Not all online banks offer wire transfers, can complicate home buying

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  • On the morning I was supposed to close on my first home, I found out that the online bank where I’d saved my down payment didn’t offer outgoing wire transfers.
  • Because I didn’t have access to wires to transfer money instantly, I couldn’t get my cash to the title company that day, and it meant pushing back my closing. 
  • It turns out that my bank isn’t an outlier — many popular online banks don’t offer outgoing wire transfer services, which could be a big problem for home buyers.
  • If you’re using an online bank to save for your down payment, plan ahead. Make sure you can make a wire transfer, or make a plan in advance to move your down payment to a bank that can.
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When I started thinking about buying a home, I opened a high-yield savings account to save for it, and I chose an online bank. 

About a year later, I found the house I was looking for, made an offer on it, had that offer accepted, and set up a date for the closing.

The morning of the planned closing, I intended to wire the money to the title company — a pretty typical part of home buying, and required in my state for an amount of money the size of a down payment. I had the information I needed to send it, and I pulled up my account to get the wire started.

But, I couldn’t find a way to do it on my online bank’s website. After some looking, one line on the bank’s frequently asked questions page stopped both me and my closing agent in our tracks: ‘Outgoing wire transfers are not available.’

I called the bank, but the only other solutions took days

I’d never even thought about needing to make a wire transfer before my home purchase. I didn’t think I needed to look in advance to make sure the bank offered them, either —I just assumed all banks did. But, you know what they say about assumptions. 

I was panicked. I called the customer service line. One representative said the best he could do would be to mail me a paper check. This was Wednesday, and the earliest that check would arrive would be Saturday. It would mean pushing my closing until the next week, and moving my move-in date to the next weekend. There had to be a better way. 

Another call to the online bank later in the day had me talking to a different customer service representative; he had another idea. He could increase my daily transfer limits to $20,000, the set up ACH transfers to move the full balance to my checking account over three

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Slagh and Banks face off in 90th state House District race

OTTAWA COUNTY, MI — State Rep. Bradley Slagh, R-Zeeland, will face Democratic challenger Christopher Banks in the Nov. 3 general election for Michigan’s 90th House District seat.

The conservative-leaning district in Ottawa County includes Holland, Zeeland, Hudsonville and Jamestown Township.

The candidates vying for the two-year seat are: State Rep. Bradley Slagh, R-Zeelend; and Democrat Christopher Banks, a quality assurance professional who lives in Holland.

Meet the two candidates:

  • Bradley Slagh, 63, of Zeeland, is the incumbent state representative for the 90th District. He earned a degree in business administration and a teaching certificate from Hope College. In addition to his first term as state representative, Slagh worked in finance for 18 years, served as Zeeland Township supervisor for six years and as Ottawa County treasurer for 12 years.
  • Christopher Banks, 44, of Holland, works in the manufacturing industry. Banks, in response to questions about his education, listed Ross Medical Education Center, Davenport University and Dale Carnegie. Banks has experience as a mentor, counselor and as an ordained minister.

MLive Media Group partnered with the League of Women Voters of Michigan to provide candidate information for readers. Each candidate was asked to outline their stances on a variety of public policy issues.

Information on all state and federal races and many of Michigan’s county and local races is available at Vote411.org, an online voter guide created by the League of Women Voters.

Below are Slagh and Banks’ unedited responses to six policy questions on issues ranging from education to economic security:

What is your position on the role of public funding of education in Michigan? What measures do you support/propose to improve educational outcomes and accessibility for all Michigan students?

Slagh: Quality education for every Michigan child should be the expectation. We need flexibility in the options including traditional public, public academies, private or parochial schools and home schooling. To improve we must allow innovation, best practices and flexibility for instructors. It needs to include on-line, possibly year round options, and the Governor’s recent Executive Orders eliminated almost 100 specific education expectations, and if they were not necessary in a Pandemic they should all be reviewed and many likely permanently jettisoned.

Banks: I believe that we have to invest in our children by wholly supporting public schools. Funding privately owned charter schools at the expense of public schools, is not good practice. I propose a more definitive structure in pre-school education by introducing young people to other languages, reading and comprehension. Using a “hooked on phonics” approach is one way we will help our students. Adding budgeting courses to elementary would also be a great asset. If we prepare our youth for the global stage, we will gain more than loss in my humble opinion. They will progress beyond what we can conceive.

What policies do you support to increase jobs and help Michigan residents improve their economic positions, in general and given the pandemic?

Slagh: Reduce state and local ordinances, laws and rules as they increase the cost of

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Lindsay community garden grows nearly 6,000 pounds of produce for food banks, non-profits



a person sitting on a bench in a garden


A large-scale community garden in Lindsay, Ont., has now grown more than 5,000 pounds of food for organizations and programs this summer.

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After reporting more than 1,000 pounds of food grown at Edwin Binney’s Community Garden in July, the United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes announced on Thursday that the total amount of produce has reached 5,944 pounds. All produce grown at the garden at Crayola Canada’s property is donated to 10 food banks and 11 non-profit organizations.

Last year the garden’s final harvest totalled 5,500 pounds.

Read more: Lindsay community garden grows 1,000 pounds of food for organizations, food programs

The United Way has recently started three pilot projects to deliver produce to clients in the City of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton.

The “Garden at Your Table” collaboration with Community Care City of Kawartha Lakes has delivered garden produce directly to 50 clients in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

In addition, Fresh Produce Fridays, a pilot led by United Way also delivers produce to three social housing units in Lindsay. An extension of this project in Haliburton is already in the works.

“Agency partnerships are critical to help people immediately in tough and unusual times,” said Penny Barton Dyke, the United Way’s executive director.

“Edwin Binney’s Community Garden has many partners with each contributing and dovetailing to bring knowledge, land, access to products and the opportunity to bring fresh produce to kitchen tables. This is an agricultural and education project that is building sustainable practices and partnerships.”

To access programs, donate, or learn more about the United Way and Edwin Binney’s Community Garden, visit online, email or call (705) 878-5081.

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