IMPORTANT!!

We are keeping a close eye on the "Heartbleed" bug you may have heard about. The vendor we use for Online Banking has completed a preliminary assessment and has not discovered any vulnerability. We will be sure to keep you updated should anything to the contrary be discovered. Rest assured that we are doing everything we can to help ensure that your information is safe.

It is always a good practice to use unique passwords for all of the online services you access. If your GCF Online Banking password has also been used with a different service, we do recommend that you change your Online Banking password at this time.





If you currently utilize GCF’s online banking EXPRESS TRANSFER function to make your loan payments, this service will be temporarily unavailable from April 25, 2014 through June 9, 2014. As an alternative to this temporary inconvenience, you can do one of the following:

  • Contact 1-877-589-6600 ext. 320 or 368 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, to manually complete the transaction.
  • Mail a check to Investors Bank, 101 Wood Avenue South, Iselin, NJ 08830.
  • Sign up for GCF’s online bill payment system and set up a monthly payment to be sent to Investors Bank.


Fast Access




GCF Bank is now part of the Investors Bank family!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Edition #697


Today's Highlights:

Past issues of GCFlash:

January 22, 2013 Edition #696

January 15, 2013 Edition #695

January 8, 2013 Edition #694

December 18, 2012 Edition #693


Weekly Spotlight:

Washington Township High School is sponsoring their annual Super Bowl Hoagie sale on Sunday, February 3rd. Call Kim Hinrichs at 582-5353 x5704 or email khinrichs@wtps.org for details.


Our Current Rates:

For a listing of our current deposit and loan rates, click here.

Today's National Market Rates
January 29, 2013 6 Mo Ago
07/30/12
1 Yr Ago
01/27/12
5 Yrs Ago
01/29/08
Dow Jones Industrial Average
(Up 567.06 or 4.24% since 12/31/12)
13,954.42 (+0.52%) 13,073.01 12,660.46 12,480.30
S&P 500
(Up 81.65 or 5.73% since 12/31/12)
1,507.84 (+0.51%) 1,385.30 1,316.33 1,362.30
NASDAQ
(Up 134.15 or 4.44% since 12/31/12)
3,153.66 (-0.02%) 2,945.84 2,816.55 2,358.06
10 Year Treasury Bond Yield 1.99% 1.50% 1.90% 3.66%
British Sterling 1.5762 1.5746 1.5677 1.9815
Euro 1.3497 1.2317 1.3125 1.4712

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1st Flash

How Will These New Rules Impact You?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau isn't wasting any time in drafting rules and restrictions on mortgage service bureaus. How does this affect you?

The rules are geared toward consumer protection. Some should be plain common sense, yet that approach doesn't always seem to work very well.

Criteria lenders must use to determine loan qualification are spelled out. The borrower must have a reasonable chance to pay the mortgage back. Sounds like one of those duh.... moments, right?

Had this been the case, we wouldn't have had a housing crisis. Laws were enacted to allow low-income citizens the opportunity to own a home. New types of mortgages were created to make homeownership more "affordable." We saw how that worked out.

The new rule states a qualified mortgage cannot include risky features like extending longer than 30 years. They can't offer interest-only payments or negative amortization payments where the principal amount actually increases. Teaser rates are no longer permitted.

Lenders must now actually evaluate a borrower's ability to repay the loan by considering things like income, assets, credit card or student loan debt. Credit scores count. But there is no stated credit score requirement, nor minimum down payment amount included in the rule.

They can't carry fees and points above 3% of the total mortgage. Debt-to-income ratio must be lower than 43% of the borrower's pre-tax income.

Mortgage lenders can still issue loans that don't meet the new criteria. But they won't be protected from consumer lawsuits claiming a risky loan.

Consumer advocates believe these new rules will adversely impact low-income citizens who will no longer be able to afford their own home. They're at odds with other groups of consumer advocates who point out the obvious - there are people in this country who simply don't have the resources to make a mortgage payment. These counter-groups don't believe the new rules go far enough to offer true consumer protection.

