Jan 8, 2019

How banks are working with federal workers during the shutdown

Nancy Pelosi, Mike Pence, President Trump and Chuck Schumer in the Oval Office. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Some banks are forgiving late payments and service fees from customers among the approximately 800,000 federal workers affected by the partial government shutdown, which is in its third week.

Details: Wells Fargo will be automatically reversing monthly service, overdraft and insufficient fees, a spokesperson tells Axios, which Chase and Capital One are already doing. Capital One is also extending some loan payment due dates and waiving or refunding some credit card fees. Bank of America is working with customers on fee refunds, waivers, repayment plans and loan modifications.

  • Customers that are borrowing from Chase via a credit line or for a mortgage should reach out directly to Chase to work out the details on assistance. Those having difficulty paying off loans can work to set up assistance options with Wells Fargo, its corporate communications adviser told Axios.
  • PNC suggested customers reach out directly when reached for comment.

Between the lines: These banks are often deciding forgiveness options on a case-by-case basis, and each of these banks indicated federal workers should get in touch with their banks directly to work out the details.

Other assistance, per CNN:

  • "First Command [Financial Services] is offering its members who are federal employees interest-free payroll advances."
  • "Democracy Federal Credit Union is offering a short-term emergency loan with 0% interest."
  • USAA Bank and Transportation Federal Credit Union said they will "provide low-interest loans to their customers."

The other side, via CNN: "While federal employees typically receive back pay after the government reopens, federal contractors often do not. That means lenders can't necessarily count on contractors being able to quickly repay the loans or advances."

The bottom line: Now that the shutdown is crossing over into a new pay period, some federal workers who have exhausted their savings and other backup options in lieu of getting paid may start to feel the squeeze more, especially as President Trump and lawmakers are in a standstill over ending the shutdown.

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan's economy minister outlined plans on Monday to end the nationwide state of emergency as the number of new novel coronavirus cases continues to decline to less than 50 a day, per Bloomberg. Japan has reported 16,550 cases and 820 deaths.

By the numbers: Over 5.4 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.1 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 13.7 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,800 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 5,401,701 — Total deaths: 345,060 — Total recoveries — 2,149,407Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 1,643,238 — Total deaths: 97,720 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,195Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

President Trump doubled down on his push to reopen schools, tweeting late Sunday: "Schools in our country should be opened ASAP."

Zoom in: Trump pushed back on NIAD Director Anthony Fauci cautioning against the move earlier this month, calling his concerns "not an acceptable answer."