Banks Drop Some Fees For Storm Victims, Plan to Reopen Branches

Simon Zhen

By , Staff Writer
Posted on Wed Oct 31, 2012, Last Updated on Wed Jul 16, 2014

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Banks Drop Some Fees For Storm Victims, Plan to Reopen Branches

Tommy Miles / Flickr source

Hurricane Sandy will go down as one of the costliest natural disasters to have occurred in the United States. As residents in the Northeast recover from the storm, banks have responded with various forms of financial relief to assist customers who’ve been affected by the storm. And, banks are planning to reopen branches that they’ve closed in the past two days — if it is safe to do so.

Here’s the situation for the biggest banks in the affected regions (to be updated as new details become available):

Chase

For customers in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Washington D.C., certain fees will be waived through Nov.1, and customers have until the end of business on Nov. 2 to make a deposit or payment to avoid any fees that they might incur.

These fees include overdraft fees, overdraft-protection transfer fees and late fees on credit cards, business and consumer loans.

Chase Mortgage is extending interest-rate locks for until Nov. 5 for the above states and Maine and Vermont.

Chase will start to reopen branches Wednesday. “Our goal is to open as many branches as we can, as fast as we can, without compromising employee or customer safety,” said a Chase spokesperson.

Bank of America

Bank of America has activated its disaster relief program, which involves closing facilities in affected states and offering relief to customers.

Several forms of assistance are available to customers in Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C.

Customers may receive:

  • credit line increases on their Bank of America credit cards
  • modify or extend payments on loans, credit cards or lines of credit
  • get assistance with lost, missing or late payments
  • waivers of early withdrawal penalties on CDs
  • get refunds on overdraft and non-BofA ATM fees

Small business customers may also be eligible for these benefits.

Bank of America banking centers in Maine, New Hampshire and Upstate New York were open since Tuesday, said Bank of America spokesperson Mark Pipitone. Some locations in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Virginia (except North Virginia) and New York (Hudson Valley) were open too.

Pipitone could not immediately provide Bank of America’s plans for branch reopenings on Wednesday. Customers can use the branch-locator tool to find nearby banking centers — call ahead to confirm a branch’s hours.

Wells Fargo

Through Thursday, Nov. 1, Wells Fargo will waive late fees on credit cards, certain business and consumer loans. Customer will get refunds for fees incurred by using another bank’s ATM. The benefits apply to customers in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Delaware.

Customers with a Wells Fargo home mortgage may be eligible assistance with payments and advice on how to handle property insurance loss claims.

Wells Fargo is expanding mobile check deposit to customers in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. (The bank was originally working on a gradual nationwide roll-out of the feature.)

The bank did not say when their branches would resume operation. Customers are advised to call their specific branch.

Citibank

Citibank is ready to provide financial recovery solutions to customers affected by the storm. For example, the bank is waiving non-Citibank ATM fees. Customers should contact the bank for other form of financial assistance if they are in regions hit by the storm.

As of 2 p.m Tuesday., branches in Maryland, Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington D.C. have reopened (except for four branches). Ongoing assessments will be made to determine whether branches will open on Wednesday.

TD Bank

Upon request by customers (small business customers included) affected by Hurricane Sandy, TD Bank will refund non-TD ATM fees, overdraft fees and overdraft-protection fees. Also, customers with CDs will not incur early withdrawal penalties. Late fees on TD loans and credit cards may also be refunded.

TD Bank is offering instant-issue debit cards at its branches — free expedited delivery of debit cards is available too. New credit-card customers may request expedited delivery (within 72 hours) of their card, if approved.

Many TD branches in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, central and southern New Jersey and most boroughs in New York City (except Manhattan) are expected to be open Wednesday morning. Branches in coastal New Jersey, Manhattan and areas with power outages will remain closed. TD has a webpage with the latest updates on branch hours.

Capital One

Capital One did not mention any specific fee waivers, but the bank is offering assistance to affected customers.

“We encourage you to contact us if you need assistance,” Capital One said in an emergency notice. “We have programs in place to help customers who are experiencing difficulties due to the storm.”

The bank said customers should contact customer support or visit this page for the latest news on branch closures.

Sovereign Bank

Sovereign Bank will refund fees for overdraft, overdraft-protection transfers, extended overdrafts and late payments on consumer and small business loan (less than 30 days past due). Loans of up to $10,000 at a low interest rate are offers to customers have their property damaged due to the hurricane.

Small business customers may eligible for a $25,000 loan with no origination fee nor principal payments for the first three months.

“Many of Sovereign-Santander branches may be closed or experience limited hours over the next few days due to severe weather conditions from Hurricane Sandy,” the bank said in a notice.

As of Tuesday morning, most branches in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire and Rhode Island were open. Customers can check here for the latest updates on branch operations or contact customer support.

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  • fedup

    really nice of them to do so-since they have not been open to pay the bills during this crisis!!!-nonsense-they should pay everybodys mortgage for 1 month to get everyone back on there feet since the hurricane in nj-wait for 4 hours for gas-not worrying about the mortgage-just want to get to work to pay the mortgage but no gas available-NONSENSE!!!!-nov 6th-we should all not vote for anyone!!-bunch of clowns!!!!