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State Accepting Public Comments on Plan to Reallocate Disaster Recovery Funding for Hurricane Isaac.
Office of Community Development
Disaster Recovery Unit
State of Louisiana
Division of Administration
Feb. 21, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Marvin McGraw
Louisiana Office of Community Development
The Louisiana Office of Community Development is accepting public comments on an Action Plan Amendment that reallocates Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funding received from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for recovery from Hurricane Isaac.
Action Plan Amendment 11 will:
- Amend allocations for St. John the Baptist Parish's Homeowner Rehabilitation, Housing Elevation, Small Rental Rehabilitation, Small Business Grant and Loan, Demolition and Clearance programs;
- Reduce the allocation for St. John the Baptist Parish;
- Reduce the allocation for State Administration and Planning;
- Reduce allocations for the State-Run Hazard Mitigation Cost-Share for LMI Households and Homeowner Rehabilitation Programs; and
- Create and allocate funds for the State-Run Soft-Second Mortgage Program. The formal public comment period for Action Plan Amendment 11 begins today, Feb. 21 and continues until 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Residents, community leaders and elected officials can view the plan by visiting Action Plans and clicking on the respective APA link.
- Feb 21, 2018 - State Accepting Public Comments on Plan to Reallocate. Disaster Recovery Funding for Hurricane Isaac
Date: 7-17-2019 Updated: 7-17-2019 Subject: HMGP
I want to know why IEM and Emergent Method is using our state resources to conducted contract business for the State of North Carolina ReBuild NC ?
They email using our resources and have meetings scheduled from our networks. If we pay $353 million to IEM and $1 million to Nick Spryrer I would like someone from this state to tell them to setup offices in North Carolina and conduct their business from North Carolina and not our networks here in Louisiana.
Why are we paying out of the 2016 flood allocations a company called Fugro to assist our ?Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority $2,312,117 ($2.3 million) for the ?La Watershed Initiative Services that is 100% FUNDED by Public Law 115-123?
First it was $10 million then $8 million more, $2.5 million more, $1 million more.
At this rate everyone with an SBA loan that earns more than 120% AMI will get ZERO. We are -$172 million if we want to help the SBA loan issue DRRA Stafford Act Amendment that you work so hard for in Public Law 115-254 Section 1210. Why are we paying millions to Forbes from the 2016 CDBG-DR allocations when the CDBG-MIT allocations are $1.2 BILLION and ready next month?
Do you realize the state is going to spend this money faster than our 2016 storms money and even less will be used to actually help with drainage.
Applicants: 15,252 for a total $585,283,602.35
LMI applicants: 7,666 for $321,706,599.31 (55.0%)
Urgent Need applicants: 7,586 for $263,577,003.04 (45.0%)
How can the state publish numbers showing "Obligated Grants" match perfectly to HUD requirements of 55% / 45% when Obligated grants change based on applicant stages on any given day of the week?
I have seen two pipeline reports that were padded by 6% to match HUD requirements of 55% before monies were spent on other programs.
1. July 13, 2018 ($10 million and $110 million)
2. Feb. 9, 2019 ($172 million)
In both cases pipeline reports which are the numbers used to send to HUD showed a change from monthly average of 0.5% to 6% to meet the 55% LMI requirement before the state moved money to other programs.
You are receiving this notification because you have not closed on your grant award offered by Restore Louisiana.
Please note that you MUST execute your grant agreement by Friday, January 15, 2020 or the grant offered will be rescinded and you will no longer be able to participate in the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program.
Please reach out to your assigned Case Manager as soon as possible to schedule your closing by calling 866-735-2001 between 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Restore La Program Info Exchange
How does Restore Louisiana Homeowners Assistance say Merry Christmas?
During a meeting in October 2019 between HUD, SBA and the OCD-DRU directors and managers it was discussed it would be better to issue a single payee check directly to the SBA. Management is then asking the SBA to send to the disaster victim any overages from the check.
How will the homeowner be notified when the check is sent?
How will the homeowner be shown the breakdown of the money paid to the SBA? Will it say, SBA Loan, Reimbursements, Repairs?
What office and what department will take our calls and emails asking about the status of our checks and our possible reimbursements?
