NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Banks and regulators are stepping up efforts to provide mortgage aid and other forms of financial relief to victims of Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast.Fannie Mae FNMA is directing servicers to temporarily suspend or reduce monthly payments for 90 days for homeowners adversely affected by the Hurricane.Freddie Mac FMCC said a "full menu of relief policies" will be available for affected borrowers with mortgages owned or guaranteed by the agency. Servicers have been instructed to offer, on a case-by-case basis, a range of relief options including forbearance or delay of mortgage payments for as long as one year, suspension of foreclosure and eviction proceedings for up to 12 months, waiver of penalties or late fees against borrowers with disaster-damaged homes, and not reporting forbearance and delinquencies caused by disaster to the national credit bureaus.
Read more about disaster assistance available through HUD. Meanwhile, banks are scrambling to reopen branches in the affected states, especially in New York and New Jersey. "We are working hard to get some of our tri-state branches open Oct. 31, and we have half of our ATMs up and running," Ryan McInerney, CEO of JPMorgan Chase's JPM Consumer Banking unit, said in an email to customers yesterday. Hundreds of Chase branches have been damaged by the storm, but the bank is mobilizing portable generators to get centrally located branches open as soon as possible. JPMorgan is also extending waivers on fees, announced earlier this week, to Nov. 1 to customers in affected states.Shanthi Bharatwaj.>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/shavenk.>To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.
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