Panama City Denied Claim
Denied oil spill claimant: In the real estate industry, but not a licensed broker
I wrote earlier this week about the recent spike in denials of oil spill claims by the Gulf Coast Claims Facility.
One claimant denied recently was Mike Jackson, who sells manufactured homes in the Bay County area, which includes Panama City. Many of his customers are workers in the fishing and tourism industries, many of whom have applied for claims themselves, he says.
“This trend is likely to continue since the people we sell to have ruined their credit because of their lost income since the spill,” Jackson writes via email, adding: “It is a never-ending domino effect” that could take years to undo.
He says he provided the Gulf Coast Claims facility with evidence that sales were down after the spill, costing him thousands of dollars in income. Early in the year, business had begun to pick up after hitting bottom in 2009. Then the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, releasing thousands of gallons of oil into the gulf and dealing a fresh setback to the local economy, which relies heavily on tourism.
In its denial letter (dated Nov. 1 and available below), the claims facility referred Jackson to the special fund set up for real estate brokers and agents, which has paid $16 million in Florida. However, when he sought compensation under that fund through the Florida Association of Realtors, he was told that he is not eligible because he is not a licensed broker or salesperson.
A spokeswoman for the facility says that all real estate-related claims are being referred to the real estate funds set up for each state. Jackson’s letter notes that the facility cannot advise claimants on whether or not they will be eligible for compensation under those funds.
Jackson says he has sold one of his cars to stay afloat financially, and is considering pursuing his claim in court.
Has your claim been denied? Have you been asked to provide additional documentation? I’m interested in hearing your story at firstname.lastname@example.org .