Has your office been informed of this discussion and were you invited to the conference call with the SBA, HUD and OCD-DRU?
Date: 12-5-2019 Updated: 12-5-2019 Subject: Transparency
Emergent Methods LLC: Public Outreach and Communications between congressional representatives went from $200,000 to $1,000,000 this year for no notable additional services.
This is a Rags to Riches story since Nick Spreyer and Patrick Forbes crossed paths Oct. 2016 in Cuba during an Economic Development visit by the Governors staff which included The Water Institute of the Gulf which was where Nick Spreyer President of Emergent Methods LLC was employed before being hired by OCD-DRU Director Patrick Forbes.
Date: 11-29-2019 Updated: 11-29-2019 Subject: EmergentMethodsLLC
Innovative Emergency Management Inc. (IEM) has held an active contract for the 2016 Louisiana Floods in the amount of $308 since May 2017.
IEM Inc. just was awarded additional money making their contract now worth $353 million.
We are still far below the expected numbers which the $308 contract was supposed to manage and yet we have increased the contract award taking away money that could have been used to pay SBA loans or help homeowners repair their homes.
Would charging more for less be wasteful spending by Government of American Federal Taxpayer Dollars?
Date: 11-29-2019 Updated: 11-29-2019 Subject: IEM
Start of Email 10-16-2019
On Friday, October 11, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provided a partial approval to the state's action plan amendment (APA 12) for Small Business Administration loans being counted as a Duplication of Benefits. You may access the Program statement regarding this matter at this link.
Details about what this means for you are listed below:
If your household income is at or below 120 percent AMI and you have already closed on your grant agreement:
- The Program will send out an Adjustment Acknowledgement Form in the coming weeks to highlight the changes in your grant award.
- You will need to sign and submit this form back to the Program. Once the signed form has been received by the Program, a check for the amount indicated as the SBA Disbursed Adjustment will be issued to SBA on your behalf as payment towards the SBA loan amount that you drew down.
If your household income is at or below 120 percent AMI and you have not yet closed on your grant agreement or you were previously in “zero award” status:
- The Program will send notice of your recalculated grant award in the coming weeks. Restore Louisiana will work with you to collect required documentation to finalize your updated grant award so that you can accept and close on your grant and payment can be issued to SBA on your behalf.
If your household income is above 120 percent AMI:
- The state continues to work with HUD to develop hardship exception criteria that meet HUD approval for RLHP applicants.
- Once the State receives approval from HUD for the hardship criteria and the steps to submit a hardship exception request, Restore Louisiana will contact you with detailed information about your status within the Program and the required next steps.
All SBA Disbursed Adjustments require income documentation in file for all applicants and household members 18 years of age and older. Restore Louisiana is working as quickly as possible to review and update homeowner income and AMI information. To submit income documentation to the Program, please email to RelaDocs@restore-la.org.
The Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program
End of Email 10-16-2019
Date: 10-16-2019 Updated: 10-16-2019 Subject: SBALoans
Do you have a Wells Fargo Home Mortgage?
Did Wells Fargo Home Mortgage apply your NFIP Flood Insurance or Disaster Insurance toward your mortgages unpaid balance?
Did Wells Fargo Home Mortgage forget to email you or mail to you the letter stating their intentions of not giving your NFIP back and applying it to pay the unpaid balance of your mortgage?
If so, you need to write to the following address and ask them to provide you a copy of the letter that goes like this.
This letter is in reference to the flood loss (the "Loss") to your property located at 123 Maple Ave. Good Town USA (the "Property") upon which Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. ("Wells Fargo") holds or services a loan secured by a deed of trust (the "Deed of Trust").
As the mortgage servicer, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. has a secured investment in the property. In order to fulfill your obligations of the mortgage contract, it is your responsibility to work with Wells Fargo to restore the property to its original value prior to the loss.
In lieu of restoring the value of the property it is your obligation to pay the mortgage in full. The total amount due on your loan is $123,456.78. This payoff figure is good through May 14, 2023.
If you have additional questions, please contact us at 1-866-826-4902 Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm Eastern Standard Time.
