Ephrata National Bank Sells Home Mortgages to Wells Fargo Bank

by Craig Hartranft on December 3, 2018

in Op-Ed

Ephrata National BankWhere did my mortgage go? Being a faithful customer and expecting local customer service, you went to you local community bank for mortgage, but then they sold your mortgage to a giant national bank. What’s up with that?

Did you know that local “community” bank, Ephrata National Bank, sells the home mortgages they create for their customers to Wells Fargo Bank? Yep. That Wells Fargo Bank, the one that has been historically corrupt and under investigation, indictment, or fined by the Federal government.

Several years back, for home repairs, we did a refinance with our local community Ephrata National Bank (ENB). The bank, in turn and without advance notice, sold our mortgage to Wells Fargo. But this is only symptom of a greater conundrum for the bank and banks in general.

You may know Ephrata National Bank by their slogan, “You’ll Feel The Difference.” They’ve been big one “feelings,” supposedly those of their customers, for sometime now. Rather, they’re more concerned with how the bank feels or better, how the bank is perceived by their customers and the public. This, of course, is the banking industry’s perennial problem: perception by their customers and the public. (See below for their reply to my Facebook post about this issue; it’s reeks with the unpleasant condescending odor of trying to discuss customer feelings.)

Have you ever noticed how much advertising is spent on a bank’s image before the public, or the bank’s perceived value to the same? The reason is simple: everybody dislikes and distrusts banks. A bank takes a customer’s money and offers them so little in return. Low return on investment. High interests to borrow back your money. Banks are soulless corporate entities that lack moral and ethic responsibility and are run by individuals who are also ethically deficient and morally compromised.

A banks only commodity is our money and the ability to lend it for a profit. The profit, in turn, rarely benefits the depositor, but rather the bank or its stockholders. Additionally, with the profits made off our money, they build monuments of stone to their own glory and to prove that their institution is safe and stable for their customers. Again, image is everything, and it’s a devilish distraction. (Yeah. I wouldn’t want my bank to look like FEMA housing for hurricane victims.)

Or have you ever noticed that a bank is constantly funding community events or organizations? It’s not because they appreciate or wish to be of benefit to their community, but rather because they need to be perceived as being appreciative and benevolent to the community. (It’s also probably a tax write-off.) It’s makes their fundamental existence justifiable and so palatable to the community the oppress.

Fundamentally, acts of community benevolence are simply corporate penance. Banks and other financial institutions are trying to undo the harm they cause individuals and others by their benevolent acts of repentance for the community.

In our community, Ephrata National Bank’s main “image” event is the community Christmas tree lighting which is held, where, in the front of the main branch. Nice. Yet, right across the street is a business which got start up financing from a financial competitor other than the town’s “community” bank.

We should be grateful for any business that “gives back” (or whatever catchy and clever phrase you wish to use) to the community or charity. Nevertheless, we should also be suspicious of the same who use it as an institutional ideology or policy for self-promotion and image adornment, and then, in turn, do exactly the opposite in actual business practice with customers. Instead of bank fiduciary responsibility, it’s fiduciary irresponsibility and hypocrisy. 

More Of Our Story
A few years back, my wife and I went to Ephrata National Bank for a mortgage refinance for home repairs, simply because they were (and still are) my local bank. I’ve been a faithful customer for almost 50 years (which gives me the right to say everything I’ve said), and my family has a trust administered by them. Why shouldn’t I go for help to my local “community” bank, who wants me to feel their difference? Makes sense right?

Yet, after granting the refinance, they didn’t hold my mortgage, but sold it immediately to Wells Fargo within 48 hours. Moreover, they had the hubris to tell us that they were going to do exactly that, not in advance, but when we came into sign the papers for the mortgage. A clear case of deception and sleight of hand.  Apparently, Ephrata National Bank, not only does not value the ideals of community and customer loyalty, but neither does it value honesty, integrity, and transparency. (For their part, ENB eventually said that everything was in the text of the loan documents. I actually read most of those documents, and still missed it. That is some damn small print. But some fine CYA on their part.) Nevertheless, I’m certainly “feeling the difference” now that I must deal with Wells Fargo, one of the worst banks in world and essentially a multi-national criminal organization. Hmm. Does that make Ephrata National Bank a co-conspirator?

Finally, I have no doubt that Ephrata National Bank has already made, and will continue to make, notes in our account about my comments past, present, and future about them and their business practices, so they can plausibly deny any and all future financial help to me and my wife in the future.

And still I’m sticking with my local bank. Can you believe it? It’s what the Brit’s call the minority party in Parliament: the loyal opposition.

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