This is what some of the banks in Ellijay and East Ellijay are saying: “We don’t want your business, GO AWAY!”
This is a personal rant about New Horizons Bank on Highway 515 in the Highlands Shopping Center (now it’s Citizens South). Let me say that name is fitting, because your policy of charging $3 to cash a check that IS drawn on your bank is going to send your customers south… to the competition. Recently, a friend wrote me a check for less than $50. I drove over to his bank, Citizens South, pulled up to the drive through window, all lanes were empty, and I tried to cash the check. The teller, who I must say was very apologetic, told me she would have to charge me $3 to cash the check because I don’t personally have an account there. I told the teller it was no problem, I will tell their customer that his check is worth $3 less than the face value, so he will need to get me cash. And that’s exactly what I did, I returned the check and asked for cash.
My question to Citizens South Bank is, “Why would I ever consider opening an account at your bank after this experience?”
I also had a similar experience with a $60 check that was made out to me personally and drawn on Regions Bank on Main Street in Ellijay. I drive up to the drive through window, once again I am the only one at the drive through just like my experience at Citizens South. I send in the check and my drivers license and the teller responds, “Do you have an account here with us?” I give the same response: “Isn’t the check drawn on this bank?” The teller then tells me that it’s bank policy that I can’t use the drive through if I don’t have an account, I must go inside. I didn’t bother going inside so I have no idea if there was a fee to cash the check drawn on that bank. I ask Regions Bank the same question, “Why would I ever consider opening an account at your bank after this experience?”
Let me just say that I understand the tellers are following the rules in an effort to keep their jobs, but you really need to tell management what type of message they are sending to POTENTIAL customers.
So far United Community Bank and C&S Bank have cashed plenty of checks at the drive through window without giving me any problems. BB&T has been great to deal with too. Let me know in the comments what your experience has been cashing checks in North Georgia.
This post was contributed by David Blizzard of Blizzard Computers.
According to a lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Atlanta the directors of Alpha Bank & Trust are being accused of sloppy lending practices and strategy focused on “growth above all else, including safety and soundness” …
The bank failed in October of 2008, less than 3 years after it opened. The FDIC estimates that Alpha Bank’s collapse cost $214.5 million.
The defendants are listed as:
David Michael Sleeth (former chief financial officer)
Robert Skeen (former chief lending officer)
Joseph Briner (founding president and CEO)
The same accusations, about compensating loan officers based on making loans and not for quality, that we have heard about other Georgia banks are floating around about Alpha Bank & Trust too.
These types of lawsuits will probably increase in Georgia as evidenced by the lawsuit against Adam Teague – Appalachian Community Bank which we highlighted recently.
The FDIC has a notice of intention to prohibit from further participation and assessment of penalty published on their website. The notice references a number of wrong doings by Adam Teague and states:
“Adam M. Teague has directly or indirectly participated or engaged in unsafe or unsound banking practices and/or acts, omissions or practices which constitute breaches of his fiduciary duty as an officer of the Bank; that as a result of such conduct, the interests of the Bank’s depositors have been prejudiced or could be prejudiced and/or that the Respondent has received financial gain or other benefit by reason of such practices and/or breaches of fiduciary duty; such practices and/or breaches of fiduciary duty demonstrate the Respondent’s personal dishonesty and/or his willful or continuing disregard for the safety or soundness of the Bank; and Respondent’s reckless, unsafe or unsound practices and/or breaches of his fiduciary duty were part of a pattern of misconduct and/or resulted in pecuniary gain or other benefit to the Respondent.”
The document references a penalty and order to pay $1,324,220.
Rumor has it that the Gilmer County Board of Education will be purchasing the Bank of Ellijay building. The BOE administrators would make George Jefferson proud as they sing in harmony, “movin’ on up”! One has to wonder what gets in the heads of government officials once they take their position of power. With this economy, the closing of Oakland Elementary, loss of jobs for a number of teachers, why are the BOE administrators moving into posh new digs? Aren’t the empty fire stations fresh on anyone’s mind? What about the over-priced, over-sized, tax gulping courthouse? I guess when you get 70% plus of the taxroll you don’t really concern yourself with economics.
What has happened to America? The citizens have become servants to the state and the bureaucrats have become dictators with both hands as deep in the tax payer cookie jar as they can get. There was a time when traitors were dealt with swiftly but these days everyone is lined up, waiting for their turn to dip in the jar, often forgetting about the constitution, the struggle against British taxation, and the time when limited Government was something to be proud of.
The American dream has been reduced to holding a hand out for a piece of gubment cheese and taking out a 72 month loan on a new car that costs more than your parent’s first home. The State, Country, and its people are FUBAR.
