Local bank accused of creating fraudulent debt in NC man's name

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Monroe man is accusing American Community Bank of fraudulently creating over $450,000 debt in his name in order to boost its own bottom line.

According to a court filing, Monroe resident Eric Hance"received an invoice from American Community Bank for a loan he didn't recognize," and so he went to the Monroe branch to ask about it.

Hance says he told the bank's then vice president, Jeffrey Coley, that "he had not signed any paperwork to take out this loan and didn't receive any funds from the bank."

Coley committed suicide the day after Hance says he confronted him.

WBTV spoke with the lawyers who filed the lawsuit.

"I'm not certain it had everything to do with this," says lawyer William Goldfarb. "But it is a bizarre situation. It's odd."

And Goldfarb's partner, Graham Stiles, adds, "It alone is a very concerning situation, just like what's contained in the complaint."

American Community Chief Banking Officer Mark DeMarcus told WBTV he couldn't get specific about the lawsuit, but he gave us this statement:"We clearly believe that we have not caused anyone any damage or harm."

But Hance is claiming his bottom line has been harmed.  The lawsuit says the bank "reported the false debt to credit reporting agencies."

"What we're allowed to talk about now is certainly limited," Goldfarb says, "but it comes as a complete shock when someone like Mr. Hance finds out there's a substantial loan taken out in his name without his knowledge."

Hance could not be reached.