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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.”

Mortgage Lending Office Opens in Kansas City, Impacts Over 45 Jobs


First State Bank Mortgage is proud to announce their expansion into the Kansas City metropolitan area.  Their two new locations in Overland Park, KS, and Lee’s Summit, MO, will house an elite team of forty-seven mortgage loan officers, underwriters and processors from the Kansas City area.

First State Bank Mortgage, a division of First State Bank of St. Charles, Missouri, currently serves homebuyers throughout Missouri, through its established locations in St. Louis and Lake of the Ozarks.  The mortgage division will offer Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, Jumbo and other special financing programs for a variety of homebuyers, including first-time homebuyers and those looking to purchase a second home or vacation property.  The Kansas City team will be headed by Rita Rieke, regional retail production manager, and Linda Stewart, regional operations manager, both long-time mortgage professionals in the Kansas City area.

“We are excited about the opportunity to grow our mortgage operation and offer our extended portfolio of mortgage products and competitive rates to the greater Kansas City metropolitan area,” said David Strautz, President and CEO of First State Bank.  “We look forward to offering the same professional and responsive service to local residents here that we have been committed to providing in St. Louis for the past 145 years.”

Founded in 1867, First State Bank of St. Charles is one of the oldest independent community banks west of the Mississippi, and was voted the #1 lender and mortgage company in St. Charles County (Missouri) by area residents for the third year in a row.

First State Bank of St. Charles Announces Growth of Mortgage Division

One of the area’s oldest lenders is expanding their mortgage services in 2012, as they celebrate 145 years of business.

First State Bank of St. Charles is proud to announce the addition of several new residential loan officers and mortgage support individuals, as well as a brand-new West County mortgage office.  The new mortgage lending office, located on Chesterfield Grove Drive, also includes a Private Mortgage Banking Group.

“Our newest loan officers are well-known in the community and are among the highest-caliber lenders in the area,” said Daniel R. Simpson, Director of Mortgage at First State Bank. “Expanding into West County will allow customers more access to competitive rates and a full spectrum of home financing products.”

Founded in 1867, First State Bank of St. Charles is the oldest independent community bank in the St. Louis metropolitan area, and was voted #1 Lender in St. Charles County in a 2011 Suburban Journals reader’s poll.

“We are excited about the opportunity to grow our mortgage operation and offer a broader range of mortgage loan programs,” added Simpson.  “We look forward to continuing to build on the foundation of professional and responsive service that our customers have come to expect.”

First State Bank Mortgage is proud to announce the addition of these high-quality mortgage lenders:


Millie Cain, Senior Private Mortgage Advisor, brings over 25 years of experience in banking, wealth management and real estate, and will lead the initiative on the new Private Mortgage Banking Group from the brand-new Chesterfield office.

Mark Cope, Senior Residential Mortgage Lender, brings a record of loan production excellence and over eight years of mortgage experience. Mark is a member of the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce.

Mary London, Senior Residential Mortgage Lender, brings over 15 years of lending experience, and over a decade of experience as a Realtor.  Mary is active in the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce.

Tina McWard, Senior Residential Mortgage Lender, brings over 12 years of experience in residential mortgage lending and banking.  Tina also brings sales and marketing experience from previous positions at global consumer goods companies.

Tom Mitchell, Residential Mortgage Lender, brings 24 years of experience in residential mortgage lending, and has consistently ranked in the top 5% of loan officers nationally, receiving top honors from financial institutions he has worked with in the past.

Trina Wright, Senior Residential Mortgage Lender, brings over 17 years of experience in the mortgage lending industry and will be housed out of the brand-new Chesterfield office.


Fred Elkins, Senior Residential Mortgage Lender, brings over 19 years of mortgage experience to the First State Bank Mortgage lending team.

Dion Fields, Senior Residential Mortgage Lender, was part of the Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC)’s “Top Ten” loan production teams in 2010, and brings 14 years of experience in residential mortgage lending.

First State Bank Announces Private Mortgage Banking Group


First State Bank of St. Charles is proud to announce that Millie Cain has joined First State Bank to lead the initiative in their new Private Mortgage Banking Group.

Located in the bank’s brand-new West County office, the Private Mortgage Banking Group will provide flexible real estate options for affluent professionals and executives, and the high net worth individual or couple.

“It is our goal to provide unique financing strategies that take into careful consideration a client’s wealth management goals and current portfolio,” says David Strautz, CEO and president of First State Bank.

As Senior Private Mortgage Advisor, Cain is responsible for serving the financial needs of business executives, upper management and entrepreneurial professionals in the greater St. Louis marketplace.  Cain has over 25 years of experience in banking, wealth management, personal finance and real estate, and has served previously as senior vice president in private banking and wealth management for a St. Louis bank.

“No loan is too small or too large for full review and consideration,” says Cain.  “My emphasis is on relationship building and a high level of service that the more affluent professional and high net worth individual or couple have earned and come to expect.  My specialty will be in developing new solutions to meet their lending needs and in handling complex personal loan transactions.”

