Oil spill claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg was showered in applause this weekend at the annual convention of the National Association of Realtors, according to the real estate news site Inman.
Members were pleased with his decision to carve out a separate $60 million fund for real estate brokers and agents, which according to a Gulf Coast Claims Facility spokeswoman was divided among state Realtor associations. So far, the dedicated funds have paid out $34.5 million, the lion’s share of which ($16 million) has gone to Florida, statistics from the facility show.
Feinberg also addressed the complaints of some claimants in businesses related to housing and real estate. They often get referred to the real estate funds, only to find out they’re not eligible because they don’t hold the proper licenses. (I reported on one such case here.)
According to Inman:
Feinberg said he has received complaints from real estate licensees whose claims were denied. Some said they were not treated fairly because they were not members of a Realtor association.
He said he’d asked for reviews of those cases, and explanations have been provided.
“I’m not second-guessing what you’ve done,” he said. “You have people in the field, on the ground, examining these claims.”
It was a “huge leap of faith on my part and GCCF” to put Realtor associations in charge of administering the $60 million set aside for real estate licensees, he said, and “my trust in you has been vindicated 1,000 percent.”
Feinberg said he was initially “dubious” about opening up the relief fund to Realtors “in an unlimited way.” In his view, Realtors who claimed to have lost business after the spill would not be able to prevail in court.