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Hurricane sandy assistance_guide_patrick_parker_realty


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Far too many New Jersey residents experienced the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath. This Guide, prepared by Patrick Parker Realty, is intended as a reference to those affected …

Far too many New Jersey residents experienced the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath. This Guide, prepared by Patrick Parker Realty, is intended as a reference to those affected by the Superstorm. The victims of Sandy face a wide variety of financial, housing and legal issues, and here we attempt to survey those issues that arise most often. Although this Guide cannot explore all issues completely or touch on every point that may arise, we have made considerable efforts to determine what issues are most relevant to the victims of the Hurricane and its aftermath. Please note that this information is current as of January 1, 2013 but by the time you read this material, the federal, state and county governments may have adopted additional measures to assist victims of Sandy.

We realize this Guide cannot answer all of the questions you undoubtedly have in the wake of the Superstorm. Rather, it is intended to identify the issues that many victims will need to consider, and to point you in the right direction. You may need to contact federal, state, city or county officials, local aid organizations, or even seek legal representation in order to obtain more specific information about your individual concerns.

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  • 1. A Guide toHurricane Sandy Assistance Offered by Patrick Parker Realty
  • 2. A Guide to Hurricane Sandy AssistanceA Special Message from Patrick ParkerFar too many New Jersey residents experienced the Key Contact Quick Listdestruction caused by Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath.This Guide, prepared by Patrick Parker Realty, is intended FEMA 1-800-621-FEMAas a reference to those affected by the Superstorm. The www.DisasterAssistance.govvictims of Sandy face a wide variety of financial, housing Small Business Assistance/Disaster Loan Applicationsand legal issues, and here we attempt to survey those that arise most often. Although this Guide cannotexplore all issues completely or touch on every point that NJ 2-1-1 Hurricane Response and Recovermay arise, we have made considerable efforts to www.nj211.orgdetermine what issues are most relevant to the victims NJHelps is a free and easy guide for you to determineof the Hurricane and its aftermath. Please note that this what programs and assistance for which you may beinformation is current as of January 1, 2013 but by the eligible.time you read this material, the federal, state and countygovernments may have adopted additional measures to Housing Assistanceassist victims of Sandy. realize this Guide cannot answer all of the questions American Red Cross 732-493-9100you undoubtedly have in the wake of the Superstorm. NJDOE Hotline for Families Displaced 609-292-2070Rather, it is intended to identify the issues that many For Disability Assistance 1-877-222-3737victims will need to consider, and to point you in the For Assistance with Pets 1-855-407-4787right direction. You may need to contact federal, state, Mental Health Hotline 1-800-985-5990 or 211city or county officials, local aid organizations, or even New Jersey Disaster Legal Services 1-888-541-1900seek legal representation in order to obtain more specific Additional Resourcesinformation about your individual concerns.
  • 3. FEMA Extends DeadlinesIt’s Not Too Late to Apply for Assistance What is an SBA Loan?Those who suffered losses due to Hurricane Sandy in The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is nowNew Jersey now have until January 30, 2013 to register offering disaster recovery loans to business owners,for disaster assistance through the Federal Emergency home owners and renters who suffered losses due toManagement Agency, FEMA and the New Jersey Office of Hurricane Sandy. The deadline to apply is January 30.Emergency Management have announced. SBA loans help businesses, homeowners and rentersPeople with storm losses in all counties can register recover by offering a low-interest loan alternative, anonline at via smartphone or opportunity to businesses to recoup losses as a result oftablet at or by calling (800) 621-3362. power outages and other loss of capital opportunities regardless of whether the business suffered propertyAt the request of the state of New Jersey, FEMA damage, and finally, homeowners and renters can applyextended the registration deadline beyond the original for loans to repair or replace personal property.60-day window due to the magnitude of the HurricaneSandy disaster. Interest rates for SBA loans range from 4.0% to 6.0%, depending on the availability of non-SBA credit. Interest rates for home recovery loans range from 1.688% to APPLY FOR FEMA DISASTER ASSISTANCE 3.375%, depending on the availability of non-SBA credit. Each SBA loan program has its own eligibility criteria andTips application process. However, as you prepare to submitBefore You Apply your paperwork, you will need to gather and prepareAfter You Apply similar documentation. Learn more here.Rumor ControlReplace Vital Documents For information about the disaster loan process emailUSPS Change of Address Online or call (800) 659- 2955.
