For people who lost everything in a wildfire or other disaster, being unbanked can make rebuilding harder, said Bill Maurer, anthropology professor at UC Irvine. “Without a bank account it can be a real challenge to buy a home, buy a car, rent a car, stay in a hotel even in some places,” said Maurer. … “When you don't have access to these formal institutions … then really you're falling back on community and family and neighbors,” he said. “Sometimes that can work but sometimes it also doesn't work.”

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