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FEMA Gives Man Disaster Aid; Now Wants It Back With Interest & Fees Added On

Published on October 18, 2011 by   ·   No Comments


A victim of Hurricane Ike who got assistance from FEMA now says that “helping hand” has become a slap in the face.

Clay Gates applied for federal funds after Ike pushed four or five feet of saltwater through his La Porte home.

Gates says he jumped through hoops, showing officials every picture and document they asked to see.

“We got a letter saying, ‘Hey, you qualified for this amount of benefits,’” Gates recalled. “And the next thing you know they direct-deposited money in our account.”

In all, Clay Gates and his family received close to $23,000. He says he was frugal with this gift from the government.

“We’ve done all the sheetrock, we’ve done all the painting, we’ve done everything ourselves so we could at least use the money the best we could, to get ourselves back up to square.”

They’re still not quite there. Gates roughed in the stairs to the second floor. They’re bare wood: functional, but not up to code.

But now, three years after the storm, FEMA wants its money back, saying Clay Gates was ineligible for assistance all along.

“We’re figuring we’re going to lose our home,” said Gates. “We’re going to lose everything we have. We don’t know what to do.”

Gates appealed but on September 24, 2011, FEMA sent a letter attempting to recoup $22,989.

Six days later, the US Treasury Department sent another letter saying Gates now owes $31,442, with fees, interest and penalties.

He has ten days to pay it.

Read Entire Article HERE

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