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In financial trouble? Your bank may be able to help

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Posted at 5:44 PM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2021-03-17 22:36:44-04

BALTIMORE — Banks are working with customers impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Customers are encouraged to contact their banks for individualized assistance.

Mary Ann Scully, chairman and CEO of Howard Bank, said they tailor solutions to meet specific needs.

“If you’re worried about mortgage payments, we can work through modifications. If you’re worried about the activity in your checking account, we can look at overdrafts. Clients that have never experienced these kinds of problems before, obviously, let us take care of that,” Scully said.

Howard Bank drive thru locations will remain open while branch lobbies are open by appointment only.

“You can use websites to transact, you can use websites to apply but at the end of the day if you want to get some kind of context on what’s happening and how much you should worry or not worry, you need a human being to do that,” said Scully.

As a preferred lender for small businesses, a number of Scully’s clients have been significantly impacted by the pandemic.

“I call the people that have lost 30 percent, 50 percent, 100 percent of their revenues. Restaurants, hotels are at ground zero. Their suppliers are right behind them then their landlords are right behind their suppliers, and so we’re working through all of those on a daily basis,” Scully said.

Her staff is staying on top of assistance programs, which are constantly changing, and helping clients navigate applications.

And while recovery feels distant and different in this type of situation, Scully said the same basic concepts apply like they would in the event of a personal tragedy -- triage and take it one day at a time.

The Maryland Bankers Association is also working with its members to help consumers. Kathleen Murphy, president and CEO of the MBA, wrote in part:

“Maryland banks have implemented a variety of measures to assist their customers including waiving fees, deferring payments, offering low or no-interest loans and many other measures to help their clients get through this emergency depending on their specific needs. … Because of higher capital requirements and other regulatory measures put in place over the past ten years, banks have never been in a stronger position to help their customers and communities weather this storm. The success of a bank is inherently linked to the success of their customers and communities. Banks want to see their customers come through this crisis and are working with those encountering financial hardships as a result of COVID-19 in a variety of ways to make that a reality.”

The American Bankers Association has an alphabetical list of what every bank has said publicly about how they’re responding to the pandemic. Click here to see the list.

The MBA also set up a special coronavirus resource center on their website with links to their members’ coronavirus resource pages as well as to their branch, digital, ATM and call center access information and contact information. You can view it by clicking here.