AG asks lenders for 90-day grace period because of coronavirus




Attorney General Mark Brnovich speaks at the inauguration on Jan. 7, 2019. Photo by Jerod MacDonald-Evoy | Arizona Mirror

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich issued a letter urging lending agencies in the state to waive payments on loans for up to 90 days in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic

Brnovich’s letter is addressed to all “financial and lending institutions” in Arizona. In addition to the request of lending companies, he asked financial institutions to forego foreclosures, cease car repossessions, refrain from applying late fees and stop making negative reports to credit bureaus for 90 days. 

“Arizonans who are not working or have had their hours dramatically reduced due to this public health crisis need to know that they will have a roof over their heads and the ability to provide for their families during this difficult time,” Brnovich said in his letter. 

The letter is a suggestion to the companies and is not an enforcement action, unlike in other states where attorneys general have taken more hard-line approaches. 

In New York, Attorney General Letitia James has temporarily suspended medical and student debt referred to her office for 30 days. But Colorado’s attorney general took a similar approach to Brnovich, urging institutions to pause debt collection services.  

Brnovich applauded institutions that have already begun to take some of these steps, such as Fannie Mae, which has suspended evictions along with Housing and Urban Development until April.  

“By working together for the benefit of our fellow citizens, we will come out of this sudden, unexpected and unprecedented public health, and economic crisis,” Brnovich said. 

How you can tell if you might have been impacted

Symptoms of coronavirus resemble that of the flu. So, if you’re experiencing coughing, fever, difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath, you should consider getting checked out. Call your primary care physician or visit an urgent care center or emergency room — but call the health care provider before you go so they can be prepared for your arrival. The Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center is taking COVID-19 calls: 1-844-542-8201

How the coronavirus spreads

  • Through the air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it

How to prevent spreading the coronavirus

  • Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Don’t use your hands.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Clean surfaces frequently, including counter tops, light switches, cell phones, remotes, and other frequently touched items.
  • Contain: if you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.
Jerod MacDonald-Evoy
Reporter Jerod MacDonald-Evoy joins the Arizona Mirror from the Arizona Republic, where he spent 4 years covering everything from dark money in politics to Catholic priest sexual abuse scandals. Jerod has also won awards for his documentary films which have covered issues such as religious tolerance and surveillance technology used by police. He brings strong watchdog sensibilities and creative storytelling skills to the Arizona Mirror.