  • 4. Appealing a FEMA Ineligibility LetterTurning That “No” Into a “Yes”If you have received notice from the Federal Emergency Applicants may appeal the decision if they findManagement Agency (FEMA) that you are ineligible for circumstances have changed from the time theydisaster assistance following Hurricane Sandy you may be registered. They may have discovered additional damageable to use additional documentation to turn that “no” to their property, or that they need housing help afterinto a “yes.” all. Renters may find upon returning that their residences are unlivable.“Every applicant has the right to appeal a decision,” saidFederal Coordinating Officer Gregory W. Eaton. “In fact, FEMA understands that circumstances after a disasterapplicants can appeal any FEMA decision. When you do can be fluid and changeable, you have the chance toso, you are asking us to review your case again, and we report those changes — changes that could make thewill gladly do that.” difference in becoming eligible for disaster assistance.Applicants who received a letter stating they are Effective appeal letters should follow these procedures:“ineligible” should read that document carefully. It will In the first paragraph, list the applicant’s full legal namelist some reasons the aid was denied and provide used on the aid application, along with Social Securityinstructions on filing an appeal. number and the FEMA case number. Include a personal phone number as well as a back-up phone numberSome common reasons an applicant may be determined where the applicant also can be reached, in addition to aineligible include: correct mailing address.• Insufficient storm-related damage. Write an explanation of events that provides evidence to• Adequate insurance coverage. support the appeal. Summarize changes in circumstances• Additional personal or insurance information needed or needs, additional damages to property discovered to complete the assistance evaluation process. after the registration was filed or higher-than-planned• Confusion about Social Security numbers, addresses costs for repairs, for example. or phone numbers. Include photocopies of receipts for materials and labor as well as up to three written bids for repair work if those costs exceed the award amount. Submitting repair estimates, receipts, statements or invoices helps applicants lodge effective appeals. Also keep in mind: The appeal letter must be submitted within 60 days of the date on the denial letter — by mail, or by fax at 1- 800-827-8112, or in person at a state/federal Disaster Recovery Center. Keep a copy of the appeal letter and supporting documentation as a record. Information on how and where to file an appeal is included with denial letters and in the “Help After a Disaster” booklet that is included with registration packets. Disaster Recover Centers One of the best sources of help with an appeal is your local Disaster Recover Center. A Disaster Recovery Center is a readily accessible facility or mobile office where applicants may go for information about FEMA or other disaster assistance programs, or for questions related to your case. Search for a Disaster Recovery Center
  • 5. How to Apply for an SBA LoanYou Must Register with FEMA First How to appeal an SBA Loan denial?First, register with FEMA to obtain a FEMA Registration Though criteria for SBA loans are less stringent that bankNumber by calling 1-800-621-3362. loans, denials may still be based on problems with credit history, or an inability to repay.Call the SBA Customer Service Center to obtain a loanapplication: 1-800-659-2955; You can also email the SBA You have the right to appeal an unfavorable Appeals go to the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA). Visit for more information.Finally, you can also apply in person at any FEMA DisasterRecovery Center and receive personal, one-on-one help 1. File your appeal, which is called a “request forfrom an SBA representative. To find a location, please reconsideration” by email, fax, mail, or SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659- 2. Appeals must be submitted within six months.2955 or email If filing by email, send the appeal to will need the following information when you apply: Send any communication as an attached document. Note that some filings emailed to OHA have not been1. Contact information; successfully transmitted due to the size or content of the2. Identity information (social security numbers / email. The sender is responsible for ensuring3. FEMA registration number) transmission. Call 202-401-8200 to confirm receipt.4. Deed or lease information, if available5. Insurance information, if applicable: name, address, If filing by fax, OHA’s fax number is (202) 205-7059. and policy number If filing by mail or delivery, send or drop off appeal to:6. Financial information (income, creditors’ names, payments, balances). Docketing Clerk, Office of Hearings and Appeals Small Business AdministrationFor more information, visit 409 Third Street SW, 8th Floorsheet-homeowners-andrenters Washington DC 20416.
