INsider Amalgamated Bank

Amalgamated Bank Mural
Volume 11 ••• Fall 2012

Q&A with Director of Residential Lending Edward A. Bolmarcich

Edward A. Bolmarcich
Edward A. Bolmarcich

The INsider recently sat down with Senior Vice President and Director of Residential Lending Edward A. Bolmarcich, who is the head of Amalgamated’s new Home Mortgage Division. Amalgamated Bank’s full-service residential financing program was launched this summer and many families in New York State and now in Washington, D.C. have applied for home mortgages or are refinancing an existing mortgage.

To assist homebuyers and homeowners, Amalgamated is offering a wide range of fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages, as well as home equity loans and lines of credit.

INsider: What are some of the advantages that Amalgamated Home Mortgage brings to the home financing market in New York and Washington, D.C.?

Edward Bolmarcich: We provide a trusted and affordable alternative to the big banks and mortgage companies that have so poorly served homebuyers by engaging in predatory and other unfair lending practices. Hardworking people can count on Amalgamated for fair, honest and transparent treatment through every step of the process.

Our mortgage unit offers real advantages to consumers because we want to help homebuyers truly understand their home financing options. And, we will assist them in securing the mortgage or refinancing option that best suits their individual financial situations.

Equally important, we have recruited talented, experienced, and friendly people who know what they're doing and can guide people as they make this important financial decision.

INsider: Where is the housing market heading today?

EB: This is one of the most opportune times in history to buy a house in the New York metropolitan or the Washington, D.C. area. With more affordable home values, historically low interest rates, and a wide range of homes for sale, it might be the perfect time to purchase.

INsider: If I’m a typical consumer, is it much more difficult to get a mortgage today than it was a few years ago? Or, is that view more folklore than reality?

EB: I see it as more folklore than fact. As a mortgage banker I would say that, if you have a good job and credit history, you can probably qualify for financing. At Amalgamated, we want to find a way to make home loans to qualified individuals.

INsider: What is the message that Amalgamated Home Mortgage has for hardworking people?

EB: Our message is straight-forward—we’re here to serve you today. And, we definitely want to help our depositors, union members and working people. Amalgamated is committed to helping working people purchase and own a home.

INsider: What can you tell us about Home Mortgage Division’s expertise in educating people about the home buying process?

EB: We pride ourselves on our neighborhood expertise. Besides having branches in different areas of New York City and our office in Washington, D.C., Amalgamated works closely with local community groups, union locals, progressive groups, and nonprofit organizations. We have formed alliances with these grassroots groups by presenting the Bank’s MoneySense financial literacy workshops to their members.

INsider: How does a prospective homebuyer begin the process of applying for a mortgage with Amalgamated Bank?

EB: Our borrowers can visit any of Amalgamated’s branches in New York or our Washington, D.C. office. They can apply for a mortgage, home equity loan or line of credit in person. Or, they can visit Amalgamated’s website and apply for a mortgage or home financing option any time of the day or night.

INsider: What can you tell us about Amalgamated’s online Home Mortgage Center?

EB: In addition to the mortgage application in the “Apply Here” area, we have created a resource center, which has the following information:

  • Application—This section answers a wide range of questions about the home financing process
  • Loans, Programs and Fees—Contains information about Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) and 15-year and 30-year fixed rate loans
  • Mortgage Calculators—Helps people decide on the type of mortgage they can choose to refinance or purchase a home
  • Glossary—A complete definition of mortgage-related terms
  • Your Property—Reviews the type of information that we need to know about your property
  • Closing and Beyond—Reviews what people can expect during the loan closing

INsider: What can you tell us about the “Apply Now” section of the Mortgage Center?

EB: The online application begins by asking people a series of questions about themselves and the property they plan to buy or refinance as well as questions about their income, assets, expenses, and other matters. Depending on how they answer questions, other questions will appear on the screen as our program leads individuals, step-by-step through the application.

INsider: How long will a person need to wait for a pre-approval of his or her mortgage after completing the online application?

EB: Our goal is to respond with a conditional approval within 20 minutes. The system will then inform individuals about additional information they need to submit to us to expedite their closing.

INsider: Is there any difference in how my application is handled if I apply at an Amalgamated Bank branch, call the Bank’s toll-free number, 1-866-280-7435, or click on in Amalgamated Home Mortgage Center on the Bank’s website?

EB: No, all of our application channels provide a fast and convenient customer experience.

INsider: How does Amalgamated Home Mortgage assist people who are just getting started with home buying and financing process?

EB: We are here to serve. You can come in with your family at any time and sit down with a home loan officer. He or she will ask about your home buying goals, and then suggest a few ways to move ahead now or in the future. If a customer is ready, we can log onto the computer and start the online application process.