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2012 News

November 2, 2012

Today's Low Mortgage Rates Aren't for Everyone!

Mortgage rates have been historically low for several months, even years. According to Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, they could remain at these low levels for another 18–24 months. While these rates are great, they aren’t for everyone. Taking advantage of them takes preparation and patience.

It has been well publicized that the cause of the "mortgage meltdown" was the proliferation of easy-to-get mortgage loans. While the fingers of blame may point in many directions, it has resulted in an avalanche of rules and regulations from the U.S Government that is ongoing and ever changing. The motives behind the increased regulations are to protect consumers from less-than-worthy lenders that may still exist. Unfortunately, the implementation of all these new regulations puts the consumer through the wringer in the mortgage loan application process.

Let me clarify this with some background on the two main sources of mortgage money. The first is your local bank or credit union, which lends directly to the borrower from its own funds. If these institutions keep the loan in their own portfolio, they can be more flexible, as long as they meet prudent lending standards and traditional FDIC requirements. The other source is the secondary market, which is represented by loan originators whose sole purpose is to originate the loan to you and sell it through channels that eventually go to Wall Street. Today the secondary market is comprised of FHA (HUD), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Both avenues are fine if you understand the details. The secondary market players have set strict guidelines for originators and low rates for borrowers, but the secondary market comes with some challenges. After the loan is originated and is funneled to one of these secondary market agencies, two issues commonly arise. If there is a discrepancy to their guidelines or process they can make the originator buy the loan back. This “buyback risk” has created the second challenge: Qualifying for these mortgages has become much more complex and detailed.

It used to be that if a borrower had a minor deficiency (income or minor credit issue) but was strong in another area (assets, job stability, minimal debt, etc.) a lender could compensate one for the other, looking at the whole profile. Portfolio lending banks can still do this, but for loans heading to the secondary market the “risk of buyback” is clouding the picture. The underwriting process of evaluating income, credit and assets has become an audit process dwelling on the minutia. Borrowers are being asked to explain details as small as where deposits in their checking account came from, variances in their paychecks and credit report inquiries.

If you are looking to take advantage of these current rates, be sure your lending officer is well versed in the current criteria and reviews your documentation very closely. Having your documentation in order and being patient can increase the success of your loan experience.

We are all in it together. Being well informed and working together is the key.

Peter Hart
V.P., Mortgage Department Manager
Ojai Community Bank

 

Interview Contact:
David Brubaker
President & CEO, Ojai Community Bank
(805) 646-9909
dbrubaker@ojaicommunitybank.com

Media Inquiries:
Barbara Brown
BBM&D Strategic Branding
(805) 650-5555
bbrown@bbmd-inc.com

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October 3, 2012

Ventura Community Bank Opens Doors

VENTURA, CALIF.—Ventura Community Bank, a division of Ojai Community Bank, officially opened their doors Wednesday, October 3. The new, full service location at 3130 Telegraph Road will provide a full array of lending options and financial products for both the business and individual customer.

"A bank like this has been a long time in coming and we’re proud to be one of Ventura Community Bank’s first customers" stated Don Carlton, owner of Don L. Carlton Realty. "Their community focus and interest in serving the businesses here in Ventura is laudable."

Dave Brubaker, President and CEO, stated, "We were founded here in Ventura County by local residents and business owners with the mission to keep banking a personal experience. We bring this same local decision-making and unrivaled customer care to our Ventura customers."

The Telegraph Road location, across from St. Bonaventure High School, will have both drive-up teller and lobby options. The drive-up opens at 8:30 a.m. and the lobby at 9:00 a.m. Monday through Friday. Both close at 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and at 6:00 p.m. on Fridays. For more information, drop by or call (805) 642-9955.

Ventura Community Bank joins Santa Paula Community Bank as divisions of Ojai Community Bank, all three serving Ventura County with each location tailored to the specific needs of the cities they serve. Ojai Community Bank was founded by a group of long-time Ventura County residents and business owners in March 2005 and expanded with two locations in Santa Paula in 2009.

Ojai Community Bank stock is traded under the stock symbol OJCB. Investor information can be found on the Bank’s website at venturacommunitybank.com.

Interview Contact:
David Brubaker
President & CEO, Ojai Community Bank
(805) 646-9909
dbrubaker@ojaicommunitybank.com

Media Inquiries:
Barbara Brown
BBM&D Strategic Branding
(805) 650-5555
bbrown@bbmd-inc.com

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June 20, 2012

Ventura Community Bank to open 4Q 2012 Santa Paula Community Bank Consolidates Branches

VENTURA, CALIF.—In a strategic move that will ultimately increase opportunities for customers throughout Ventura County, Ojai Community Bank announced today that it will be expanding into the city of Ventura and consolidating its Santa Paula Community Bank offices.