  • 6. Requesting a Tax Assessment ReductionAre You Eligible for a Tax Reassessment?Taxes are based on the market value of your property, or First, you need to find out the name of your local taxsome percentage of the value, less any state deductions adjustor. A simple Google Search of the term ‘Taxor exemptions; the remaining amount is then multiplied Assessor Town Name’ should yield great results. Thisby the local millage rate. A millage rate of 7.5, for should also help you find where to address your letter,example, means you pay $7.50 for every $1,000 of which is generally to your Township.taxable value; if you had $100,000 in taxable value afterall adjustments were made, you’d pay an annual $750 Second, you should compose a letter requesting atax. reassessment due natural disaster citing a New Jersey Statute that allows for these kinds of contingencies.Since storm damage to a home can significantly drive Below is a template you can use to write to your Taxdown its value, not just due to the damage to that home, Assessor. Your letter should be specific to your situation.but also as a result of damage to approximate derelictproperties and the community at large. For example, if astorm wrecks the roof of a neighboring home, another VIEW A SAMPLE REASSESSMENT LETTERhome in the community could have its value negativelyimpacted. Or if you have invested in a second home in For Your Referenceone of the popular summer rental areas on the shore as Matthew S. Clark, CTAa means of income or plans for future retirement, the Monmouth County Tax Administratordemand for your area has plummeted. Phone: (732) 431-7404 | Fax: (732) 409-4890 mclark@co.monmouth.nj.usSo what do you do?It is worth submitting a letter to your local tax adjustor Monmouth County Board of Taxationrequesting a property tax adjustment as a result of major 1 East Main Streetdepreciation to the value of your property. Freehold, NJ 07728
  • 7. The New Housing ShortageNeed Housing?Residents displaced by Hurricane Sandy are having a hardtime finding a temporary place to live. Thousands ofpeople are calling real estate offices, looking to rentapartments or homes.Real estate agents say there are more people looking forrentals than units available. Agents are asking sellers tolet displaced people live in their vacant homes.About 960 rentals are on the market in Monmouth andOcean County, according to the Monmouth CountyAssociation of Realtors, but the number is fluid andprobably lower.Patrick Parker Realty is here to HelpPatrick Parker Realty has dedicated personnel on hand totake your calls if you have been displaced by HurricaneSandy. In addition, with the launch of our new website,we want you to know about our property search featurethat can email you rentals or homes that meet yourspecifications automatically once you register.Jennifer Pricci, a Highlands resident displaced by Sandy,was recently placed in a rental unit similar to what shewas already renting, in price and amenities. “I spoke to many realtors after the storm hit. If it weren’t for Patrick Parker and the diligence of his team I do not think I would have found a new home so quickly. I really got the sense that his office dropped everything to take care of me. While juggling so much in the wake of the storm, Patrick Parker Realty helped make this transaction as smooth as possible taking care of the many peripheral details so that I didn’t have to.” To register for automatic property email alerts:1. Go to and on the top right of the page next to PROPERTY ALERTS click “SIGN-UP”2. Click on Advanced Search3. Choose from the dropdown menu what kind of property you’re seeking such as “Single Family Residential” or “Rentals”4. You can refine your search by checking boxes in the “Select type…” area5. Choose the City in which you wish to search To choose multiple cities hold down “Ctrl” continuously as you make your selections. All cities you select will highlight. If you make a mistake you can simply unclick the city name but continue to hold the “Ctrl” key6. Select the county. Hold down “Ctrl” and select Monmouth and Ocean