A Guide toHurricane Sandy Assistance Offered by Patrick Parker Realty www.patrickparkerrealty.com
A Guide to Hurricane Sandy AssistanceA Special Message from Patrick ParkerFar too many New Jersey residents experienced the Table of Contentsdestruction caused by Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath.This Guide, prepared by Patrick Parker Realty, is intended FEMA Extends Deadlines . . . 3as a reference to those affected by the Superstorm. The Apply for FEMA Disaster Assistancevictims of Sandy face a wide variety of financial, housing About SBA Loansand legal issues, and here we attempt to survey those Appealing a FEMA Ineligibility Letter . 4issues that arise most often. Although this Guide cannotexplore all issues completely or touch on every point that How to Apply for an SBA Loan . . 5may arise, we have made considerable efforts to How to Appeal an SBA Loan Denialdetermine what issues are most relevant to the victimsof the Hurricane and its aftermath. Please note that this Requesting a Tax Assessment Reduction . 6information is current as of January 1, 2013 but by thetime you read this material, the federal, state and county Find Housing . . . . .. . 7governments may have adopted additional measures to Register for Automatic Rental Property Alertsassist victims of Sandy. “Individual & Households” Grants . . . 8We realize this Guide cannot answer all of the questionsyou undoubtedly have in the wake of the Superstorm. Tax Deductions for Victims . . . . 9Rather, it is intended to identify the issues that many Tax Reprieve for Victims . . . . 10victims will need to consider, and to point you in theright direction. You may need to contact federal, state, Regarding Rentals . . . . . . 11city or county officials, local aid organizations, or even Register for Automatic Rental Property Alertsseek legal representation in order to obtain more specificinformation about your individual concerns. Additional Resources . . . . . 12
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 FEMA. home owners and renters who suffered losses due to Hurricane Sandy. The deadline to apply is January 30.People with storm losses in all counties can registeronline at www.disasterassistance.gov via smartphone or SBA loans help businesses, homeowners and renterstablet at m.fema.gov or by calling (800) 621-3362. recover by offering a low-interest loan alternative, an opportunity to businesses to recoup losses as a result ofAt the request of the state of New Jersey, FEMA power outages and other loss of capital opportunitiesextended the registration deadline beyond the original regardless of whether the business suffered property60-day window due to the magnitude of the Hurricane damage, and finally, homeowners and renters can applySandy disaster. for loans to repair or replace personal property. Interest rates for SBA loans range from 4.0% to 6.0%, depending on the availability of non-SBA credit. Interest APPLY FOR FEMA ASSISTANCE rates for home recovery loans range from 1.688% to 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 email@example.com or call 800-659-2955.
Appealing a FEMA Ineligibility LetterTurning That “No” Into a “Yes”If you have received notice from FEMA that you are Applicants may appeal the decision if they findineligible for disaster assistance following Hurricane circumstances have changed from the time theySandy you may be able to use additional documentation registered. They may have discovered additional damageto turn that “no” into a “yes.” to their property, or that they need housing help after all. Renters may find upon returning that their residences“Every applicant has the right to appeal a decision,” said are unlivable.Federal Coordinating Officer Gregory W. Eaton. “In fact,applicants can appeal any FEMA decision. When you do FEMA understands that circumstances after a disasterso, you are asking us to review your case again, and we can be fluid and changeable, you have the chance towill gladly do that.” report those changes — changes that could make the difference in becoming eligible for disaster assistance.Applicants who received a letter stating they are“ineligible” should read that document carefully. It will Effective appeal letters should follow these procedures:list some reasons the aid was denied and provide In the first paragraph, list the applicant’s full legal nameinstructions on filing an appeal. used on the aid application, along with Social Security number and the FEMA case number. Include a personalSome common reasons an applicant may be determined phone number as well as a back-up phone numberineligible include: where the applicant also can be reached, in addition to a correct mailing address.• Insufficient storm-related damage.• Adequate insurance coverage. Write an explanation of events that provides evidence to• Additional personal or insurance information needed support the appeal. Summarize changes in circumstances to complete the assistance evaluation process. or needs, additional damages to property discovered• Confusion about Social Security numbers, addresses after the registration was filed or higher-than-planned or phone numbers. costs for repairs, for example. 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 for your records. 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
How to Apply for an SBA LoanFirst Step: Register with FEMA 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 decision.at firstname.lastname@example.org. Appeals go to the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA). Visit http://www.sba.gov/oha for more information.You can apply online or 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 delivery.contact SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659- 2. Appeals must be submitted within six months.2955 or email email@example.com. If filing by email, send the appeal to firstname.lastname@example.org.You 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 www.sba.gov/content/fact- 409 Third Street SW, 8th Floorsheet-homeowners-andrenters Washington DC 20416.
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, compose a letter requesting a reassessment duetax. to natural disaster citing New Jersey Statute that allows for these kinds of contingencies. View a sample templateSince storm damage to a home can significantly drive you can use to write to your Tax Assessor.down its value, not just due to the damage to that home,but also as a result of damage to approximate derelictproperties and the community at large. For example, if a VIEW A SAMPLE REASSESSMENT LETTERstorm wrecks the roof of a neighboring home, anotherhome 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 email@example.comSo 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
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.” Register for Automatic Property Alerts Delivered to your Inbox:1. Go to www.patrickparkerrealty.com 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 Patrick Parker Realty so we can help.
