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Gov. Cuomo Is Seriously Going To Bat For Sandy Victims


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo talks to reporters about ongoing negotiations.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been pressuring financial services to relax fees for New Yorkers in the superstorm's path.

He's already blocked insurers from charging consumers hurricane deductibles on their claims, and now he's rolling out two new breaks for victims — on student loans and local bank fees. 

Anyone living in Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Rockland Suffolk or Westchester counties can request a 90-day grace period on student loan repayments from October 27th, 2012 to January 25th, 2013. Ditto for military workers who pitched in during the relief efforts.

Given the fact that 80 percent of delinquent student loan borrowers live in and around the New York City area, this should be a welcome relief.  

To request an extension call 1-866-991-4372 or email Dept736@hesc.ny.gov.      

There's also good news for bank customers. A handful of major state banks have agreed to waive fees and penalties until at least Nov. 15, and in some cases longer. 

The banks include: M&T Bank, Apple Savings, Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh, Emigrant Savings Bank and New York Community Bank.

“Thousands of New Yorkers’ lives have been disrupted by the storm — including their usual financial obligations and activities," Governor Cuomo said in a statement. “To help New Yorkers, major state-chartered banks have agreed to drop fees and penalties so consumers won’t have this additional cost. I call on any state or federal chartered banks that have not yet waived fees to follow suit."

Check with your bank for full details, but here is a general list of fees that will be forgiven:  

  • ATM fees.
  • Late payment charges.
  • Penalties for checks returned because of insufficient funds.
  • Overdraft protection transfer fees.
  • Penalties for early withdrawal of savings in circumstances where the customer has a demonstrable need for the funds resulting from the disaster.

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