Ojai Community Bank revealed plans to open a new location on Telegraph Road in Ventura, to be called Ventura Community Bank, a division of Ojai Community Bank, in the fourth quarter of 2012. Ventura Community Bank will join Santa Paula Community Bank as divisions of Ojai Community Bank, all three serving Ventura County with each location tailored to the specific needs of the city it serves.

“Our goal is to provide specific service strategies to each community with local decision makers, current local knowledge, tailored products and local staffing. At the same time the three locations provide a convenient network of banking centers in western Ventura County,” said Dave Brubaker, a Ventura resident and President/CEO of Ojai Community Bank.

“We have learned from our customers that along with the personal service and technological conveniences we provide, they really want to know that their bank is listening to the needs of their specific business and cultural community,” he said.

“In response, we have given each of our locations the flexibility to deal with their own market and a website dedicated to their local market.”

Meanwhile, the Santa Paula Community Bank, a division of Ojai Community Bank, announced plans to consolidate its two branches in Santa Paula. Customers have been notified that effective September 14, 2012, the Santa Paula Community Bank branch located at 948 East Main Street, Santa Paula, will close and all of its accounts, including deposit accounts and loans, will be relocated to the Harvard Boulevard branch at 537 West Harvard Boulevard, Santa Paula.

“The consolidation of our Santa Paula branches is part of an overall repositioning strategy and will allow for an expansion into other areas of Ventura County,” Brubaker added. “We are sincerely honored to be a part of the Santa Paula community and are grateful for their continued support.”

Don Tello, Division President of Santa Paula Community Bank, further explained, “Because these two branches are only 1.5 miles apart, it just makes good economic sense to streamline resources. Ventura Community Bank, a division of Ojai Community Bank, will also offer a convenient banking stop for our residents who work in Ventura.”

“The consolidation will not affect the service levels or the products we provide our Santa Paula customers,” Tello said. “We know our customers well and will work with each one individually to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible. We value our community support in Santa Paula and this consolidation to the Harvard Boulevard branch provides superior parking for our customers and room for our community events such as Shred Day and our Mobile Blood Drive. We look forward to our continued long-term community relationship.”

Ojai Community Bank opened for business in March 2005. Ojai Community Bank stock is traded under the stock symbol OJCB. Investor information can be found on the Bank’s website at http://ojaicommunitybank.com.

Statements concerning future performance, developments or events concerning expectations for growth and market forecasts, and any other guidance on future periods, constitute forward looking statements that are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from stated expectations. Specific factors include, but are not limited to, the effect of interest rate changes, the ability to control costs and expenses, the impact of consolidation in the banking industry, financial policies of the United States government, and general economic conditions.

Interview Contact:
David Brubaker
President & CEO, Ojai Community Bank
(805) 646-9909
dbrubaker@ojaicommunitybank.com

Media Inquiries:
Barbara Brown
BBM&D Strategic Branding
(805) 650-5555
bbrown@bbmd-inc.com

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March 20, 2012

OCB Wins Chamber Community Service Spirit Award

ocb_7yrs

It is with great humility that Ojai Community Bank accepted the Spirit of the Ojai Valley Award at the Chamber of Commerce Gala. The Spirit Award was granted to the Chamber Member that exemplified exceptional community support in 2011. We likewise congratulate the other candidates, Kathy Hartley for the Lavender Inn and Bret Bradigan with the Ojai Quarterly. Both are wonderful people supporting our valley.

The award comes at a time when the Ojai Community Bank celebrates seven years since our opening day. Community service has always been an integral part of who we are and critical in our business plan.

During 2011, Ojai Community Bank supported more than 100 local nonprofits with over $30,000 in donations. Since the bank opened in 2005, we have donated over $200,000 to our community. We are grateful for having this opportunity and proud of our community today.

We thank you, Ojai, for your support over the years. We encourage everybody to support our Valley’s nonprofits, our local shops and services, and of course we invite you to bank locally as well. We are honored to be your Community Bank and we look forward to partnering with you as we continue to grow and prosper together. Lets all continue to pitch in and make a difference together.

Sincerely,
Dave Brubaker
And all the OCB staff

 

Interview Contact:
David Brubaker
President & CEO, Ojai Community Bank
(805) 646-9909
dbrubaker@ojaicommunitybank.com

Media Inquiries:
Barbara Brown
BBM&D Strategic Branding
(805) 650-5555
bbrown@bbmd-inc.com

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January 18, 2012

Ojai Studio Artists Exhibit at Ojai Community Bank: A Portion of Proceeds Benefits Scholarship Fund

Kuebler

Ojai Community Bank is proud to exhibit DRAWN TO OJAI: Selections from the Ojai Studio Artists from Monday, January 23 through Friday, March 16. A reception for the artists will be on Thursday, February 9 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.

