April 1 brings new bills, payments to struggling Long Islanders
The first of the month often means rent is due, but many Long Islanders are out of work and cannot pay their bills.
This is the first time rent, mortgage payments and other bills are due since the start of the coronavirus shutdown.
Elmont resident Mendelssohn Joseph says he's been dreading this day for weeks. The real estate agent has not been working because of the shutdown and now he's worried about paying his bills, including his mortgage.
During the crisis, the state has taken action to make sure everyone who has a home can stay there. Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered a 90-day moratorium on evictions.
Cuomo also signed an executive order that relieves mortgage payments for three months based on financial hardship.
But even with those legal protections, experts say you should be in constant contact with your lender or your landlord to work out a deal.
According to Cuomo, the payments will not go away, instead mortgages will be adjusted to include the delayed payments on the back end. But many borrowers have contacted News 12 saying their lenders are not offering that option.
Instead, they're being told they have to pay the full sum after the deferment period, or modify the loan, which could involve additional fees.
"People have been out of work for three months and you're going to tell them they can pay three months worth of mortgage back?" said economist Martin Cantor. "The reason they're deferring the mortgage is they can't afford the money. If the banks charge new closing costs and new additional fees, it's almost tantamount to price gouging."