Tommy Lee Randle and Joyce Faye Randle - Page 4

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               Since March 1980, petitioners have owned and lived in a                
          single-family residence located in San Dimas, California.  On               
          January 17, 1994, petitioners’ residence was damaged by the                 
          infamous Northridge earthquake.  Although petitioners maintained            
          homeowners’ insurance at the time, their policy did not cover               
          damage caused by earthquake.                                                
               After the earthquake had occurred, petitioners sought                  
          financial assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency           
          (FEMA).  Toward that end, petitioners filed an application (No.             
          62245) for Disaster Housing Assistance.  By letter dated August             
          26, 1994, FEMA advised petitioners, in part, as follows:                    
               This is in response to your application for Disaster                   
               Housing Assistance.  You are eligible for financial                    
               assistance to make essential home repairs because your                 
               primary residence sustained damage as a result of the                  
               [FEMA] is issuing you a check for $2,641.96 to cover                   
               the cost of making essential repairs to your home.                     
               * * *  It is important you understand that the law will not            
               allow us to pay for all the repairs your home needs, but               
               only those that are necessary to make it safe to live in.              
                             *   *   *   *   *   *   *                                
               If you disagree with FEMA’s decision, you may appeal                   
               it.  Your appeal must be in writing * * * .  Your                      
               appeal letter must be postmarked no later than the 60th                
               day after the date of this letter. * * * FEMA will                     
               respond in writing to your appeal no later than 15                     
               calendar days after we receive it.                                     
               Although the record is not definitive on the matter, it                
          would appear that petitioners did not appeal FEMA’s August 26,              
          1994, decision.                                                             

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