Campaign Urges Hurricane Victims to Contact Their Banks
While it has been months since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made landfall, some bank loan customers in the affected areas have not yet contacted their lenders. Because communication is a key step toward financial recovery, the federal financial regulatory agencies, including the Fed, have developed a public service campaign encouraging consumers to let their lenders know their current status.
The public service announcements (PSAs) are being distributed to print and radio outlets in media markets where the storms affected the most people. The announcements urge people to get in touch with their home financial institutions to avoid credit blemishes and further debt.
Federal regulatory agencies—the Federal Reserve Board, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of Thrift Supervision, and the National Credit Union Administration—and state financial regulators are encouraging banks, thrifts, and credit unions continue to work with borrowers affected by the hurricanes.
This assistance can come in the form of waived fees, lowered interest rates, extended repayment schedules, or deferred principal or interest. But a financial institution needs to hear from its customers to make these options available.