Challenging the Debt To challenge the determination of the debt you must appeal the decision. Follow the appeal process in the letter to challenge the decision. If you do not follow the procedure you will owe FEMA the money stated in the letter and any interest that may accrue upon the amount. Interest will begin to accruing on the potential debt 30 days after the date of the Notice of Potential Debt Letter, so do not delay in handling this letter. If you follow the process, FEMA will grant or deny your appeal within 90 of the date the appeal was filed. If your appeal is granted the debt will be terminated or adjusted to a smaller amount. If your appeal is denied the debt will become final and FEMA will send a Notice and Demand Letter with the final amount of the debt and a way to start repaying the debt. Please note that once the Notice and Demand Letter has been sent the debt is not appeal-able. However FEMA may work with you to set up a repayment plan. You do not need to be a lawyer or have a lawyer to make the appeal, but it is highly recommended.