25 members of Ojai Studio Artists (OSA) will exhibit work that is inspired by their unique relationship to Ojai. Orange groves in bloom, fields of wild mustard, as well as works that reflect the spirituality and inner essence of Ojai are all represented in this "hometown" exhibit.

Artists participating in DRAWN TO OJAI have agreed to donate a percentage of their sales from the exhibition to OSA’s Scholarship Fund. Ojai Community Bank, a contributing sponsor of the 2011 Ojai Studio Art Tour, will match the artist donation for the scholarship fund.

OSA is a 501c3 non-profit organization of juried, professional artists who all reside in the Ojai Valley. Over the last twenty years, the group has given more than 100 scholarships totaling over $100,000 to deserving art students in order to help them continue their studies in related art disciplines at the college level. In addition, OSA also donates books to the local library, provides grants to the Art Center, and conducts art workshops throughout Ojai, demonstrating a tangible, positive commitment to our community.

The Ojai Community Bank is located at 402 W. Ojai Ave, in Ojai and the exhibit is open to the public during regular business hours. 

Interview Contact:
David Brubaker
President & CEO, Ojai Community Bank
(805) 646-9909
dbrubaker@ojaicommunitybank.com

Media Inquiries:
Barbara Brown
BBM&D Strategic Branding
(805) 650-5555
bbrown@bbmd-inc.com

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January 6, 2012

Ojai Community Bank promotes three staff to AVP

OJAI, CALIF.—Ojai Community Bank (OJCB.OB) is pleased to announce the promotions of Tennay Fortier to Assistant Vice President, Customer Service Manager and Jason Miller to Assistant Vice President, Financial Analyst of Ojai Community Bank and Diana Williams to Assistant Vice President, Customer Service Manager of Santa Paula Community Bank (a division of Ojai Community Bank).

ocb_tennay_fortier

Tennay has been with the bank for approximately 3 years and oversees Operations and Customer Service in the Ojai Branch. She joined the Bank with seven years experience in branch operations, customer service and employee training. She actively participates in the community through activities with the Chamber of Commerce and other bank service opportunities. Dave Brubaker, CEO of Ojai Community Bank, stated, “As a key employee in our Ojai office, Tennay’s efforts are vital to our outreach to our Valley residents including small business customers. Tennay’s professional experience and product knowledge is a perfect fit with the Bank’s commitment to helping our customers and communities grow.”

 

jason_miller

Jason has been with the bank for approximately 3 years in the Finance area and has excelled in his position. He joined the Bank as a recent Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo college graduate in late 2008. He continues to learn and take on more responsibility daily. Dave Brubaker, CEO of Ojai Community Bank, stated, “As a key employee in our Bank, Jason’s efforts are seen daily and he is a critical member of our staff. He is relied upon heavily by numerous departments for everything from Information Technology to Financial reporting and analysis. Jason handles a number of critical internal functions and is always willing to work hard and learn more. Jason’s professional attitude and strong work ethic is wonderful for the bank and will help Ojai Community Bank achieve its goals in the future.”

 

diana_williams

Diana has been with the bank for approximately 3 years and oversees Operations and Customer Service in the Santa Paula Main Street Branch. Diana joined the Bank with over 20 years experience in branch operations and customer service. She is involved in many aspects of the Santa Paula community including the Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Merchants Association and many other bank service avenues. Don Tello, Executive Vice President and Division President of Santa Paula Community Bank, a division of Ojai Community Bank, stated, “Diana’s diverse banking experience brings great benefits and expertise to our Santa Paula customers. Her commitment, approachability, knowledge and willingness to work together with our customers to help overcome their financial challenges, define what community banking is all about.”

Ojai Community Bank opened for business on March 3, 2005. In addition to the Ojai branch location, the Bank has two Santa Paula locations operating under the name of Santa Paula Community Bank, a division of Ojai Community bank: the two branches are located at 948 E. Main Street and 537 W. Harvard Blvd, Santa Paula, 93060. For more information please contact Dave Brubaker at (805) 646-9909.


Interview Contact:
David Brubaker
President & CEO, Ojai Community Bank
(805) 646-9909
dbrubaker@ojaicommunitybank.com

Media Inquiries:
Barbara Brown
BBM&D Strategic Branding
(805) 650-5555
bbrown@bbmd-inc.com

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