Update: BP Oil Spill Fund and Florida Real Estate Claims
Posted by Benjamin Dona on Monday, February 28th, 2011 at 3:17pm.
Here is an update from the Florida Realtors Association regarding the BP Oil Spill Fund and the $16 Million for Florida Real Estate Professionals that was previously announced.
Last August, Kenneth Feinberg took over the oil spill compensation process from BP. He decided early on that the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) would only cover losses for lost rental income, not for losses incurred because buyers didn’t go to contract on a home or cancelled a sales contract. For these individuals, Florida Realtors and other gulf coast state Realtor associations convinced Feinberg to set up a special fund for real estate industry claims. But the deadline for filing claims against the real estate industry fund was Nov. 23, 2010.
Florida Realtors released the revision information to the claims process on Thursday. According to the release, Feinberg has reversed his previous decision to not pay real estate licensees for losses related to residential transactions as a result of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Therefore, licensees have another opportunity to file claims for damages due to the oil spill.
Here are the new details regarding claim options:
- Interim Claim: This claim may be filed at the end of each quarter from April 2010 until the GCCF claims process ends in August 2013. Claims reviewers will consider documented losses due to the oil spill back to April 2010. There is no cap on documented loss of income on previous earnings, and claimants to do not have to sign a Release of Claims against BP.
- Quick Final Payment Claim: This claim pays $5,000 per individual and $25,000 per business. You must sign a document releasing BP and all others from future claims relating to the oil spill. In order to receive a Quick Final Payment, a claimant must have received a prior payment from BP, GCCF or the Real Estate Fund. There is no emergency payment requirement for an interim or a full final payment.
- Full Final Payment Claim: This is a negotiated final settlement between you and the GCCF based on a specific formula, and requires that you sign a document releasing BP and all others from future claims relating to the oil spill.
In response to the announcement, Margy Grant, Vice President of Corporate Legal Services and Corporate Counsel for Florida Realtors said "we are extremely grateful that our industry will have an opportunity for further compensation for losses from the oil spill. If you operate in the Panhandle region of Florida and feel that you’re eligible for a payout from the GCCF, by all means submit a claim. But be prepared to make a case." In addition, she also recommended that licensees submit documents to substantiate a claim, such as market data and communications from buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords.
Additional information about these three options and instructions for filing a claim are available at http://www.gulfcoastclaimsfacility.com/summary_options.pdf.
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