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County officials dropped from bank's lawsuit

November 01, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Berkeley County officials have been dismissed from a bank's lawsuit that claimed a county record-keeping error led the financial institution to loan two people $346,500 for property that was used to secure a second promissory note in October and November 2006, according to a Berkeley County Circuit Court order.

The order signed by 23rd Circuit Judge Gray Silver III on Oct. 20 allows U.S. Bank to file an amended complaint against the people who received the loans and dismisses Berkeley County Clerk John W. Small Jr. and the Berkeley County Commission.

The bank's initial complaint claimed that county indexing records did not list George N. Stephens Jr. and Shannon R. Stephens as grantors in a Centra Bank deed of trust recorded in October 2006 that involved a $250,000 promissory note and four parcels in Mountain Vistas subdivision.

Centra Bank, also named in the lawsuit, was earlier dismissed, records show.

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"The plaintiff's attorneys recognized as soon as they started looking at the records that the county hadn't done anything wrong," Berkeley County legal counsel Norwood Bentley III said Friday.

An attorney for U.S. Bank alleged that errors with the indexing of deeds of trust involving real estate at 272 Adrian Drive in Mountain Vistas led his client to approve a second promissory note in November 2006.

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