We've read with interest the recent series on slumlords in Los Angeles. Of particular interest was the July 31 article regarding Highland Federal Savings and Loan. The president of Highland Federal, Ben Karmelich, is quoted as saying, "We are an uncommon lender." Based on our limited experience with Highland Federal we can attest to this statement in a positive fashion.
We have owned a single-family rental house for a number of years. The house is approaching 50 years in age and needed major renovations, including plumbing, new windows, re-stuccoing, etc. Despite the fact that there was sufficient equity and a sound credit rating none of the savings and loans we contacted, with the exception of Highland Federal, were willing to re-finance rental property to provide funds for renovations.
Highland Federal did make the loan. The house was renovated extensively, we can now point to it with pride, and Highland Federal holds a loan with a very favorable equity ratio. In this instance by making an "uncommon loan" they have helped to prevent the development of slum-like conditions.
RON and JUDY VANDERFORD