unless you are considering moving outside the immediate area.7. Enter your Low Price and Enter your High Price Tip: Disregard Zip8. Enter desired number of Bedrooms and Bathrooms Tip: Disregard Days Listed9. Choose how you’d like to Sort your results Tip: For Renters, Disregard Min Sq Ft10. Click “Next Step >”11. Complete the registration form by entering your First and Last name, email, phone number, email format, and select a password to log back into the system so you can save properties and return to them at a later date.12. Click “Save my Search”13. You will receive a notice that an email has been sent to the email address you registered for confirmation and verification instructions. You will also then be brought to a page with your search results. Click “Save Search.” If you need further assistance with the registration process Contact Us so we can help
  • 8. “Housing Needs” AssistanceFEMA “Individual & Households” Grants How Do I Apply for These Forms of Relief?The Individuals and Households Grants Program offers Apply online at, or by callingtwo forms of assistance for individuals and families who 1-800-621-3362.experienced property damage in the storm that is notcovered by insurance. You will need the following information when you apply: 1. Social security number. If you do not have one, yourWhat is “Housing Needs” Assistance? household still may be eligible for assistance if thereTemporary financial assistance may be available for is a minor child in the household who is a U.S. citizenthose who rented or owned, in order to rent a place to with a social security or a government provided housing unit when rental 2. Current and pre-disaster address and telephoneproperties are not available. Generally, emergency number where you can be reachedrental assistance is available without a prior inspection of 3. Insurance informationthe property for two months, and may be extended 4. Total household incomebased on a review of the application and inspection. The 5. A description of your lossesmaximum duration of assistance is 20 months. Amountof assistance varies based on geographic location and What Happens After I Apply For Assistance?size of the rental. You will receive a FEMA application number. FEMA will also mail you (1) a copy of your application; and (2) aFinancial assistance may be available to homeowners to guide after you apply for relief which will provide yourepair damage to their primary residence caused by the with additional information about the aid.disaster that is not covered by insurance. The goal is tomake the home safe, sanitary and functional (e.g., FEMA usually grants between one and three months ofpayment for a downed tree on the property that does rental assistance at a time. If applying for continuednot affect the safety of the house would not be covered). assistance must provide documentation showing thatIf home repairs exceed your FEMA grant allocation, you you are making efforts to obtain permanent housing atcan apply for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan. each recertification.Financial assistance may be available to homeowners toreplace their home destroyed in the disaster that is notcovered by insurance.To qualify you must show that:• You have losses in an area that has been declared a disaster by the President;• You filed for insurance benefits and the damage to your property is not covered or your insurance settlement is insufficient to cover your losses;• You have a valid Social Security Number;• The home at issue is in the declared disaster area, and is where you usually live and where you were living at the time of the disaster; and• You are not able to live in your home now, you cannot get to your home due to the disaster, or your home requires repairs due to damage caused by the disaster.View the Applicant’s Guide to the Individuals &Households ProgramDamages to a secondary or vacation home are notcompensable. However, if you own a secondary homethat is rented or occupied by a family member, you maybe eligible for assistance from the U.S. Small BusinessAdministration (SBA).
