It’s A Wonderful Life – What did George Bailey want to use as Collateral for a Bank Loan?

What happened when James Stewart (George Bailey) went to the bank to ask for a loan?

He was first asked by the banker (Lionel Barrymore as Mr. Potter) , “What collateral do you have?” His Answer, Life Insurance Policy with Cash Value.

Next question asked by Mr. Potter was, “”How much equity do you have in it?”


Here is a transcript of the section –

Mr. Potter: [to George Bailey] Look at you. You used to be so cocky. You were going to go out and conquer the world. You once called me a warped, frustrated, old man! What are you but a warped, frustrated young man? A miserable little clerk crawling in here on your hands and knees and begging for help. No securities, no stocks, no bonds. Nothin’ but a miserable little $500 equity in a life insurance policy.
[Potter chuckles]
Mr. Potter: You’re worth more dead than alive! Why don’t you go to the riffraff you love so much and ask them to let you have $8,000? You know why? Because they’d run you out of town on a rail. Well, I’ll tell you what I’m going to do for you, George. Since the state examiner is still here, as a stockholder of the Building and Loan, I’m going to swear out a warrant for your arrest. Misappropriation of funds, manipulation, malfeasance…
[sees George runs off]
Mr. Potter: All right, George, go ahead, George! You can’t hide in a little town like this!


Our grandparents and great grand parents generations knew the value of  Whole life insurance.  They did not have Term Insurance with zero equity and that runs out or cost too much when they needed it most.

Term insurance has its place but should not replace properly designed permanent life insurance.

If only they were taught to borrow from the insurance company using their cash value as collateral though instead of using the policy as equity (cash value or death benefit) to borrow from someone else’s bank.

Some people of that era did know this well kept secret though; Walt Disney did, that’s where he borrowed from to make Disneyland a reality when the bank turned him down for a loan.

The way we design our Life Insurance Policies gives you way more collateral capacity than what George Bailey had though, from 15 days after your policy is completed.

We give 55% of your premium as cash value year one. 85% cash value year two and the percentage of cash value only increases every year after that.

It only gets better as time goes by. After your policy is capitalized, (the amount of premiums paid equals the amount of cash value available to use as the measure of how much you can borrow while you are alive.) Your life insurance is really free in that , even though you still want to pay your premiums, you do not have to and the policy will continue to grow. While you are alive, you are able to borrow from the life insurance company using your death benefit as collateral.

If you set it up properly you can even use the death benefit to bring down the points on your mortgage.

Call me today so I can educate you on the multitude of benefits  a, properly designed for personal banking, life insurance policy has for you while you are living .

Jennifer Hansen @ 845-649-7487


It’s a wonderful film

By Walter J. Lyng

When I was a kid it was always a big treat to stay up late and watch TV with my dad. If nothing good was on, we would often slap in a VHS copy of one of two movies: Casablanca or It’s a Wonderful Life.

I don’t quite know why these became our go-to movies but for whatever reason I eventually came to be intimately acquainted with both films.

It’s a Wonderful Life, especially, resonated with me because of its simple yet poignant tale of a man who is literally shown how good his life really is. Even if it was the middle of the summer, I would be up for watching Frank Capra’s Christmas classic.

This past weekend, for the first time in quite a while, I watched Wonderful Life from start to finish at the Scotia Bank Theater, which has been showing a different classic film every month since September. Maybe it was the big screen, maybe it wasn’t having to put up with a plethora of commercials and C list celebrities weighing in on what their favourite moment was, but I suddenly found myself appreciating this film like I had never before.

Besides enjoying it for its seasonal appropriateness, I couldn’t help but be moved by It’s a Wonderful Life’s overall positivity. The story centres on George Bailey (James Stewart) who, despite having the intense desire to shake his small-town shackles and travel the world, acts selflessly and takes care of his family business and, ultimately, the whole town.

While a little bit old-fashioned this tale is nevertheless one which holds true to this day as a demonstration of true personal character. Derided in its own time by critics for being overly sentimental, It’s a Wonderful Life is far from being a Hallmark movie of the week.

In any case, arts critics are generally a bunch of self important blowhards. If this movie is anything, it’s a glimpse into what the world could be like if people were just a bit … better.

Early in, George confronts the evil Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore) regarding the reputation of his recently deceased father and the financial viability of their family’s Business and Loan. Much of the debate feels eerily apt owing to today’s precarious economic climate and the recent sub prime mortgage crisis (you have to admit, if the film were re-made today, Dick Cheney would make a great Potter).

I just can’t help but feel that if the Bailey Bros’ Building and Loan were an actual institution and operated today on a national level that America wouldn’t be so full of boarded-up houses and desperate families. After all, to quote George: “This rabble … they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn’t think so. People were human beings to him.”

Sentimentality, it seems, is not always without its merits.


December 19, 2010 · Jennifer · No Comments
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