Written By: Glenn Michaels
Yes, Super Storm Sandy or Hurricane Sandy struck the Northeastern United States on October 29, 2012 and there are still many problems resulting from the storm.
The first problem is the federal agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency and their National Flood Insurance Program. Many policy holders had their engineers reports altered after the fact and their claims were denied or drastically reduced. This was exposed on several news shows. Now FEMA is reopening over $140,000 flood insurance claims. The head of FEMA resigned over this.
FEMA also gave many individuals and businesses non – repayable grants to assist in the repair of their property. Only to receive letters from FEMA almost two years down the road to return funds to FEMA. This also happened to me. When I received my letter it was in my opinion an error since my home owner’s insurance policy paid very little for the storm damage.
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FEMA sends me a letter that I owe them $591.11 with no back up as to how they came up with this number. I called the telephone number on the letter and was told by the FEMA employee that I owe that amount in the letter. I requested a copy of my FEMA file to see if FEMA was correct. After making my request in writing, a formal request, I receive another letter from FEMA that my appeal was denied even though I have not filed an appeal at the moment. At this point I was quite amazed at the incompetence at FEMA and decided to contact my United States Senator from New York. The senator’s office was able to obtain for me a copy of my FEMA file. According to FEMA I would see duplicate insurance payouts and FEMA grants for the same work. After reading my FEMA file and my insurance claim payments I see possibly a $87.99 vent cap that might be a duplicate payment.
Now I file an appeal to FEMA and offer them $87.99 plus the sales tax. After waiting about a month I receive another letter from FEMA and it says I now owe FEMA $159.21 without any supporting documentation. This time I did not even bother to appeal the way you are supposed to. Instead, I went back to my United States Senator with a copy of my FEMA file and copies of my insurance proceeds along with the same offer of $87.99 plus sales tax.
It took another couple of months and FEMA sends another letter. This time the letter indicates that I owe nothing and the file is now closed. There are thousands of Sandy victims being asked to reimburse FEMA and I do not know how any can pay FEMA back as these funds were used to restore their damaged properties.
The reason I am writing this is because I noticed that various parts of the United States have recently had tornadoes, floods and as of June 1, we will be back in hurricane season. (June 1 to November 30) and hope FEMA will finally get their act together.
As I travel to various parts of New York City and Long Island it is amazing how many homes are still being repaired, are unoccupied, and being elevated to counter the next flood if any.
The news media does not report these items any longer as this is old news. It is not old news when you are going through this.
About The Author
Glenn Michaels - As an NAMP® staff writer, Glenn Michaels is a mortgage underwriting instructor for Mortgage Underwriter University (www.MortgageUnderwriter.org). As a BBA & FHA DE Underwriter, Glenn is a Pace University graduate who also graduated from New York University’s School of Mortgage Finance. Glenn has conducted numerous training classes and has worked in the mortgage banking industry for 38 years. If you're interested in becoming a writer for NAMP®, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.