I am 70 years old and not in good health and do not know what to do to get my problem solved.

My home was damaged by Hurricane Irma

Damage estimate: $7500

My deductible was high: $13,200

So I will NOT be getting any money to make repairs. I am on SS and do not have the money to make ALL the repairs listed by the insurance adjuster at one time. I have made a few - Like clearing the trees and replacing broken windows

I then received mail from my mortgage company who holds the escrow account for my insurance premium payments which are due mid November. They said they will hold my insurance premium (due mid Nov) until the repairs are made.

Again I can NOT make all the repairs right now and the premium is due in two weeks and IF they don't send the premium payment to the insurance company they will cancel me and that will cause even more problems: getting new insurance etc etc.

I applied to FEMA but they said they do NOT cover the type of damage and only deal with personal property (??). They referred me to the SBA to get a loan to repair the damage but that was denied for poor credit rating.

Please someone give me solid advice as TO get this resolved.

  • 1
    Do you have equity in the house? A HELOC can be easier to obtain than an unsecured loan.
    – Hart CO
    Nov 8, 2017 at 15:17
  • Have you called the insurance company to try to arrange a way to set up a payment schedule on the premium directly instead of through the escrow account? Nov 8, 2017 at 16:24
  • yes we [paid 62,000 in 2000 and owe 34000 on it now - But again are on SS and do not have much savings or cash Nov 8, 2017 at 16:30
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    You won't lose the money they are holding, they'll adjust your escrow amount and/or refund excess so that it comes out even.
    – Hart CO
    Nov 8, 2017 at 16:33
  • 2
    This doesn't make sense to me. Why would the mortgage company refuse to pay the insurance bill? If they don't pay the bill, and the house is damaged again while uninsured, they could lose the remainder of their mortgage amount. Furthermore, if you pay the bill yourself because they refuse to, then by law they must return that extra money they were holding to you. So, IMHO, the only thing they accomplish by refusing to pay the bill is making more trouble for you. Am I missing something?
    – TTT
    Nov 8, 2017 at 19:27

1 Answer 1


I feel for you, I just got done writing an email dealing with my insurance company and the roofer. I have made about 30 calls to the insurance company in order to get my claim paid. My home was also damaged by Irma.

There are not many options available to you. If I found myself in your shoes, I would pay the insurance out of pocket. It is probably less than most of your repairs and then you can repair the items as you are able.

The other option is to sell the house.

Frankly I am unsure why anyone would retire while they have a mortgage. Perhaps if they excessive assets in relationship to the mortgage, but that does not sound like your situation.

It sounds like you also own too much house. Should a person in your financial situation live in a ~660K house? Perhaps you can downsize and buy something for cash reducing your expense and risk.

Also, for others, it always best (if you have a mortgage) to do your own escrow. That way you don't run into this kind of situation. Also you can achieve the maximum discount on property taxes that is offered in FL. I just paid my a few days ago, getting a 4% discount where most escrow companies will pay them only when they are due resulting in no discount.

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    My house is one of the smallest on Cape Coral - mORTGAGE REMAINING = 34,000 after 16 years - Bought for 63,000 in 2000 Market value is 85,000 yOU ASSUME EVERYONE HAS A lot of $$$ on hand - that is not the case here - I have had many health problems etc etc Nov 8, 2017 at 16:27
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    Then why is your deductible so high? The hurricane deductible, in FL, is 2% of home value, That is how I arrived at that figure. The deductible on a 85K house should be 1700.
    – Pete B.
    Nov 8, 2017 at 16:29
  • I had 10% - based on replacement value of 134000 ( THEY calculate on Replacement cost not value ) - 2% is one Option I was told - NOW after talking with ALLSTATE -- WAS NOT AWARE IT WAS AT that level NOT really happy with my agent right now - I have now lowered it to 4% and will pay 400.00 more per year Nov 8, 2017 at 16:34
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    Still I think your best option would be to pay the insurance out of pocket. Perhaps you can do a monthly or quarterly payment for now. I would not recommend getting a loan, after all how will it be paid back given your limited income?
    – Pete B.
    Nov 8, 2017 at 16:35
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    @peteB I'm in my late 50s and I'm not working now, but please don't tell my boss.
    – Jay
    Nov 8, 2017 at 19:25

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