News Blog

May 11, 2020 – The IRS has released guidelines on how to return an Economic Impact Payment (EIP). If your deceased loved one received a payment, follow these steps to return the EIP.

If the payment was a paper check:

  1. Write “Void” in the endorsement section on the back of the check.
  2. Mail the voided Treasury check immediately to the appropriate IRS location as listed on the IRS website linked below.
  3. Do not staple, bend, or paper clip the check.
  4. Include a note stating the reason for returning the check.

 

If the payment was a paper check and you have cashed it, or if the payment was a direct deposit:

  1. Submit a personal check, money order, etc. immediately to the appropriate IRS location as listed on the IRS website linked below.
  2. Write on the check/money order made payable to “U.S. Treasury” and write “2020EIP” and the taxpayer identification number (social security number or individual taxpayer identification number) of the recipient of the check.
  3. Include a brief explanation of the reason for returning the EIP.

 

For more information, visit the IRS website and scroll down to Q41, “What should I do to return an Economic Impact Payment?” The website is linked here: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center?utm_campaign=NEWSBYTES-20200507&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua

 

 

April 30, 2020 – It is the seventh week since we initially closed our bank lobby. This week has been busy with the second wave of Paycheck Protection Program loans. We have been able to approve loans for 84 additional small businesses, making a total of almost 290 area small businesses receiving this loan since the beginning of this government program. We are also helping customers with payment deferrals and other needs during this time.

The government is beginning to relax some of its restrictions on small businesses in attempts to get the economy going on a limited basis. It is still crucial that we are responsible, practicing social distancing, wearing masks, and taking sanitary precautions. We do not anticipate opening the bank lobby anytime soon for the safety of our customers and our staff. Though we miss seeing our customers, we are grateful to be able to do the majority of what is needed electronically, over the phone, and through our drive-ups. Using our digital banking services, you can open an account in minutes, use Pay-a-Person, bill pay, and deposit checks. If you need help downloading the app or have any questions, please contact us.

The stress and anxiety of COVID-19 can be incredibly heavy on individuals. We are social people. Remember to watch out for one another, your family, friends, and coworkers. When you see that somebody needs a boost, be there for them. This is also an opportunity for us all to dream. Take this time to work on improving yourself. Get a new hobby, enjoy time outside, and make memories with your family. We will come out of this stronger than we were before.

Please call on us if there is anything that we can do to help you. We are here for you. We will get through this together.

Ben Grimstad
Decorah and Cresco Bank and Trust CEO

April 23, 2020 – Today, the government approved a $484 billion relief package, with $310 billion of that being for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP is aimed at helping small businesses who have been severely impacted by the coronavirus to maintain their workforce. Qualified businesses can apply for this forgivable loan of up to 2.5 times monthly payroll. If you have not applied, we recommend that you begin your application immediately as these funds are expected to go quickly. To apply, submit your information in the application linked below. Decorah Bank and Trust is here to help you navigate through this process.

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program loan, the U.S. Small Business Administration is also offering an Economic Injury Disaster Loan to small business owners. You can apply for this low-interest, federal disaster loan directly through the Small Business Administration. Below, we have listed the resources included in each of the programs as we know them right now.

Payment Protection Program Application

SBA Loan Program (PPP) Borrower Form

Loan Program Options:

Business loan options

April 23, 2020 – As part of the $2.2 trillion stimulus package the CARES Act, the federal government is sending Economic Impact Payments (stimulus checks) to millions of Americans. These payments have brought up a variety of questions. Many of these questions will be answered below. If you have other questions, please reach out. We are more than happy to help get them answered.

Filing as an Individual

If you filed your taxes individually in either 2018 or 2019 and have an adjusted gross income (AGI) up to $75,000, you will receive $1,200. If your AGI is from $75,000 up to $99,000, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for every $100 above the $75,000 threshold. If you have kids, you will receive up to $500 for each qualifying child (dependent aged sixteen or younger). If you have no children and have an AGI that exceeds $99,000, you are not eligible to receive this stimulus.

Filing Jointly

If you filed your taxes jointly in either 2018 or 2019 and your adjusted gross income (AGI) is up to $150,000, you will receive $2,400. If your AGI is from $150,000 up to $198,000, your payment amount will be reduced by $5 for every $100 above the $150,000 threshold. If you have kids, you will receive up to $500 for each qualifying child (dependent aged sixteen or younger). If you have no children and have an AGI that exceeds $198,000 jointly, you are not eligible to receive this stimulus.

