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Oil spill claims deadline imminent

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The deadline for real estate professionals to submit emergency claims for loss of income as a result of the Gulf oil spill is fast approaching. In August, the $20 billion BP Claims Fund for victims of the spill set aside $60 million for real estate licensees in the five states affected by the spill: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Agents and brokers have until Nov. 23 to file for an emergency advance payment of up to $12,000 through a local Realtor association. Such payments are "available to individuals and businesses that are experiencing financial hardship resulting from damages incurred by the spill," according to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility website. GCCF is the relief fund's third-party administrator. Business claims will be evaluated within seven days of submission and, if the claimant is deemed eligible, GCCF will issue a payment within 24 hours of that determination, according to the site. Licensees who submit a claim do not waive their ...