by Wade Barnes 6. May 2009

Are you planning to refinance your current mortgage to take advantage of low mortgage rates but have a Home Equity Loan or Line of Credit you don't want to lose?

It is a common misconception that you must close your Home Equity Loan or Line of Credit in order to refinance your current mortgage. While some loan programs may require Home Equity Loans or Lines of Credit (subordinate liens) to be closed, others programs may be willing to allow borrowers to keep these open pending the existing lender's approval.

By default, when a first (or primary) mortgage closes, the subordinate lien (a Home Equity Loan or Line of Credit) will move into the first position. As most primary mortgages are for a higher dollar amount, the loan programs require that they acquire the first position. To enable this to happen when you refinance your primary mortgage, the new lender must request that Home Equity Loan or Line of Credit will subordinate to their new lien.

Okay, enough of the technical talk. If you find yourself in the position where you plan to refinance your mortgage and want to keep your Home Equity Loan or Line of Credit open, ask your Loan Officer to request a Subordination Agreement. You may be able to take advantage of a new low rate on your mortgage while keeping your Home Equity Loan or Line open, which often times avoids repayment of closing cost fees.

As always, feel free to be in touch if you have any questions.


Mobile Banking- Hype or The Future?

by Kevin Lynch 1. May 2009

I recently attended the Net.Finance Conference, a gathering of financial services marketers from around the world. Much of the discussion was around the web channel and new technologies. Mobile Banking was the 'hot' new technology that seemed to be on everyones mind. And why not. Over 157 million U.S. adults carry cell phones with projections of 191 million by 2012(Javelin Strategy,2008). Many of the larger banks have gotten into mobile delivery, including SMS/Text Alerts, Browser-based mobile sites, or down-loadable applications. With the Generations X and Y having grown up with mobile devices, this seems like a natural fit. But adoption, to this point, has been pretty slow. Based on projections, it appears that this will be taking off in the next couple of years.

We are looking very closely at this service for our bank. We recently introduced an iPhone ATM/Branch Locator application that has close to 600 downloads since March. We think that is a pretty good indicator that our customers are ready for a more full service mobile banking solution. We'd love to hear from you. What do you think about mobile banking? Please share your thoughts. Thanks.


Social Media + Local Bank = ?

by Admin 16. April 2009

You may not have noticed it lately, but we’ve been up to some pretty interesting things here at 1st Mariner. We have redesigned our blog, changed our Facebook page and recently added a Twitter account. If reading Facebook and Twitter doesn’t mean much to you, then this article is for you.

I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz surrounding social media and you’re probably curious why a local bank is using it. Well, it’s simple, one of our objectives is to provide excellent customer service, and an effective way of doing that is maintaining a socially connected communication channel between us and our stakeholders (i.e. you!).

An interesting example of how we are using social media is the Facebook contest we built for our new First Access checking account. The First Access account is a checking account made for 18-25 year olds with great features added just for them. During the development of this project we realized that this account will be used for a lot of first purchases (car, college expenses). We wanted to provide a means for our users to share their firsts with the rest of the community. So, considering many of the targeted customers have Facebook accounts, we built an application that allows our First Access users to share their first stories using Facebook. The benefit for us is offering a great product and providing a medium to help others share interesting stories. The benefit for the First Access users is connecting with like-minded people while entering a contest to possibly win $250 for a great photo or story. Win, win!

Another example worth noting is the publicity we have been receiving for our Twitter account. In fact, 1st Mariner’s Twitter account was rated within the top 10 Banks and Credit Unions on Twitter by Net.Banker. How has Twitter proved to be valuable to a local bank? Aside from just having some great conversations with friends and customers, we have been able to service, poll and alert our customers in real-time.

So now you know how a local bank is using social media to continue its mission of providing outstanding customer service. Your next step should be to join in the conversations with us in one or all of those mediums. We look forward to having meaningful conversations with all of our fellow Mariners.

© 2008- 1st Mariner Bank