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Come Home to Iowa

By: Michael Scheibach

The subprime market debacle continues to be headline news. And with home loan defaults continuing to rise and Congress poised to take action against this area of mortgage lending, the subprime market is likely to remain a troubling issue in the foreseeable future.

In Franklin County, Iowa, however, the news is much more upbeat, especially for those former residents who have come home to 3.9 percent home and car loans, courtesy of Hampton State Bank.

Brad Davis, the bank’s president and chief executive officer, originated the Come Home to Franklin County™ program in November 2005. The program provides low-interest home and car loans to former graduates of Franklin County high schools who moved away from the county and now want to return home. Hampton State Bank is underwriting the program with a $1 million commitment.

“We created the Come Home to Franklin County™ program to encourage growth and development in our community,” said Davis, “and it is our intention to fulfill the entire $1 million in loans. We see our mission as taking a leadership role in promoting economic development in our community."

Recently, Davis announced the extension of the program through December 2007. More important, residents who qualify may still acquire a loan for 3.9 percent — the same rate offered in November 2005.

Response to the program has been “absolutely tremendous,” according to Davis. To date, five households have received $360,000 in loans, and two more, with an additional $150,000 in loans, are in the pipeline.

Hampton State Bank, a community bank with $56 million in assets, has not only made its mark in Franklin County; it has also made its mark in the state of Iowa and the region. Already, four additional banks have purchased the “Come Home to …” program from Hampton State Bank for $495, with $250 being donated to local economic development. The other banks are Henry County Bank at Mount Pleasant (Henry County), Premier Bank at Rock Rapids (Lyon County), Liberty Trust & Savings Bank at Durant (Cedar County), and Landmands National Bank at Audubon (Audubon County). The program has gained widespread news coverage, as well, for good reason. The program is a benchmark for other banks and communities seeking innovative ways to encourage growth and redevelopment.

The Federal Home Loan Bank presented its Capital Community Award to the city of Hampton, which received the opportunity to apply for the award as a direct result of the Come Home to Franklin County™ program. In addition, Hampton State Bank received two Iowa Bankers Association Best of Iowa gold marketing awards: one in multimedia and the other in community development/public relations.

Hampton State Bank is an example of what can be done to help stimulate the revitalization of small towns and rural communities. For more information about the Come Home to Franklin County™ program, visit www.hamptonstate.com or contact Brad Davis at 641-456-2559 or bdavis(at)hamptonstate.com.


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