Why am I just now hearing about this debt?
As a result of a new DHS regulations and a class action lawsuit, Ridgely v. FEMA, a federal court granted a "preliminary injunction" on June 13, 2007, that required FEMA to suspend its recoupment process. This suspension meant that FEMA had to end the recoupment process at that time. Based on the preliminary injunction and regulations issued by the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA decided to withdraw the previous Notice of Debt letters sent to disaster applicants affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and revise its entire recoupment process.
Since then, FEMA has improved its recoupment process and is now resuming its procedures for recovering disaster assistance overpayments and payments made in error. This recoupment process for improper payments will apply to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and all disasters occurring since.
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