Question and Answer Guide
Freedom Bank of Georgia, Commerce, GA
FDIC Call Center
Toll free number 1-866-782-1897
Hours of Operation – Eastern Time
Friday, March 6, 2009: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 7, 2009: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 8, 2009: Noon – 6:00 p.m.
Thereafter: 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
The following answers are provided to the most commonly asked questions by customers of the failed bank.
The total balance in your account(s) has been transferred to Northeast Georgia Bank, Lavonia, GA and will be available for transactions starting on Monday, March 9, 2009 during regular business hours at the former Freedom Bank of Georgia branches.
You may continue to use your same checks, ATM/Debit cards until notified.
All direct deposits, including social security checks will continue as usual.
On March 6, 2009, Freedom Bank of Georgia was closed by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was then named Receiver. Subsequent to the closure, Northeast Georgia Bank acquired the assets and most of the liabilities from the FDIC as Receiver for Freedom Bank of Georgia. Any claims by equity holders were not acquired.
Account(s): What about my account with Freedom Bank of Georgia?
If you had an account with Freedom Bank of Georgia, you now have an account with Northeast Georgia Bank. All deposit accounts, which include checking, savings, money markets, CDs and retirement accounts have been transferred to Northeast Georgia Bank, Lavonia, GA, regardless of the dollar amount. No one lost any money on deposit in Freedom Bank of Georgia.
Customers of both banks should continue to use their existing branches until Northeast Georgia Bank can fully integrate the deposit records of Freedom Bank of Georgia.
Please be advised you will not receive any email notification to claim/unlock/unsuspend your account or to provide any private information. Please be aware of any scams to obtain information from you.
ATM/debit card and/or Billpay: What about my ATM/debit card and/or bill paying with Freedom Bank of Georgia?
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 Northeast Georgia Bank.
Be advised, however, that from and after the date of closing, Northeast Georgia Bank will accrue and pay interest on deposit liabilities at a rate it shall determine; accordingly, Northeast Georgia Bank shall permit depositors, including brokered depositors, to withdraw their deposits without penalty for early withdrawal 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.
Direct Deposits - Government Deposits: What will happen to my direct deposits?
Direct deposits will continue as normal, including Social Security checks.
Existing Deposits at Northeast Georgia Bank: 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 Northeast Georgia Bank 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?
Northeast Georgia Bank will be reviewing rates and will notify you.
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 Freedom Bank of Georgia?
All mortgages and loans have been assumed by Northeast Georgia Bank. 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 Freedom Bank of Georgia 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:
Outstanding Checks: What about checks that I have written on my account with Freedom Bank of Georgia?
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?
There was no publicly owned stock in Freedom Bank of Georgia. If you are an equity shareholder, your shares are in Freedom Bancshares, Inc., the holding company for Freedom Bank of Georgia, and not the institution. Freedom Bancshares, Inc. and the interests of equity, debt holders or other creditors of Freedom Bancshares, Inc. are not included in the closure or receivership of the institution. Please do not file a claim with the Receiver, rather contact the holding company directly for information:
Freedom Bancshares, Inc.
PO Box 788
Commerce, GA 30529
On March 6, 2009, Freedom Bank of Georgia was closed by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was then named Receiver. Subsequent to the closure, Northeast Georgia Bank acquired the assets and most of the liabilities of Freedom Bank of Georgia from the FDIC as Receiver for Freedom Bank of Georgia. Any claims by equity holders were not acquired.
All claims against Freedom Bank of Georgia, together with proof of the claims, must be submitted in writing to the Receiver at the following address:
FDIC as Receiver of Freedom Bank of Georgia
1601 Bryan Street
Dallas, TX 75201
Attention: Claims Agent
Transaction Types: Why do all deposits, insured and uninsured, 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 is for the FDIC to transfer only the insured deposits in a merger transaction. The FDIC has been able to transfer all deposits in about 25% of the failures over the past 15 years.
SCAMS: Be watchful for and resistant to any scams to obtain information from you by individuals or entities stating that they are acting on behalf of either the failed bank, new bank, or the FDIC. Should you be contacted by anyone requesting personal information from you related to this event, please contact the call center above and you will be directed to the appropriate person.
For more information: www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/failed/freedomga.html