Drowning in flood insurance legalese
June 10, 2012 10:30 AM Subscribe
I think I'm being scammed by my mortgage company to purchase flood insurance even though I feel certain I'm not in a flood zone. Do you have experience with this? Is their claim likely to be true? Is there an easy way for me to verify or disprove their claim?
posted by kbar1 to law & government (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm 10 years into my 30-year home mortgage loan. My loan was originally through Countrywide, but they sold it to Coastal States. Within the past few months it was sold again, this time to GreenTree. I received a letter from GreenTree telling me I MUST purchase flood insurance. I've never needed flood insurance in the past, and I've never heard of this area flooding. I live in the middle of a large city in a desert area. There isn't a river, wash, or even a canal within miles of my home. According to GreenTree, my home is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area as determined by FEMA. I went to the FEMA flood map web site, hoping I could just type in my street address and FEMA would provide me with a clear answer, but the site was gibberish to me.
I was going to ignore the letter from GreenTree, but now they've followed up with a second letter warning me of "impending placement of insurance" which apparently means they can bill me for the flood insurance that they will purchase on my behalf - oh, and by the way, their purchase would be made through an "affiliated insurance agency that will earn a commission on the insurance policy." The only way out of this is to purchase my own flood insurance or to prove through official FEMA documentation that my home is not in a flood zone.
I'm beginning to panic and that's making it difficult for me to read through and comprehend the dense text on the FEMA site. Can anyone toss me a ring buoy?