FEMA “Individual & Households” Grants ProgramWhen Insurance Doesn’t Cover It… How Do I Apply for These Forms of Relief?The Individuals and Households Grants Program offers Apply online at www.disasterassistance.gov, 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 number.live 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 you must provide documentation showingIf home repairs exceed your FEMA grant allocation, you that you are making efforts to obtain permanent housingcan apply for an SBA loan. at 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• 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 disasterView 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).
Tax Deductions for VictimsHow to Get Catastrophe Tax DeductionThe tax code allows you to deduct a catastrophic loss It’s important to document any claims you make. If yourfrom your income. What’s a catastrophe? The IRS defines home is wiped out, it’s likely many of your records are asit as “damage, destruction, or loss of property resulting well — in which case, you’ll have to reconstruct recordsfrom an identifiable event that is sudden, unexpected, or of your home’s value. One place to start would be withunusual.” comparable home values from a database such as Zillow.com.If 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
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 disasterThis 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 FEMA website, you can easilyfind out if your county has been declared a federaldisaster area.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.
Regarding RentalsRenters Rights: What You Need to KnowIf your rental was damaged by Hurricane Sandy and yourlandlord refuses to make repairs this is called“constructive eviction.” You can move out before thelease ends and not be responsible for rent for the timeleft on the lease. You are also entitled to have yoursecurity deposit returned to you.Just some of the conditions that fall under “constructiveeviction” include no heat, no water, a broken toilet, abroken elevator, flooding and excessive and constantdisturbances. It is important to have proof of the badconditions. You can get this proof by having a buildinginspection done and taking pictures before you moveout.To arrange an inspection:• If you live in a building with three or more apartments, you may arrange an inspection by calling the State Inspection service at 609-633-6241, or visit http://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/codes/offices/housi nginspection.html• If you live in a building with two or less apartments, call your municipality to arrange for a building inspection.• It is important that you first give the landlord written notice of the defective conditions and a reasonable amount of time to make repairs. Send your notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, and keep a copy for your recordsYou also have the legal right to call in the building orhealth inspector, use your rent to make repairs, withholdyour rent or take legal action.What if you received an eviction notice?You do NOT have to leave. The only person who canlegally evict you is a judge. In fact, a lockout or eviction isillegal if it is not done pursuant to a court order. A judgecan order your eviction only after a hearing, and thelandlord must show one of 18 possible bases for evictionunder the Anti-Eviction Act.Any landlord who illegally evicts a tenant has committeda disorderly persons offense. For detailed informationabout the eviction process, contact New Jersey LegalServices at 1-888-576-5529 or visithttp://www.lsnjlaw.org/housing/Landlord-Tenant/Evictions/Pages/default.aspx.If you are searching for a new rental you can register forAutomatic Property Alerts on the Patrick Parker Realtywebsite to get desired listings delivered directly to yourinbox. Or call us at 732-455-5252 to speak with adedicated Hurricane Sandy displacement specialist.
Additional ResourcesKey ContactsFederal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) More Tips and Tools1-800-621-FEMA Buying A New Home After Hurricane Sandywww.DisasterAssistance.gov Managing Credit and Debt After Hurricane Sandy Hurricane Sandy Mortgage ReliefSmall Business Assistance/Disaster Loan Applications Replacing Lost Income After Hurricane Sandyhttp://www.sba.gov/content/applying-disaster-loan Consumer Protection & Fraud During Times of Disaster Renters Rights & Warrant of HabitabilityNJ 2-1-1 Hurricane Response and Recover Automatic Property Alertswww.nj211.orgNJHelps is a free guide to help you to determine whatprograms and assistance for which you may be eligible. Disclaimer: Patrick Parker Realty makes available this Guide for generalHousing Assistance purposes only. It was compiled from numerous sources. Although wehttp://www.state.nj.us/dobi/njhope/alliance.html intend the information contained herein to be helpful, we cannot warrant that it is complete, particularly since circumstances may changeAutomatic Property Alerts after this Guide is disseminated. Also, the Guide is intended to be general in nature, and does not provide information applicable to anyAmerican Red Cross 732-493-9100 individual’s unique factual situation. It is thus important to note thatNJDOE Hotline for Families Displaced 609-292-2070 this Guide does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice.Office of Consumer Protection at 1-800-242-5846For Disability Assistance 1-877-222-3737 Acknowledgements: We acknowledge with gratitude the efforts of thoseFor Assistance with Pets 1-855-407-4787 who have contributed to preparing this resource and bringing it toMental Health Hotline 1-800-985-5990 or 211 fruition: Patrick Parker Realty Brokers, Agents and Partners, Inman News, NJAR, USA Today, The law firm of McCarter & English, LLP, AOLNew Jersey Disaster Legal Services 1-888-541-1900 Real Estate PHANTOM POWER, FEMA, SBA, Google Images, Fannie Mae,Additional Resources and Contacts Freddie Mac.
Jennifer PricciMarketingPHANTOM POWERNew Jersey624 Main Street . Bradley Beach, NJ 07720 . Phone: 732.455.5252 . Fax: 732.455.5250 firstname.lastname@example.org . www.patrickparkerrealty.com