From the Daily News:
Hurricane Sandy's helping turn Queens into foreclosure city.
The storm-slapped borough saw foreclosure notices spike to 566 in April - a whopping 1,186% increase compared with last April - as hobbled homeowners could not keep up with their mortgage payments, a new report from RealtyTrac shows.
"Sandy is a huge factor," Christie Peale, executive director of the Center for New York City Neighborhoods, which helps at-risk homeowners, told the Daily News.
"People do not have enough money to rebuild their homes, pay for temporary housing and keep up with their mortgage payments."
Peale said she has been seeing an uptick in preforeclosure notices in Howard Beach, Rosedale and Far Rockaway.
"Hundreds of homes are not saleable," said Emmett Laffey, CEO of real estate brokerage Laffey Fine Homes, which has offices in Queens.
Peale urged homeowners hurt by Sandy to seek out programs that might provide some relief.
"Call 311 to get connected to the Center for New York City Neighborhoods," she said. "We have housing counselors and lawyers who can help."
Other factors are adding to Queens' foreclosure woes. The borough was already the epicenter of the city's foreclosure crisis before Sandy hit.
Queens' courts had experienced an especially big backlog in foreclosures following the robo-signing scandal.
Now, in the wake of the national mortgage settlement that laid down guidelines for the foreclosure process, the wheels are turning again.
Neighborhoods hit hard by foreclosure notices in April included Rosedale, Flushing and St. Albans.