125 years
State Bank keeps growing while it stays independent
By Faye Burg
Faye Burg photo
The State Bank of Chilton is celebrating its 125th year of operation this year.

State Bank of Chilton has been a family owned Bank since its inception, 125 years ago, and it is presently being operated by the sixth generation of the founding family.

With the recently proposed acquisition of Calumet County Bank, located in Brillion, the State Bank of Chilton is proud to soon be one financial institution operating with five community focused banking offices with combined assets of over $250 million.

Although the bank is still awaiting official FDIC approval expected to come this spring, Executive Vice President Laura Hoerth said the acquisition would expand the bank’s local footprint to Brillion and Sherwood. “We are excited to add the qualified staff at Calumet County Bank to our organization,” she added.

Hoerth said while they wait for FDIC approval to finalize the acquisition, State Bank continues to move forward with a number of projects that will modernize the Bank as they celebrate their 125th year. “Projects that are rolling out soon are Mobile deposit Capture, adding Apple Pay to our debit cards, and a new State Bank website with entirely new transactional platforms for both retail and business customers,” Hoerth explained.

Mortgage volume doubles

In addition, Hoerth said mortgage lending has never been higher. “Our mortgage lending has exploded this year,” she said. “We’ve already doubled our mortgage volume over last year, and I attribute it to a pickup in the local real estate market and also our lower rates and closing costs.”

Vice President Kathy Burg and Assistant Cashier Suzanne Hostettler provide over six decades of banking experience in the Mortgage and Consumer Lending department and are eager to assist customers with all of their lending needs.

The two said they are passionate about their work and eager to share the variety of products offered at State Bank and are excited to explain the advantages of the menu of lending products offered at State Bank. Guiding customers to take advantage of the best available option, Hostettler emphasizes there is no charge to initiate the application process.

“You will not lose any money exploring your options and we are happy to guide anyone, including those living out of the area, in their search,” she said.

Helping sort out the programs

Loans including traditional secondary market fixed rate loans, WHEDA (Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority), In-House, Home Equity Line of Credit, construction, as well as federal grant programs and more provide a myriad of choices that can overwhelm and confuse the general public. Burg and Hostettler are well versed in the selections and the regulations that accompany each product.

“Most people are familiar with a fixed rate loan but have limited knowledge of other products. A Home Equity Line of Credit can be utilized for more than home improvements. Currently the home equity loans are at a historic low and are for any need. It is a flexible product that could be used to even purchase a car. A personal loan can be used for multiple reasons, such as car purchase, recreational vehicle, or debt consolidation,” Burg said.

It is not unusual for a first-time home-buyer to openly share their anxiety about entering the mortgage world. Hostettler keeps their angst in mind and aims to reduce their worries. “We bring forward all the options that can assist a person in purchasing their home and there are programs out there, many of which can be combined for their benefit. A WHEDA loan is a qualifying income-based loan that has an easy close option. This is a down payment assistance program where nominal money or even no money is needed for down payment. Federal grant programs exist as well. A qualified individual could receive up to $6,000 toward the purchase of a home. Annually, the federal government has offered these grants, which are capped. So, it is best to inquire early about the availability of funds,” Hostettler said.

State Bank’s portfolio loan is an inhouse product that can be used when a fixed rate product is not available to a customer, for example, if someone would want to purchase a unique property such as a hobby farm. “Despite recently regulatory changes there are still financing options available for those who want to pursue their dreams,” Burg said.

Working as a team

The mortgage loan duo will work via phone, e-mail, and fax to provide the same personal service for out of area residents that takes place with in-person contact.

Acting as a team, Burg and Hostettler consult with one another to provide optimal customer service and their working relationship is noted in the interchange of dialog. “We do see our customers during usual banking hours but also by appointment. We embrace the small bank atmosphere by taking the time to sit down with each of them and thoroughly educate. We ensure that they have an understanding of the products and process and encourage them to ask questions. We provide full disclosure of the entire process and follow our customers from the beginning of the application until closing and the numerous contacts in between. It is not unusual for someone to call us multiple times with questions. That is OK, we are here to help,” they said.

“We’re excited to celebrate our bank anniversary on a year when we are making so many changes to position ourselves for future success,” Hoerth added. “Many times customers are surprised to find we offer the same products and services as the big banks, but without the fees.”

State Bank of Chilton is located at 26 E. Main St in Chilton. The Stockbridge location is at 401 W. Lake St.; and a Milwaukee location at 7155 N. 76th St. More information can be found by calling 849-9371 or visiting their Web site at www.statebankofchilton.com.