As months pass, New Yorkers rebuilding their homes and lives after Hurricane Sandy are finding they need a great deal of legal help, and New York Legal Assistance Group is helping to fill that need. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following NY1 For You report.
Almost six months after Hurricane Sandy, the calls keep coming to the Storm Response Unit of The New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) in Lower Manhattan.
"We continue to see new batches of legal issues that arise as a result of the immediate impact of Sandy," says Sunny Noh, the supervising attorney at NYLAG.
The group has been providing free legal assistance since Sandy hit, helping more than 4,000 storm victims. The majority of the legal matters involve disaster assistance applications, private insurance disputes and landlord/tenant issues.
"Most people who have suffered damage due to Sandy feel like the assistance that they're getting is insufficient for their loss, and part of our jobs as the advocates is to inform them of what they're actually entitled to," Noh says.
With a staff of 35, the NYLAG storm unit works the phones and on-site with a mobile unit traveling to the hardest-hit areas.
As time goes by, the NYLAG attorneys are spotting disturbing trends emerging.
"In the next couple months, we're going to see a lot of homeowners who are going to be in court in foreclosure cases," says Noh. "And in this position, where they've suffered this grave loss and they're currently not really living anywhere and they're now subject to foreclosure because they relied on this program that was supposed to give them relief. And now they're in court in default."
NYLAG intends to be there to continue offering free legal assistance. Anyone affected by Hurricane Sandy who needs legal help can call The NYLAG Storm Response Hotline at 1-212-584-3365.