More PA Banks To Sign On To Consumer Relief Initiative

Apr 7, 2020


On today's program: PA’s attorney general is urging banks to voluntarily grant their customers grace periods; worries grow about health care inequity during the coronavirus outbreak; and most Americans seem to agree about a slow approach to reopening the economy.  

Shapiro wants banks to offer delays in mortgage and loan payments
(00:00 — 09:45) 

Many Americans will start receiving up to $1,200 in stimulus money by the end of next week, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, but that might not be enough for tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians who have lost their income due to the shutdown.

“So many are struggling making sure they can care for their families and put food on the table while also realizing they can’t make a mortgage payment, they can’t make a car loan payment,” says state Attorney General Josh Shapiro. His office launched a companion initiative to the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act last week. “We built it on some of the good work that was done in Washington, but really what we did was make it Pennsylvania specific.”

Under the plan, banks would voluntarily offer 90-day grace periods for mortgage and consumer loan payments and 60-day moratoriums on foreclosures and evictions. He says PNC, First Commonwealth and Dollar Bank have already signed on.

“Obviously the goal is to cover as many Pennsylvanians as possible," Shapiro says. "It’s my hope that every bank would agree to join.”

COVID-19 brings about familiar concerns of bias
(09:48 — 14:00)

As the coronavirus continues to spread, some states are publishing race and ethnicity data that show a disproportionate number of positive cases in majority black and low-income areas.

90.5 WESA’s Ariel Worthy reports that in Pittsburgh, there could be special concerns after a report last year showed there are already gaps in local health care treatment for black women. 

Survey shows many think the virus could unite communities
(14:03 — 18:05)

A majority of Americans believe that while their communities will suffer in the short term from the COVID-19 pandemic, they will eventually recover. And nearly one in five people feel their communities will emerge stronger than ever. That’s according to a new Public Agenda/USA Today/Ipsos Hidden Common Ground survey.

Christine Herman of Side Effects Public Media and America Amplified reached out to people who participated

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