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NEWS: FEMA: Florida Give Us Our Money Back

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posted on Oct, 4 2005 @ 11:17 PM
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FEMA is demanding that 7,600 Floridians in 60 counties return $30.3 million given to them in Hurricane relief aid. The return is necessary according to FEMA because federal law stipulates that FEMA cannot duplicate insurance coverage. In a few cases FEMA wants the money back due to processing errors and duplications of claims.
 



news.yahoo.com
FORT PIERCE, Fla. - The federal government is asking more than 7,600 Floridians in 60 counties to return $30.3 million in emergency hurricane aid dispensed last year when a record four hurricanes slammed the state.

Most of the payments the Federal Emergency Management Agency wants back are because of insurance settlements reached after the government aid was doled out. By law, FEMA cannot duplicate insurance coverage, spokesman Jim Homstad said.

The measure will mostly affect St. Lucie County, which was battered by Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne last year. Residents there are being asked to return $3.7 million. In Palm Beach County, FEMA is seeking nearly $3.4 million.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


God help the people who have already spent that aid. Bankruptcy is a very real possibilty thanks to another FEMA blunder. Surely the federal law needs amending if such a nightmare scenario occurs after a hurricane. Surely the same thing would happen time after time when insurance claims come through.

Brownie's legacy or a legal loop hole nightmare? Something needs sorting out and I dont think the Floridians should be bankrupted because of it.



cjf

posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 12:42 AM
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Averaging less than $5,000 per-person, bankruptcy would be like taking a shotgun to an ant. Chances are there would/will be some deferment unless there is evidence of intentional fraud.

However, after Hurrican Francis Congressman Robert Wexler called for Brown’s resignation back in April 2005, with little attention, for similar issues.




(Washington, DC) - Today, Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL) sent a letter to the Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff requesting that he remove Michael Brown from his position as head of the Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Under Secretary Brown's agency erroneously disbursed over $30 million in disaster relief money to over 10,000 Miami-Dade claimants after Hurricane Frances, which made landfall more than 100 miles away with no more than a heavy rainstorm actually affecting the county.
April 2005 full article


The full article contains some disturbing facts and accusations, very similar to what we are seeing now.


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posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 12:48 AM
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I dont know about you but I would find it very hard to find $5000 to hand back to a Federal Agency. Especially considering most of these people have had major damage done to their homes which would of likely cost more than $5000 to fix.

The same situation is occuring in Britain where social services have overpaid millions of the nations poorest families and are now demanding the money back. They simply cannot afford to repay the money since they are in financial dire straights in the first place.

The banks are probably rubbing their hands together when considering peoples homes could be lost after finding money to give back to the government for THEIR mistake.


cjf

posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 01:25 AM
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Originally posted by subz
Especially considering most of these people have had major damage done to their homes which would of likely cost more than $5000 to fix.

The same situation is occurring in Britain where social services have overpaid millions of the nations poorest families and are now demanding the money back. They simply cannot afford to repay the money since they are in financial dire straights in the first place.


I hear what you are saying but these two situations are not quite the same comparisons. The primary overpayments by FEMA being requested ‘paid back’ are to persons which received money from FEMA and had insurance (not exactly destitute persons) and received settlement monies from their respective carriers. If one has a mortgage you must have insurance on the full value of the home and then some, if you are a landlord or “bed and breakfast” owner etc… the same holds plus insurance for a plethora of other items. I have a house (money pit) on the Gulf Coast, the amount of insurance and differing types one is often required to carry is staggering.

…..Or also according to the posted article:



“The agency has come under fire from lawmakers for allegedly paying millions to residents who made fraudulent claims….. In a small number of cases, FEMA wants to recoup money because of processing errors or duplicate approval of funds, Homstad said”


FEMA is not requesting money back from persons that did not have proper insurance and received disaster aid, just the people that got paid twice or should not have been paid at all. And as I mentioned previously, I am sure a deferment plan will be available. FEMA may also claim lein against property and recoup later or banks may push 'special equity loans'. I see a good case for arguing for deductables. There are more options than one might first imagine.


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posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 01:44 AM
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Its unfortunate that teh thread poster didn`t read what he posted:

FEMA arn`t to blame for this one ; they paid out the money first THEN the insurance companies paid out.


God help the people who have already spent that aid. Bankruptcy is a very real possibilty thanks to another FEMA blunder


FEMA handed out the money fast , so they can help fast. So its right they want the money back where its been paid out twice.

Its down to some peope in FL who lied on the insurance claim.



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 02:20 AM
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If you consider it, whats the point of a Federal Emergency Agency handing out money? Why should those who dont have insurance get federal money whilst those who insured their property do not? Dont both pay taxes?

