USVI & BVI (Tortola): Payment solutions for your accounts

October 05, 2017

We are aware that you are going through a difficult time due to Hurricane Maria, we offer solutions for your account payments. Here is a list of frequently asked questions and answers regarding:

Mortgage Loans

  1. What is a special 90-day payment forbearance on my mortgage loan?

It’s a period during which you will be provided with the flexibility of postponing certain payments on your mortgage loan.  A 90-day forbearance is the equivalent of three (3) monthly payments.

  1. Do I have to call the bank to take advantage of the special forbearance?

While the option of deferring these payments is available to any client whose loan was current or less than 90 days past due as of September 30, 2017, you may be required to call the Bank depending on your existing payment method. Please refer to the following instructions:

    • If you use a coupon booklet, you won’t have to do anything to take advantage of the special forbearance, and won’t have to make a payment.
    • If you have Direct Debit (also known as Automated Debit or Automated Payment) and want to temporarily suspend automatic debits for your mortgage payments, you should contact Banco Popular at 1.888.745.0717. Alternatively:
      • If you are in Puerto Rico, you may visit our offices on the 2nd floor of Centro Europa in Santurce or the 5th floor of the Banco Popular building in Altamira between 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
      • If you are in St. Thomas, you may visit our Main branch between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday or between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Saturday.
      • If you are in St. Croix, you may visit our Sunny Isle or Orange Grove branches between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
      • If you are in Tortola, you may visit our Tortola branch between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday or between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon on Saturday.
    • If you scheduled your payment through TelePago Popular® with a pre-established frequency, you should call TeleBanco Popular® at 787.294.2588 or log into Mi Banco Online to cancel the payment you scheduled and request payment flexibility.
  1. Who is eligible for this special 90-day forbearance?

All residents of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the British Virgin Islands (Tortola) are eligible.

  1. Which loan products qualify for the special forbearance?
  • Conventional mortgage loans
  • Non-conventional mortgage loans
  • Balloon mortgage loans
  • Second mortgage loans
  1. What is Direct Debit?

You have Direct Debit if you signed a contract with the Bank authorizing it to debit your monthly mortgage payments from your checking or savings account.

  1. How does Direct Debit differ from TelePago Popular® with a pre-established frequency?

Direct Debit is set up through a contract (usually signed at the mortgage transaction closing); while TelePago Popular® with a pre-established frequency is set up by the customer through TeleBanco Popular® or Mi Banco Online.

  1. How does this special payment forbearance apply to my loan?

Payment flexibility applies automatically to the months of October, November, and December 2017 (subject to you calling the Bank in some instances, as noted above).  Payment bills for these months will accumulate through December 31, 2017.

  1. What should I do to bring my postponed payments up to date?

You should contact Banco Popular during the month of November 2017 to reach an agreement as to how you’re going to cover the postponed payments corresponding to this period, beginning in January 2018.

  1. What happens at the end of this period?

When you contact Banco Popular during November 2017 as suggested above, the Bank will provide you information about alternatives to cover past due and postponed payments based on your financial condition and type of loan.  These alternatives include payment plan options and, as described below, the possibility of deferring the special forbearance payments until the end of the loan term.

For the time being:

    • If your loan belongs to Banco Popular’s portfolio, in addition to a payment plan, you may also have the option of deferring payment on these installments until the end of your mortgage loan term, except where the guidelines of the loan guarantor (FHA, VA, Rural Housing Authority, etc.) otherwise provide.  Should this option be available to you, you will simply continue to make your regular installment payments in January 2018. This option will not affect the total repayment amount for your loan.
    • If, however, your mortgage loan is serviced by Banco Popular but belongs to an investor such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, Banco Popular may be further limited in terms of the options it can offer you, and options may vary depending on the rules established by the loan guarantor (FHA, VA, Rural Housing Authority, etc.). Alternatives for these loans will also be available. We will be informing customers of these options as they become available.

Note that the three-month special forbearance, available during the months of October, November and December 2017, applies to all types of mortgage loans, regardless of whether Banco Popular owns or merely services the loan.