  • 9. Tax Deductions for VictimsHow to Get Catastrophe Tax DeductionThe tax code allows you to deduct a catastrophic loss (or It’s important to document any claims you make. If yourtheft) from your income. What’s a catastrophe? The IRS home is wiped out, it’s likely many of your records are asdefines it as “damage, destruction, or loss of property well — in which case, you’ll have to reconstruct recordsresulting from an identifiable event that is sudden, of your home’s value. One place to start would be withunexpected, or unusual.” comparable home values from a database such as your house was in Sandy’s path, you probably qualifyfor a catastrophe deduction If you’re dealing with a particularly large disaster claim, you might consider getting an appraisal of your home’sTo get a Catastrophe Tax Deduction you must itemize pre- and post-disaster value from a qualifiedyour deductions. The catastrophic loss deduction is professional. If the IRS challenges your loss, you’ll havelimited to amounts above 10% of your adjusted gross convincing proof on your side.income — the amount on line 37 of your 1040 form.Adjusted gross income is your total income, minus More Informationexemptions and certain adjustments, such as traditionalIRA contributions and student loan interest. Internal Revenue Service irs.govRemember that this is not a tax credit, which reduces Disaster resource guide for individuals and businessesyour taxes dollar-for-dollar. It’s a deduction, which Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbookreduces your taxable income, which, in turn, reduces Business Casualty, Disaster, and Theft Loss Workbookyour taxes. If you’re in the 25% tax bracket, for example,a $4,900 deduction would reduce your taxes by $1,225. Insurance Information Institute iii.orgThe deduction is more lucrative if you have no insurance Settling Insurance Claims after a Disaster— or if insurance refuses to pay. Tax Deductions for Unreimbursed Losses
  • 10. Tax Reprieve for VictimsIRS Grants Tax Reprieve to Sandy VictimsIRS regulations provide that whenever there is a federallydeclared disaster the IRS may postpone various tax filingdeadlines for taxpayers in the affected area by as muchas one year. This includes filing income tax returns andpaying taxes due.Such relief applies to:• any individual whose principal residence is located in a covered disaster area.• any business entity or sole proprietor whose principal place of business is located in a covered disaster area.• taxpayers not in the covered disaster area but whose records necessary to meet an IRS deadline are in such area.• any relief worker assisting in a covered disaster area.• the spouse of an affected taxpayer for purposes of filing a joint tax return.• any individual visiting the covered disaster area who was killed or injured as a result of the disaster.This relief is automatic — taxpayers need not take anyaction to qualify for it other than come within one of theabove categories. The IRS will abate any interest, late-payment or late-filing penalty that would otherwiseapply.The IRS has already postponed one deadline for Sandyvictims: It has granted taxpayers and tax preparersaffected by Hurricane Sandy until Nov. 7 to file returnsand accompanying payments normally due Oct. 31.The IRS also announced that it is in the process ofpostponing many more tax deadlines for taxpayersaffected by Hurricane Sandy or otherwise impacted bythe storm that hit the Mid-Atlantic and NortheasternUnited States. It will post these announcements on itsTax Relief In Disaster Situations Web page.Currently, federal disaster area declarations due toHurricane Sandy have been made for multiple counties inConnecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, NewHampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, RhodeIsland, Virginia, West Virginia, as well as the District ofColumbia. By visiting the Federal EmergencyManagement Agency (FEMA) website, you can easily findout if your county has been declared a federal disasterarea.If you live in the Sandy disaster area and receive apenalty notice from the IRS, you should call thetelephone number on the notice to have the IRS abateany interest and any late-filing or late-payment penaltiesthat would otherwise be due.
  • 11. Disclaimer: Patrick Parker Realty makes available this Guide for general purposesonly. It was compiled from numerous sources. Although we intend the informationcontained herein to be helpful, we cannot warrant that it is complete, particularlysince circumstances may change after this Guide is disseminated. Also, the Guide isintended to be general in nature, and does not provide information applicable to anyindividual’s unique factual situation. It is thus important to note that this Guide doesnot constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice.Acknowledgements: We acknowledge with gratitude the efforts of those who havecontributed to preparing this resource and bringing it to fruition: Patrick Parker RealtyBrokers, Agents and Partners, Inman News, NJAR, USA Today, The law firm ofMcCarter & English, LLP, PHANTOM POWER Marketing, FEMA, SBA, Google Images.624 Main Street . Bradley Beach, NJ 07720 . Phone: 732.455.5252 . Fax: 732.455.5250 .