Disaster Recovery Initiative

Here When You Need Us

When disasters strike, as servant leaders, Woodforest Bankers are here to respond quickly to our customers and communities who need it most. We understand people face financial challenges as part of the recovery process and we are here to help.

Responding to COVID-19

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Woodforest sprang into action. We were recognized as a community bank that provides essential services to our customers. Thus, while some other banks were closed, our 750+ branches remained open, and our call-center and back office departments worked continuously to meet our customers’ needs. When call volume rose (and available resources declined), we re-routed the calls to our branches to quickly fill the gap.

Under the CARES Act program, Woodforest processed over $800 million in stimulus payment deposits* and provided stimulus check cashing services through our branches for nonaccount holders, many of whom are underbanked and unbanked and subject to costly check cashing services in non-bank outlets.

In anticipation of high demand from businesses in the communities we serve, our loan operations team (alongside managers across the organization) quickly built processes and trained resources to accept applications for the U.S. Small Business Association's (SBA's) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Woodforest was recognized as a leader in PPP lending in the Houston area by the Houston Business Journal (as of May 6, 2020).

*Information accurate as of 09.01.20.

Learn more about our response to the COVID-19 crisis.

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Rebuilding After Hurricane Harvey

Helping to rebuild Texas information

Service is core to our values and in our DNA. When Hurricane Harvey hit Southeast Texas in August 2017, Woodforest immediately enacted our crisis management plan and began working with national and community partners to develop innovative and responsive programs to help address the immediate needs of our communities. We also began devising long-term plans to help rebuild the great state of Texas. Hurricane Harvey caused approximately $125 billion in damage in Houston and the Gulf Coast.

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The Independent Bankers Association of Texas' 2018 Best of Community Banking Awards' Best of Show

'Helping to Rebuild After Hurricane Harvey' community service

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Teaming up with NeighborWorks® America

To assist people with access to the proper recovery resources during rebuilding efforts for Hurricane Harvey, the Bank collaborated with NeighborWorks America to expand their three member-run disaster recovery centers in the Houston area to equip them to handle the volume of those in need.

Woodforest Provided:*

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$25,000

in Financial Assistance

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25

Donated Computers

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20

Retail Bank Locations
Served as Recovery Centers

*Information accurate as of 09.01.20.


Woodforest collaborated with NeighborWorks America to expand their capacity to serve affected communities by allowing 20 Woodforest branch locations in the Gulf Coast area to be used as disaster recovery centers where NeighborWorks, nor its members had the capacity to provide one. This helped by allowing people who were not able to make it to the primary disaster recovery centers in the Houston Metro area to visit local Woodforest branches, typically in-stores where customers come for necessities such as food and staples. As part of this effort, NeighborWorks trained 20 of the Bank's employees in their "Navigating the Road to Recovery" curriculum so they would have the basic tools and knowledge to assist anyone that may stop in.

Responding to Our Communities

Woodforest is always ready to respond to disasters in tailored, innovative, and responsive ways. Following the devastating Carolina Hurricanes Matthew in 2016 and Florence in 2018, local Woodforest branches raised funds through the Woodforest Charitable Foundation to support organizations such as Harvest Hope Food Bank in South Carolina and Second Harvest Food Bank in North Carolina to feed the many residents who had been displaced. Woodforest also disbursed patient lending capital to support local community development organizations that were responding on the ground, including low-interest loans to local Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).

In 2016, following Louisiana's two most disastrous flooding events since Hurricane Katrina, Woodforest responded in equally urgent, innovative, and flexible ways. Through the end of 2018, we provided 90-day payment deferral capability on our Home Improvement Loan® product in order to assist residents with gap financing to start home repairs while they awaited FEMA and private insurance support. In addition to providing revitalization grants to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, The Foundation for Louisiana and The Walls Project, we also repurposed $1 million of our existing loan commitment to the CDFI Rural LISC to help it partner with a State of Louisiana program to finance affordable housing renovations and new infill housing units following the floods.

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