New Fear for Katrina Victims: Collectors

Company claims it overpaid on some rebuilding grants
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2008 7:37 PM CDT
Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., left, talks with Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, right.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – A contractor responsible for doling out federal rebuilding money to Katrina victims is seeking another company to collect what may amount to hundreds of millions of dollars from Katrina victims. ICF International claims it overpaid some applicants in a rush to get $11 billion out the door; meanwhile, a third of claimants have yet to receive a dime, AP reports.

ICF says that as many as 5,000 people received too much money in the Road Home program it administers, with the overage overpayment at $35,000. The announcement comes two weeks after Louisiana authorities announced a probe into why the company was paid an extra $156 million for the job. Activists were skeptical. “What they need to be is aggressive about finding the underpayments,” one said.