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Real estate gets special payout for Gulf spill claims

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A portion of the $20 billion BP Claims Fund for victims of the Gulf Coast oil spill has now been set aside for real estate professionals, according to Realtor associations involved in the negotiation of the fund. The fund will set aside $60 million for real estate licensees in the five states affected by the spill: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. The Gulf Coast Claims Facility, an independent facility run by administrator Kenneth Feinberg, took over the BP claims process this week as the result of an agreement between the Obama Administration and BP.At first, Feinberg had not considered allocating any part of the $20 billion fund to real estate professionals, asserting that there was no legal basis for claims, according to several news sources. After several meetings with the state Realtor associations in affected states, however, Feinberg decided to establish the emergency fund to assist those who had suffered a loss of income from the spill. "I think it's th...