RolandBrown

POST-FLOOD BUILDING PERMITS – Update 061215 @ 10:00 a.m.

June 10, 2015 in Roland's Law Blog

WE HAVE JUST BECOME AWARE OF AN ISSUE WITH THE CITY OF WIMBERLEY REPORTEDLY REFUSING TO ISSUE BUILDING PERMITS WHERE COST TO REPAIR IS ABOVE A CERTIN % OF VALUE OF THE STRUCTURE BASED ON TAX APPRAISED VALUE UNLESS CERTAIN CONDITIONS ARE MET [limited to homes in 100 year flood plane – see below]. WE ARE INVESTIGAING THIS PRESENTLY ON BEHALF OF AN AFFECTED HOMEOWNER IN AN EFFORT TO SECURE A PERMIT SO THAT THE HOMEOWNER CAN MOVE FORWARD PROMPTLY WITH REPAIRS AND CAN RETURN TO THE HOME TO LIVE. WE WILL UPDATE THIS POST AS THE CITY’S POSITION BECOMES BETTER UNDERSTOOD. HOPEFULLY WE CAN UPDATE BY TOMORROW, JUNE 11TH.

TAX APPRAISALS OFTEN DO NOT REFLECT CURRENT MARKET VALUE PARTICULARLY IN THE RAPIDLY ESCALATING WIMBERLEY MARKET. ACCORDINGLY, IF THE CITY IS, IN FACT, BASING DECISIONS ON TAX APPRAISALS RATHER THAN ON FAIR MARKET VALUE, THE RESULTS WILL LIKELY PROVE UNEVEN AND UNFAIR. HOPEFULLY WE CAN QUICKLY ESTABLISH A METHOD BY WHICH ACTUAL CASH VALUE RANGES CAN BE DETERMINED AND USED BY THE CITY SO THAT ALL CAN MOVE FORWARD PROMPTLY.

UPDATE AS OF 5 PM JUNE 10, 2015 — WE HAVE BEEN IN CONTACT WITH THE CITY MANAGER AND DETERMINED THAT THE CITY IS LOOKING AT THE ISSUE ON A CASE BY CASE BASIS. AS MIGHT BE EXPECTED, THEY HAVE TO HAVE SOME BASIS FOR THE DECISIONS THEY MAKE AND ARE SEEKING ALTERNATE MEANS OF QUICKLY DETERMINING VALUES SHORT OF A FULL-BLOWN REAPPRAISAL OF THE PROPERTIES INVOLVED. ANY DOCUMENTATION YOU CAN ACQUIRE THAT HELPS ESTABLISH VALUE WILL BE HELPFUL, BUT MANY HAVE, OF COURSE, LOST THEIR COPIES OF DOCUMENTS IN THE FLOOD. AT THIS POINT WE FEEL WE HAVE ESTABLISHED A GOOD LINE OF COMMUNICATION WITH THE CITY ON THIS ISSUE AND HOPE IT WILL PROVIDE A VEHICLE BY WHICH OUR CLIENTS CAN QUICKLY GET THE ISSUE RESOLVED AND GET BUSY REPAIRING THEIR HOMES.

UPDATE AS OF 10 AM JUNE 12, 2015 — THE 50% RULE IS NOT APPLIED TO HOMES WHICH ARE NOT IN THE 100 YEAR FLOOD PLAIN ACCORDING TO A RECENT CONVERSATION WITH THE CITY. ACCORDINGLY, VALUATION OF THE HOME ITSELF WON’T COME INTO PLAY FOR THOSE DAMAGED PROPERTIES NOT WITHIN THE 100 YEAR FLOOD PLAIN. YOU CAN FIND INFO ON THE FLOOD PLAINS AT WWW.FLOODSMART.GOV [copy and past the link into your browser].

RolandBrown

FLOOD LOSS CLAIMS

June 10, 2015 in Roland's Law Blog

RESOURCE INFORMATION AND SUGGESTIONS FOR THOSE HAVING FLOOD LOSS CLAIMS

In addition to the information found in other Flood related articles in Roland's Blog, we hope you will find the following helpful:

LINK TO FEMA Flood Insurance forms:

https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program/standard-flood-insurance-policy-forms

( if the above “link” does not appear on your screen in distinct type font/color indicating that you can simply click on it to access the website, then you will need to highlight the link, copy it (Cntrl C) and paste it into your web brouser (Cntrl V). )
The website that the above link will take you to also contains links to other helpful information.

REMINDER: DO NOT sign a Proof of Loss prematurely! FEMA has extended the timeframe for filing your Proof of Loss for the June 2015 Wimberley FLood to 240 days from the date of the loss so while it is still critical that you submit a Proof of Loss within the allowed time, the extension gives you time to really determine your actual loss.

RolandBrown

YOUR FLOOD INSURANCE CLAIM – BASIC INFO

June 10, 2015 in Roland's Law Blog

Waiting to cross the flood damaged river bridge on Ranch Road 12 just days after the Wimberley flood my thoughts turned to the “aftershocks” that many of our neighbors will face in the coming days. One of those “aftershocks” will be dealing with insurance claims. Flood insurance is somewhat unique in that FEMA typically is involved through the National Flood Insurance Program. This means special rules and deadlines must be complied with including the filing of a Proof of Loss. For losses from the recent flood, that must be done within 240 days (normally 60 days). Before signing anything and particularly the required sworn Proof of Loss, be sure you have enough information to be complete and accurate on descriptions and values. When you talk to your insurance adjuster, be as thorough as possible but make it clear you are only pointing out what you currently have discovered and that you will provide any new information when available. Document what you tell the adjuster or any appraisers that your insurance company may send. Documentation also applies in spades to photographing and cataloging each and every item of loss as soon as possible. Check your roof for possible windstorm damage, and file a windstorm claim as well if recent damage is found.

What about “public adjusters”? These are non-attorney individuals not connected to your insurance company who may contact you and offer to assist with your claim. They may be helpful or they may just be out for a buck. Typically they may charge a percentage of what you are paid on your claim for their involvement. They cannot provide legal advice or legal representation, so you might consider using an attorney instead. Litigation attorneys are usually familiar with handling insurance claims, often on a percentage basis, and bring their legal expertise into the mix on your behalf. Ask for the Flood Resource Assistant if you call our office for information.

[Note: The above article appears in the Wimberley News & Views magazine as well as the Dripping Springs Outlook magazine. These fine publications from Pedal Ranch Publications provide a wealth of information on a variety of topics to residents of the Wimberley Valley and Dripping Springs areas.]

RolandBrown

FLOOD QUESTIONS

June 10, 2015 in Roland's Law Blog

In addition to the article written for and published in the Wimberley News and Views and the Dripping Springs Outlook posted here in Roland's Blog, you will begin finding additional resources being posted to Roland's Blog as time permits. While I've been advising folks on flood loss related questions, I've also been out assisting those affected by the flood with cleanup, so time to post extensive information has been limited. In addition to information you can find in the links provided in this Blog, you can direct general questions to our Flood Resource Assistant by calling our office at 512/847-2500. While the Flood Resource assistant cannot provide legal advice, she can assist you in getting answers to many of your questions. If your situation requires legal counsel or representation, then I will step in and determine how we can best serve your needs as you deal with the losses caused by the flood itself or which may be related to post-flood events.