New Horizons bank in East Ellijay was closed by the Georgia Dept. of Banking on April 15th 2011. That leaves one community bank in Gilmer County, United Community Bank. New Horizons was located in the Highlands Shopping Center near Lowes and Walmart on highway 515. Once the FDIC was named as the receiver they entered into an agreement with Citizens South Bank. Reports state that at the time of the deal Citizens South Bank still had an unpaid Tarp loan.
Citizens South Bank is headquartered in Gastonia, North Carolina. Their report states that the bank will receive $107.6 million in assets and $106 million in liabilities. There is a loss sharing agreement in effect with the FDIC. CSB now has 22 full-service offices and they reported assets of 1.1 billion plus.
Most people understand the importance of title insurance and even flood insurance when purchasing a new home but have you ever considered the importance of a land survey? Recently we spoke with the president of Chastain Associates in Ellijay Georgia, a land surveyor. Mark explains many of the benefits of a land survey before purchasing in his article Do I Need a Land Survey?
In the article Mark explains that often there is no recourse after closing for a real estate buyer that relied upon an errant deed or survey. He also notes that many states have a statute of limitations of around 6 years that bar actions against surveyors for errors.
In summary you should not count on the seller thinking they know the property boundaries unless they can provide a recent survey from a trusted, licensed surveyor. It is often the case that the land owner-seller thought, incorrectly, that a particular marker was a boundary marker.
For more information read the article or contact the author:
For land surveys, flood certificates and land planning in the Ellijay, Jasper, Blue Ridge, and other North Georgia areas contact:Chastain & Associates PC
288 North Main Street
Ellijay, GA 30540
On Friday, September 17th 2010 the FDIC announced that it has shut down The Bank of Ellijay. It was estimated at $168.8 million in assets. Community and Southern, the same bank that took over of Gilmer County Bank, one of the most popular banks in Ellijay and East Ellijay, has agreed to assume the assets and deposits of Bank of Ellijay too. That makes 14 Georgia banks that have gone under this year alone.
It is estimated that the failure of The Bank of Ellijay will cost the deposit insurance fund approximately 55 million dollars.
This information was sourced from the CBS News website and Yahoo Finance.
It was reported that Community and Southern Bank was migrating Gilmer County Bank customer accounts to the C&S system on or around Friday September 3rd 2010. According to reports we received from bank customers directly and indirectly they were not able check account balances or access their funds until sometime on Tuesday, September 7th 2010. We know many people fled Gilmer County Bank a year or so ago when the news was piling up about the imminent failure. We are now hearing that even more people will be leaving the local branch that is now C&S Bank. Some of the reasons we have heard are that they might as well make the flight now since they have to get new debit cards and reconnect autopay accounts to those cards. We have also heard that it’s the final straw when there did not appear to be any warning about the inability to access Gilmer County accounts for a few days.
There are more rumors about C&S bank moving employees and furnishings out of the big building across the street from the main Gilmer County Bank building. There is speculation that that building might be going to the FDIC.
If you were not able to access your account in this time period or have any information about the happenings at the C&S branch formerly known as Gilmer County Bank please let us know in the comments.
While we try our best to be factual on this site please consider everything to be rumor or speculation unless we directly quote a reputable source.
Some recent articles about finance and the real estate markets in North Georgia.
Newcomers are Investing in Foreclosed Property. It’s not just the seasoned real estate investors any more.
More Families Moving to the Mountain areas of Georgia. Trading in the convenience of the suburbs for peace and quiet. This appears to more common with couples that work in the tech industry as more as more of them are working from home.
If you have an original blog post about finance or real estate that you would like to see on Banks of Georgia let us know.
Today, March 19th 2010, Gilmer County Bank and all Appalachian Community Bank branches were closed. Community and Southern Bank of Carrollton Georgia has assumed their deposits. The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance has appointed the FDIC as receiver. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has initiated a purchase and assumption agreement with Community and Southern Bank. All Appalachian Community Bank branches should be reopened on Saturday March 20th, 2010 as branches of Community and Southern Bank.
This action did not affect Appalachian Community Bank F.S.B in McCaysville GA or any of its branch locations.
It is recommended that bank customers continue to use their branch until notified that they can use Community & Southern Bank branches.
The loss-share transaction between the FDIC and Community and Southern is estimated at 798.6 million dollars. Estimated cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund is $419.3 million. This is the 4th FDIC insured institution to fail in Georgia in 2010.
Any questions about this transaction can be answered by the FDIC at their toll free number 1-800-894-1696