Please call us at 787.767.3366 if you need information about other loss mitigation options that might be available to you beyond this three-month period, as you may be able to benefit from one of our Loss Mitigation programs.

If you have sought or seek bankruptcy protection in the near future, please contact our Mortgage Services Bankruptcy Department at 787.723.0077 for further information on alternatives that may be specifically available to you at the end of the special forbearance period.

  1. What is a mortgage payment plan?

A mortgage payment plan is an agreement that contemplates payments in excess of the monthly installment amount established under the original loan terms with the purpose of bringing outstanding amounts current during a specific period. This option may be right for you if you have recovered financially and by January 2018 are able to make payment for an increased amount.

  1. What should I do to start paying my mortgage again?
  • If you use a coupon book, starting in January 2018 you should start making your payments again (as agreed with the Bank), via any of our payment channels, including TelePago Popular®, Mi Banco Online, or calling 787.767.3366.
  • If you have Direct Debit and called the Bank to deactivate this service during the special forbearance period, the Bank will restart your payments again in January 2018. That is, you don’t have to do anything.
  • If you scheduled your payment with pre-established frequency through TeleBanco Popular® and didn’t cancel it during the special forbearance period, you don’t have to do anything.
  • If you scheduled your payment with pre-established frequency through TeleBanco Popular® and did cancel it during the 90-day special forbearance period, you will have to reset it on Mi Banco Online or by calling TeleBanco Popular® at 787.294.2588.
  1. Will the Bank request any sort of documentation from me so that I may take advantage of this special payment forbearance?

If your payments are either current or less than 90 days past due, no type of documentation will be requested; payment flexibility will be applied automatically. The Bank may nevertheless, contact you later to find out about your particular situation in the aftermath of the hurricane.

  1. Will my credit rating be affected if I take advantage of the 90-day special forbearance?

The Bank will not issue negative reports to the credit reporting agencies during the special forbearance period. Once this period expires, however, your credit rating may be affected depending on the repayment option you choose.

  1. What happens if I want to keep making one or more installment payments during the special forbearance period?

If you don’t wish to take advantage of the automatic payment forbearance for the entire three-month period or any at all, you may continue to make your payments. The special forbearance is the equivalent of an agreement to postpone your installment payments until a future time. If you’re able to keep making your regular payments and wish to do so, you may certainly do so.

  1. What happens if I have Direct Debit and want to continue making some of my payments?

Debits will continue in effect unless you request a temporary suspension. Therefore, if you want to keep making your payments and you have Direct Debit, you don’t have to do anything at all.

  1. What notifications or other communications will I receive from Banco Popular?

During this period, you may receive phone calls from our representatives seeking to obtain updated information on your financial situation and the condition of your property. You may also receive correspondence related to the state of your loan, including late payment notices. Remember that one of the objectives of these communications is to keep you informed about the state of your loan. Regardless of whether you receive these communications, this agreement will protect you from collection calls and visits, as well as the commencement of foreclosure proceedings.

  1. What other legal proceedings will be suspended?

Banco Popular will also halt all requests for foreclosure judgments and judicial sales in all cases.

  1. What happens to the late-payment charge?

We will eliminate any late-payment charges incurred in connection with payments due in October, November and December 2017. This applies to all customers, regardless of the status of their loan.

  1. What happens if I have a TelePago Popular® charge returned?

All charges via Telepago Popular® that are returned between September 5 and December 31, 2017 will be reversed.

  1. How does the special forbearance apply to me if my loan payments are more than 90 days past due?

You can still benefit from this program, and even stop collection and/or foreclosure proceedings. In your case, however, we urge you to contact us at 787.767.3366 to coordinate a financial assessment; we may be able to consider you for additional loss mitigation alternatives that will allow you to deal with any financial difficulties you may be facing.


Personal Loans

  1. What is a 90-day payment forbearance?

It’s a period of 90 days during which the obligation to make monthly loan payments is delayed. A 90-day forbearance is equivalent to three (3) monthly payments.

