A Homebuyer’s Dream

First Financial Bank’s Sherry Holden serves homebuyers of every means, even humble ones By Tam Harbert Sherry Holden remembers her first home-buying experience. She and her husband were buying a condo in the early 1980s, when inflation was raging and interest rates hovered around 14 percent. Holden thought they should try to get bond money, […]

Firsthand on the Farm

Top agricultural loan producers By Judith Sears Agriculture has been a bright spot in a struggling national economy for some years now, and some alert community banks are capitalizing on that vibrancy to amass healthy agricultural lending portfolios. Consider, for example, these three community banks: $75 million-asset First National Bank of Hope, Kan.; $49 million-asset […]

A Healthy Harvest

The ICBA-Farmer Mac program is growing agricultural loan volumes—and new financing options By Katie Kuehner-Hebert Thanks to the introduction of two new long-term, fixed-rate agricultural financing products, a streamlined online application process and greater awareness among community bankers, ICBA member participation in the ICBA-Farmer Mac agricultural secondary market loan program continues to grow quickly.

Turning Houses into Homes

Top residential mortgages producers By Howard Schneider Community banks specializing in residential mortgage lending are working hard to remain competitive in today’s highly regulated marketplace. Typically these banks are portfolio lenders that can adapt underwriting guidelines and closing procedures in ways other institutions can’t. Such flexibility makes them unique and helps ensure their continued success.

Another Mortgage Access Option

FHLBanks offer sometimes-overlooked options to access secondary mortgage market lending By David Fisher Much of the discussion on Capitol Hill with policymakers working to reform the housing finance system has centered on bringing private capital back to the mortgage markets. Currently, housing finance is dominated by a handful of large institutions in the origination process […]

At Your Service

Covering the CFPB’s new mortgage servicing standards The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released final rules establishing new national mortgage servicing standards. Taking effect in January 2014, the rules amend the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X). Here, Ron Haynie, ICBA’s senior vice president, mortgage finance policy, […]

Generating More Yield, Safely

FHLBank advances can provide a low-risk funding option for more profitable fixed-rate mortgage lending By David Fisher Finding quality investments is certainly challenging for community banks. As the Federal Reserve works to stimulate the economy through its quantitative easing initiative, investment spreads have compressed to historic lows. In the current low-interest-rate environment, institutional portfolio managers […]

Simplifying Rural Credit

A streamlined USDA loan program could help community banks meet the credit needs of underserved rural businesses By Mark M. Brodziski The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a number of economic development programs designed to strengthen rural economies and create jobs. One of the USDA’s most effective programs is the Intermediary Relending Program, or IRP. […]

How Live Oak Bank became the nation’s second-largest SBA lender

For Live Oak Bank, the nation’s second-largest SBA lender, lending success doesn’t come without a deep and abiding love of data. President Scott Custer shares some of its secrets. By Susan Thomas Springer When Live Oak Bank opened in 2008, it loaned money only to veterinary practices. Since then, the bank has made small-business loans […]