Go here and see Virgil and Joyce Elsbury’s story.
I met Virgil through Facebook more than a year ago. It took me a while to understand his situation with his home on Ellis Blvd.
VICTIMS STILL AFTER 3 YEARS
BY ROBBERT EDDINGTON
Many people that were victims of the Iowa flood of 08 are still victims, of the disaster, of scams, and of political red tape. Virgil and Joyce Elsbury are just one such couple that fell victim to false promises by individuals, or a business to get their life back.
Trying to live the American dream Virgil and Joyce started buying their dream home located at 1423 Ellis Blvd. on contract in October of 2007, from Chad Wilson. They got to live what most Americans just dream of for a whole eight months before the flood. A home on contract that also had two other leans against it, that their contract payments were to pay off.
Then just as things were going good for them, like so many people the rising flood waters forced them to leave their home. Coming home later to find that the flood waters had reached as high as 8 feet in their home. With that the feeling of utter helplessness. A feeling that their dream, is gone, with nowhere to turn.
Then the federal government declaring the floods of 2008 a federal disaster, allowed FEMA, the RED CROSS, and other federal agencies to step in with money, and aide. Finally the Elsbury’s along with all of the other flood victims, had a light at the end of a long dark tunnel.
Their story though, along with a lot of other disaster victims has a twist. Unfortunately like winning the lottery, and making friends, family you didn’t know you had, victims of disasters have predators to. Scammers, businesses, and in general anyone trying to make a fast buck off the misfortune of others.
The original owner of their house Chad Wilson found out that they were going to receive money from FEMA for repairs, and came to them with a proposal. Virgil said that he was told that if he gave Mr. Wilson $10 thousand that he would fix the walls, heating, plumbing, and electrical. Mr Elsbury thinking this was a good deal, did just that once he received the $28k from FEMA. After a few days Mr. Wilson came back and informed Mr. Elsbury and his wife that he had over extended, and needed to get an additional $6 thousand. Mr Elsbury thinking good will in people, went to the bank and got a cashier’s check in Chad Wilson’s name.
Days went by and no work was started, and feeling defrauded Mr.Elsbury, unable to contacted Mr. Wison contacted Iowa Legal Services. From there they were told to contact the Attorney general’s office. They were told by the Attorney General’s office that it was a civil matter, to contact the CRPD. In a nutshell they were passed around like a gambler playing a shell game on a street corner. Mr Wilson is saying that the Elsbury’s broke that contract because they didn’t mow the yard.
After all the passing this off, not one agency is seeing the deliberate intent to defraud the Elsbury’s, by Mr Wison. Doing a walk-through of the house, seeing all of the copper that has been taken out, heater, water heater removed. You as a voter have to ask yourself where the justice is. Not in Cedar Rapids, IA, where the phrase, “It’s a civil Matter” is used over official doing their jobs.
If you are a victim of a disaster there are several resources that you can turn to. Do not wait!, and if you suspect fraud FEMA has a link to report it on their webpage. Here is another link that will be of fast help, with links and references that will be fast and easy.
Bottom line, if you are a victim of a disaster, always check for references. Check with the Better Business Bureau. Do not get a business card from someone and take for granted that they are a good person/business, because it may be you that gets taken.