Lawyer prepares to defend Ky. flood victims against lawsuits after homeowners default on mortgages

Flood impact
Posted at 5:15 PM, Aug 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-22 19:52:10-04

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (LEX 18) — Floyd County attorney Ned Pillersdorf has vowed to fight for eastern Kentucky flood victims who have lost their homes.

"The cruelest part of the flood event is that it hit the poorest part of the region," Pillersdorf said.

He predicts hundreds of homeowners will soon default on their loans and mortgages.

"If that was your trailer upside down would you continue making payments?" he questioned.

Ned Pillersdor

He wants to make sure if homeowners' lenders come after them, they know there is free help available.

"We have recruited lawyers already to fend off these bill collection lawsuits against these flood victims who have lost everything," he said.

The legal defense strategy he wants homeowners to know they can use is called "force majeure."

That's defined as "unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract."

Ned Pillersdorf

In this case, lawyers could argue that the catastrophic flooding that hit eastern Kentucky and wiped away homes is an unforeseeable circumstance. Therefore, homeowners shouldn't be required to pay off their mortgages.

"I guess the question for the lenders is, do they want to pile on these people?" he asked. "I guess we'll find out."

If their answer is "yes," Pillersdorf's team of volunteer lawyers is prepared to fight back.