Mail your demand letter to:
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
Property Loss Department
PO Box 100522
Florence, SC 29502-0522
For Disaster Victims using HUD CDBG-DR programs you will need to ask for an Exceptions Panel Review. Once you get this letter back or a refusal to provide this letter send your Exceptions Panel Review request to your state.
TO: Your Case Worker / Case Manager / CTA
SUBJECT: Acct# 123456 Forced Mortgage Payoff Exceptions Panel Review Request
RE: Exceptions Panel Review
To Whom It May Concern:
My mortgage servicer Wells Fargo Home Mortgage did not offer any option but to apply my NFIP Flood insurance to the unpaid balance of my home mortgage.
Attached is a copy of the letter from Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.
With the two provided links you will find all of the "BEST CASE" scenarios. You will not find an example as provided above. Be sure you get this letter when your bank tells you over the phone they would like for you to apply your insurance money to the unpaid balance of your home. This is the wrong method and hundreds suffer losses even greater than the disaster itself from this practice. Be sure you get an email and a letter on Wells Fargo letterhead before you agree to any payment method they suggest.
- Wells Fargo Loss Department Disaster Claims
Disaster Assistance and Property Damage &ndash Steps For Insurance Claims And Property Repairs
- Wells Fargo Loss Department Disaster Assistance and Property Damage &ndash Significant Damage
- Forced Mortgage Payoff bureaucracy
Date: 10-3-2019 Updated: 10-15-2019 Subject: ForcedMortgagePayoff
HUD will also coordinate with FEMA on reports required by section 1210(a)(5) of Public Law 115–254, which will report on efforts to improve coordination between Federal agencies and clarify the sequence of delivery of disaster assistance to individuals.
Date: 10-8-2019 Updated: 10-8-2019 Subject: HUDGuidance
Any resident of the state of Louisiana that would like to file a formal complaint about the Restore Louisiana Homeowners Program should do so and use the following physical address to mail your compliant(s) and the email address to email your compliant(s).
Office of Community Development – Disaster Recovery Unit
Email Address: email@example.com (OCD-DRU)
Send by Postal Mail:
Office of Community Development – Disaster Recovery Unit
P.O. Box 94095 Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9095
ATTN: Executive Director
The OCD-DRU should response within 15 working days of the receipt of your complaint.
The OCD-DRU is required to follow the Citizen Complaint Procedure that is detailed in Section 2 of the states Administrative Manual.
If you have any questions about Section 2 of the Administrators manual or any part of the 200+ page manual please email the administrative team of the OCD-DRU for clarification.
Administrative Manual Questions: AdminManualQuestions@la.gov
Date: 10-2-2019 Updated: 10-2-2019 Subject: OCDDRU
- How To Calculate your Households AMI percentage.
- What steps do you take if you are in Louisiana on how to correct your AMI percentage that is listed in your grant award.
- What factors change AMI percentages.
(Please check if you are required to file taxes. This link may be helpful https://www.irs.gov/publications/p501 Table 1. 2018 Filing Requirements Chart for Most Taxpayers")
- Person One Adjusted Gross Income: $105,000
- Person Two Adjusted Gross Income: $20,000
- Total household income: $125,000
You should be able to contact your states HUD office or the state agency of Community Development and request the most up to date data sheets for AMI. Below you'll find links to 2019 AMI for over 120 percent and 2017 80 percent AMI.
Using the columns select the number of persons living in your home.
"Family sizes in excess of 8 persons are calculated by adding 8% of the four-person income limit for each additional family member. That is, a 9-person limit should be 140% of the 4-person limit, the 10-person limit should be 148%."
Once you have your family income limit, match that number with your total households tax returns.
If your calculated AMI is different from your grant award AMI send an email to your assigned case worker or case manager.
SUBJECT: Account ID: 123456, Last Name AMI Percentage Correction.
I have calculated my AMI percentage using data provided by our state and found the AMI percentage listed in my grant award is not correct. My grant shows 150 percent and my calculation shows 79 percent. I would like to request that you forward my grant to Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) for AMI percentage corrections. Attached you will find the tax returns used to calculate my correct AMI percentage. I have also uploaded the attached documents to my eGrants file folder.
[First Name, Last Name]
[Grant Account Number]
Depending if you are in Louisiana, Texas, North Carolina Puerto Rico or Florida just to mention a few that will be using this same email your contact will be different except for the IEM Project Manager which most of you have the same person to report to.
