Recovery Information for Consumers Affected by Hurricane Katrina
Money and credit: The FDIC, a federal government agency, has information for bank customers. The FDIC has a 24 hour toll free phone number for bank customers to ask questions: 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342). The FDIC main page also links to the advice that federal banking regulators have given to banks, savings and loans, and credit unions encouraging them work with consumers on issues such as postponing payments. The FDIC page also links to answers to about frequently asked questions, plus it tells you how to contact your bank if you’ve been displaced or if your branch is closed. Here is the FAQ: http://www.fdic.gov/news/katrina/katrinafaq.html.
Federal and state bank regulators are encouraging banks, savings and loans, and credit unions to work with customers at this difficult time. However, in nearly all cases, you have to call your bank, tell them you have been affected by Hurricane Katrina, and ask them to work with you. For a list of bank branches in the affected areas, plus phone numbers to reach your bank, see: http://www.fdic.gov/news/katrina/katrinastatus.pdf.
For a list of Katrina Mortgage and Insurance Hotlines prepared by the nonprofit ACORN Housing, see:
http://www.acornhousing.org/TEXT/katrinalenders.pdf. Most of the lender or insurers with special programs for Katrina victims require you to call them. You can use these phone numbers to find out where to call.
General consumer advice: The Federal Trade Commission has launched a Hurricane Recovery website, www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/events/katrina/index.html. On a page on this site, the FTC offers advice about money, credit, and common scams, including scams related to home repairs, debris removal, water treatment, advanced fee loans, charitable donations and solicitations, home ownership, credit and money, door-to-door sales, fake disaster officials, job or rental listings, and utilities. The index to the consumer advice, by topic, is found at: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/events/katrina/consumer_info.html