WASHINGTON. D.C. -- The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. wants to lend a helping hand to customers of banks in Texas who were swamped by last months' Houston-area floods.

The agency is encouraging such banks in the Houston area to "work constructively" with borrowers who have been hurt by the region's flooding.

All the banks eligible for the FDIC's leniency provisions are community banks. The provisions allow banks to extend payment terms, ease terms on new loans, and restructure existing loans without fear of regulatory scrutiny.

Specifically, the FDIC is providing a temporary waiver of certain real estate appraisal regulations for flooded areas. In addition, the FDIC will temporary relieve banks of capital requirements if an already adequatelycapitalized bank finds its asset level increasing solely because of deposits of insurance proceeds or government assistant funds.

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