Hurricane Ike victims getting hit with liens on their homes

April 2, 2012 3:17:13 PM PDT
It's been nearly three and a half years since Hurricane Ike devastated the Gulf Coast. And while most who lost everything have gotten back on their feet, some Ike victims are still cutting through the red tape trying to return to a normal life.

Some Galveston residents are now getting hit with liens on their homes from contractors who haven't been paid for repairs.

Galveston city leaders say they're working to address the problem, but some of the homeowners are still getting notice of liens on their homes -- liens, they say, shouldn't have been placed.

When Ramona Cammarn picked up her mail Friday, she got a nasty surprise.

"I discovered that I have liens on my home," Cammarn said.

The liens were placed on her home by companies that did work on her new home, like the company that put in an $8,000 septic system. It was supposed to be paid with money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development as part of a Hurricane Ike recovery program.

Cammarn's home was demolished in July after she found out the salt water that flooded her house during Ike had damaged the foundation. She qualified for a federal program to rebuild but says it's given her headaches.

"It was a very slow process; it was supposed to be done in 120 days and we finally got moved in on January 20," Cammarn said.

The rebuilding process in Galveston has been riddled with delays and frustration, slow construction and slow payment.

We asked Galveston City Manager Michael Kovacs about the liens.

"The suppliers, the subcontractors haven't been paid and we're working with some of those folks to get those people paid," Kovacs said.

The city says a couple of contractors are behind the problem, including Compass Pointe Homes, which built Cammarn's home. But getting answers has been tough for Cammarn, who just wants the liens removed.

"Very stressful, very stressful and very frustrating," she said.

We called Compass Pointe Homes but did not get a return call.

Meanwhile, the city of Galveston says there is a new company overseeing the rebuilding program. They now anticipate fewer delays for property owners still waiting for new homes and fewer problems with paying the companies that do the work in the future.


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