Franklin County News
Getting back up after a disaster
Facing the destruction of your home can’t be easy. But how will banks respond if it has been damaged by floods or cyclones and what does it mean for your mortgage? Glen McLeod of Edge Mortgages finds out.
Our thoughts go out to all those affected by the flooding and destruction caused by Cyclone Gabrielle last month.
It has been a heartbreaking experience for a large number of New Zealanders.
Whether the damage happened inside your home or in the surrounding areas, it can’t be easy when faced with such destruction. I’m sure you’re wondering how on Earth you are going to get through.
House and contents insurance are there to help alleviate some of the pain, however what about the lenders? What can your bank do?
The banks have responded extremely well, offering a range of different packages to assist those affected.
It is also fair to say that it is in the banks’ best interests to assist you, as helping you get back on your feet long-term also alleviates their risk. Here are some examples of what is out there right now:
■ Suspension of principal repayments for up to three months.
■ Overdrafts up to $10,000.
■ Grants of $2000.
■ Hardship support for customers facing significant financial challenges.
■ Access to term deposit funds for individuals suffering hardship.
The banks all have specialist teams set up to assist those affected. They are dealing directly with customers so advisers such as myself are not able to be involved.
That being said, most advisers have a strong relationship with their clients and can offer assistance to help deal with any questions or issues. Your adviser can help talk you through the next steps, guiding you on how to manage going forward.
Some of their guidance may include:
■ Getting a council process under way – whether you have a white, yellow or red sticker on your property. These are quick assessments. If you need one please contact your council. ■ Getting the insurance claim under way – you will need to make a claim. An assessor will need to be arranged. They will determine what is required to remedy. They may also contact EQC on your behalf.
■ Contact EQC to start a claim and let them know details of your house insurance. This will hopefully speed up the situation. ■ You may need to contact a structural and geotechnical engineer to complete a formal risk assessment of your property. What are the long-term risks to your house and/or land. ■ Discussing the options proposed by the bank – advice on what is in your best interests and help provide a better understanding on what has been offered.
Just remember everything should be done as a step-by-step process so you don’t get overwhelmed. It is hard enough to be in a situation where you have lost precious items and faced trauma of floodwater waste in your house.
You’re not alone and I’m certain your mortgage adviser would be more than willing to assist, providing you with someone to talk to who is there for you and on your side.
Remember everything should be done as a stepby-step process so you don’t get overwhelmed. Glen McLeod, above
Glen McLeod is director of Edge Mortgages. He will answer readers’ questions about home loans, whether you are a firsttimer just getting into the market, or someone who already has a loan and is wondering about the best way to manage it.
If you have a query, email susan. firstname.lastname@example.org.