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Home in two flood zones caught in loan limbo

7 months 2 weeks 6 days ago Tuesday, December 06 2016 Dec 6, 2016 December 06, 2016 5:31 PM December 06, 2016 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A flood victim says she was pre-approved for an Small Business Administration loan, but now is being told by SBA she's in a flood zone.

The back and forth has gone on since October. Jo Ann Gaudin called 2 On Your Side for help.

"It's crazy," said Gaudin.

She's lived in her Baton Rouge home for 22 years and she's paid off her mortgage. Gaudin says she got 18 inches of water in August and began the process to rebuild and applied for an SBA loan.

Gaudin says she was pre-approved for $108,000 but was told she needed flood insurance to get that money.

"The minute they told me I needed flood insurance, I went out and got it," she said.

Gaudin got confirmation of flood insurance in the mail from FEMA Tuesday. She's spent nearly $800 dollars getting her paperwork in order including deeds and notarization, but now she's worried all that money spent was for nothing.

"They're coming back, telling me I'm possibly in a flood zone - or I'm in a flood zone," she said.

After taking a look at the flood zone map, Gaudin's lot is mostly in Flood Zone X, which is no flood zone. A corner of her lot is Flood Zone AE, which is a 100-year flood plain. That portion, encompasses her carport and a storage shed on her property.

"I could take these bricks off this back wall, chop an inch off my slab and I'd be out of the flood zone," she said.

Gaudin tells WBRZ that SBA tells her she needs AE flood insurance and that she has X flood insurance, which is what FEMA gave her.

Her State Farm agent agrees and in a letter to WBRZ says, flood determination from FEMA shows that Gaudin is in Flood Zone X, which is considered a preferred risk policy. Her State Farm agent also says, "I can't write her a policy in AE even if she wanted one since the determination auto-populates in the FEMA NFIP system."

The house is covered by flood insurance either way.

At this point, Gaudin says she's not sure what's next and if she doesn't get this loan she will have to stop rebuilding her flood-damaged home.

At the time of this post, Gaudin is still waiting on an answer about her loan from SBA.

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