New foreclosure rules will also go into affect. Servicers are prohibited from foreclosing on borrowers who are seeking loan modifications. A borrower must be at least 120 days behind on payments before the first foreclosure notice can be filed to give the homeowner opportunity to apply for a modification.

All alternatives to foreclosure must be considered. After a borrower has missed two consecutive payments, the servicer must send a written notice with examples of available alternatives, and not just those that benefit the servicer. It may include deferred payments or loan modifications. Dedicated service personnel must be available to assist troubled homeowners.

If the borrower applies for a loan modification at least 37 days before their foreclosure auction is scheduled, the servicer must consider the request and give them enough time to accept alternatives before proceeding with the sale.

There are also guidelines to make mortgage statements easier to understand. Mortgage payments must be broken down by principal, interest, fees and escrow. They must show the amount and due date of the next payment, recent transactions and fee alerts.

Rate changes on adjustable-rate mortgages must be disclosed along with how they will affect their payments. Alternatives and counseling must be provided if the new payment is unaffordable.

Mortgaged homes must be insured. If sufficient proof of insurance is not provided, servicers can buy insurance for them and charge the premiums to the borrower. This insurance can be more expensive than traditional coverage. Advance notice and pricing information must be given before putting this coverage in place. If the servicer buys the insurance and receives evidence it wasn't needed, it must be terminated within 15 days and the premiums refunded.

These new rules are effective January 2014. That gives the conflicting consumer groups plenty of time to argue their view point and any resulting modifications implemented. And the rest of us opportunity to ponder why legislation is necessary for common sense to prevail.


On The World Wide Web

Catch a sneak peak of Super Bowl ads, watch those you missed, relive ads from past events here.

It's the cutest Super Bowl of them all. Live, from AnimalPlanet Stadium, is Puppy Bowl IX featuring the kitty halftime show. The event brings awareness to shelters and rescues. Learn more.

Super Bowl parties are second only to Thanksgiving when it comes to feasting. But not everyone is so fortunate. Take time this weekend to remember those that go hungry, and finding out how you can help at this site.

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2nd Flash

Super Bowl Equals Super Bucks

AFL founder Lamar Hunt knew it would become something big. Postseason college games were called "bowl" games. The new pro football championship should be called the "Super Bowl."

It has since lived up to the name, and the hype.

The first football championship game between the National Football League (NFL) and American Football League (AFL) was played in 1967, but the name wasn't introduced until 1969 when it had already been decided that the two leagues would merge for the 1970 season.

The new league would be divided into two conferences of 13 teams each. The conference champions would compete in the Super Bowl, the Vince Lombardi Trophy awarded to the victor.

Lombardi led the Green Bay Packers to victory in the first two Super Bowls. Each team member of the inaugural event earned $15,000, the largest single-game share in the history of team sports at the time.

Fast forward to this year's event. Each player on the team who wins the championship will earn $88,000. Losers only get $44,000 for their efforts.

That's on top of what is awarded to the team. Each is reimbursed for transportation expenses equal to 200 first class airfares. The winner gets $4.3 million with $3.2 million going to their opponent.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC estimated the game will generate $185 million in direct spending for the host city of New Orleans.

Sibling rivalry adds to the drama this year's event has already displayed. The matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens will be the first time two brothers have led their respective teams to the big game.

Jim Harbaugh, coach of the 49ers, and older brother John, Ravens' coach, became the first brothers in NFL history to serve as head coaches in 2011. The two teams met for a Thanksgiving Classic game in 2011 where Baltimore emerged the victor. The two will face off against each other once again on Sunday in New Orleans.

After the Harbaugh saga, the next biggest story line would be the commercials. The Super Bowl is expected to draw a worldwide audience of 111 million people. They're betting enough of them will watch the game in real time rather than set the DVR and fast forward through commercials.

And they're betting a pretty good amount of money, too. A 30-second spot this year goes for a record $3.8 million. Way back in 2008, they went for a mere $2.7 million.

But just in case you miss their ads, companies are leaking sneak peaks in advance. GoDaddy.com is shifting away from the sexy ads to the comical. RIM will introduce the long awaited Blackberry 10. Taco Bell is back after a two year hiatus.

