Lifting Houses Will Begin Shortly
This past week, CFSIC approved its first two Type 1 applications, within 30 days of its launch. What this means is that two affected homeowners will now be able to proceed with the restoration of their foundations.
We are still sorting through several hundred Type 1 applications, and within the next three weeks many more Type 1 applications will be approved.
As a result, and as the weather begins to warm, homes will be lifted and foundations replaced, and CFSIC will begin to play the important role for which it was designed.
I’ve met with several condominium associations. In one case, because of the configuration of condominium units on the same foundation, I’ve indicated to the leaders of that association that they should get in line and file as a Type 2 claimant with respect to a limited number of units. In other cases, I’ve indicated that condo associations should apply where possible as Type 1 claimants. We expect that the enabling legislation will change shortly regarding five or more units on the same platform…and when it does, the CFSIC program will be able to respond to condo owners and their special needs.
The Issue of Confidentiality
CFSIC is committed to maintaining the confidentiality of claimants. Only a limited number of persons with a specific need to know see claimant applications. We believe that if you’ve applied as a Type 1 or a Type 2 claimant, regardless of the state of play with your foundation, you should expect to have and you deserve to have the claim you submit to CFSIC handled with reasonable safeguards as to confidentiality. We will continue to maintain as confidential the applications sent to us. What this means is that we will not publish lists on our website or anywhere as to who our claimants are, the status of their applications, or where they are “in line” with respect to their transaction with CFSIC.
The process of reviewing applications is a slow one. The process of obtaining the minimum two contractor bids is not only slow, but entails the need for accuracy and the verification of allowable concrete costs. Some claimants have corresponded with us indicating their belief that the process is going too slow, isn’t transparent, and is being kept hidden. None of that is the case. Each CFSIC claim is by definition individual in nature. No two crumbling foundation claims look alike as to the size of the structure, the extent of the damage, the amount of time and money it will cost to replace the foundation, and whether or not the claimant has the financial ability to proceed, to the extent any gap exists between allowable concrete costs and the total cost of all work to be done. We’re moving as quickly as we can…but we will not sacrifice completeness and accuracy for the sake of speed.
The good news is that, within the next six weeks, upwards of fifty homeowners will be told to proceed with contractor bids; and once those bids are received, deposit checks will be cut to qualified contractors. It’s a small start, but a very important one.
Meanwhile, we can confirm that, as of this date, from among the towns hardest hit, we have received 42 claim applications each from the towns of Vernon and Stafford/Stafford Springs, 56 from South Windsor, 35 from Coventry, 37 from Willington, and 43 from Ellington. We have 93 verified claims from the town of Tolland alone…a town that has long been recognized as being at the epicenter of the crumbling foundations natural disaster.
For the first time, and through CFSIC’s efforts, we’re going to be able to quantify the financial impact of the crumbling foundations natural disaster. From time to time we will publish data showing what we know and what it reveals.
I think it is important to remark that a number of homeowners have been clear with us that they are not yet ready to come forth for a variety of reasons. Some are concerned that their neighbors may find out about their situation. Others believe that their commercial insurers will cancel them or non-renew them if word leaks out. Still others are concerned about possible bank foreclosure. In each of these cases, when we have known about a homeowner’s reluctance…we have asked them to reconsider. Everyone knows that our resources are finite; but it is better to be known to us, even if your claim is inactive, than not known to us. The more we know about the crumbling foundations natural disaster, and the more we know about who you are and where you are, the more we can help everyone.
If you have any questions about the operation of the program, ESIS is your best source of information on your claim, and their phone number and email are shown below.
As you work through the information and application process, here’s how you can get help:
– Call ESIS (the claim adjuster) at: 844-763-1207
– Email ESIS at: firstname.lastname@example.org
– Email CFSIC at: email@example.com
Michael Maglaras, Principal
Michael Maglaras & Company