Ankeny Developers Sue Bank in Negligence, Fraud, Breach of Good Faith Case

DES MOINES – Four Des Moines area real estate developers have filed suit against a Clive bank and one of its top officers, alleging negligence, defamation, intentional interference with prospective business advantage, fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent nondisclosure, and breach of good faith.


Dan Stanbrough, Bradley Stanbrough, Scott Wendl and Jamie Hatch, who are members of Northern Ankeny Development, LLC contend Valley Bank and senior Vice President Rick Bratrud “acted in willful and wanton disregard of the rights and safety” of the group through a number of actions that included the alleged decision to conceal an incorrect land appraisal for months on a property named North Prairie Bend.


Rebecca Brommel, the group’s attorney, stated in papers filed in Polk County District Court that Valley Bank and Bratrud pushed the developers to modify loan and line of credit agreements while concealing the inaccurate appraisal that resulted in a $700,000 error to Northern Ankeny Development’s detriment.


Noting that Valley Bank hired an uninsured appraiser who made the mistake in estimating the land’s value, the developers seek damages for negligence. By concealing the appraisal mistake for at least four months and perhaps as long as seven months, the bank and Bratrud committed negligent and fraudulent misrepresentation, the suit states.


 The suit also claims the Bank and Bratrud intentionally interfered with the developers’ contracts with a buyer, Windsor Homes, Inc., and blocked the sale of lots that would have been sold. The defendants’ actions prompted at least one real estate agent and at least seven builders to refuse to work with Northern Ankeny Development.


The developers state in their suit that Bratrud also made statements about their businesses and them that were false, malicious and caused damages.


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