Thursday, August 03, 2006

Almost a year after Katrina

Wherein I'll try to write a review of her Soul Kitchen this weekend. Fabulous book; maybe not quite as good as Liquor, but close. Definately better than Prime


Poppy Z. Brite discusses people giving unhelpful advice:
Something you need to understand, if you're not in New Orleans or in unwilling exile from here: This is probably the worst, scariest, most unstable time for us since the immediate aftermath of the storm. It feels like we've reached an unsatisfactory plateau of progress, especially with Nagin back in office and not talking to us, and many of us are still waiting on insurance/FEMA/LRA while our homes sit and rot, and the one-year anniversary is coming up and we've all got to argue about how it should be observed the same way we had to argue about whether or not we should have Mardi Gras. Things are just going to get rawer and rawer and crazier and crazier in this town until August 29. I don't know what's going to happen after that, but until then, we don't need people who don't know what it's like to be here SAYING SHIT TO US.

Did she say she was still waiting for the insurance? A year in review:
November 2005: Disappointed with our insurance company's initial response to the destruction of our home, we hire a public insurance adjuster. Their job is to go to bat for us, wrangle with the insurance company, and see that we are paid what we are owed.

March 2006: The public adjuster (henceforth known as PA) finally reaches a settlement on our homeowner's insurance. They send us the insurance company's check. Unfortunately, they send it by U.S. Mail, which isn't yet reliable in New Orleans. We never receive it and have no idea that a check has been issued, though since the PA starts invoicing us for their share, we figure one will be forthcoming.

May 2006: We call the PA to find out where the hell the check is. They're shocked that we never received it and arrange for our insurance company to issue another check.

June 2006: I receive the check and forward it to my mortgage company, instructing them to start the process that will pay off my mortgage and refund the balance to me.

July 2006 (week one): I receive a call from my mortgage company saying that our insurance company has stopped payment on the check I sent them. Apparently, upon realizing that one check had been lost, they stopped payment on both checks. My mortgage company informs me that unless they receive another check soon, I will have to resume mortgage payments.

July 2006 (week two): The mortgage company sends us a check for $32,716.83, approximately the balance I should receive once the mortgage is paid off. Confused, I call and ask them how we managed to receive a check when the insurance company hasn't paid them. (Obviously I was tempted to just deposit it, but I have a formerly spotless record with this mortgage company and they are probably my best hope of being able to buy another house, so I want to stay in their good graces.) They say it is an administrative error, they can't imagine how it happens, and I should send the check back, which I do, at my own expense ($25) via FedEx.

July 2006 (week three): The check from the mortgage company arrives again, through the U.S. Mail, in an envelope with a vast glassine window through which my name and the figure "$32,716.83" are clearly visible. The mortgage company is not returning our calls, nor is the insurance company, who is only supposed to speak with the public adjuster anyway.

July 2006 (today): I receive a registered letter from the PA threatening to turn my account over to a collection agency if their fee for the money I have been issued four times but have somehow failed to receive isn't paid within seven days. Maybe the Insurance Fairy will pay them the same way they apparently assume she paid us.

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