Sandy Client Stories

Here are a few examples of the thousands of cases handled by our attorneys every year. Names and other identifying information have been changed to protect client confidentiality.

LSC Client Stories – Hurricane Sandy

Mr. and Mrs. Lehanni came to the NNJLS office after they were notified that their home was threatened with foreclosure. While they had been faithfully paying their mortgage for over a decade, they fell behind in payments due to Mr. Lehanni’s work hours being decreased as a result of Hurricane Sandy. The NNJLS attorney assigned to the Hurricane Sandy Legal Assistance Project filed an answer contesting the foreclosure and conducted discovery to support the Lehanni’s claim that their inability to pay their mortgage was due to the effects of the storm. While preparing for trial, the NNJLS attorney also helped the Lehannis apply for mortgage relief assistance through the New Jersey Homekeeper Program. This case was satisfactorily settled when the Lehanni’s application for assistance through the Homekeeper Program was approved, thereby making a trial unnecessary and enabling the family to stay in their home.

Mr. Archer came to NNJLS seeking assistance with a landlord-tenant matter. His apartment suffered severe fire and flood damage as a result of Hurricane Sandy. He was unable to inhabit the apartment for a six-month period immediately after the storm, and was forced to stay with relatives and friends. Shortly after he returned to his home, his landlord filed to evict Mr. Archer for non-payment of rent, stating that Mr. Archer was responsible for the rent for the months he was unable to inhabit the apartment due to storm-related damage. NNJLS agreed to represent Mr. Archer, and argued that he was not liable to pay rent for the period in dispute, as the apartment was uninhabitable due to storm damage. The Court agreed, and ruled that Mr. Archer was not liable for rent for the period he did not live in the apartment, even though the landlord himself was not responsible for the damage to the apartment. Mr. Archer was therefore able to stay in his apartment and not have to pay rent for the six months he did not live there.