Six financial regulatory agencies issued a joint statement advising banks and financial institutions to be flexible with borrowers during the partial government shutdown in the United States. The January 11, 2019 statement said:
"While the effects of the federal government shutdown on individuals should be temporary, affected borrowers may face a temporary hardship in making payments on debts such as mortgages, student loans, car loans, business loans, or credit cards. As they have in prior shutdowns, the agencies encourage financial institutions to consider prudent efforts to modify terms on existing loans or extend new credit to help affected borrowers."
"Prudent workout arrangements that are consistent with safe-and-sound lending practices are generally in the long-term best interest of the financial institution, the borrower, and the economy. Such efforts should not be subject to examiner criticism. Consumers affected by the government shutdown are encouraged to contact their lenders immediately should they encounter financial strain."
The six agencies which signed the joint statement include the:
- Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
- Conference of State Bank Supervisors
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
- National Credit Union Administration
- Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Today is day 25 of the shutdown. Yesterday, President Trump rejected calls by Republicans to temporarily reopen several agencies to encourage negotiations with Democrats in the House of Representatives.
Reportedly, OceanFirst Bank has suspended fees for borrowers unable to make monthly payments on mortgage loans, home equity loans, and lines of credit. Provident Bank it would offer a limited number of refunds on late payment fees for mortgages, home equity loans, checking account overdraft fees, and late credit card payment fees.
Has your bank shown flexibility? Or has it refused your requests? Share your experiences and opinions below.