First I get a lot of email asking me to cover more what is going on with the new BP settlement, and I am sorry to say that nothing is going on. When I look at the statistics of the Deepwater Settlement there are claims coming in being processed but nothing coming out.
Here is the latest stats from 3 days ago. Click on image to enlarge.
It just shows all the claims being processed but nobody has gotten any offers or any checks yet. The Deepwater Horizon Settlement people where holding a large meeting in Houston Texas Yesterday for all the attorneys there processing claims and they where very upbeat on all of this but admitted even there that nothing had been paid out yet.
The same day they came out and told all the attorneys in a memo that the problem people where having submitting claims online where now fixed. Here is part of it.
This is an official communication from the Claims Administrator for the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damages Settlement Program (“Settlement Program”).
“We have resolved the issue that prevented you from editing your clients’ names and/or tax identification numbers listed in their Demographic Information and Registration Forms. If the claims do not reflect the correct SSN or you have any future issues with your clients’ names or SSNs, a “Change Name/Tax ID” button is now available on the Registration page that will allow you to change the client’s name, tax identification number, and taxpayer type (EIN or SSN).”
At best things are going not very well from the looks at things for the Deepwater Horizon Settlement group unless you have all the time in the world to wait for your money from BP.
Fishermen After The BP Oil Spill Fear Extinction
I hope I am allowed to share this piece of news directly like this. It should be a wake up call to everybody on what is going on in our gulf.
Should also be a wake up call for anybody that are trying to do this with out having hired an attorney to protect their interest.
This was in the news today.
Still suffering after BP oil spill, fishermen fear extinction
By Jesse Muhammad -Staff Writer from http://www.finalcall.com
(FinalCall.com) – Gary Barthelemy says he may never recover from the catastrophic BP oil spill, has zero cash flow and the total demise of a once successful industry is nigh.
“I may just have to retire. Since the BP oil spill, we haven’t had anything to fish because all of the reefs are dead. In all of my years I’ve never seen the waters this dead like I have in the last two years,” Mr. Barthelemy, 66, told The Final Call.
He says a normal season would produce millions of oysters for them to fish over a 3-4 year span. They would then be able to sell them to dealers on the dock.
“Our community has lived off of the water and now our community is dead. We have no cash flow. But it’s not just Black fishermen. Everyone is suffering. BP made promise after promise and has not followed through,” said Mr. Barthelemy, who served as president of Fisherman and Concerned Citizens group. He has been an oyster fisherman for 45 years.
“This is the first time in generations we have had our waters taken from us. Our businesses and community has collapsed. There are no oysters on the east bank, which was considered a rich fishing ground. The oyster industry is no more,” oyster fisherman Byron Encalade told The Final Call.
Mr. Encalade is president of the Louisiana Oysterman Association and the South Plaquemines United Fisheries Cooperative. Their town, Pointe A’La Hache, is a small predominately Black fishing village in Plaquemines Parish.
In the past, the fishermen of Pointe A’La Hache have been very self-sufficient in generating income for their families. Today is not the case.
“This is a fishing community and it is devastated as a whole. These families come from generations of self-reliant fishermen before the BP oil spill. But now they are depending on donations from charities like Feed the Children and Salvation Army,” Reverend August Piquet, who heads St. Joseph Baptist Church, told The Final Call.
“Many of them are going through counseling due to extreme stress. Their bills keep stacking up and there is no work. Our church is helping however we can to get them assistance,” said Rev. Piquet.
“During peak season I would be making thousands of dollars a day. Now the last two years I’ve been draining my savings account. Others are living off of meager social security checks. Some don’t have any income at all,” said Mr. Encalade.
Pointe A’La Hache had been a major factor in making Louisiana the top provider of shrimp, oysters, crab and crawfish in the U.S. The industry reportedly brings billions of dollars annually to the state’s economy.
“Some of us have now been reduced to being fishing guides instead of being businessmen. BP hurt us bad and I believe it is only going to get worse,” said Adren Bailey, 57, a third generation oyster fisherman.
A spiraling environmental crisis persists
BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded on April 20, 2010; killing 11 workers and injuring 17 others. The spill spewed 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf and is considered the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history.
“The BP disaster taught us many things. Namely, that giant corporations cannot be trusted to behave responsibly absent strong public oversight,” said Robert Weissman in a statement.
Mr. Weissman is president of Public Citizen, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. The past two years they have organized rallies and boycotts against the oil tycoon while demanding stronger federal regulations on offshore drilling.
“Congress and the Obama administration have refused to learn the lessons from the BP disaster. Exhaustive investigations showed that existing regulations are inadequate to prevent another offshore catastrophe,” added Mr. Weissman. “Not only are we lacking strong drilling regulations, but we are handing out new leases to BP. We need tough penalties to punish corporate wrongdoers.”
The leak was largely stopped by capping the gushing oil wellhead but many complained early on that BP was dangerously allowed to carpet bomb the ocean excessively with chemical dispersants to clean up oil. They foresaw this having a long-term effect.
