NCUA Activates Disaster Relief Policy and Hotline in Sandy’s Wake

Action allows CUs to make special loans to affected members.

October 30, 2012

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, NCUA has activated its disaster relief policy, including opening the agency’s toll-free consumer assistance hotline to answer financial questions related to the emergency.

“Hurricane Sandy is a forceful storm that requires a forceful response,” says NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz. “NCUA is already reaching out to storm-affected credit unions to determine their needs and opening the agency’s toll-free hotline to answer consumer questions related to their financial services options after Hurricane Sandy. As always, consumers can rest easy knowing that their deposits at federally insured credit unions are safe.”

Credit union members needing emergency assistance related to Hurricane Sandy should call NCUA’s toll-free consumer assistance hotline [800-755-1030] Monday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Under the agency’s disaster relief policy, NCUA will, where necessary:

  • Encourage credit unions to make prudent loans with special terms and reduced documentation to affected members;
  • Reschedule routine examinations of affected credit unions, if necessary;
  • Guarantee lines of credit for credit unions through the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund;
  • Make loans to meet the liquidity needs of member credit unions through the Central Liquidity Facility.

NCUA encourages credit unions to exercise prudent efforts to alter terms on existing loans for affected members. Actions may include:

  • Extending the terms of loan repayments;
  • Restructuring a borrower’s debt obligations; and
  • Easing credit terms for new loans to certain borrowers, consistent with prudent practices.

In addition, federal credit unions may provide assistance to other credit unions, their members, and nonmembers in affected areas, under certain conditions:

►Emergency financial services for nonmembers, including check cashing, access to ATM networks, or other services to meet short-term emergency needs of individuals in affected areas, can be provided under the authority to engage in charitable activities. Federal credit unions providing services on this charitable basis may not impose charges for services that exceed their direct costs.

►A federal credit union may provide services to other credit unions that it is authorized to perform for its own members or as part of its operations. This activity is part of a federal credit union’s incidental powers, so it may impose charges for these services.

Institutions in need of assistance in dealing with members affected by this disaster should contact their primary supervisory official.