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Community Bank Expands into West St. Louis County

First State Bank of St. Charles will open a new branch at 17050 Baxter Road in Chesterfield next Monday, December 10, marking the first time the 145-year-old bank will operate a full-service retail branch outside of St. Charles County.

The new bank branch will offer personal banking, mortgage loans, mobile banking, investment services and a full line of deposit accounts, loans and online cash management tools for businesses. First State Bank of St. Charles reported total assets of $262,971,000 as of September 2012.

Bank president and CEO David Strautz expects the Chesterfield location to be a good fit for the bank's services and continued growth. “As an independent bank with a strong community focus, we are especially pleased to move into Chesterfield with its strong residential and business community,” he said.

“We believe our bank’s conservative business model and rich history are a perfect complement to the current strength of the Chesterfield community and to those who live and work in this area.  When this location became available, our directors and management team felt it was the right time to expand our services into West St. Louis County.”

Strautz will have an office at the new location and will be joined by Mark Prainito, senior vice president, and Millie Cain, vice president of business development.

Several grand opening specials are in place for the month of December.  Lobby hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, with expanded hours for drive-up lanes.

First State Bank Honored With #1 Ratings In Several Categories By Local Voters

First State Bank is pleased to announce the results of the 2012 “Best of St. Charles County” poll, in which First State Bank took top honors in several categories: BEST LENDER, BEST MORTGAGE COMPANY, and BEST FINANCIAL PLANNERS.

This is the third year in a row that First State Bank has been voted “Best Lender” and “Best Mortgage Company,” and the second year to be voted “Best Financial Planners” by local voters in the poll.

The results of the Suburban Journals’ “Best of St. Charles County” readers’ poll are calculated from votes by local residents.  Votes are submitted through both an online and paper ballot each fall.

Local Team, Congressman Luetkemeyer Join Together To Help Disabled Veteran Purchase the Perfect Home

Missouri disabled veteran Dillon Raube and his wife, Taylor, signed final papers Wednesday to complete a year-long process of purchasing their perfect family home in Linn Creek, Mo, surrounded by all those who helped make the loan possible – a local Realtor team, their mortgage banker and Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer himself.

For U.S. Navy veteran Dillon Raube and his young family, the process of finding the perfect home and obtaining financing had been an arduous one.  After being medically discharged from the Navy with a 100% service-connected disability and recovering from multiple surgeries, Dillon and his wife decided to move to Missouri to be closer to Raube’s own family.

The Raubes found the perfect home in Linn Creek, Mo.  The property provided all the necessary elements to accommodate Dillon’s needs – a single-story home with a level lot and paved road, and an outbuilding and attached apartment, an ideal living space for Dillon’s mother, who could reside close enough to assist him with his day-to-day tasks.

Three days before their scheduled closing date, the Raubes were notified that the loan was being denied on the basis of the property being “too unique.”  The Raubes were shocked and confused.  That’s when they decided, with the help of their real estate agent, Justin Farrell of John Farrell Real Estate Company, to reach out to their local Congressman’s office.  So Raube wrote a letter to Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer to ask for assistance.

“We are struggling to understand why [the loan] was denied…My family and I have worked diligently for the past year for this particular house,” said Raube in his letter to Congressman Luetkemeyer.   “This property is very special to our family.  We would appreciate any assistance you can provide.”

Raube’s impassioned letter, sent to Luetkemeyer’s office on September 26, two days before the original scheduled closing date, set into motion a series of actions by local professionals determined to secure a home for this brave veteran and his family.  Congressman Luetkemeyer and his caseworker, Lori Boyken, responded immediately and began to work with the VA on an inquiry into the loan and appraisal.

Shortly after, the Raube’s agent, Justin Farrell, and fellow agent Lynn Farrell approached local mortgage lender Michael Lasson of First State Bank Mortgage to see if he could work with the Raubes on their loan.  Lasson and his wife, Michelle, a Loan Specialist with First State Bank Mortgage, immediately went to work looking at the loan and property to see if the loan could be approved.

Within three weeks of writing the letter, Dillon and Taylor Raube closed on their loan to become proud homeowners.

“We couldn’t have closed this loan without the support of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines Mortgage Partnership Finance® program,” said Michael Lasson of First State Bank Mortgage.  “We are incredibly pleased to assist one of our disabled veterans,” said Dick Swanson, president and CEO, FHLB Des Moines. “As a cooperative of community lenders, we are able to create solutions like the Mortgage Partnership Finance program  to assist members including First State Bank Mortgage so they can strengthen their communities.”

“There were many people who were instrumental in making the American Dream of home ownership happen for the Raubes,” commented agent Lynn Farrell.  “Congressman Luetkemeyer and his caseworker, Lori Boyken, were key figures in getting the appraisal approved.  They went above and beyond in their efforts.  Michael and Michelle Lasson and First State Bank did a fantastic professional job of making this all work for the Raubes.  And Justin [Farrell] has been working with them through all the challenges and never gave up.  This is truly an American success story for a very deserving veteran.”

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