, pleaded guilty to defrauding Sandy homeowners. That opened the door for the family to qualify for supplemental grant money to replace the money that was taken. Earlier this year, permits were approved and the old home was torn down, the first step in the rebuilding process. But with the forbearance program set to expire on July 1, the Ferraiolis had no idea if they would be able to continue until state lawmakers voted last week to extend the program until 2021.

“It gives us definitely more time,” Carol Ferraioli says. She says the house should be finished by this time next year, and her goal is to be caught up on her back mortgage payments by the time that happens. As for her plans for the new home, she says the first thing she intends to do is “have a big party.”

 

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