  1. Is the forbearance automatic?

While the option of delaying these payments is available to any client whose loan was current or less than ninety (90) days past due as of September 30, 2017, you may be required to call the bank depending on your existing payment method.  Please refer to the following instructions:

    • If you use a coupon booklet, you won’t have to do anything to take advantage of the payment forbearance, and won’t have to make a payment.
    • If you have Direct Debit (also known as Automated Debit or Automated Payment) you will not have to make any payment. Popular will not make the debit to your account.
    • If you scheduled your payment through TelePago Popular® with a pre-established frequency, you should call TeleBanco Popular® at 787.294.2588 or log into Mi Banco Online to cancel the scheduled payment. 
  1. Who will benefit from the 90-day payment forbearance?

The forbearance will apply to all Popular personal loans customers and residents of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the British Virgin Islands (Tortola).

  1. Which loan products qualify?
  • Uncollateralized loans
  • Cash collateral loans
  • Partial cash collateral loans
  • Interest-only loans
  • Hardship loans
  • RBO loans
  • Investment collateralized loans
  • Auto collateralized personal loans (exclusive to Virgin Islands)
  • Medallion collateralized personal loans (exclusive to Virgin Islands)
  • Auto Loans
  1. What is Direct Debit?

You have Direct Debit if you signed a contract with the bank authorizing it to debit your monthly loan payments from your checking or savings account.

  1. How does Direct Debit differ from TelePago Popular® with pre-established frequency?

Direct Debit is set up through a contract (usually signed at the loan transaction closing); while TelePago Popular® with a pre-established frequency is set up by the customer through TeleBanco Popular® or Mi Banco Online.

  1. What happens if I have Direct Debit and want to keep making some or all of my payments?

During the forbearance period, you can continue to make your payments by calling TeleBanco Popular® at 787-294-2588, logging in to Mi Banco Online, or visiting one of our branches.

  1. How does the payment forbearance apply to my loan?

The forbearance applies automatically to the next three (3) payment dates (through December 31, 2017). Examples:

  • Customers whose payments are current as of September 30 will not have to make payments for the months of October, November, and December.
  • Customers with 1 payment past due as of September 30 will not have to make payments in September, October, and November.
  • Customers with 3 payments past due as of September 30 will have to make the October payment in order to keep their loan up to date.
  1. Which customers will not qualify to receive the 90-day payment forbearance?

Customers with a personal loan that as of September 30, 2017 is more than 90 days in arrears (i.e., has more than 3 past due payments), will not be able to benefit from this forbearance. These customers should contact Popular at 1.888.745.0717 for other available options.

  1. Will my credit rating be affected if I take advantage of the 90-day payment forbearance?

No, your credit rating will not be affected.

  1. What happens to the interest on my loan during the payment forbearance?

Interest will continue to accrue during the forbearance. When you resume payments, the accrued interest will be paid first and then the principal or balance owed will be paid. No interest on accrued interest will be charged.

  1. What happens to the Payment Protection Plan for my Personal Loan if I accept the 90-day forbearance?

Your Payment Protection Plan will remain in effect during the period of the forbearance and you will be able to place claims, if necessary. Your Protection Plan will continue as agreed until the original maturity date of the loan. The additional period for which your loan extends when you accept the forbearance will not have insurance coverage.

  1. What happens at the end of the loan term if I take advantage of the payment forbearance?

If you take advantage of the 90-day forbearance, the term of your loan will be extended by the number of payments you do not make under the forbearance.Examples:(1)   You took advantage of the forbearance for 90 days and your loan was to come due on May 30, 2018, your new final payment date will be August 30, 2018.(2)   You took advantage of the forbearance for 30 days and your loan was to come due on May 30, 2018, your new final payment date will be June 30, 2018. The amount of the final payment will be different from the final payment originally established in your loan agreement.

  1. What happens if I want to keep making one or more payments on my personal loan during the period of the payment forbearance?

If you don’t wish to take advantage of the automatic payment forbearance for the entire three (3) month period, or any at all, you can continue to make your payments.  The l forbearance will extend the due date for all clients, but if you make payments during the three (3) months of the forbearance, you will make the final payment on your loan on the originally-agreed date. If you take partial advantage of the forbearance, your loan will be extended only for the number of months you did not make payments under the forbearance.

