The Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA, as it is often referred to, is responsible for conducting research and designating those areas that are at special risk to flood. Often times these areas are designated with labels such as 100 year flood way, 100 year flood way fringe and even 500 year flood way. The purpose of this research and corresponding designations is to ensure that proper insurance is in place to protect the property of individuals residing in those areas as wells as the banks that loan the money and provide the mortgages for these properties. For example, if a house or permanent structure is located within a FEMA flood hazard area, federal law actually requires that flood insurance be in place prior to the purchase of the property being finalized. If your house is located within a FEMA flood hazard area or flood zone and the property flood insurance is not in place there is a possibility of even the federal government denying the flood victims federal disaster relief money that otherwise would be available to assist the homeowners in their recovery efforts. Additionally, these designations and disclosure requirements serve to warn and notify potential buyers of the properties risk for flooding so that the consumer can make an informed decision on whether or not they want to purchase the property and if so at what value.
Three parties to real estaate transaction required to disclose
Please refer to a 3-part series on Flood Zone Notification on the GRL Law BLOG.
From the seller, to the real estate appraiser, to the bank (or mortgage provider, called the mortgagee, at least three parties to a real estate transaction are required to make a good faith effort to determine and disclose to potential buyers whether or not a property is located within a FEMA flood hazard area or flood zone. A breach of this duty can result in damages being awarded against these parties.
GRL Law wins $240,000 jury verdict for failure to disclose
Just this past year, the attorneys at Gourley, Rehkemper & Lindholm were able to secure a jury verdict for their client, a home buyer, against a home builder, real estate appraiser and bank totaling $240,000 for a breach of these duties. Failure to disclose and/or conduct the required investigation and searches necessary for this disclosure is a serious matter and those that suffer as a result deserve and are entitled to be compensated for their losses.
Know your rights and exercise your rights!
Don’t let those that profit from intentional or negligent misrepresentations avoid liability for their wrongdoing while you suffer as a result.
FEMA Flood Zone Hazard Maps
To find the FEMA special flood hazard area maps for your city log onto:
know your rights * exercise your rights * preserve your freedom
If you have been displaced from your home due to floods and have been told by your insurance company that there is nothing that they can do, they may be right, but there is plenty that the injury attorneys at Gourley, Rehkemper & Lindholm can do. We are Attorneys Cory Gourley, Robert Rehkemper, Matt Lindholm, and Scott Michels. Our meticulous investigation skills, quick response, and extensive experience in representing people in same situation will help you when you need it the most.
Contact us today for a free initial consultation regarding your home and the losses you have sustained due to flooding and water damage.