You will need to be persistent with your request. You are going to be told to wait, then you will be told that everyone is going to be calculated at the same time. This is an issue the state needs to address and it needs not to provide excuses to why your AMI percentage changes when your records and their records are identical. Many errors are manual input errors and we have seen months even years pass before they are corrected. Allow the state directors to explain why you can not have an accurate grant award with correct information.
If your Case Worker or Case Manager refuses to submit your request to have your grant award information corrected you'll need to go to the project managers level. Most of the disasters in 2016 and 2017 in the southeastern US are managed by IEM Inc. so your contact would be Ted.Lemcke@iem.com or if in the state of Louisiana it would be Ted.Lemcke@Restore-LA.Org . You will need to look up your specific program manager to be sure. Most times it will be the Homeowners Manager or Director from your states Community Development department (HUD).
Case Workers and Case Manager are not overwhelmed with work so allow one full business day for them to reply. If it takes longer than one full day skip them and go to the program manager.
The program manager will take about 3 business days or less. Once you get word back from the program manager you will either be in the system to correct the issue or you will be escalating the AMI percentage calculation to your states legal department and your project managers legal department. For Louisiana this is firstname.lastname@example.org for the project manager and email@example.com for the state.
If legal departments after 3 days do not have the issue corrected or refuse to correct your federal grant award AMI percentage you will then need to forward all emails to your states housing manager. For Louisiana this is Spring.Garcia@LA.Gov .
It takes time to process this information and AMI percentage seems to be a manual calculation based on the number of reported areas in what should be a scripted formula.
The QA/QC process typically takes 30 days. You'll know it's being processed when you see your grant page locked. Check it daily after you start.
Date: 8-22-2019 Updated: 10-1-2019 Subject: AMI
Understanding Phases for SBA Loan Repayments.
According to the Action Plan Amendment we have 2 phases.
- Declined and Undisbursed SBA Disaster Loans.
- SBA Zero Draw Population totaling 1,168 households
- SBA Partial Draw Population (Award Increase) totaling 11 households
- Total Combined Amount: $38,881,580.00
- Disbursed SBA Loan Adjustments (LMI).
- LMI Phase II Adjustments (LMI)
- SBA Partial Draw Population
- SBA 100% Draw Population
- LMI Phase II Adjustments (80%-120% AMI)
- SBA Partial Draw Population
- SBA 100% Draw Population
- LMI Phase II Adjustments (>120% AMI)
- SBA Partial Draw Population
- SBA 100% Draw Population
- Total Combined Amount: $198,945,412.00
Total needed based on Action Plan 12 is $237,826,992.00.
Using the phase process order from APA 12 HUD Grant money to repay SBA Loans will be spent in the order listed above.
Adjustments in amounts that will be paid will be made as the program progresses.
The design of APA 12 is to follow HUD National Objectives in order of HUD Guidance June 20, 2019.
The Stafford Act Amendment which was passed in Public Law 115-254 and signed by president Trump and sponsored by Congressman Graves did not include limited assistance based on income class. With that said, HUD Guidance (2019) only required the state to balance the books with a simple percentage 55% and 45% which when put into numbers the state announced would be;
- Total Allocation: $1,708,407,000
- Total to assist LMI: $939,623,850
- Total to assist urgent needs: $768,783,150
The state of Louisiana was told under public law 114-223 (11/21/16), 114-254 (01/18/17) and 115-31 (08/07/17) how much money and what it was to be spent on.
Research State Spending.
Since Dec. 2017 the SBA DOB battle began in our state and the state was given the totals of everyone's loan directly from the SBA.
Questions you may want to ask:
- Did the Restore Louisiana Homeowners Assistance Program properly manage the SBA reimbursement promise that was made by the State OCD-DRU and authorized by HUD Guidance June 20, 2019?
- Was $683 million available in July 2018 when task force members were updated on totals available to repay SBA loans?
- Was $245.5 reserved as the required amount in Oct. 2018 as congressional leaders told the state to "Cut the Checks?
According to Action Plan 12, the sequence of delivery is designed to blame HUD's National Objectives for the reason not all households will receive grants to repay SBA loans.
