Hope: Securing a Bank Loan


There are two examples of the local bank, The National Bank & Trust Company, working with members of the Israel of God’s Church.  The first is a recollection by Robert Wells who discusses getting a car loan. The second example is looking at the abstract from a home on North Avenue during the 1950s.

Robert Wells participated in the Black Oral History Project. One of the stories he shared was how he got to know The National Bank & Trust Company’s president, Clifford Danielson.

There is a long history of lending discrimination. In 1948, the U.S. Supreme Court deemed racially restrictive deed covenants unenforceable. However, it was not until 1968 that this law was enforced. Until the Fair Housing Act (FHA) was passed in 1968, people were not protected from discrimination when renting or buying a home, getting a mortgage, or seeking housing assistance.

The Abstract of Title for a home on West North Avenue documents the relationship between George Bridgewater and The National Bank & Trust Company – before the FHA was established. A payment plan was offered that was beneficial to both parties. Starting in 1950 until 1967 there are regular loans and payments ranging from $1000 to $2700. The mortgage would be paid off, and the same day a new loan would be taken out. For example, in March 1955 a Trust Deed was issued for $2,700. The deed was released in November 1957, and the same day another Trust Deed was issued for $2,700[1].

[1] Abstract of Title, Lot 27, Block 4 of Factory Addition. DeKalb County History Center Archives.

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