GALLAGHER TO LENDING INDUSTRY: REACH OUT WITH DISASTER RECOVERY ASSISTANCE
Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher is
asking lenders to offer a compassionate response to Floridians dealing with the
devastating aftermath of Hurricanes Charley and Frances, including eliminating
fees for lending transactions and granting loan payment extensions to affected
“I’m asking financial service companies to reach out to help the thousands of
storm victims,” Gallagher said. “When disaster strikes, we must all stand
together to help those in need, and I’m proud to partner with Florida’s lending
industry in getting our citizens on the road to recovery.”
Gallagher offered the following suggestions for lenders assisting borrowers who
are in the process of rebuilding after the storms. Within prudent lending
guidelines, lenders should recognize individual circumstances and consider the
Waiving or reducing fees for services.
Waiving or reducing late fee penalties on past
due loan payments.|
Not reporting forbearance or delinquencies to
national credit reporting agencies for a specified time period.
Promptly releasing insurance proceeds in excess
of mortgage balances to pay for repairs.
Promptly releasing funds intended for living
Waiving restrictive appraisal requirements, if
For refinancing and home equity lines of credit,
accept customer’s waiver of the 3-day right of rescission.
Discussing payment plan options such as:
o Reducing or suspending payments.
o Allowing for skipped payments.
o Extending repayment terms on loans.
o Refinancing loans.
o Increasing credit line and credit card limits.
Considering uninsured losses, extended
unemployment, and extraordinary storm-related expenses of the borrowers when
discussing payment plans and options.
Rapidly responding to requests for inspections
for construction draws.
Reducing inspection fees and unnecessary
Allowing consumers to restructure debt by easing
credit extension terms for new loans.
Advising borrowers of federal agencies who may
assist with disaster relief.
Empathizing and working with your customers.
Consumers needing storm related assistance should call the Department of
Financial Services’ hurricane hotline at 1-800-22-STORM.