Note: If I can research state policy and it's numbers as published by the state and cross reference the same numbers with the numbers in the states HUD system and find issues imagine what a state house oversight committee could find. If they need help I'll point them in the direction they need to go to find every dime promised to the people of Louisiana.
Date: 9-30-2019 Updated: 9-30-2019 Subject: SBALoans
State of Louisiana is first state to be allowed by HUD to use HUD grant money to pay off SBA Disaster Loans for disasters between 2015 and 2017. (Other options are valid until 2021 and 2023)
The state of Louisiana has setup a 3 phase disbursement program.
Phase I: Declined and Undisbursed SBA Disaster Loans.
HUD Guidance June 20, 2019 updates HUD Guidance November 16, 2011 and clarifies that any person that applied for an SBA disaster loan but declined the loan or only took part of the loan will not be penalized by the duplication of benefits calculation for loan money not drawn or received.
The state of Louisiana references the Disaster Recovery Relief Act but HUD's Guidance on Declined SBA Loans comes from H.R.1892 - Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 Senate Bill 2226 Sponsored by Senator Marco Rubio read into the H.R. 1892 by Senator John Kennedy, co-sponsored by Senator Bill Nelson, Senator Cornyn John and Senator Ted Cruz on S. 2226.
The state of Louisiana immediately adjusted the award calculations for over 1,168 households that were reported to have been penalized by declining the SBA Disaster Loan.
See reference materials:
The law allows you to not sign the loan closing documents even if you are instructed by your state Grantee as some states have been reported as doing. It was reported that Alaska instructed people to take the SBA loans or no other federal assistance would be provided.
Louisiana held out as long as it could before revising the method the state calculates SBA loans as a duplication of federal benefits.
Under Phase 1 the state addressed only those homeowners that did not require the state to submit an action plan for change. HUD simply instructed the state of Louisiana grantee under the control of the Governor of Louisiana to follow the Feb. 9, 2018 law signed by President Trump.
Our research found that the state penalized 1,158 homeowners and refused to correct the issue until HUD ordered the state to do so. The state was willing to allow 1,168 homeowners to be penalized and not receive federal disaster relief funds to rebuild after the floods because the households refused to take the SBA disaster loan. Even with risk of default the state leaders refused to allow any waivers to those that declined or had their SBA loans canceled by the SBA.
The final numbers provided by the state were, 1,168, which 863 declined the loans and 305 that signed the closing documents but didn't draw on the funds.
Our research article was published shortly after we discovered the state was unwilling to address the issue and restricted it's estimates to less than 105 total households with SBA hardships. Today we know differently what the state truly was planning, and that was not to award 1,168 families disaster recovery grants because they refused to add to their household debt burden by accepting an SBA disaster loan.
The State of Louisiana Office of the Governor and it's executive branch agency funded by federal tax dollars the Office of Community Development Disaster Recovery Unit was willing to allow
- 172 Homeowners and families living at below 80% AMI to lose access to $5,744,232 in grants
- 198 Homeowners and families making 80% to 120% AMI to lose $6,413,567 in grants
- 798 Homeowners and families living in upper income limits of greater than 120% AMI to lose access to $26,502,908 of HUD Grant funds.
Will your state act as the state of Louisiana and look to penalize 1,168 homeowners for over $38,660,707.00 in grant funds?
The $38,660,707.00 may have had someone's fingers on it if HUD didn't provide this historical first in HUD Guidance instructing the state Grantees to follow a law signed by President Trump. We might have never seen these families recover from their disaster if it wasn't for HUD and the new Public Law 115-123.
- HUD Guidance June 20, 2019
- HUD Guidance letter June 12, 2019
- State of Louisiana emails related to HUD Guidance
- State of Louisiana SBA DOB calculations
- Citizens proposal to correct the SBA DOB issue under public law 115-123
- Public Law 115-123
Date: 9-30-2019 Updated: 9-30-2019 Subject: SBALoans
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LA, FL, TX, PR, NC are receiving billions in US taxpayer dollars to mitigate against future flood disasters. We are looking to help your county or parish find the best clearing and dredging people. Contact us about your experience.
- Thu. Oct. 3, 2019
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