How Will I Get My Payment?

If you used direct deposit to receive your tax refund in 2018 or 2019, the IRS will direct deposit your stimulus check into that same account. To learn the status of your payment or to add your direct deposit information, head over to the IRS website. If you did not use direct deposit for your 2018 or 2019 tax return and do not input your information, you will receive a check in the mail. The IRS will start sending paper stimulus checks beginning April 24. Each week, the IRS plans to send approximately 5 million paper stimulus checks, starting with taxpayers with the lowest adjusted gross income. If that schedule holds, paper checks may arrive between May and September, depending on your adjusted gross income. Below is the current schedule.

Less than $20,000: May 1

Less than $30,000: May 8

Less than $40,000: May 15

Less than $50,000: May 22

Less than $60,000: May 29

Less than $70,000: June 5

Less than $80,000: June 12

Less than $90,000: June 19

Less than $100,000: June 26

Less than $110,000: July 3

Less than $120,000: July 10

Less than $130,000: July 17

Less than $140,000: July 24

Less than $150,000: July 31

Less than $160,000: August 7

Less than $170,000: August 14

Less than $180,000: August 21

Less than $190,000: August 28

Less than $198,000: September 4

Remaining checks: September 11

How do I receive my economic impact payment more quickly?

If you did not include your direct deposit information on your 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return, don’t worry. There’s good news for you. On April 17, the IRS released a new online tool entitled Get My Payment, which will also enable you to input your direct deposit information to get your stimulus check faster. This tool will also give you information about the current status of your payment, the type of payment you are currently set up to receive, and whether more information is needed.

If you encounter an error – Payment Status Not Available – while entering your information, there are several possible reasons.

  • First, you may not qualify for a stimulus check. The most common reason is that you earned too much income in 2018 or 2019.
  • Second, the IRS may still be processing your information. For example, it is possible that the IRS has not finished reviewing your tax return or incorporating your information into the Get My Payment tool.
  • Third, if you receive federal benefits such as Social Security, veteran’s, disability, or others, the Get My Payment tool will not show you the status of your stimulus check or enable you to input your direct deposit information.

The IRS says that they will update this website once daily overnight. If you are seeing an error, check back the next day to see if there is a change in status. No changes will be made during the day.

Will I have to pay taxes on the check?

No. If you qualify for $1,200, you’ll receive the full $1,200. No taxes will be deducted. The payment is a tax credit and is not treated as income.

For more information, visit the IRS Newsroom page or the IRS Coronavirus page. These resources are updated frequently with new information. To read more about Decorah and Cresco Bank and Trust’s response to the pandemic, visit our COVID-19 Information Center.

April 16, 2020 – The bank has been busy and taking many precautions during this unprecedented time. Some updates are:

  • 1/3 of our staff is now working from home and those remaining have spread throughout the bank.
  • With historic low-interest rates, our mortgage department has been incredibly busy. Last month alone they closed 55 loans for about $10 million, helping people reduce their interest costs and payments.
  • The Paycheck Protection Program has been very popular for small businesses. To date, we have approved 200 applications locally for over $30 million. $20 million of this has already been disbursed into the recipients’ bank accounts. To read more or to fill out an application, click here.
  • For consumers and businesses alike, we do have other options available. We are happy to look at payment deferrals and low-interest emergency loans. Please call a personal or business banker to discuss the best options for you.
  • The stock market is down and volatile, know that our financial advisors are here for you to discuss your best long-term options.
  • Though our lobby is closed, our drive-up tellers have been incredibly busy. They are here to help you with your daily transactions.
  • If you are not already using our digital banking services, we encourage you to join. To read more about this, click here.
  • For required signatures, we have met customers in parking lots and through windows at nursing homes. We will find ways of getting things done.

We are all in this together. Your community bank is here for you and wants to help. For more information about our pandemic response, head over to our COVID-19 webpage. Please contact us at any time. We appreciate you and look forward to seeing you again soon.

