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The loan game…


Having spent over 30 years in the banking and finance business, my start in the finance company came soon after being discharged from the Coast Guard in Wilmington, North Carolina. The position was titled Customer Service Representative AKA collector, not a bad job but dealt entirely with past due accounts and sometimes rough people.

That was back in the corn liquor days as they still had liquor stills in that part of the country. The fellow who trained me was from Ash, NC and he went to collect from this one person going into his garage. Next thing he knew, he was surrounded by a bunch of men and they got into a shoving match.

That same customer was having his power cut off for lack of payment. The customer held the power company man with a gun making him go back up the pole and cut the guy’s power back on. Nice people huh.

After getting hired by a bank to assist in the collection of its loans, I was making an outside call to a customer’s residence only to find nobody home. Arriving back at the bank at the day’s end and reporting to the respective loan officer of my attempts to collect, he informed me that this way past due customer had come into the bank. The loan officer had loaned him more money, however the father-in-law co-signed the note. That did not make much sense to me, but loan officers are known to do some really squirrelly things.

Had two lenders quit one time because the holding company had sent a big time lender to the bank who had been promoted over the two that quit. Reckon it hurt their feelings. Did not hurt my feelings, it gave me more job security because this hot shot was loose as a goose with his lending. Apparently he did not know the meaning of No!

Had another big time lender come in from Dallas and a big shot he was. He even had to find a place to send his shoes to be shined. I thought good grief! Rather funny, this hot shot loved to frequent topless bars and soon after his arrival in town he made the Houston circuit of a few bars spreading word of how big a banker he was. Needless to say, the next day a stripper showed up in the bank, fully clothed of course, and was going to hit him up for the loan per his evening before. Thought the hot shot was going to crawl under his desk. It was so funny; he closed the door to his office and told the assistant that he would be in conference for the rest of the day.

Had one lender with a drug problem and it too was comical for a while; but not so funny when I inherited his portfolio as the loans had to be collected. I do believe the man would have loaned Jessie James money. Of all those college boys, we had one who simply could not compose a letter. He had his secretary write all of them and to think they got the big bucks.