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Washington Federal takes ownership of 13 Bank of America branches in Arizona

PHOENIX -- Thousands of Arizonans discovered a change at their bank this week.

On Monday, Washington Federal took ownership of several Bank of America branches that it purchased in January. The branches are located in several cities.

"Places like Globe, Yuma, Nogales, Parker, Payson. There are 13 total," said Cathy Cooper, Washington Federal's senior vice president of marketing and communications.

Customers were notified by mail of the sale. Cooper said that last weekend's transition was smooth for the most part, but some customers have questions about their Bank of America loans.

"Bank of America kept all of the mortgages and the credit card business," Cooper said. "If you had a mortgage or a credit card with Bank of America, you're still a Bank of America customer for those products."

She said that customers who had been going to their Bank of America branch to make a mortgage or credit card payment will have to make other arrangements.

Cooper said that customers of the affected branches should call Washington Federal at 1-800-324-9375 with any questions.

"But I will warn you that for the last three days, call volume has been very high because everyone is trying to call," said Cooper.

You can also e-mail your question to

Cooper would not say how much Washington Federal paid for the branches. She did say that as of right now, Washington Federal has no plans to buy any Bank of America branches in the Phoenix area.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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