According to a June 2012 study from the Public Library of Science, a dramatic biological and ecological shift, not visible with the naked eye, has taken place in post-spill areas. Researchers found that species of fungi are now dominating shorelines.
“I can’t say it is due directly to what BP sprayed in the waters, but I do know we have never had two years straight without young oyster roots growing,” said Mr. Barthelemy.
This is totally in contrast to television commercials by BP that attempt to paint a picture of beautiful beaches and economic revitalization taking place in the Gulf.
“Our culture was that we ate from the water. We fished and fed our families, but we can’t now because it is a risk to our health. I see dirty shrimp gills. Who wants to eat that?” asked Mr. Bailey.
A legal battle on the horizon
In August 2010, BP established a $20 billion claims fund to satisfy legitimate claims from Gulf Coast residents ill-affected by the spill. The funds were distributed through the Gulf Coast Claims Facility ran by Kenneth Feinberg until March of this year.
The facility reportedly paid over 200,000 claimants a total of $6 billion, but faced heavy scrutiny for rejecting claims and processing them at a slothful pace.
Mr. Encalade says he had all of the request documents when he filed a claim two years ago—including income tax records and receipts.
“They promised I would see something in 90 days but I haven’t seen it yet. I hired an attorney because the process has been too complicated. It is necessary to have legal advice in dealing with them. We’re tired of being the ones who suffer the most and get the least,” he said.
On June 4, the Deepwater Horizon Claims Center officially opened its headquarters in New Orleans, replacing Mr. Feinberg’s program. Headed by court-appointed administrator Patrick Juneau, the center will be receiving new claims, addressing unmet ones and reviewing the files of those previously rejected.
“At first I was given a little supplement from them and was promised more was coming. That hasn’t happened,” said Mr. Bailey, who also is seeking legal counsel. “They owe me more and I am not going to settle for less than what is owed.”
The judge came out with a new memo today saying that all attorney rates should be 25% and that nobody should pay anymore than 25% to their attorney from this date forward.
This is great news for everybody, well I guess maybe not the attorneys but I am sure they will survive.
For all readers and clients that have sign up though this website are not by mandate of the judge at 25% attorneys fees.
Most people before was on 33 1/3 % so this would be a saving of 8 1/3% or I guess $8,333 per $100,000 so great news for all I will say.
The Right Attorney For Your BP Claims Settlement
From my experience the processing of BP claims and now Deepwater Horizon Settlement claims is a big job for most law firms as the amount of claims that needs an attorney and disaster CPA processing, not regular accounting. The kind of accounting that can look into what would have been if not for the BP oil spill.
This is how you really have to look at most Deepwater Horizon Settlement Business claims and many personal claims.
How much money would you have made had it not been for the BP oil spill ?
How Is The Deepwater Horizon Settlement Doing ?
From what I have seen from the Deepwater Horizon Settlement, they have really not gotten started processing yet. I can confirm this by a two floor office space in the middle of New Orleans that is still standing empty.
This is supposed to be their main office, but according to my sources there have not been anybody there in 2 weeks.
Another thing that talks against any speed in the Deepwater Horizon Settlement is the fact that we have not seen any offers come yet from the Deepwater Horizon Settlements to any of the 15,000 clients that I personally would know about.
These 15,000 clients of 3 law firms have submitted more than 5,000 claims but still not one offer have come back from the Deepwater Horizon Settlements.
If you read back in the information from the Deepwater Horizon Settlement people on what they have said, I see they are saying they needed a 30 day ramp up period that should be done on July 4.
I know right wait wait wait, its like something we have done before with the GCCF. But I still think this will be different and people will start seeing money in July and August.
Now its important to understand the deadlines in this game October 1 2012, if you have not gotten an offer before then, my suggestion would be to opt out and get with a lawyer before then so they can handle it for you.
The reason why is because after October 1 2012 if you have not opt out you are stuck with whatever the Deepwater Horizon Settlement offers you.
If you can get an offer before October 1 2012 this would be the best as you then have all your options open.
What Should You Do Now?
Fill out the form on the right hand side, let the attorneys give you a call and talk to them about your claim.
After they have talked to you they will tell you if they are ready to take you claim at 25% rate to handle all the processing and CPA work for you. It will not cost you anything before you get money from the Deepwater Settlement.
This is a deal and its there for the taking. People that have already sign up will also get this lower rate no matter when you signed up.
If you have already been paid then no you are stuck with the deal you had back then.
After you sign up with the attorneys its time for you to sign all the documents that needs to be signed for the attorneys to represent you.
Also you need to get the documents together that they will ask for. Your documents will then go to disaster processing where your future and past losses will be calculated.
The attorneys will find as many losses as they possibly can as this will increase your claim value. The attorneys will also make sure that no important deadlines are passed.
Like the October 1 2012 deadline or the November deadline. If your claim is not right for the Deepwater Horizon Settlements they will tell you and get you submitted directly to BP.
If you are not sure that you can do it yourself because your are busy with other stuff and would like for somebody to handle your claims with a personal touch fill out a form today.