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Inconsistencies Emerging in Oil Spill Claims Decisions

Scott Perry used to sell timeshares in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. After the oil spill, people didn’t want to buy timeshares on the beach and his sales plummeted.

Perry was told that he was ineligible to receive compensation through the Gulf Coast Claims Facility and should seek relief from a separate pool of money compensation fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg has set aside for real estate agents. But Perry says some of his colleagues, who also sell timeshares, were paid by the GCCF. The GCCF is inconsistent about who it does and doesn’t pay, Perry alleges.

Here is what he told me in an email:

As suspected, my claim was ruled inelgible under the GCCF and was informed to contact the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors to file under that fund since I was declared a Realtor or a Broker even though I am neither. In fact, many others on the sales force received the same notification; however, the strange twist in this is that while many on the sales force received the same correspondence – just as many were paid claims by the GCCF. We do not understand how the GCCF can errantly claim that 1/2 the room is considered either a broker or a realtor and the other 1/2 of the room is not and elgible.

While many of us do have a real estate license, we are not affiliated with the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors and do not pay membership dues to them. Additionally, I tried to explain to the GCCF that I also have a fishing license, but that does not make me eligible to file for loss of revenue as a commercial fisherman.

When I went up to the claims office to inquire how that is possible, I received a letter from the GCCF advising me that my claim had been ruled inelgible and that was it. Since there is no formal appeals process in place by the GCCF, I have personally asked the law firm that I had contacted in the beginning of this whole mess and asked them represent me with the final claims process as that word “final” has some serious repurcussions in my mind.

When I spoke to the lady at the law firm that is my contact there, she informed me that they have already represented many individuals in my exact position and that had already received claims AND that they are representing one of the timeshare developers in the area that run numerous resorts in the area and that they had received a rather large claim due to loss of revenue due to the oil spill.

It almost seems like they’re flipping coins to decide who’s eligible and who’s not.

If you’ve discovered inconsistencies in the claims process or would like to alert me to other issues related to the GCCF, send me an email at arestuccia@washingtonindependent.com.

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