Banks asked to waive late fees after storm

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York’s attorney general has asked banks and utilities to waive late payment fees for residents in western New York who were affected by the recent snow storm.

The storm dumped as much as 7 feet of snow on areas south of Buffalo and disrupted mail service for days in some areas. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Wednesday that residents have been through enough and shouldn’t have to worry about paying fees because their credit card, utility and housing payments were delayed.

“New Yorkers pull together during difficult times, and that is why our team of lawyers and housing counselors are ready to help Western New Yorkers impacted by this severe snowstorm,” he said. “Many families have been hit hard enough by the weather, and that is why we want to make additional resources available to homeowners and consumers in need.”

Schneiderman also is directing housing counselors and legal services providers to assist residents in resolving insurance claims or issues with contractors. The advisers are part of Schneiderman’s “Homeowner Protection Program,” which helps residents facing foreclosure, but will now make themselves available to homeowners struggling to recover from the storm.

Individuals interested in requesting help can call 1-855 HOME-456 or visit the attorney general’s website.

Authorities also are on the look-out for cases of price gouging related to the storm. Schneiderman’s office said 58 complaints have been received so far. More than half involved offers to remove snow from roofs or driveways. There have been 12 reports of gouging when it came to groceries and 11 related to towing services.

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Online:

http://www.aghomehelp.com

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