As of this posting, there are 41 deaths in the US and 5,388 worldwide resulting from COVID-19 with more than 1,600 cases in the US reported in 46 states and Washington, DC.
As companies switch to remote working and people avoid gathering places, many businesses are being impacted, causing them to close down or reduce working hours.
The FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) is encouraging financial institutions to provide relief to customers, and many banks and mortgage companies have coronavirus webpages in place. In addition, Frannie Mae and Freddie Mac are encouraging home loan consumers having trouble making their payments to reach out to their mortgage servicer.
Headquartered in Seattle, WaFd Bank (formerly Washington Federal) is offering lines of credit with no interest for 90 days to affected small businesses, and is expediting consumer loans as well. Also Citibank has announced a number of fee waivers, as well as credit line increases and a collection forbearance program, and US Bank is also providing reduced payments to consumers, quick loans to businesses and other relief.
At this point, many bank webpages are recommending using a web browser or mobile app for accessing accounts and advising customers to email or phone if they are having trouble making payments as a result of the pandemic. Here are the coronavirus page links of some popular banks:
Contact your bank or mortgage servicer if you are affected by COVID-19 and check back with them if nothing is in place as measures are still being rolled out.
Beyond financial institutions, utility companies are also putting programs in place. In Seattle, for example, Seattle City Light provides deferred payment plans to residents and businesses affected by the virus. Call (206) 684-3000 for more information.
We hope everyone stays healthy. Here are links for tips on how to minimize risk and stay healthy: