The list of legal problems haunting presidential friend Webster Hubbell got longer last week.

Bank of Little Rock, a $66 million-asset institution in North Little Rock, Ark., has sued Mr. Hubbell and his wife, Suzanna, for falling behind on their second mortgage payments. By mid-December, the Hubbells allegedly owed $43,604-and the total grows by $11.95 each day they fail to pay, the suit said.

Frederick S. Wetzel 3d, attorney for the bank, said he filed suit in Pulaski County Circuit Court in Little Rock to try to force the couple to repay. Suits such as the one against the Hubbells are common in loan delinquency cases, he said. Mr. Wetzel also said Bank of Little Rock's loan to the Hubbells was made long before the couple moved to Washington to work for the Clinton administration.

Mr. Hubbell, who was a senior Justice Department official, has been indicted three times in connection with the Whitewater investigation, but one indictment was dismissed by a federal judge. Most recently, he was accused of covering up his and former law partner Hillary Rodham Clinton's roles in an allegedly illegal Arkansas land deal.

***

If the organizers of a Buffalo start-up get their way, an historic building that once housed a well-known car dealership will soon be used to make loans and open checking accounts.

Braun Cadillac-Buick vacated the building on Main Street in Buffalo last month after 70 years and moved to a new site. Now the organizers of Greater Buffalo Savings Bank say they are prepared to spend $1 million to convert the Art Deco building into a bank branch.

The site could be a big plus for the new thrift. New York State offers incentives to institutions that develop offices in areas deemed underserved by banks. The thrift's founders, along with community leaders, are trying to have the area of its planned headquarters so designated.

Buffalo Savings has promised to convert any space in the building that it does not need into an incubator for new businesses. The thrift is to work with a local economic development group to supply office space, computers, and fax and copying machines for inner-city entrepreneurs.

The organizers hope to have regulatory approval to raise capital by the end of next month. - Louis Whiteman

***

The American Bankers Association has recognized six community banks for their efforts to teach people about banking and personal finance.

In November, the trade group presented awards to banks that it determined had done "an exemplary job" of educating consumers through programs such as student-run banks and training seminars for welfare-to- work recipients. One winner was Port Washington State Bank in Wisconsin, which offered a workshop to people on welfare who wanted to join the work force. The 11 women who attended the workshop-five of whom have found jobs- learned basic interviewing and telephone etiquette as well as computer and office skills. Bank employees also donated clothing for job-hunters to wear to interviews.

Another winner was First Bank of Manchester in Kentucky. In a county where 40% of the people live at or below the poverty line, the bank routinely dispatches employees to adult learning and senior citizen centers to educate residents about money management.

Other winners:

Vermont's Wells River Savings Bank, which teaches high school students the importance of good credit in applying for home, car, and other loans.

Citizens Bank and Trust Company of Grainger County in Rutledge, Tenn., which developed a savings program for students in a nearby school district.

First National Bank of Bemidji (Minn.), which worked with the local high school to establish the state's first student-run bank.

Ramsey National Bank and Trust Co. in Devils Lake, N.D., which teaches students on an Indian reservation how checking accounts work and offers investment seminars for senior citizens.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.