Feinberg’s new quick pay loophole…the investigation
From the GCCF website:
“Who is eligible for a Quick Payment?
A Claimant who has been paid an Emergency Advance Payment from the GCCF of any kind can receive a Quick Payment. Thus any Claimant who has been paid an Emergency Advance Payment by the GCCF on a Lost Income, Property Damage, Removal and Clean Up, Loss of Subsistence Use, or Physical Injury/Death claim can receive a Quick Payment.
Do I have to submit any more documents on my damages to be paid a Quick Payment?
No. All you have to do is send in a signed Quick Payment Claim Form and Release and Covenant Not to Sue. You do not have to submit any more documents on your losses or damages.”
This all sounds pretty cut and dried.
1. You have received an emergency payment. 2. You sign away all your legal rights. 3. You get your money, and it will be done within 14 days…$5,000 dollars for an individual claim and $25,000 for a business claim.
But like most things Ken Feinberg and the GCCF…the rules aren’t always what they seem.
Here is one person’s story:
“My husband…an oysterman, he submitted all his documents (for the EAP) and was under review for a very long time because of the numerous mistakes the GCCF made. He had to contact our local congressman and within 24 hours the GCCF paid him the emergency payment…
In December he received the quick pay offer for $25000. He signed it and sent it Overnight mail on December 28, 2010. They received it December 30. After 21 days of not having a payment he starting calling them every few hours. (Since we are in desperate need for the money and because we want to be done with Feinberg and the GCCF.) They stopped answering emails and would not give him any answers.
Then on January 21 we received this letter.
The GCCF has received your Quick Payment Final Claim Form and Release. After investigating certain aspects of the documents and information that you previously provided to us relating to your Emergency Advance Payment claim, we have determined that there is insufficient reliable evidence to support your Quick Payment claim and that further investigation is required…
He called them about two weeks ago and was told after putting a lot of pressure on them that he was under review for fraud. They advised him that they would be sending an investigator out. He advised them that he had already spoken with an investigator. They said they never received the review. The investigators work for GuidePost solutions. Within minutes of the call a man from GuidePost Solutions called him. At first he was being a Jerk and telling my husband that he was being reviewed for Fraud. Then after (name withheld) told them the story and that he had already spoke with an investigator the guy told him he would be in contact if he needed to speak with him again. So far we haven’t heard anything…”
Maybe an isolated incident?
I’ve received other communications and the story is the same. People in the Gulf Coast file for an individual or business quick payment claim and after signing the waiver, agreeing to terminate their right to sue British Petroleum and a hundred other companies, they are then informed that their EAP, for which they’ve already been paid is under investigation for fraud and Guidepost Solutions investigators will be on the way. This is occurring more frequently, and as one claimant alleged, to over a dozen people she knew and when she went to the GCCF office to complain she spoke with dozens more in the same position.
After they signed away their rights, well after the 14 day time frame had passed, out came the investigators who wanted access to their bank records, to their tax forms, all despite the GCCF’s own framework on quick payments which states there will be no further review necessary and if you were paid an EAP, you automatically qualify.
When the one claimant asked how long the investigation would take, she reports she and her husband were given no time frame…so they are back in limbo, stuck waiting for Feinberg and BP, and with the added anxiety of an investigation to go along with their desperate need of cash.
So, more delay tactics?
A continued attempt to get people to waive their rights to sue BP?
After the fact investigations in an attempt to save BP money?
It would appear Judge Barbier’s ruling that Feinberg is not neutral and the GCCF is a hybrid entity of BP remains the only honest, official word to come out of the Gulf in months…
Have a nice day.