Thinking outside the box “refinance or purchase”

My daily ritual, get up, get ready for the day, work, come home check the mail and hang with the family.  Usually, I sort my mail right at the recycle bin (as so much of what I get is junk mail and catalogues).  A few weeks ago, one letter caught my eye.  The front of the letter had the Bank of America logo on it and since I previously had a loan with them I felt I should look.  Like so many home owners I received that dreadful letter:  due to declining values we are freezing your equity line and as of this date you can no longer use it.  Great…now what?   The letter goes on to say that I can appeal the decision, but there is no guarantee anything would change.  I can refinance, but who is going to give me another equity line in this economy since I am self employed in Maryland and stated loans are no longer allowed.  I think about my options, I cannot get a Fannie or Freddie style loan since I do not fit the parameters.  I can’t go to a hard equity lender, it will cost me a fortune and probably not save that much money.  Where do I go?

In my case I go to two networking events, one at the new Legg Mason Tower in Baltimore and then to a Greater Baltimore Board of Realtor event.  I have a few drinks and talk with people in the real estate industry.  The GBBR networking event turned out to be the ticket.  As the event was winding down I was at the bar talking to a mortgage banker about my situation.  Next to him was a nice; quiet gentleman who listened to my story.  When I was thru he handed me his card and told me to call him.  He is the vice president of residential lending for Midstate Federal Saving & Loan Association.  His name is William Allen (Bill) and he told me that he could help me.  I met with Bill and he explained that his company has a loan committee that reviews loans and makes decisions a couple times a month.  How cool, this is really old style lending.  Obviously they look at the whole portfolio and other attributes.  After dealing with the processor she felt the loan would go thru.

Dealing with smaller banks can be a great option in this crazy lending market.  Just to make sure I was getting a good deal from Midstate I called a few small banks in Baltimore to see what they could offer.  After a few calls I realized I was getting a good deal on an investment property.  If you need a lender who thinks outside the box call William at 443-761-6301 or email him at

Remember your small community banks, many of them have been around for decades!  There is money out there for all types of deals you might just have to work harder to find them.  I am pleased to say that I am now dealing with Midstate Federal Savings & Loan. 

Stuart Berman



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