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Bank of America offers customer disaster relief program in wake of citrus crop devastation

Bank of America has donated $50,000 to the relief effort for workers affected by the January citrus crop freeze disaster and has modified some of its banking practices to help field and packinghouse workers in seven counties survive economically after freezing weather in January destroyed 70 percent of the state’s citrus crop.

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation will donate $50,000 to three United Way agencies serving the Central Valley.

“As affected individuals and businesses work to rebuild their livelihoods, they will need help from organizations in this community,” said Lynn Pike, California president for Bank of America. “This will be a difficult year for agricultural workers in the Central Valley, and we want to do what we can to help.”

The counties to be included in the disaster relief program are Kern, Kings, Fresno, Madera, Merced, Stanislaus and Tulare. Pike said the bank will continue to monitor effects of the freeze to determine whether the relief program needs to be expanded to other counties.

Under the company's disaster relief program, Bank of America customers affected by the freeze in those seven counties may qualify to:

· Receive emergency credit line increases on their existing Bank of America Visa card and MasterCard.

· Modify, defer or extend payments on loans, credit cards or lines of credit.

· Access a special Bank of America home equity program and incur no fees on new loans or obtain a new home equity credit line or increase the credit limit on an existing Bank of America home equity line.

· Purchase a new primary residence through the bank’s special mortgage program and we will waive loan fees and expedite the loan process.

· Avoid bank withdrawal penalties on time deposits and existing Bank of America Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).

Small businesses may also qualify to enjoy similar benefits on both business and personal loans.

Customers may apply for assistance under the program through March 30, 2007 in any BofA banking centers or call the following numbers. For assistance with existing consumer, home or small business loans, call 1.800.831.5586. For assistance with credit card account, call the phone number on the back of the credit card or on the card statement. For information about new business loans, call 1.800.678.2632. For information about new home loans or our special home equity loan program, call 1.800.900.9000. For information about existing automobile, boat, motorcycle or recreational vehicle loan payments call 1.800.386.4017.

The offers are subject to credit approval and current credit standards apply. Tax penalties may still apply to IRA withdrawals before age 59½.

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