Cain is an active leader in many of the area’s charitable, non-profit and community organizations, including the St. Louis Crisis Nursery, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, St. Andrews Resources for Seniors, National Society of Arts and Letters and St. Louis Friends of Children’s Hospital.

The Private Mortgage Banking Group will be located in First State Bank’s Chesterfield lending office, located on Chesterfield Grove Drive, and is expected to be fully operational by late February 2012.

Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer Holds Community Roundtable

Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer Holds Community Roundtable

Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer hosted a roundtable discussion with local financial institutions, community leaders and small business owners on Monday morning at First State Bank Mortgage. “Community development is critical to expanding our economy and creating jobs. This roundtable provided me with a unique opportunity to discuss the issue from a congressional perspective while also hearing first-hand about the important challenges facing the people of St. Charles County,” the Congressman said.

First State Bank of St. Charles President and CEO David P. Strautz presented the roundtable in partnership with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines. “To have these kinds of conversations is important because they become a driving force for economic and community development. We welcome the opportunity to work with Congressman Luetkemeyer in finding solutions that will benefit businesses and communities in St. Charles County.”

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines will be holding similar events across the five Midwestern states in its district to create awareness of local issues and promote civic dialog. “FHLB Des Moines shares the desire of Congressman Luetkemeyer to build stronger, sustainable neighborhoods in Missouri. We provide grants and low-cost loans to our member financial institutions to create affordable housing, support jobs and stimulate economic growth,” said Dan Clute, senior vice president, communications and external affairs, FHLB Des Moines.

Among the topics discussed were resources to stabilize neighborhoods, the continuing role of the Federal Home Loan Bank System in supporting housing finance, innovation and small business.

First State Bank Confirms Commitment to Provide No-Fee ATM Network and Free Mobile Banking

Established in 1867, First State Bank of St. Charles is committed to continuing to evolve with the changing times by offering the latest products available to banking consumers.  The bank recently rolled out its new Mobile Banking program.

“Mobile Banking allows our customers to access accounts from anywhere using a cell phone,” said marketing officer Trish Lovan.  “Customers can view account balances and recent transactions and even transfer funds and pay bills.  The program is free and appeals to a large segment of our customer base.”

Mobile Banking services can be used by any First State Bank customer with a mobile phone that is capable of receiving and sending text messages.

The bank is also pleased to offer their debit card customers a network of over 22,000 no-fee ATMs.  The bank operates its own ATM machines, but also participates in the MoneyPass network of ATMs, which allows its customers to use any ATM included within the MoneyPass network and complete transactions without any fees.  Customers can search for free ATMs in their area by using the First State Bank ATM Locator tool.

“We are working to educate our customers on our expanding network of surcharge-free ATMs,” Lovan said.  “We have hundreds of ATM locations in the St. Charles County area, and we have many more nationwide.  We are committed to remaining accessible to our customers.”

First State Bank Announces $15,000 in Funding to Homebuyers

A grant totaling $15,000 was recently awarded to First State Bank by Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines. The grant is part of FHLB Des Moines Rural Homeownership Fund (RHF) which supports homeownership opportunities for families and individuals in rural communities.

Hardworking home buyers who can make a house payment with no difficulty sometimes cannot purchase a home because they do not have the funds required for upfront costs. This program provides an opportunity for qualified individuals and families to purchase homes by receiving funds to assist with the down payment, closing cost, counseling or rehabilitation of the property.

By participating in RHF, First State Bank will be able to distribute awards of up to $1,000 to each eligible homebuyer.  “This grant allows us to help eligible buyers with a down payment, closing costs, counseling or small rehabilitation projects that can greatly assist homebuyers in their closing process,” said Brad Eimer, vice president of wholesale lending at First State Bank Mortgage.  “As a community bank, it’s important to us to be able to offer assistance to local homebuyers.”

Since the creation of RHF in 1996, 6,110 grants totaling $20.6 million dollars have been awarded to support rural housing activity in five Midwest states. “These grants provide our member financial institutions the opportunity to help community members achieve their dream of homeownership. Homeownership not only brings stability to individuals and families but also to the neighborhoods and communities where they live,” said Gary Dodge, community investment director at FHLB Des Moines.

If you are interested in purchasing a home using the Rural Homeownership Fund grant, contact one of First State Bank’s experienced mortgage lenders for details at (636) 940-LOAN or apply online by clicking here.

Renee Vogelgesang Joins First State Bank

First State Bank of St. Charles is proud to announce the addition of Renee Vogelgesang to their team as a Business Development Officer.

Vogelgesang brings over 12 years of experience in the banking industry.  Vogelgesang came from Regions Bank, where she worked as a Business Banker.

At First State Bank, her major duties as Business Development Officer are to handle the needs of current business customers and to find new growth opportunities in the community.

Vogelgesang is a member of the Harvester Kiwanis Club and the Medical Group Managers Association (MGMA) of St. Louis.  She has her Bachelors of Science from Lindenwood University, and is a current resident of Old Monroe.

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