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Question and Answer Guide
First Federal Bank of California, a Federal Savings Bank, Santa Monica, CA


FDIC Call Center
Toll free number 1-800-930-1849
Hours of Operation – Pacific Time
Friday, December 18, 2009:   Until 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 19, 2009:   9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 20, 2009:   Noon – 6:00 p.m.
Thereafter:   8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

NOTE: Due to the Christmas Holiday, the call center will not be operational between the hours of 3 p.m., Thursday, December 24, and 8 a.m. Monday, December 28.

On December 18, 2009, First Federal Bank of California, a Federal Savings Bank (First Federal Bank of California), Santa Monica, CA, was closed by the Office of Thrift Supervision. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was then named Receiver. Subsequent to the closure, OneWest Bank, FSB, Pasadena, CA acquired all of the deposits and substantially all the assets of First Federal Bank of California from the FDIC as Receiver for First Federal Bank of California. Any claims by equity holders were not acquired. Share price does not trigger a bank closing and was not the reason for First Federal Bank of California’s failure.

The total balance in your account(s) has been transferred to OneWest Bank, FSB and will be available for transactions during regular business hours at the former First Federal Bank of California branches starting on Saturday, December 19, 2009.

You may continue to use your same checks, ATM cards and debit cards until notified.

All Direct Deposits, including Social Security checks, will continue as usual.


Account(s): What about my account with First Federal Bank of California?

If you had an account with First Federal Bank of California, you now have an account with OneWest Bank, FSB, Pasadena, CA. All deposit accounts, which include checking, savings, money market, CDs and retirement accounts, have been transferred to OneWest Bank, FSB, regardless of the dollar amount. No one lost any money on deposit in First Federal Bank of California.

Customers of both banks should continue to use their existing branches until OneWest Bank, FSB, can fully integrate the deposit records of First Federal Bank of California.

To forewarn you of any scams, please be advised that you will not receive any e-mail notification from the FDIC, the Receiver, or OneWest Bank, FSB to claim/unlock/unsuspend your account or to provide any private information. Please be watchful for and resist any such scams to obtain information from you by individuals or entities purporting to act on behalf of First Federal Bank of California or the FDIC.

ATM/debit card and/or Billpay: What about my ATM/debit card and/or bill paying with First Federal Bank of California?

Your ATM/debit card will continue to work, and bill paying will work as it has in the past.

Brokered Deposits: I am a deposit broker or have brokered deposits. What do I do?

As an All-Deposit Transfer transaction, the total of all deposit accounts, including brokered deposits, have been assumed by OneWest Bank, FSB.

Be advised, however, that from and after the date of closing, OneWest Bank, FSB will accrue and pay interest on deposit liabilities at a rate it shall determine; accordingly, OneWest Bank, FSB shall permit depositors, including brokered depositors, impacted by reduced rates to withdraw their deposits without penalty for early withdrawal.

If you are a customer who has a First Federal Bank of California deposit through a broker, you must contact your broker with any questions.

Direct Deposits - Government Deposits: What will happen to my direct deposits?

Direct Deposits, including Social Security checks, will continue as normal.

Existing Deposits at OneWest Bank, FSB: I already have other deposit accounts with the new bank.  When combined with balances at this bank, my deposits exceed $250,000.  Are all funds insured?

The accounts transferred to OneWest Bank, FSB will be separately insured for at least six months after the merger. This grace period gives a depositor the opportunity to restructure the accounts, if necessary.

CDs from the failed bank are separately insured until the earliest maturity date after the end of the six-month grace period.

CDs that mature during the six-month period and are renewed for the same term and in the same dollar amount (either with or without accrued interest) continue to be separately insured until the first maturity date after the six-month period.

If a CD matures during the six-month grace period and is renewed on any other basis, it would be separately insured only until the end of the six-month grace period.

Interest Rates, Early Withdrawal Penalty: Will I continue to earn interest at the same rate?  Will I be charged an early withdrawal penalty?

Interest on all deposits accrued through Friday, December 18, 2009, will be paid at your same rate. OneWest Bank, FSB will review rates and notify you if interest rates will change. Your interest rate may be reduced.

You may withdraw funds from any transferred account without an early withdrawal penalty until you enter into a new deposit agreement with your new bank. Entering into a new deposit agreement can be done by either renewing your CD or making a deposit to or a withdrawal from your account.

Loans/mortgages: What about my loan or mortgage with First Federal Bank of California?

All mortgages and loans have been assumed by OneWest Bank, FSB. Your payment amount and due date are the same. If you are having your payment deducted from your account, it will continue as it has in the past. You should continue to make your checks payable to First Federal Bank of California and send your payments to the same address.

Loans in Process: What happens if I had a loan in process that had not closed or a line of credit not fully funded?

You should contact your loan officer.  All prior contacts remain the same.

Media: I represent a TV/Newspaper/Radio and would like some information.

Please contact the Office of Public Affairs:

Greg Hernandez
1-202-898-6984
ghernandez@fdic.gov

Outstanding Checks: What about checks that I have written on my account with First Federal Bank of California?

Your checks will clear up to the available balance in your account.  You can continue to use your existing checks.

Safe Deposit Boxes: How can I claim the contents of my safe deposit box?

It is business as usual. You can go to your local branch and access your safe deposit box; however, no action on your part is required because of this transaction.

Shareholders: What about my shares of stock?

All shares of First Federal Bank of California were owned by its holding company, FirstFed Financial Corp., Los Angeles, CA. The holding company was not included in the closing of the bank or the resulting receivership. If you are a shareholder of FirstFed Financial Corp., please do not contact or file a claim with the Receiver. You may contact FirstFed Financial Corp. directly for information as follows:

FirstFed Financial Corp.
12555 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
1-310-302-5600

Transaction Types: Why do all deposits, insured or not, pass in some transactions but not in others?

The FDIC is required by law to employ the least-cost resolution measure for each failed financial institution. The most frequent result had been for the FDIC to transfer only the insured deposits in a Purchase and Assumption transaction; however, the temporary increase in the deposit insurance limit has assisted in the transfer of all deposits more often in the past year.

Unpaid Bills: I did some work for the bank and have not been paid. What should I do?

All claims against First Federal Bank of California, together with proof of the claims, must be submitted in writing to the Receiver at the following address:

 

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Receiver: First Federal Bank of California
1601 N. Bryan Street
Dallas, TX  75201-3430
Attention: Claims Agent




Last Updated 08/23/2012 cservicefdicdal@fdic.gov