Federal Financial Regulators Announce Public Service Campaign to Help Hurricane Victims

January 16, 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The federal financial regulatory agencies today announced a public service campaign to aid in the financial recovery of victims of last year’s hurricanes.

Althugh four months have passed since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made landfall, some bank customers have not yet been in contact with their lenders. Communication is an essential step in the road to financial recovery.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of Thrift Supervision, the National Credit Union Administration and state financial regulators are encouraging banks, thrifts, and credit unions to continue to work with borrowers affected by the hurricanes. Assistance may include waiving fees, lowering interest rates, extending repayment schedules, or deferring principal or interest for an additional period, where appropriate. For these options to be considered, however, it is essential that the borrower contact his or her lender.

The federal financial agencies continue to work to meet the needs of federally insured depository institutions and their customers. Additional guidance is available at the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council's Web site (http://www.ffiec.gov).

The public service announcements (PSAs) are being distributed to print and radio media outlets with the highest concentrations of people affected by the hurricane. The PSAs are also available for download and use from the OCC Web site at http://www.occ.gov/hurricane.htm.  If customers need assistance contacting their lender, please call the toll-free FDIC number, 877-275-3342.

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