Getting Approved in Monmouth Beach
In the Summer of 1968, during his prime as a practicing physician, my father was appointed to our local bank’s Advisory Board (then the Monmouth County National Bank in Monmouth Beach). He and three other prominent community members would assemble quarterly to offer advice and review and act on loan applications.
I never thought much of it until one day a Monmouth Beach resident told me how my dad had really helped him. This person had submitted a loan application at the bank to borrow $5,000 (a lot nearly 60 years ago). He was going to use the money to buy and develop a vacant piece of property in town.
At the time the guy was in his early 30s, had a steady job with a modest salary, and was a lifelong borough resident. My dad knew him but other members of the loan committee really didn’t. According to dad’s standards the applicant came from a good family, was a hard worker and solid community member. That was good enough for him. About the loan dad said: “He’s good for it.” The committee ultimately agreed and the loan was approved.
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
The person bought the lot and later flipped it for a handsome profit. The loan was paid back in full. “I would never have got the money without your dad’s influence,” the guy told me. “That deal really got me going in my life and allowed me to do things for myself and my family that would have taken many years to achieve.”
Over time I told this story to several people in Monmouth Beach and, to my amazement, heard in reply that dad had also helped them to get loans, Mostly home mortgages. “I was scared to death facing that loan committee for my my first home, but with your dad there it all seemed like it would work out — and it did,” one person told me. “I even remember your father saying ‘give him the money, he’ll pay it back and if he doesn’t, I will.’”
With dad the decision to make a loan had little to do with debt-to-income ratio, credit worthiness, or down payments. It was about faith in others (along with some wisdom). Perhaps it was also his trusting nature as a physician? I know that times are different — people have charged and certainly banks have changed. Now it’s only about the numbers.
My dad believed in people. While his actions were played out on a small stage, they had a huge impact. Thanks to him decent folks were able to fulfill their grandest dream — home ownership. Good families took root and grew. Today, Monmouth Beach is one of most desirable communities in the state of New Jersey. And I give dad some credit for helping to make it that way.