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Hundreds line up after IndyMac reopens

July 14, 2008 6:32:00 AM PDT
Hundreds of IndyMac customers lined up after the troubled bank reopened Monday morning.Since Friday's government takeover, the bank has a new name, IndyMac Federal Bank, and a new boss, and he's reassuring jittery customers that everything else will stay the same.

Click in the Eyewitness News Story Window above to watch Melissa MacBride's report from the scene.

Still, hundreds of people lined up for hours early Monday morning to ask questions or to withdraw funds.

"This is my retirement. Yes, it's serious," said customer Terri Carpenter.

IndyMac was the largest bank in California ever to be taken over by federal regulators, and bank officials expected large crowds to show up to make withdrawals.

"Customers should just view this as a change in ownership. If you have insured accounts, you have nothing to worry about," said John Bovenzi, the FDIC Chief Operating Officer.

The Office of Thrift Supervision transferred IndyMac's operations to the FDIC because it didn't think the lender could meet depositors' demands. About 265,000 customers with $18 billion in deposits are fully insured.

However, about 10,000 people, about 5 percent of IndyMac customers, with deposits totaling $1 billion are not fully insured. Investors can expect only 50 cents on the dollar for accounts above $100,000.

For Robert Sota, IndyMac's failure has cost him $50,000 that he had set aside for a new home.

"For the millions who didn't spend wisely, that bought more than they could afford, now I'm going to be out this money because other people didn't use better judgment. It's not right," Soto said.

Bovenzi said people like Soto may be able to get some of their uninsured money back, but that's a what if.

"It'll depend, at the end of the day, of how much we get when we sell this bank, and so, we're going to preserve its value and market it, and then return as much of that money as we can to those uninsured depositors," Bovenzi said.

All 33 branches are open on Monday, and there were lines at the other locations. Bovenzi said even if a large number of people go and withdraw their money, the bank will still be sound because it has the backing of the federal government.

Any IndyMac customers with questions can call the FDIC hotline at (866) 806-5919.

 

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