The federal law is at fault and FEMA is a federal agency. Its their fault, not the Floridians who are getting whats owed to them as tax payers and American citizens.

I did read the article and I stand by my submission thank you.

[edit on 5/10/05 by subz]



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 05:30 AM
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I think FEMA just needs to take the hit and shut up. Now that's it been revealed that not only were the flood-plane maps FEMA made and passed out to home owners WRONG, but they had ex-fastfood employees giving technical advice from a call center to which home owners had to call when they had questions on whether they needed flood insurance and that a huge chunk of the advice home owners got was WRONG....they need to just shut up. FEMA/Burger King told homeowners in various locations along the Gulf Coast, based on flawed floodplane maps, they didn't need to buy flood insurance. There's a heck of a lot of these houses that's been and still are underwater.



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 08:02 AM
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www.commondreams.org...
"Possibly the most egregious of these largely under-reported fiascos was the revelation that FEMA made 31 million dollars in questionable payments to residents of Florida's Miami-Dade County for damage from Hurricane Frances in September 2004, even though the storm caused only minimal damage in that area. "

"Homeland Security sources said after the hurricane that Brown and his allies promoted him as a successor to Tom Ridge as Homeland Security secretary because of their contention that he helped deliver Florida to Pres. George W. Bush by efficiently responding to the Florida hurricanes. "

could it be that THIS is the money they want back?
Since Bush no longer needs the support of these people maybe this is his way of getting his money back.



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 08:12 AM
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I'm getting a good laugh out of this. Explain to me how this is a FEMA blunder? FEMA has become the new kickball game. No matter what they do they are screwing up. People are griping about how they don't help soon enough and when they do they gripe because in their rush they make mistakes. You can't have it both ways. Lets put the blame where it belongs WITH THE INSURANCE COMPANIES! Last year I was flooded out because of Ivan. I had over 6 feet of water in my basement. My furnace, hot water tank, freezer, washer and dryer were ruined. Yes I had the proper insurance coverage and I still didn't get paid until December. Got pretty cold around my place at Thanksgiving. FEMA couldn't help me because the county I lived in wasn't declared a disaster area. Those in counties that were disaster areas got assistance from FEMA. There were a few cases like those in Florida and FEMA worked out payment arrangements with them. You see all of the commercials on TV with the insurance companes showing up right after the disaster and handing out checks. They are pure fiction. The first thing an insurance company does is to try to find any way to deny the claim. (wrong coverage, application errors, etc.). Then they try to find someone else who has to pay. (City, County, other insurance companies) Last they dispute the claim (devalue property, claim fraud, late or missed payments, etc) Then if none of this works they pay the claim in installments. Like I said 4 months after Ivan I finally got a check. If the insurance laws were made simpler and commonized throught out the country problems like this wouldn't happen. Look at it this way the people in Florida were helped first and then the bean counter took over. Imagine if it was the other way around.


cjf

posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 09:36 AM
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Originally posted by JIMC5499
-[snip]-
You see all of the commercials on TV with the insurance companes showing up right after the disaster and handing out checks. They are pure fiction. The first thing an insurance company does is to try to find any way to deny the claim. (wrong coverage, application errors, etc.)......


Amen to that!

And 'Disaster relief' is not a complete disaster compensation or full reimbursement for personal damages; nor should it be.

As to FEMA making mistakes in the ‘need analysis’ concerning flood maps:

Any qualified insurance agent has access to the ‘Flood Insurance Rate Map’ (FIRM). Most lenders have requirements far above that of FEMA and the and their minimal federal participation plan--- banks are also a great source for directing persons to ‘correct’ flood insurance.

Recommendations are made by FEMA and one is not to use FEMA as the sole source of flood risk information:



Talk to an agent. Even if your property is located in a moderate to low risk area, the risk of flooding is real. Buildings in these areas could be flooded by severe, concentrated rainfall or compromised by inadequate local drainage systems. An agent who is trained in the hazards of flooding and who serves your area can discuss your risk and assess relevant insurance options with you.
-[snip]-
Therefore, for a truly accurate determination, contact your insurance agent or company or your community floodplain manager.
FloodSmart.gov (FEMA)


I have spoken to the FEMA about the NFIP and they will tell you more than once, they are not the ‘final word’ (which consists only of ‘low’, ‘moderate’ or ‘high’ risk in evaluation, there is nothing such as ‘no risk’) and they ‘highly recommend’ using a local company which has a working knowledge of the community/surrounding area to fully explain and evaluate my individual possible needs and who is aware of a community's participation (if any) in NFIP.

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