Monica Schuiling, a pregnant Reisterstown, Md., woman in her mid-20s whose baby is due in one week, stood for about three hours in the scorching sun today to get her money out of the Randallstown branch of Old Court Savings and Loan.
But at 3 p.m., when the bank closed, she and about 50 other depositors who had waited in line for several hours were turned away.
"I guess I'll just have to come back tomorrow," Schuiling groaned. "I need the money. My rent is overdue, and I need to pay gas, electric and credit card bills."
Old Court's announcement late last night that the Maryland Savings-Share Insurance Corp. is going to act as the beleaguered thrift's conservator wasn't much comfort to Schuiling.
"I didn't really pay attention to the announcement," Schuiling said. "I just need to pay my bills before I go into the hospital to have my baby. It would be a shame to ruin my credit for this."
One man next to her joked, "I bet your baby's middle name won't be Levitt," referring to Jeffrey A. Levitt, Old Court's chief executive who was ousted from control of the thrift's day-to-day operations earlier this week.
Several depositors in line voiced similar sentiments about the news that an Old Court conservator has been named. "I'm not really concerned about the safety of the bank," said a Randallstown woman who would not give her name. "I just need my money."
The line of depositors at Randallstown, where the Old Court run started last Thursday, was shorter than in the past few days. But it inched forward slowly with only about 75 people being admitted inside every three hours.
One middle-aged man wearing a blue Budweiser cap and shorts complained that the bank was making no effort to regulate the scene outside. "They are doing zero to help us out," said the man, who didn't want to be identified. "No bank officials have even come out to explain to us what's going on."
Every once in awhile, a passerby in a car would yell out to the people standing in line. "The stock market is crashing too," one man yelled. Most of the depositors didn't think his comment was very funny.
"My wife and I have retired," said one elderly man. "I just want to get my money out and get rid of this aggravation."
Several middle-aged women were sprawled in lawn chairs, holding brightly-colored umbrellas to shield them from the brilliant sun.
One woman on crutches, Stacy Taylor, 21, of Randallstown, was turned away after standing in line for three hours on her mother's behalf. "My mom needs money to pay the bills," Taylor said. "She wants to move her money to a federal bank because she's more worried now with the state getting involved."
"I know we're not going to get in today," Taylor added. "But I'm too stubborn to leave."
Taylor's boyfriend, Rick Billmyre, was sitting next to her in a lawnchair trying to help her study for medical lab technology college finals, which she has to take early tomorrow morning. "This scene is like a bad movie," he said. "You might as well stick around and see how it ends."