I read this story the other night and could not believe what I was reading. After hurricane Ike hit the Gulf Coast region of Texas a few years a go, almost wiping out Galveston and causing lots of damage even further inland, many people turned to the government and FEMA for financial help. There is a ton of red tape to go through in order to receive funding but people do it because they need the help. That is the case with Clay Gates. Clay received almost $23,000 in aid and now the government wants it's money back, saying he actually didn't qualify for the funding in the first place.

Clay had 4-5 feet of salt water in his home that destroyed almost everything. He filed for the government help through FEMA, they cover damages that aren't covered by insurance or for no coverage. Clay was approved and they deposited almost $23,000 into his account. Clay even went as far as to buy the goods and do a lot of the repair work himself instead of hiring a contractor so that the money would stretch farther.

Recently he received a letter from FEMA stating that upon review,he didn't actually qualify for the funding and they needed him to return the money. Oh, and they want penalties and interest added to that so now he actually owes them closer to $31,000.

Clay has been in contact with the FEMA agency, even getting one person to admit that it was their fault, but that doesn't seem to matter they want their money back, NOW! He's contacted his area State Representative and received no return answers from them either.

The IRS is also now involved and unless the money is paid back they can begin garnishing his wages until it is paid back in full. He says his family is barely getting by as it is and if the government garnishes his wages he won't be able to pay his bills or his house payment and could possibly lose his home because of all of this.

Now the FEMA people "ADMITTED" it was their mistake, I'm sorry I don't think he should have to pay this money back and certainly not with penalties and interest.

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