Friday, September 02, 2005

Personal Finance Relief For Katrina Victims

For anyone with family in the area, here a few options available for some short term relief of financial woes.

Ford Offers Payment Deferrals
Ford Motor Credit Company is offering customers affected by Hurricane Katrina the opportunity to defer up to two vehicle payments.

Under the Disaster Relief Program, customers have the opportunity to defer these monthly payments without paying extension fees. The program is open to customers living in counties that FEMA has declared federal disaster areas as a result of the storm.

Ford Motor Credit customers who are eligible for the Disaster Relief Program should receive letters next week with instructions on how to register. Customers must register within 60 days to qualify. Deferred payments are due at the end of the contract term. Customers who have not received a letter, but believe they qualify, may call the toll-free number listed for their brand to register: Ford Credit: 1-800-723-4016; Jaguar Credit: 1-800-945-7000; Land Rover Capital Group: 1-877-507-2264; Mazda American Credit: 1-800-945-4000; PRIMUS Financial Services: 1-800-945-4000; Volvo Car Finance: 1-800-770-8234

Mortgage Loan Relief Available
Fannie Mae has mortgage relief provisions in place for borrowers in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and other states facing hardships as a result of widespread damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.

With Fannie Mae's disaster relief provisions, lenders help borrowers in several ways, including suspending mortgage payments for up to three months, reducing the payments for up to 18 months, or in more severe cases, creating longer loan payback plans. Such assistance is provided on a case-by-case basis, and is designed to meet the individual needs of borrowers.

For information on mortgage relief, homeowners who have experienced hardships should contact the lender to whom they send their monthly mortgage payment.
Temporary Locations for Social Security Check Distribution
The U.S. Postal Service and the Social Security Administration have established temporary locations for the distribution of benefit checks to Louisiana and Mississippi residents unable to receive mail.

These Louisiana distribution sites will operate from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday Sept. 2, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday through Sept. 5:

Des Allemands Post Office, 17242 Highway 90, for residents of Venice (70091), Boothville (70038), Buras (70041), Port Sulphur (70083), Lafitte (70067), Barataria (70036), Belle Chase (70037), Gretna (70053/56), Harvey (70058), Marrero (70072), Westwego (70094) and Algiers (70114/70131).

The La Place Post Office, 190 Belle Terre Blvd. for residents of Point-a-La Hache (70082), St. Bernard (70085), Violet (70092), Meraux (70075), Chalmette (70043), Arabi (70032), Kenner (70062/65), Metairie (70001-70006) and Braithwaite (70040).

The Hamond Post Office, 105 North Railorad Ave., for residents of Mandeville (70471), Madisonville (70447) and Slidell (70458).

In the City of New Orleans:

The La Place Post Office, 190 Belle Terre Blvd. (70068), 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Sept, 2 and Saturday Sept. 3

The Gonzalez Post Office, 1706 S. Burnside Ave. (70737), 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 4 and Monday, Sept. 5

The Baton Rouge Downtown Station, 750 Florida Blvd. (70802), 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6 and Wednesday, Sept.7.

Beginning Sept. 8, unclaimed checks will be forwarded, if a forwarding address is on file. Those that cannot be forwarded will be returned to the Social Security Administration.

In Mississippi, check distribution sites will operate from 9 to 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2 through Sunday, Sept. 4.

The Escatawpa Post Office, 4100 Rabby St., for residents of Hurley (39555), Gautier (39553), Pascagoula (39563 and 39567) and Ocean Springs (39564).

The Biloxi Northbay Post Office, 356 Ginger Drive, for residents of Biloxi (39530, 39531, 39532, 39540), McHenry (39561) and Perkinston (39573).

The Gulfport Larkin Smith Mail Facility, 11110 Highway 49, for residents of Gulfport (39501/03/07), Kiln (39556), Pearlington (39573), Lakeshore (39558), Waveland (39576), Pass Christian (39571), Long Beach (39560) and Bay St. Louis (39520/25).

At all locations, postal employees will be requesting identification.



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