Oklahoma Contractors Continue to Struggle With Banks and Mortgage Companies After May 2013 Tornadoes

It's been nearly a year since a round of EF5 tornadoes passed through the Oklahoma City area in May 2013, destroying almost everything in sight and leaving 25 dead. Now, months and months later, contractors continue to work hard to repair and replace roofs damaged by the storms. These contractors are also struggling with mortgage companies to get paid on time, as it's often weeks or even months after the work is complete that contractors are getting paid for their hard work.

oklahoma-roofing-contractorsBecause insurance companies make claim checks payable to both the homeowner and the bank that holds the mortgage on the home, banks are dragging their feet when it comes to turning over payment once the work is complete and roofing contractors in Moore OK, Newcastle OK, and surrounding areas are understandably upset. Homeowners looking to have their homes repaired are also running into problems with their mortgage companies.

What's Taking So Long?

According to a recent article by NewsOK.com, "Banks that hold mortgages have an interest in seeing damaged homes repaired, so they also have an interest in how insurance payments are spent. After the May tornadoes, some lenders were willing to release the money more quickly so homeowners could get their homes repaired faster, but others refused."

What's Next For Contractors?

Unfortunately there is no law that gives mortgage companies a turnover time to hand over insurance money. While smaller banks might endorse insurance checks immediately, other lenders typically have lengthier processes. Because payments are delayed for weeks and even months, contractors are finding it difficult to move on from one job to the next – they spend a large amount of resources dealing with the mortgage companies.

While Bank of America said in a statement that they have completed 98% of Oklahoma tornado claims they received, other companies, like Nationwide, have declined to comment.