Chaney is planning new action
Published 7:00 am Friday, January 24, 2014
Mississippi State Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney’s lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al, which includes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), was a topic of discussion, during Chaney’s visit to the Poplarville Rotary Club, recently.
Chaney was accompanied by Lee D. Thames, Jr., Legal Counsel for the Mississippi Insurance Department and told the club that the Biggert-Waters reforms have been implemented illegally due to the fact that an affordability study, which was mandated to have been completed six months prior to rate increase, has never been done.
In September of 2013, Chaney made a motion for an injunction on FEMA from proceeding with National Flood Insurance Program rate increases, and a motion to postpone enforcements until the affordability study was completed.
FEMA then filed a motion to dismiss the suit for a lack of jurisdiction and lack of standing by his department, Chaney said.
The most current information is that the merits of the case will be heard next week.
After the meeting Thames took some time to provide additional information on the case.
On January 6 the judge took the motion under advisement and said he felt that he needed to hear merits of the case, Thames said.
“On January 27 he will hear us on preliminary motion for preliminary injunction and our motion to stay,” Thames said. “They would preclude or prevent FEMA from doing premium rate increases. He will also hear FEMA’s motion for dismissal.
“If we get a ruling in our favor, it will mean a lot for Mississippi. It will certainly help all of the primary homeowners who were going to have their flood insurance increase. You have a load of middle class people who have played by rules and lived in what was rated above the base flood elevation. These people are now in flood zones based on recent determinations.”
He added that hopefully it would give the committee an opportunity to slow down and review the potential for unintentional consequences.
“This will really take Congress to make some common sense judgment calls after reviewing the mandated study findings,” Thames said.