Tree on top of house since Tropical Storm Debby | News

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Tree on top of house since Tropical Storm Debby

ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Since June 26, a tree has been sitting on Lonnie and Betty Brister's Orange Park home.

"It is a water oak. It got all that water and it just fell down," said Lonnie Brister.

When it fell, it demolished his roof and made one of his bedrooms a complete loss.

"My wife said she thought it was thunder when the tree fell on the house," he said.

The Bristers are frustrated. They've been living like this since June and the question is why?

"I'm mad about it," said Brister. "It doesn't make any sense. I work hard and buy me a house and pay my insurance and this stuff comes up?"

Shortly after Debby, their insurance company looked at the damage and issued a check to the Bristers for the repairs: $7,000.

But because they still have a mortgage, it was signed and sent to the bank, which will monitor the repairs. They say they have submitted several proposals from contractors to the bank for approval but the process has only added to more delays, more frustration.

"They would always say something is wrong with the paperwork, every time," said Brister.

Their bank is IndyMac, which was recently acquired by One West bank. The servicing center told them their money is in an escrow account and the process used to hire a contractor is to protect them.

But after nearly three months, the Bristers are doubtful.

"How am I going to get my house fixed?," he asked.

FEMA has visited the area but told them it is an insurance issue. Like many other property owners, they are in limbo while their homes continue to fall into disrepair.

"I want my house fixed, I want the money to get my house fixed," he said.

David Isaacs, spokesperson for the bank, said it may take a few days to identify the problem but they will work toward a solution.

Do you have problems from Debby and don't know what to do?

If it is an insurance problem, contact the Office of Financial Regulation. If it is bank issue, contact the office of Comptroller of the Currency.


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