The V Trend Explained
Many people are being told to opt out, or stay in The BP Settlement much of this discussion hinges upon understanding the V Trend.
If you are a Zone A Business or Individual you do not need to worry about the V Trend, just show a loss in 2010. Documenting those losses, under the terms of the Settlement are key.
To qualify under the settlement, many businesses need only show that their gross revenues for three consecutive months or more between May and December 2010 diminished 8.5 % (15% in zone D) as compared to the same months in either 2009, the average of 2008-2009, or the average of 2007-2009, this forms the first leg of the “V”- Shaped test. For the second leg of the “V”-Shaped Test, the business needs to have an increase in 2011 of 5% (10% in zone D) for the same consecutive months in 2010. There is a similar test for Individuals.
There are exceptions to this rule that we can assist you with. Importantly, outside of what the settlement methodology requires, a business is not required to draw a connection between the oil spill and their drop in revenues. Please understand the last part, you do not need to show the Oil Spill caused the loss. In many areas though the Oil Spill did deflate an economic recovery that was occurring in many areas along the Gulf Coast, and they should pay for it.
BP Settlement Zones
The Coastal areas from close to Houston to Key West are a conglomeration of A, B, and C zones, aside from the coastal areas, the whole states of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and the counties of Florida touching the Gulf are all zone D. To view the maps go here. Each zone has different RTP`s or Multipliers associated with it that will enhance the final calculation of your loss.
To Opt out or Opt In (That is the Question)
In the end the the decision is yours, at this point however there are a lot of people trying to answer it for you. Most of them are Attorneys with very large case loads. They have been holding their case loads over the heads of the settlement like a sledge hammer, telling the leadership if they don`t get their way they are going to tell their whole client base to Opt Out, and if the Settlement Fund did not get the show on the road they had good reason, the fund needs give them at the very least a sample set of claims. However it is my opinion the show is finally on the Road if ever so slowly leaving the Gate, and it is not time to Opt Out just yet. In about 2 weeks that answer may change.
Granted the BP Settlement, took a little longer to get going then anticipated, the date had to be extended, certain processors for the BP Settlement (Deepwater Horizon Settlement) had issues, but it has begun. If you Opt Out you can choose to litigate or have your claims filed with BP, under the BP Claims Program, for some this is a necessity. You need to do this by November 1, 2012, you do not need to be aligned with an Attorney to Opt Out.
Now mind you, if you Opt Out of the BP Settlement, the Judge capped what an Attorney can charge you at 25% of whatever your claim receives under the BP Settlement, if you Opt Out it is going to be whatever you agree to.
BP Business Claims
Business Claims that could demonstrate losses under the the V trend model and other settlement remedies such as the failed business model have done well lately, and recently we have gotten quite a few offers in. The numbers that our Claims Professionals have come up with, and what has been offered by the settlement have been as little as 1% off. The offers we have seen from the Settlement have all been fair, and they have all been accepted by our clients.
Why some Claims have Languished
What we have seen so far is that Individual Claims and Seafood Compensation Claims have not done well under the Settlement, due mostly to staunch documentation issues and because many processors and Attorneys decided to place an emphasis on business claims. Some documentation issues have recently been relaxed, and more people were hired to process claims by The Settlement.
After 2 1/2 years of trying to get people paid through the GCCF, and then the Settlement, many coffers were low, and the groups in this litigation for the most part, but not all rushed to get Business Claims that worked under the terms of the BP Settlement in first. This left many Individuals who have waited patiently, still waiting to be processed and many are being urged to Opt Out, and pursue litigation.
Many of these people have elected to release their Attorneys and Consultants recently and decided to go it alone or seek help elsewhere, and who can blame them. I strongly urge you to at the very least to see if your claim has been processed before doing so, and what is the calculation. If it has not been fully processed at least get an idea of when it will be, and if the Settlement is good for you.
Often the people helping with your claim are not at fault, the entire process has let you down. People are tired, and they have every right to be. There really needs to be a better solution for them. We really are all in this together and I urge everyone involved in this to stop putting profit before people and do the next right thing.
Now with all of that being said, for many Individual Claims and others it may be better to Opt Out and get with the right Attorneys and become a member of some class that may form down the road, or another remedy such as OPA presentment. We have reviewed and submitted a large number of Individual Claims in house recently, and I have to tell you their numbers and the lack of documentation that they can come up with does not bode well for them under the Settlement.
If you have all of your documentation and you can Clearly demonstrate your loss the above statement may not apply to you. However some of the Attorneys that have been at this for awhile are truly pros when it comes to this sort of litigation and I urge you to listen to them, they have a strategy, people need to judge their own claims based upon realistic expectations and proper documentation, in the end the choice is yours.
Now mind you I am not an Attorney and in no way is any of this legal advice, I am simply laying out the landscape as I see it, I am a large proponent of PPP, ( pause, pray and proceed), the answers will come.
BP Settlement Solutions
If you would like to understand more from an Attorneys point of view go to OilSpill-Attorneys.com, the Attorneys you will find here are a consortium of highly skilled Attorneys, who helped create this site and clearly expressed their views.
If you would like to use a Processor, and have a clear cut business loss you may want to use our highly skilled and trained Group of Claims Adjusters and CPA`s.
Mind you Processors can not give legal advice, and Attorneys can, that is something to consider at this point with the opt out dates coming up.
Neither gets paid until you do.
Again the decisions are yours.
We will help you with your BP Settlement and Beyond.
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Best of Luck to All.
If you Need Help call 1-800-BP-CLAIM