[StBernard] News You Can Use - 11/17/05

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Thu Nov 17 22:25:34 EST 2005

I will be sending out information to people I believe to be either displaced
by Katrina or to people who are housing those of us displaced by Katrina. I
am doing this to try and help us all. I realize that many of us are getting
lots of e mails. If you would like to be taken off of this list, please
reply to that effect and I'll remove you.

On the other hand, if you know of someone who you think may benefit from
receiving information such as what I've sent here, please let me know that
and I'll add them to the list.

If you have a question on some financial, insurance or related topic, please
let me know. I'll try to address it and share the information with

November 17, 2005

Good Day Sunshine,

For the first time in a long time, the weather is actually quite cool and
refreshing. It seemed as if summer was never going to end.

It's also been exceptionally dry. I can only think of a couple of days
(except for that little visit from Ms. Rita) that we had any rainfall to
speak of. Normally, that would not be too good. However, since many of our
houses are still "open" to the elements, not having a lot of rain has been a
great blessing.

Self Employed People - Don't Leave This Money on the Table

One of the first editions of "News You Can Use" spelled out the Disaster

Assistance for self employed business owners. That self-employed owners
would be eligible for assistance was a big surprise to many, including
myself. The general thought had been that since we did not contribute to
the unemployment insurance fund, we would not be eligible for unemployment

We may not be eligible for State unemployment benefits, but we were eligible
for a federal unemployment benefits (Disaster Unemployment Assistance). Even
though this is a federal program, it is administered by the State.

Many of us either applied on line, or if we went in person to apply, we did
not bring any documents to verify income. As a result, we had been
receiving the minimum benefit amount of $98 per week.

A friend informed me that if self-employed people could verify their income
and it was at a level that justified benefits greater than $98 per week, he
or she would be eligible for these higher benefits into the future.
Furthermore, benefit increase would be calculated all the way back to the
first check. As a result, the business owners would receive a lump sum
"catch up" benefit.

If you are self employed and have not yet visited the LA Works office to
verify your income with them, take the time to do that now. You could be
entitled to as much as an additional $160 per week. Given that you may have
been receiving $98 for 10 weeks, the $160 a week difference adds up to a
lump sum benefit of $1,600 to catch up, plus an additional $160 per week
moving forward.

Used Car Buyers - Beware

It's no secret that many cars throughout the Gulf States have been damaged
by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. One figure estimates there were
500,000 cars totaled out because of these storms.

If your car was damaged, you may be looking to replace it with another used
car. The worst thing you could do would be to buy another water damaged car
that had been "cleaned up" by an unscrupulous dealer.

Typically, cars that are totaled out are sold to salvage auctions for parts
or to people who can reconstruct and resell them. Louisiana is trying to
pass legislation that would require water damaged vehicles to be crushed,
thus eliminating the possibility of them being resold.

This is not just a local issue. You can put a flooded car on the back of a
tow truck today and have it in Chicago tomorrow, so pay attention to what
you are buying.

Have someone with a trained eye look at the vehicle before you buy it.
Carfax, the company that records and normally sells service histories of
used cars is offering a free Carfax Flood Check. Go to www.carfax.com/flood
and enter the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the car you are looking
at and it'll let you know if the car has been registered in an area that
suffered flooding. For an additional fee, you can get the details of the
car's history.

FEMA Trailers for Workers

Last time, I mentioned that the issue of whether or not having a FEMA
trailer assigned to an employee would disqualify that employee from getting
his or her own "personal" FEMA trailer had been resolved. The fact is that
having a trailer assigned to an employee of your business does not
disqualify them from having their own trailer.

The challenge of course is how to get these trailers for your employees.

Towards that end, the St. Bernard Economic Development Commission's own Gary
Huettmann has set up shop in Baton Rouge and has become somewhat of an
expert of securing these trailers for St. Bernard employers. He's
physically located down the hall from the agency that's responsible for the
FEMA trailers and I here he's established quite a working relationship with
the people there.

If you are a St. Bernard business person in need of trailers to house your
employees so you can re-start your operations, contact Gary at
ghittmann at aol.com and he'll be glad to help you.

St. Bernard Chamber Grants Available

If your business was located in St. Bernard Parish prior to Katrina and you
were a member of the St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce, you may be eligible
for a $15,000 grant from that organization.

In order to receive the grant, you must affirm your intent to relocate in
St. Bernard Parish. Upon acceptance of the grant check, you must sign a
statement affirming that if you cannot open your business within one year
from the check date, you will return the money to the Chamber. Applications
must be received by January 15, 2006.

This program is only for businesses that were members of the St. Bernard
Chamber as of August 29, 2005. If you're interested, please contact Amy
Ybarzabal at the Chamber at 504-250-6121. Applications should be mailed to:

St. Bernard Chamber
P.O. Box 2204
Mandeville, LA 70470

Finally, a small commercial

Are you wondering what to do when you receive your check in settlement of
your insurance policies?

For many, these checks will total over $100,000. These funds need to be
placed somewhere safe, so they are available to you when you need them to
rebuild your house, or purchase another property. Do not be tempted to have
someone "put these funds to work for you in the market."

Many of you know that professionally, I am a Certified Financial Planner
professional. If you would like to receive information on a federally
insured savings account paying very attractive rates on money held until it
will be used to rebuild, please give me a call or reply to this e mail.
This account has no fees or minimums and is insured by the FDIC. I'd be
happy to tell you about it and give you the details.

DISCLAIMER: This e mail is intended to help those of us who have been
impacted by Hurricane Katrina. It may contain information that is somewhat
legal in nature or affect your taxes.

References to legal or tax considerations are intended only to alert you in
a general way of those considerations which may effect you. We do not
engage in the practice of law. All legal considerations must be referred
to and passed upon by your attorney. All tax considerations should be
reviewed by your tax preparer.

Paul V. Perez
Certified Financial Planner

Financial Network Investment Corporation, Member SIPC
7642 Old Hammond Highway
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
(504) 494 3144
(225) 248 6635
(225) 208 1885 (fax)

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