Collector Backs Off in R.I.

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A COLLECTION agency has halted proceedings against Rhode Islanders whose checks failed to clear after their banks and credit unions were closed due to the state banking crisis. Attorney General James O'Neil said Tuesday that Telecredit Service Corporation of Tampa, Fla., has suspended efforts to collect from the banking-crisis victims on checks written between Dec. 24 and Jan. 5. The checks were written on accounts at financial institutions that were closed Jan. 1 after their private deposit insurer, the Rhode Island Share and Deposit Indemnity Corporation, voted itself into conservatorship.

The closings froze 300,000 accounts, totaling $1.7 billion, at 45 credit unions and banks. Twelve of the institutions have yet to reopen or otherwise resolve their situations.

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