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Loan criteria relaxed for Virginia tornado victims
VIRGINIA BEACH and NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (5/2/08)--Credit unions in Virginia were finding ways to make things easier for the victims of Monday's eight tornados in the state. Virginia Beach-based Chartway FCU announced it would be more flexible for loan applicants affected by the storms. The credit union has a branch office in Suffolk, one of the hardest-hit areas. "We understand that cash flow is imperative for victims at a time like this, and sometimes federal funding just doesn't come fast enough," said Chartway President/CEO Ron Burniske. The credit union will evaluate each loan request on a case-by-case basis and will be especially flexible on the dollar amount, term, and payment due day on those loans. It also will offer the option of waiving initial loan payments without a penalty fee, so victims can get back on their feet financially while waiting for federal funding and insurance checks. The leniency applies to all types of loans, both long- and short-term, Burniske said. "These people potentially lost everything they owned in a matter of seconds. We will try to help them regardless of their need," he said. "Maybe they lost their car, so we'll work with them on an auto loan. Maybe their house got torn apart, so we'll help them with a home improvement loan. If they simply need money for food or rent, we can help them with that, too. It's about us pitching in to help, as part of this community." Langley FCU, based in Newport New, announced it is matching contributions up to $10,000 in its newly created tornado relief fund for victims of the tornado. Members and non-members can visit any branch of LFCU to make contributions by cash or check throughout May. It will donate contributions to the Suffolk Chapter of the American Red Cross. The tornadoes tore apart everything in their path for about 10 miles, leaving many homeless, said Langley. More than 200 people were injured during the storms.


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