Property owners file suit against Community Bank over subdivision loan

Kelly Holleran Apr. 23, 2012, 12:43pm

Six property holders say a bank is threatening to foreclose on their property in an attempt to convince them to sign a loan modification that they already turned down.

Shammah Stone and property holders Elton Senegal, Minnie Senegal, Melvin Senegal, Rosa Senegal, Arnold Henry and Helen G. Henry filed a lawsuit April 4 in Jefferson County District Court against Community Bank of Texas, G.A. Wimberley, Sam Parigi and Howard Martin.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs claim they entered into a loan with Community Bank of Texas on Oct. 30, 2007, for $350,000. The loan would pay for the infrastructure needed for a subdivision called Shalom Stone, according to the complaint.

Later, Elton Senegal and Community Bank employee G.A. Wimberley decided to modify the loan. In order to modify the loan, the bank and a notary illegally forged and verified signatures of the property holders, the suit states.

In December 2011, Wimberley presented the defendants with another modified agreement to their original loan. However, the plaintiffs refused to sign the modification because of the terms of the contract, the complaint says.

The bank then decided to foreclose on the property, the plaintiffs claim.

Later, Wimberley shared confidential information with defendants Parigi and Martin, according to the complaint. Wimberley also took money from Elton Senegal's private account without his permission to pay toward the loan, the suit states.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs allege fraud and coersion against the bank, saying it allowed fraudulent signatures be forged on a loan modification agreement and threatened to foreclose on property in an attempt to persuade the defendants to convert to a less desirable modification agreement.

They allege privacy violations and transfer of funds against Wimberley.

The plaintiffs seek a judgment of $5 million, plus interest at the rate allowed by law, costs, attorney's fees and other relief the court deems just.

Byron Keith Watson of the Law Office of BK Watson in Houston will be representing them.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. E192-273

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