Lex Golden Sues Chambers Bank Over Failed Bank Buys

Lex Golden Sues Chambers Bank Over Failed Bank Buys
Lex Golden and his son, Alex Golden. (Jason Burt)

The string of litigation between Chambers Bank of Danville and Lex Golden et al has a new addition.

Golden and his wife, Ellen, sued the bank in Crawford County Circuit Court alleging the lender essentially was responsible for causing all their money troubles.

That claim is tied to allegations that Chambers Bank wouldn’t agree to various proposed transactions to sell or buy Allied Bank branches.

Nor would Chambers Bank agree to a proposed transaction to sell delinquent debt owed by Allied’s parent company, Acme Holding Co. The would-be purchaser of the Acme debt was Walter Quinn, the leading shareholder of Little Rock’s Heartland Bank.

According to the complaint, the proposed deals could’ve cured Acme’s delinquent loan problems with Chambers Bank.

Chambers Bank and affiliates hold more than $5.9 million in Acme debt, at least $2 million of which is personally guaranteed by the Goldens.

The complaint alleges that Chambers Bank’s actions led to the bankruptcy filing of Acme Holding more than two years ago and the continued deterioration of Allied Bank.

The bank, controlled by the Golden family and managed by Lex Golden and his son, Alex, has labored under sustained loan losses for five years. Allied has operated under a consent order with regulators since 2012.

The Goldens’ lawsuit also implies the actions of Chambers Bank in dealing with Acme Holding and Allied Bank impaired the couple’s ability to repay other debts.

Among the delinquent debts were two loans totaling $1.5 million owed by Ellen Golden’s Little Rock antique business, a $599,813 loan owed by a Golden family real estate venture in Washington County and a loan of unspecified value secured by the family’s ownership of Community State Bank of Bradley (Lafayette County).

All of that debt was owed to Heartland Bank, which recovered the antique store in January and sold it for $1.2 million in April.

Other property forfeited in lieu of foreclosure to Heartland included two undeveloped parcels totaling 18.1 acres along Butterfield Coach Road at East Emma Avenue in east Springdale.

The Goldens purchased the northwest Arkansas property, originally part of the OREO portfolio of Bentonville’s ANB Financial, for $825,000 in November 2009.

The Goldens claim damages of more than $2.5 million were caused by Chambers Bank.

In response, the bank noted a number of alleged legal flaws with the “rambling, internally inconsistent” complaint, which didn’t include proper supporting documents.

In summing up its motion to dismiss the case, Chambers described the complaint as “an incoherent conglomeration of statements and arguments which cannot be fairly characterized as a proper pleading.”