Arvest files suit against former bank president Dennis Smiley

story by Kim Souza
ksouza@thecitywire.com

Arvest Bank filed suit against its former bank president, H. Dennis Smiley Jr., his wife Cynthia and their business interest, Design for the Home LLC. The complaint filed Monday (Aug. 18) in Benton County Circuit Court spells out two loans made to Smiley in 2012, which are now delinquent.

Arvest’s complaint notes Smiley’s delinquencies on both loans, owing $31,103.97 and $50,614.70 for a combined $81,718 with interest accruing at nearly $12 per day.

The bank asked the court for judgments against the defendants, jointly and severally.

The loans made to Smiley on Sept. 27, 2012 totaled $90,000 and were secured with 682 shares of First State Bancshares owned by Henry Dennis Smiley, trustee of the Henry Dennis Smiley Revocable Trust dated Sept. 29, 1994.  

The restricted shares were signed over as collateral on the loans via a power of attorney signed by H. Dennis Smiley as owner, guaranteed by Patti Park of Arvest Bank Holdings.

It is not known if the shares put up as collateral belong to Smiley or his father, H. Dennis Smiley Sr. The senior Smiley has told the court in multiple filings that he never authorized his name or assets as collateral for any of the loans made to his son, despite his name being used and signed on several occasions. 

Smiley Sr., a director at First State Bank of DeQueen, has claimed in multiple filings that he was a victim of fraud.

The Arvest suit comes less than three weeks after it settled claims with 18 of 20 banks seeking some $3 million from Smiley for unpaid loans against his Arvest retirement shares. The terms of those settlements were not released and will likely never be known.

The two banks which were not approached by Arvest for settlement will have their cases heard next month. Signature Bank and First State Bank of DeQueen said they will have counsel present at the upcoming pretrial conference.

Benton County Circuit Judge John Scott has ordered a pretrial and status conference for Sept. 18. Scott recently told The City Wire he wanted to conduct status hearings in all of the Smiley cases on Sept. 18. At that hearing Scott said he will decide all pending motions and set all other matters for trial if needed.

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Cases that remain open for hearing on Sept. 18 include:
• Arvest interpleader versus H.Dennis Smiley, Signature Bank and First State Bank of DeQueen;
• Delta Trust Bank versus HDH Holdings, a business entity of Smiley;
• First Security Bank foreclosure on Smiley’s home at 56 Champions Boulevard in Rogers Pinnacle Country Club;
• Simmons First National versus Henry Dennis Smiley, Design for the Home;
• First Federal Bank versus HDH Holdings, H. Dennis Smiley Jr.; and
• First State Bank versus Henry D. Smiley Jr.

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