  1. During the 90-day forbearance, can I pay less than the amount specified for my loan?

You can pay any amount you wish, as long as you do so in one of our branches. You can’t make partial payments via TelePago Popular® or Mi Banco Online.

  1. What happens at the end of the 90-day payment forbearance?

You must continue to make the monthly payment agreed to under the original terms of your loan.

  • If you use a coupon book, you should start making payments through any of our available payment channels.
  • If you have Direct Debit (also known as Direct Pay or Automated Debit), you will not have to do anything. Banco Popular will begin to debit your payment again.
  • If you scheduled your payment on TelePago Popular® with a pre-established frequency and did not cancel it during the forbearance, you don’t have to do anything.
  • If you scheduled your payment on TelePago Popular® with a pre-established frequency and canceled it in order to take advantage of the forbearance, you will have to reestablish the payment by calling TeleBanco Popular® at 787.294.2588 or logging on to Mi Banco Online.

If you are having trouble to access these options in the USVI or BVI (Tortola), the following alternatives are available:

  • If you are in St. Thomas, you may visit our St. Thomas Main branch between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Saturday.
  • If you are in St. Croix, you may visit our Sunny Isle or Orange Grove branches between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • If you are in Tortola, you may visit our Tortola Branch between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday or between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon on Saturday.
  1. What happens if I receive a late payment notice?

The notices had already been programmed in the system before the emergency, so if you receive one:

  • Ignore it if your loan was less than 90 days past due as of September 30, 2017.
  • If you loan was ninety (90) days or more past due as of September 30, 2017, please contact us at 1.888.745.0717 to discuss available options.
  1. What happens with late fees?

Late payment fees for payments due from September 5 through December 31, 2017 will be credited or eliminated, as applicable. This applies to all customers, regardless of the status of the loan.

  1. What if I was charged for a returned TelePago Popular® item?

All charges for returned items (insufficient funds, for example) from September 18, 2017 through December 31, 2017 will be reversed.


Individual Credit Cards

  1. What is a 90-day forbearance?

It’s a period of 90 days during which the obligation to make the monthly minimum payment due on your credit card account is delayed. A 90-day forbearance is equivalent to three (3) monthly payments.

  1. Is the forbearance automatic?

The forbearance is automatic for all customers who, as of September 30, 2017 were current or less than thirty (30) days past due in their payments.  Interest will continue to accrue during this period. You have the option to continue making the minimum payment, an amount greater than the minimum, or the total balance.

  1. Who will benefit from the 90-day forbearance?

The forbearance will apply to all customers in Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and the British Virgin Islands (Tortola).

  1. Which products are covered by the forbearance?

All credit cards for individuals, except:

  • Novel Ideal accounts: The minimum payment required will be the monthly payment of the balance of the charge card and the credit card.
  • Accounts that have installment loans obtained through convenience checks. In these cases, the minimum payment required will be the monthly payment of the installment loan and the minimum payment on the credit card. To obtain relief for these accounts, customers should contact Customer Service at 787.758.0505 or 1.800.981.9505.
  1. Why is the forbearance not available to Novel Ideal accounts?

By its own terms, the Novel Ideal account agreement requires that the Novel Ideal Charge Card be paid off in full by the user at the end of each cycle, in order to avoid finance charges.

To obtain relief for these accounts, customers should contact Customer Service at 787.758.0505 or 1.800.981.9505. 

  1. Why is the forbearance not offered to accounts that have installment loans obtained through convenience checks?

As established in the terms and conditions of the installment loans obtained through convenience checks, the fixed monthly payment amount is required in order to repay the installment loan within the term chosen by the client.

To obtain relief for these accounts, customers should contact Customer Service at 787.758.0505 or 1.800.981.9505.

