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Flood victim claims to now be victim of government red tape

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GONZALES- A family devastated by the August floods can't seem to catch a break.

The Hutchinson family applied for and was approved for an Small Business Administration loan last year. However, nearly five months after getting that approval, they still don't have their money. Patience is now wearing thin.

"Stressful, I have enough things in my life," Jean Hutchinson said. "I'm tired of jumping through hoops for them."

The hoops Jean Hutchinson are referring to involve the Small Business Administration. She qualified and was approved for a loan totaling $19,900 to get back on her feet. It's a loan she knows she would have to pay back.

"They keep bouncing us from case worker to case worker," Hutchinson said. "I've had five of them since October."

Tonight, Hutchinson still hasn't received a penny and can't move forward.

"I don't know what else to do," She said.

Hutchinson reached out to WBRZ after months of frustration. When we called the SBA, we spent nearly two hours on the phone trying to talk to someone about her case. After she gave her social security number, they finally talked to us.

We couldn't even get a straight answer as to why she still doesn't have her money, after spending a better part of the day tied up being transferred from one worker to the next. Finally, one SBA worker said,"We extended her disbursement period. We go through periods of expansion and contraction," but wouldn't elaborate on what that means and why Hutchinson still doesn't have her money.

Tonight, she feels like the flood was bad, but the headaches she's contracted after are far more painful.

"Ya'll need to cut out this red tape," Hutchinson said. "We are in need. You are making things worse for us with all of this red tape."

According to the SBA, loans are typically doled out within a month or two after people are approved for them. It's still unclear why Hutchinston's loan went through five case workers and why it's taken five months to disburse. WBRZ contacted another person familiar with her case at the SBA, but never heard back.


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