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Monday, January 13, 2014

A remembrance ...

... of Daddy Hugh:

They believe that in future householders may choose to pass on a house with an outstanding mortgage to their children, who will pay off the rest. ‘In Japan, the 40-year mortgage is the norm,’ said one Government source.
If you were ever suffering under the delusion that bankers are your friends, allow me to disabuse you.

To a bank, a mortgage is nothing more than a product to be sold; first to you (as the home buyer) and then to someone else (who actually holds the debt). The bank is just a middleman - he takes his cut and moves on to the next buyer in line. And as long as mortgage loans can be had by those who have no business getting into that kind of debt, there will be loans tailored to that person.

So what if the term is 40 (or 50 or 60!) years?

My dad, at the ripe old age of 72 bought a new house and got a 30 year mortgage for it. But he also had to roll his old house into that loan. 'No problem' said his 'banker'; we'll tailor a loan just for you.

Daddy Hugh, I feel certain, would never have done that to my dad.

Daddy Hugh was one of the first people my parents met when they moved to the town where I grew up. He was a member of the church where my dad played the organ, and he also worked at the local bank (back when there was such a thing as a local bank). Daddy Hugh was our banker. I feel quite sure that he was involved in helping my parents get their first mortgage, and I'm sure that the bank held him a bit responsible for the repayment.

If you had a problem with the loan, you went to Daddy Hugh. If you were going to be a little late with a payment, you could talk to Daddy Hugh. If you forgot to take your payment to the bank, you could give it to Daddy Hugh at church.

Because Daddy Hugh was our banker.

Nowadays, you have to have some serious scratch to get that kind of service at a bank, assuming it's available at all.

I remember Daddy Hugh helping me and my brother open our first savings account, and telling me how important it was that I keep up with my passbook. This was how people growing up in my time learned financial responsibility - with the help of your banker.

God bless you, Daddy Hugh.


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