Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

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Dwelling House Savings Update

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | June 17, 2009

Posted by Cliff Tuttle

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review published an update on the story of the catastrophic loss experienced by Dwelling House Savings and Loan Association. The story broke on Sunday in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and PLBT posted a comment early on Monday morning.

The Trib article added new information that the electronic theft of Dwelling House funds had occurred through ACH (Automatic Clearing House) transaction(s) by “another financial institution” and that Dwelling House is reportedly in the process of getting the funds back. Nevertheless, there has been a dramatic loss of capital by Dwelling House in the past year and it is not clear from the article whether all of the capital loss from over $3 Million to negative $500,000 is due to ACH transfers. Thrifts and other depositary institutions are required by regulation to maintain a minimum level of capital on hand at all times in order to continue to operate. The Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) has ordered Dwelling House to raise two million dollars in capital by the end of the month.

PLBT suggested that Pittsburghers who recognize that Dwelling House is a non-replaceable resource for the Hill District (and thus, for Pittsburgh and the region) should consider opening a savings account or purchasing a CD at Dwelling House. The FDIC now insures deposits up to $250,000, so your funds will be safe, regardless of the outcome.

Without being too sentimental, there is an obvious parallel here to that classic film “Its a Wonderful Life.” Uncle Billy absentmindedly left the Bailey Building and Loan Association’s bank deposit on the counter at the bank. Evil banker Mr. Potter, who was on the board at Bailey, pocketed the money and called the bank regulators. But when the people of Bedford Falls heard that George Bailey was in trouble, they poured into his front parlor with cash contributions and saved the day.

Dwelling House is a community resource worth saving. It is up to Pittsburghers to do it.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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