House Approves Burton Amendment Protecting Property Owners

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 13, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, the House of Representatives unanimously approved the Burton-Stark amendment to H.R. 1309, the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011, which requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency to properly notify homeowners of their rights when their homes are placed into a flood plain.

“In 2006, Congressman Stark (D-CA) and I both realized a problem exists in the redrawing of the floodplain maps across this country. FEMA is constantly updating the floodplain maps but the only way people who are in the affected areas know about it is through the legal notice section of the newspaper by reading the Federal Register.  At the time, there were about 300 or 400 people in my district that didn’t know anything about this until after the fact when they received a letter from their insurance company indicating they had 45 days to buy insurance or else it would be added to their mortgage payment.”

The Burton-Stark Amendment requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide written notification, by first class mail, to any property owner affected by a proposed change in flood elevations prior to the 90-day appeal period. Notification would include a clear explanation of the appeals process and contact information for the appropriate officials.
When a conservative from Indiana and a liberal from California can agree on anything, you know it’s the right thing to do.

“With the passage of my amendment, we will ensure that the rights of private property owners are protected by ensuring that every American is adequately notified when the government makes floodplain changes. This is a big victory for Hoosiers and families across America who own property in regions that could potentially be affected by flooding.”

Contact:
Philip Simshauser
(202)225-2276

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