  1. How does the automatic forbearance apply to my credit card?

The automatic forbearance will be applied as follows:

  •   For account statements with payment due dates in September and October 2017, the minimum payment will not be required in our systems even though your statement indicates a minimum payment due. This is because these statements were sent before the emergency.
  • For statements with payment due dates in November and December 2017, the minimum required payment will appear as $0. The statement will include a message with the amount of the minimum payment required if you do not wish to take advantage of the forbearance.
  1. Which customers do not qualify for the automatic 90-day forbearance?
  • Credit card accounts that are 30 days or more past due as of September 30, 2017. These customers should contact 1-888-745-0717 for available options.
  • Novel Ideal accounts and accounts that have installment loans obtained through convenience checks. Refer to the Question 4 regarding these accounts.
  1. Will my credit rating be affected if I take advantage of the 90-day forbearance?

No, your credit rating will not be affected.

  1. Can I make payments to my credit card during the forbearance?

Yes, you can continue to make payments for any amount. Although your minimum payment shown on your statement is $0, you always have the option of making payments.

  1. What if I’ve scheduled payments on TelePago Popular® with pre-established frequency?

Payments scheduled on TelePago Popular® with pre-set frequency, also known as TelePago AutoPay, will continue to be processed. If you wish to take advantage of the forbearance, you should call TeleBanco Popular® at 787.294.2588 or log on to Mi Banco Online to cancel the payment you scheduled.

  1. What is TelePago AutoPay?

TelePago AutoPay is a service scheduled by the cardholder for the bank to automatically debit the minimum monthly payment or the total balance from a deposit (savings or checking) account at a pre-established frequency. Cardholders can set up TelePago AutoPay through TeleBanco Popular® or Mi Banco Online.

  1. What happens to interest on the card balance during the forbearance?

Interest continues to accrue during the period of the forbearance. When you resume payments, the accrued interest will be covered first and then the principal or balance due. No interest on accrued interest will be charged.

  1. What happens to the interest rate during and after the forbearance?

The interest rate on your credit card balance will remain the same — that is, at the rate established by the terms and conditions of the card agreement—during and after the forbearance period.

  1. What happens to my Chargegard credit insurance if I accept the forbearance?

Your credit insurance coverage will remain in effect and you will be able to place claims, if necessary. The Chargegard credit insurance charge will continue as usual during the months of the forbearance. This charge will be added to the balance of your account.

  1. What about late payment charges?

Late payment charges incurred for payments due from September 5 through December 31, 2017 will be credited or eliminated, as applicable. This applies to all customers, regardless of their card status. 

  1. What if I was charged for a returned TelePago Popular® item?

All charges for returned items (insufficient funds, for example) from September 18, 2017 through December 31, 2017 will be reversed.

  1. What happens if I receive a late payment notice?

These notices had already been programmed in the system before the emergency, so if you receive one:

  • Ignore it, if your card payment was less than thirty (30) days past due as of September 30, 2017.
  • If your payment was thirty (30) days or more past due as of September 30, 2017, please contact us at 1.888.745.0717 to discuss available options.

Commercial loans and commercial lines of credit

  1. What is a 90-day special forbearance?

It’s a period of time during which the bank offers you the flexibility to postpone your monthly payment obligation. A special 90-day forbearance is the equivalent of three (3) monthly payments.

  1. Is the forbearance automatic?

The forbearance is automatic for all customers who, as of September 29, 2017, were less than 90 days past due, subject to the exclusions and exceptions detailed in Questions 5 and 7. Customers who qualify for the automatic forbearance received notice from Banco Popular.

  1. What happens if I want to keep making payments to my credit facility during the special forbearance period?

If you do not wish to take advantage of the automatic forbearance, or wish to take only partial advantage of it (for fewer than 90 days), you should contact your Relationship Officer and/or Branch Manager at 340-693-2770 to request exclusion from the program. After that, you will be able to continue making your usual payments.

  1. Will there be a documentation requirement for this special forbearance?

If your loan is current, or was less than 90 days past due as of September 29, 2017, and has not been subject of a special agreement and/or a previous forbearance agreement, you will not be required to sign any additional documents. The forbearance will become effective automatically. The bank will contact you during this period to learn about your circumstances in the wake of the hurricanes.

