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February 23, 2006

Louisiana Recovery Authority Housing Proposal

The Louisiana Recovery Authority has issued its proposal for helping Louisiana homeowners recover from the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The proposal uses Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) monies for funding. The first $6.2 billion was approriated by Congress in late December 2005. A second block of $4.2 billion was proposed by President George Bush in February 2006 and is awaiting approval by Congress. Please note, as of February 23, 2006, the second block of funds has not been approriated by Congress and early looks at the legislation to approve the funds limits its use to elevation or mitigation use only. The goal of the proposal is to help return homeowners to the same condition they were in before the storms, while giving them several options on how to achieve that. In other words, if a homeowner was in a $160,000 house with a $120,000 mortgage before the storm, the proposal aims to put them in a $160,000 house with a $120,000 mortgage. Whether it is the same house or a different house is the decision each homeowner will need to make on their own. There is a limit of $150,000 in total aid, whether grant and/or loan, which is calculated based on the value of the home before the storm, any insurance money or FEMA grants were received, and if the home was in a flood plain with or without flood insurance. My understanding of how the forumla works: Market Value - Insurance - FEMA = Grant Amount, which cannot exceed $150,000. If the home was in the flood plain without flood insurance, a 30% penalty is deducted from the grant amount. If a homeowner wishes to sell their home and move out of Louisiana, the state will offer 60% of the pre-storm value, minus insurance and FEMA monies. You can use this web form to see how the different options would affect your aid package. Please note, this is not meant to be an absolute offer for you from the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA), it is merely for illustrative purposes only. AskWestley.com, da-parish.com, and Westley Annis are not responsible for any amounts you may think you may be entitled to based on information from this site.

Posted by admin at 10:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 6, 2006

Opt Out of Murphy Oil Class Action Suit - Part 2

U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon has released his decisions on who is and is not a member of the class-action law suit that has been filed against Murphy Oil USA, Inc.

In summary, Judge Fallon has started with a spill zone that is larger than the area claimed by Murphy Oil, yet smaller than the area that the class attorneys were hoping for. North of Judge Perez Drive, the map stretches to the 40 Arpent Canal between Paris Road and the East side of the Murphy Oil property line. South of Judge Perez Drive, it stretches to St. Bernard Hwy between Paris Road and Jacob Drive.

Anyone that is within the designated area is automatically considered a member of the class and does not have to take any further action to remain within the class.

If you have already settled with Murphy Oil then you are automatically removed from the class and no further action on your part is needed.

If you would like to withdraw from the class, it is very important that you read and understand the order issued by Judge Fallon in regards to your rights. If you do not understand any part of the order, you are advised to seek your own legal counsel from a licensed attorney.

Under the guidelines of the order, if you want to withdraw from the class, you must do so before June 1, 2006. In order to opt-out, you must email, fax or write a letter to the lead counsel for the plaintiffs and the defendants. I strongly suggest you send it by fax and certified mail with a return receipt (an email does not constitute a legally binding agreement).

The lead Counsel for the Plaintiffs is:

Sidney Torres
Liason Counsel for Plaintiffs
1290 7th Street
Slidell, Louisiana 70458
Fax: (985) 661-8914

The lead Counsel for Murphy Oil is:

Kerry Miller
Liason Counsel for Murphy Oil
1100 Poydras Street, Suite 3600
New Orleans, LA 70163
Fax: 504-599-8145

This posting is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. You are encouraged to speak with your own personally attorney regarding this matter.

Posted by admin at 11:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 1, 2006

Opt Out of Murphy Oil Class Action Suit

On Monday, January 30, Judge Eldon Fallon certified the law suit against Murphy Oil as a class-action. Using an area that is larger than what Murphy Oil is claiming, yet smaller than what the plaintiffs are claiming, Judge Fallon has reserved the right to make the area larger or smaller.

After the initial assessments of the spill were done, Murphy Oil began contacting local home owners and offering them settlements in lieu of going through a law suit. Judge Fallon's orders, certifying the class, have placed a temporary hold on those settlements.

If you are a home owner that wants to settle with Murphy Oil rather than remain a member of the class you will have to wait. Both sides must get together and create a form that will explain the pro's and con's of staying in or out of the class. This form then needs to be approved by Judge Fallon before Murphy Oil can resume making any private settlements.

You will also have to with draw from the class if you want to pursue your own private lawsuit against Murphy Oil.

If you have already settled with Murphy Oil and have any questions about their clean-up of your property, this ruling does not effect you in any manner.

Posted by admin at 10:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack