Is Citizens roof policy leading to more foreclosures?

Homeowner sees mortgage double

Richard Bergamotto has lived in his New Port Richey home for almost 20 years.
 
He's raised his family, worked hard, but now he may be forced out.
 
"Eventually, that's the worst. We are going to face foreclosure. And we are going to lose our home," he said.
 
More and more bay area home owners are getting dropped by state-backed Citizens insurance.
 
Their roof policy requires anyone with a home 25 years or older to get a new roof or prove their old one can last three more years.
 
"They say it's a risk. I never filed a claim in 18 years," Bergamotto said.
 
When Citizens drops you, your lender can then add forced property insurance. In Richard's case, that drove his monthly mortgage payment from $570 to $1100 a month.
 
Pasco Tax collector Mike Fasano has been a longtime critic of Citizens Insurance.
 
Citizens, he said, continues to try to cut its number of policy holders without realizing the repercussions.
 
"This is where Tallahassee truly is clueless as to the consequences they are creating on a homeowner when they tell Citizens to reduce the amount of policies," said Fasano.
 
A spokesperson for Citizens Insurance tells me they are re-inspecting all its policyholders to make sure underwriting guidelines are being followed, and that includes viable roofs.
 
Citizens also said it will consider re-insuring homes once roof repairs are made.
 
Richard said he can't afford a new roof and the policy is just causing more problems.
 
"They are getting homeowners in trouble. A lot of people are just walking away, which we don't want to do," said Bergamotto.
 
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