Dressed in their doctor white coats, ShoreBank’s lending officers blitzed the South and West sides on March 15, kicking off their new campaign offering residents a “Free Mortgage Check Up.”

The stigma of the banking industry rejecting African-American customers has long been a problem. ShoreBank is one of few banks working hard to overcome this problem.

There have been cases of less than reputable lending institutions making mortgage loans in the African-American community, with improper evaluations leading to foreclosures. Predatory lending facilities know exactly how long it will take before homeowners find themselves in foreclosure. They are not interested in community growth and stable families. These unscrupulous lending groups have in the past preyed upon majorities. Every week most of us can expect “junk” mail offering low interest loans, equity loans and all types of enticing ads. Legislation is attempting to address the problem.

Shorebank’s Austin Branch Senior Mortgage Lender Lucy C. Traylor-Haynes said, “What prompted this ‘Mortgage Lending Day'”we wanted to make sure that our customers are aware that we’re here and we do mortgages. Not just mortgages to investors, but mortgages to individuals and to our community. We want to put people in their homes successfully. We want to make sure their future is guaranteed. We want to put you in a home to enjoy and live in for years to come. We sit down with customers and go over their personal situations and work to make dreams and aspirations come true. This becomes a win-win situation for everyone. People respond and act differently when they own property. Many of today’s African Americans have larger disposal incomes than their parents and corporate America is starting to take note. We here at ShoreBank always realized this, and we enjoy wonderful relationships with the African-American community.”

Bank President & Managing Director Michelle Collins did a whirlwind blitz of all the branches on this day. Interviewed by WVON’s Perri Small and Matt McGill, it was reported that inquiry calls were coming into each branch at approximately 50 per hour.

Music at the Austin location was provided by Austin’s own renowned jazzman and educator Howard Sandifer and world acclaimed guitarist Felton Offard. All branches offered refreshments of sweet rolls, coffee, soda and fancy mini-sandwiches. The staff at ShoreBank welcomes your calls for a “Free Mortgage Check-up” appointment. The Austin branch is located at 5100 W. Harrison 773/287-5800 or call 773/420-HOME.