Intimidation, Liquidation Of Accounts, Mob Style Collection Tactics Are The Everyday Practices Of Sterling National Bank
People want to think small town banks like Sterling National Bank are run by a sympathetic George Bailey types.
Small community banks operate like the mafia. They have no problem using intimidation and thuggery to get what they want. If customers complain the bank would do to them what Paulie Cicero’s crew did in Goodfellas.
But now the guy’s gotta come up with Paulie’s money every week, no matter what. Business bad? Fuck you, pay me. Oh, you had a fire? Fuck you, pay me. Place got hit by lightning, huh? Fuck you, pay me. -Henry Hill, Goodfellas
Bank executives start a whisper campaign and soon the customer finds themselves blacklisted in their own community.
These thugs are even willing to thumb their noses at the FDIC and federal law. They think the FDIC and federal regulators don’t care.
Sterling National Bank in New York is no different.
Provident Bank Screws Bill Youngblood
Our story begins with Hudson Valley property surveyor, Bill Youngblood. Youngblood’s family surveying business has served the Hudson Valley since the 1950s.
When the financial crisis happened his business began taking a big hit. The housing market that supplied 80% of his business crashed.
Dino Saracino, an AVP of Provident Bank now Sterling National Bank became aware of Youngblood’s plight and convinced him that the solution to all his money problems was a second mortgage on the commercial property for $180,000. Saracino had direct access to Youngblood’s banking information because all Youngblood’s accounts including his two residential mortgages were with Provident.
Saracino had to have known that Youngblood couldn’t afford the second mortgage and basically set Youngblood up to fail. After all, he had access to Youngblood’s banking information.
Youngblood struggled to make his payments while keeping in contact Saracino who also ran Provident’s collections department.
Is Dino Saracino Behind SScrewing A Customer?
Saracino authorized someone at Provident to empty out Youngblood’s business bank account without his knowledge. Saracino then applied the money to the principal to the first mortgage on Youngblood’s home.
This unauthorized use of Youngblood’s business account resulted in a number of checks including payroll checks to bounce. Youngblood made good on the checks to his employees and vendors. Provident later sold these collections to outside collection agencies who hound him mercilessly.
Youngblood contacted Dino Saracino after the incident about restructuring his loan.
Saracino instructed Youngblood to go to a local Provident Bank branch and fill out both residential and commercial loan applications and provide supporting information. Youngblood signed the application and supplied the supporting documentation that Saracino instructed him to bring.
Saracino confirmed Provident had everything they needed the next day. He also assured Youngblood that the process of approving the loan would proceed immediately.
Saracino Continues To Screw Youngblood
Youngblood called Provident several times a week for a period of 3 or 4 months. Youngblood finally received a call from Dino Saracino who informed him that the application had expired. Saracino informed Youngblood he would have to re-apply and supply new supporting documentation.
Saracino informed Youngblood that Provident management approved a plan that would consolidate all of Youngblood’s loans nearly 18 months later. The debt restructuring included an interest-only loan with a 5-year Adjustable Rate Mortgage.
Saracino sold Youngblood on this loan claiming it would save him approximately $3,000 per month. Saracino assured Youngblood that Provident only needed updated financials and the loan would be approved.
Youngblood followed Saracino’s instruction and prepared the new loan documentation Saracino as requested. Youngblood made an appointment to meet with Saracino to again to hand deliver the new documentation. Saracino assured Youngblood everything was in order and he would personally “walk this through” the approval process.
Sterling Cranks Up The Mob Tactics
Saracino gave Youngblood the “trust me” schtick like a sleazy used car salesman. He assured Youngblood that everything with the loan was moving toward a positive outcome for nearly a year. Provident filed a foreclosure complaint against Youngblood in order to take possession of the building on July 26, 2013
What Saracino wasn’t telling Youngblood is that Provident was in the process of merging with Sterling National Bank.
Youngblood hired MFI-Miami to review the file. Sterling National Bank began a smear campaign against MFI-Miami. They contacted Youngblood and told him all kinds of false stories about MFI-Miami. The intent was to intimidate him into bending to their demands.
Saracino contacted Youngblood and informed him that Sterling National Bank is prepared to offer yet another new proposed loan restructuring if he fired MFI-Miami.
The promised relief Sterling National Bank promised never occurred. Youngblood was also informed by Saracino that the newly approved program that he promised Youngblood was no longer available. Saracino suggested Youngblood seek financing elsewhere. As a result of the multiple delays associated with the loan application process and the foreclosure, that was now impossible.
Sterling National Bank Tries To Play Youngblood For A Sucker During Foreclosure Litigation
Youngblood received yet another call from Saracino during foreclosure litigation stating that Sterling National Bank was willing to restructure Youngblood’s commercial loan. However, they wanted him to deposit $20,000 with the bank. Saracino again asserting he could walk this application through.
Youngblood asked Saracino if he could provide the terms and conditions for the proposed restructuring on paper or at the very least a deal sheet. Incredibly, Saracino replied that he was not able to give Youngblood anything until the $20,000 had been deposited.
Rather than being duped again by Saracino, Youngblood sent a check in the sum 0f $25,000 to his attorney to be placed in escrow with the intent that the funds be applied toward the reinstatement of the mortgage if and when a deal could be reached.
Bill Youngblood is still waiting.