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RESPONSE TO TERROR | IN BRIEF / WASHINGTON, D.C.

Waiver of Financial Penalties Supported

December 11, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

Leaders of the financial services industry agreed to waive penalties for people whose mail is delayed due to the anthrax crisis--or any similar future scare--whenever the U.S. Postal Service determines there has been a significant disruption of mail.

The pact is based on legislation introduced by Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.), whose constituents have been affected by the closure of an anthrax-contaminated mail-processing center in Hamilton, N.J.

Smith's bill would have prohibited creditors from imposing late fees, increasing interest rates or downgrading the credit record of anybody whose mail was disrupted by "a biological, chemical or radiological attack."

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