PATCHOGUE - Today brought some good news to Sandy victims struggling with mortgage debt and mounting bills.

Forbearances, which are agreements to delay foreclosures, have been extended another six months for the nearly 300,000 homeowners affected by Sandy who have federally insured Federal Housing Administration mortgages. The forbearances had been expected to run out by the end of the month. That end was also expected to be accompanied by massive balloon payments.

There is hope that private lenders may follow suit.

“Private banks will follow the cues of federal housing agencies quite often,” says Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), who helped broker the deal.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says it is also working to streamline loan modification programs to prevent even more massive balloon payments when the forbearance does end.

For more from Schumer, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.