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Arvest Bank broadens legal action with lawsuit against HDS Holdings

story by Kim Souza
ksouza@thecitywire.com

Arvest Bank filed a second suit involving unpaid loans made to former bank president H. Dennis Smiley’s family enterprise — HDS Holdings. The civil complaint filed Friday (Aug. 22) in Benton County Circuit Court specifically names Henry Dennis Smiley Sr., the father of former Arvest market president Dennis Smiley Jr., who resigned his position at Arvest Bank n March amid a loan scandal involving 20 banks across the state.

After recently settling claims with 18 of the 20 banks seeking money from Smiley Jr.’s Arvest retirement account, Arvest Bank has now turned its attention to collecting what it’s owed.

The bank asked the court for judgments against Smiley Sr., HDS Holdings and the Henry Dennis Smiley Revocable Trust totaling $386,254.27 from unpaid loans made between December 2009 and February 2014, less a month before Smiley Jr.‘s sudden resignation.

The bank made or extended 8 loans totaling nearly $500,000 to the plaintiffs over a four year period as follows:
• Loan #1267
$38,000 loaned in December 2009 
$40,000 increase in principal amount in October 2012
$20,000 increase in principal amount in February 2014
As of May 20, there was $85,220.98 due with interest accruing at $12.14 per day.

• Loan #3272
$100,000 loaned on Feb. 26, 2010  
As of May 20, there was $101,164.55 due with interest accruing at $13.88 per day.

• Loan #9959
$95,000 was loaned on Jan. 7, 2011
As of May 20, there was $65,572.26 due with interest accruing at $9.92 per day.

• Loan #3716
$50,050 was loaned on Sept. 23, 2011
$73,500 was the new principal owed after a modification of Mar. 7, 2014 
$74,568.84 due with interest accruing at $10.21 per day

• Loan #2597
$100,050 was loaned on Oct. 7, 2011
$59,727.64 due with interest accruing at $8.35 per day.

In the 68-page filing Arvest spells out that these loans were made to HDS Holdings and personally guaranteed by Henry Dennis Smiley Sr., whose signature appears on each each loan document along with H. Dennis Smiley Jr. 

Smiley Sr. has said repeatedly said his name was used and signed without his knowledge and that he was a victim of fraud. Smiley Junior also noted in related cases that his father’s name and signatures may have been used without his knowledge.

Smiley Sr. is a director of the First State Bank of DeQueen and is named in lawsuits filed by Delta Trust Bank, Simmons First, First Security and First National Bank of Fort Smith with regard to loans made to HDS Holdings and guaranteed by Smiley Sr. and the family revocable trust in which he is trustee.

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Delta Trust Bank, First Security Bank and First National Bank of Fort Smith, each agreed to settlements with Arvest Bank over the loans owed by Smiley that were backed by Smiley Jr.’s retirement account at Arvest Bank. They can still pursue Smiley Sr., whose name appears as guarantor in multiple loans made to his son.

Other outstanding civil cases in this matter will be heard Sept.18 by Benton County Circuit Judge John Scott. That will include First State Bank of DeQueen and Signature Bank of Arkansas who were not part of the recent Arvest settlement, as well as other cases not yet settled like those recently filed by Arvest against Smiley Jr. and Sr.

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