GM will not have an ad this year, but they're the only auto company sitting it out. Ford and Chrysler will both try to woo viewers. Audi created three different ads, and asking viewers to vote on which one they should air during the game.

Cars.com ditched the company that created last year's campaign. A second little head popping out of a guy's neck disturbed too many people. One might hope the powers-that-be who approved the ad were ditched as well.

Whether the ad is good or not, people talk about it when it appears during the Super Bowl. The adage "any advertising is good advertising" rings true here. Even the worst ads leave people talking.

The game should leave people talking, too. When it comes down to it, it isn't about the advertising. It isn't about the halftime show. It isn't about the who's who list of celebrities present or even brother vs. brother.

It's about the competition. It's about sportsmanship. The best of one conference displaying their talent against the best of the opposing conference. And that makes it Super by any standard.


Tip of the Week

It's not enough to stuff your credit card back in your wallet after using it at a restaurant. If it's out of your possession for even a short while, confirm it's your card before stashing it away in every circumstance. Crooks will swap your card for a similar expired card, ringing up countless charges on yours until you get your next statement. Too late by the time you notice a switch was made.

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Financial Insights

We've added a Financial Glossary to GCFBank.com! More than mere definitions, our glossary includes the commentary you came to know and expect in our Financial Insights column. Extracted from past issues of GCFlash and compiled on one convenient page for your reference.



Quotable

"The truth is the Super Bowl long ago became more than just a football game. It's part of our culture like turkey at Thanksgiving and lights at Christmas, and like those holidays beyond their meaning, a factor in our economy." - Bob Schieffer


Today in History

1995 - San Francisco 49ers defeat the San Diego Chargers 49-26 in Super Bowl XXIX to become the first NFL team to win five Super Bowls.


Flash Fact

The Pittsburgh Steelers have claimed the most Super Bowl victories with six championship titles.

Have a comment about something you read in GCFlash? Suggestions for future articles? Drop us an email!

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PURPOSE:

GCFlash is a weekly e-mail sent only to its listed customers and associates free of charge. GCFlash informs customers of special product offerings which may be of interest, current interest rates on both deposit and loan products, selected financial news and other financial tidbits. GCFlash is intended to supplement the more comprehensive information listed on the GCF Web site at http://www.gcfbank.com.

GCFLASH PRIVACY STATEMENT

For a copy of our Privacy Policy, visit www.gcfbank.com/gcflash_privacy.aspx

GCF maintains your e-mail address in a confidential and secure database along with much of your other account information, such as mailing address and telephone number, etc. Before aggregating our e-mailing list each week, we filter out any duplicates. In most cases, this inhibits the unintended e-mailing of multiple copies of GCFlash to a single e-mail address. However, because these account records are kept by both individual and account, there is a chance members of the same household could each receive a copy of GCFlash or any other transmission at the same e- mail address - resulting in multiple copies. For example, a husband and wife that both have accounts with GCF may both receive a copy because the names are different but listed at the same e-mail address. This is similar to the manner in which each individual may share a common telephone number. To handle this situation, GCF recommends you simply delete any extra copies of GCFlash as this will ensure that ALL individuals receive any future promotional mailings, which might only be targeted or offered to specific accountholders meeting certain criteria. GCF has the capability to suppress customer e-mail addresses so they are omitted from our transmission list. If you would rather have a specific household member's e-mail address suppressed in our electronic database, simply send us a reply, as stated below, and indicate the accountholder for which you would like to have e-mail suppressed. Please keep in mind that this suppression will mean that NO future e-mails are sent, including special promotional offers. If you have any questions about this process or need additional information, please contact us at netaccess@gcfbank.com.

If you would like to be removed from this electronic mailing list, click this link to send us an email to unsubscribe. Please note, removing your name from our electronic mailing list means GCF will send NO FUTURE NEWS or SPECIAL OFFERS.


GCF Bank
381 Egg Harbor Road
Sewell, NJ 08080
(856) 589-6600
www.gcfbank.com