Tens of thousands of Gulf Coast residents may be getting relief from debt they thought they owed the federal government. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is sorting through rules Congress recently approved.
FEMA sent out 83,000 letters this year to victims of Hurricane Katrina and other 2005 storms. They were told they may have gotten too much federal money. FEMA says it may have made the wrong calculations, but the law requires it try to recoup the funds it paid by mistake.
Earlier this month Congress approved new rules that allow FEMA to waive the debt. The agency is now reviewing the new provisions and developing a plan to notify those who received federal help if they have to pay anything back.