Answer by Dan Persfull: You will have to go to FEMA's Web site's Map Service Center and plot the property yourself if you don't want to rely on your vendor's determination.
Answer by Kathleen Blanchard: Disputes can be referred to FEMA for a review. Instructions are at FEMA's website.
Requests MUST be postmarked no later than 45 days following the date the lender notified the borrower that the property is in an SFHA. Data and fee received bearing a postmark later than 45 days following lender notification will be returned to the sender without review by FEMA.
Answer by Andy Zavoina: This is not unusual. I've even had it occur when we were using two flood vendors and evaluating one of them. What is important is that you take action and cover the flood risk in advance. Remember that your flood vendor should have a bond/insurance policy against errors. I'll bet you don't have similar coverage from the agent. Still, that is not the determining factor on the course of action you need to take. You don't close the loan without insurance. FEMA issued an opinion in 2008 that essentially said, use the most hazardous rating unless the structure qualifies under a grandfathering rule. That letter is W-08021. With a policy in place the borrower can request the determination or a LOMA. If it is in the less hazardous area, a refund should be available.
First published on BankersOnline.com 5/27/13