Ben Grimstad
Bank CEO and President

 

 

April 15, 2020 – Americans are preparing to receive their economic impact payments from the government. With this influx of money, fraudsters are creating a variety of new scams in attempts to take these payments. The American Bankers Association has highlighted the five most common scams to watch for as listed below:

  • Offering Early Access to the Economic Impact Payment
    • There is not an exact time when eligible individuals will receive their payments. A promise of early or fast payments in exchange for personal information or money is most likely a fraud attempt.
  • Use Incorrect Terminology or Suspicious Phrases
    • The official term for the payment is “economic impact payment” as stated by the IRS. Correspondence using different terminology, such as “stimulus check” or “stimulus payment” may be a scammer.
  • False “Government” Communication
    • Government agencies will never communicate through email, call, social media or text message. If you do receive a message with a link asking you to register online to receive your economic impact payment, DO NOT click on the link. You are most likely being scammed.
  • Phone Calls or Texts Asking for Personal Information
    • Consumers do not need to take any actions to receive their economic impact. If a call is received from an individual claiming to be from your bank or a government agency asking to verify your personal information, DO NOT engage in conversation. Hang up immediately and contact us or report it to the IRS.
  • Mail a Fake Check
    • Some fraudsters will send out fake checks. These checks may or may not have the correct economic impact payment amount and would require the recipient to verify personal information to cash it. This is a scam. The only mail correspondence that you should receive will come from the IRS in letter form. This letter will have information on how the economic impact was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment.

To receive your Economic Impact Payment if you did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019, or if your address has changed since your last tax return was filed, click here. https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments

If you have any questions about a scam or the legitimacy of an economic impact payment communication, please contact us before taking action. For more information about the economic impact payments, contact us or visit the American Bankers Association FAQ.

April 9, 2020 – Decorah Bank and Trust understands that there may be instances in which customers find themselves facing financial difficulties due to this unique time. We have different homeowner and consumer payment relief programs now in place to help customers in need of assistance. We are here to help, and encourage those who may be impacted or need support to please contact us to discuss and find a solution for you.

As always, the health, safety, and well-being of our customers, associates, and our communities are of our utmost concern. We continue to monitor this quickly evolving situation and are committed to assisting our customers in any way that we can. Please continue to check our Facebook page and website for updated information. Together, we will get through this.

 

 

April 8, 2020 – As of today, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has new eligibility extensions. The US Treasury and Small Business Administration have expanded guidance on eligibility rules for the PPP program. All banks are trying to keep up with this fast-moving program in which rules and interpretations are changing by the hour. From the beginning, it was known that traditional small businesses qualify. It now appears that eligibility is expanding to certain industries that traditionally are not SBA eligible.

Resources to help understand the new eligibility extensions can be found through this link:

Non-Profits:
https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/trends-policy-issues/loans-available-nonprofits-the-cares-act-public-law-116-132

If you have any questions, please reach out to us. We are more than happy to explain these new interpretations and walk you through the PPP process.

 

April 6, 2020 – You’ve likely heard of multiple small business tools available through the Small Business Administration (SBA), the most popular being the Paycheck Protection Program under the CARE Act. Congress approved $349 billion to help small businesses retain workforce through this difficult time. Qualified small businesses can apply for a forgivable loan up to 2.5 times monthly payroll.

We have been receiving applications all weekend. As of 6:30 Sunday morning, we’re happy to have gained access to the SBA site where we are now transmitting applications. We will work around the clock accepting and transmitting these applications for our small business customers. If you are a small business and have not considered applying, we encourage you to do so soon. The application and more information can be found here. For questions, please contact a business bankers.

 

UPDATED as of April 23, 2020 – Today, the government is voting to approve additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, aimed at helping small businesses who have been severely impacted by the coronavirus to maintain their workforce. Qualified businesses can apply for this forgivable loan of up to 2.5 times monthly payroll. If you have not applied, we recommend that you begin your application immediately as these funds are expected to go quickly. To apply, submit your information in the application linked below. Decorah Bank and Trust is here to help you navigate through this process.

April 2, 2020 – Decorah and Cresco Bank and Trust are committed to helping small businesses navigate the SBA disaster loans being made available in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Part of the new CARES stimulus package, the Paycheck Protection Program, is a federal loan program aimed at helping small businesses who have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus to maintain their workforce. To apply, submit your information on the Payment Protection Program application link below.

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program loan, the U.S. Small Business Administration is also offering an Economic Injury Disaster Loan to small business owners. You can apply for this low-interest, federal disaster loan directly through the Small Business Administration. We are currently waiting on final guidance from the SBA on the full details of the Paycheck Protection Program. Below, we have listed the resources included in each of the programs as we know them right now.

Payment Protection Program Application

SBA Loan Program (PPP) Borrower Form

Loan Program Options:

Business loan options