  1. Who is eligible for this 90-day special forbearance?

All commercial customers in the US and British Virgin Islands who meet the terms and conditions set forth in this document.

  1. What commercial credit products qualify for the special forbearance?
  • Term loans
  • Commercial lines of credit
  1. What commercial credit products are excluded?
  • Reserve lines of credit under Ideal Business and/or B-Smart
  • Loans in participation with other banking institutions
  • Credit facilities managed by the Construction Division
  1. Does the forbearance apply to loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (“SBA”)?

The forbearance applies to SBA-guaranteed loans. If an SBA customer has a further request, please contact your Relationship Officer and/or Branch Manager to evaluate additional alternatives.

  1. Do I qualify for the special forbearance even though I am in breach of some of the requirements and obligations of my credit facility?

As an exception, the forbearance is automatically available for clients who are not current in their loan payments, so long as the credit facility was not 90 days or more past due as of September 29, 2017.  However, the forbearance does require that you are compliant with the rest of the credit facility’s contractual covenants and obligations, as well as those under the collateral documents. If you are not complying with your contractual obligations, depending on your circumstances, this special forbearance might not be available.  You should contact your Relationship Officer and/or Branch Manager by calling 340-693-2770 for an evaluation of your situation.

  1. What options do I have if I don’t qualify for the special forbearance?

The Bank recognizes that we have all been affected by the impact of hurricanes. You can contact your Relationship Officer and/or Branch Manager for an evaluation of available alternatives.

  1. What happens with the unpaid principal and interest during the term of the forbearance?
  • Term loans:
  • Principal: will be deferred and included in your final loan payment or balloon.
  • Interest: interests that accrue during the forbearance period will be added to the principal balance outstanding on the loan at the end of the forbearance period.
  • Lines of credit:
  • Interests that accrue during the forbearance period will be added to the principal balance outstanding at the end of the forbearance period.
  1. How does the special forbearance apply to the payment of my commercial loan?

The special forbearance will apply to the first three payments due through December 31, 2017. Examples:

  • Customers whose payments were current as of September 29th, will not have to make their October, November, and December payments.
  • Customers with one (1) payment due as of September 29th, will not have to make the September, October, and November payments.
  • Customers with two (2) payments due as of September 29th, will not have to make the August, September, and October payments.
  • Customers with three (3) payments due as of September 29th, will have to make the October payment, in order to keep the loan in a current status.
  1. Will the property taxes and/or insurance premium payments (Hazard and Flood, as applicable) retained in my Escrow Account be affected during the forbearance period?

During the forbearance period, the Bank will continue paying property taxes and/or insurance premiums.  However, since you will not be contributing the amounts to cover these payments, once the forbearance period concludes, the Bank will analyze your escrow account and calculate the deficiency that accrues during this period.  The result of the analysis will be informed to you through the escrow account annual disclosure.  You will have the option to cover the deficiency in a lump sum payment or through a period of twelve months following the forbearance period.

  1. What happens with credit facilities that reach their maturity date during the forbearance period?

Those credit facilities that reach their maturity date during the 90-day forbearance period will be automatically provided an additional payment term until reaching the total number of forborne payments. Examples:

  • Customers whose credit facility reaches maturity within 30 days of the forbearance period, will have a period of 60 days from the maturity date to make the contractual payment.
  • Customers whose credit facility reaches maturity within 60 days of the forbearance period, will have a period of 30 days from the maturity date to make the contractual payment.
  1. What communications will I be receiving from Banco Popular?

In addition to communications related to the alternative of the special forbearance you may receive collection or follow-up letters that were already programmed into our system.

  1. What other collection and legal processes are halted?

Until December 31, 2017, Banco Popular will suspend collections calls, requests for judgments, and foreclosure sales in cases pending before the USVI, BVI and Puerto Rico courts. You may receive calls from your Relationship Officer to find out about your circumstances in the wake of the hurricanes, or about the state of your business, the property that serves as collateral for your credit facility, or insurance and property tax matters.

Count on us. Together we will help Puerto Rico recover.

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