Refinance Your Conventional Business Loan into a SBA 504 Loan

leticia-scearce_biltmore-bankThe SBA Debt Refinance Program is back! Does your small business have a maturing or high-cost conventional loan for real estate, buildings or equipment? The long-term, fixed rate financing available through the SBA Debt Refinance Program can help small businesses that face significant balloon payments, require financial flexibility or want to take cash out from appreciating assets for expansion.

Under the new program, small businesses that refinance into a SBA 504 loan can take advantage of lower rates, fixed for 20 years, to lighten their monthly debt payments, improve cash flow and stabilize operations.

These parameters can help determine whether this program might be a good fit for your business:

  • The debt to be refinanced must be at least two years old.
  • The debt to be refinanced must be current during the last 12 months.
  • Eligible small businesses can obtain up to 90 percent financing for secured debt and qualified business debt.
  • Eligible fixed assets include real estate and equipment.
  • Cash out for operating expenses, including debt consolidation, is limited to 75 percent loan-to-value.
  • Cash out can be used for eligible business expenses (salaries, rent, utilities, inventory).
  • Existing government guaranteed loans are not eligible to be refinanced.
  • The eligible debt being refinanced is for the outstanding principal balance.

Other conditions or qualification requirements may apply. 

For those considering applying for a new loan, we offer a variety of government guaranteed loan products that require less cash investment up front and offer longer loan terms, which can help bridge the gap for businesses that otherwise would not have access to capital.

  • SBA 7(a), 504 and 504 refinance
  • SBA Export Express Export Working Capital International Trade
  • USDA Business & Industry Loans Food Desert Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
  • Export Import Bank of U.S.

If you would like more information on the SBA 504 Refinance Program or any of our government-guaranteed loan products, please contact Leticia Scearce, Senior Vice President/Government Guaranteed Lending Manager, at or (602) 445-6511.



Happy 2017!


This New Year, thank the ancient Babylonians. The idea of observing a special day as the New Year was theirs, as many as 4,000 years ago, and it is considered the oldest of all holidays. Observing the New Year on January 1 is somewhat arbitrary, but the Roman senate first declared this date as the New Year in 153 BC.

The Babylonians were also the first to come up with the idea of New Year’s resolutions. These days, cultures throughout the world have their own New Year’s traditions (and observance dates). While watching the 1,200-pound Waterford Crystal ball drop in New York City is a common tradition in the U.S., the Spanish eat 12 grapes at midnight to encourage 12 happy months in the coming year.

In Britain, when the clock strikes midnight, everyone sings the Scottish song ‘Auld Lang Syne,” which means ‘times gone by’ and was written by Robert Burns in the 1700s. In Italy, people wear red underwear on New Year’s Day to bring good luck.

In Colombia, Cuba and Puerto Rico, families may stuff a large doll, called Mr. Old Year, with memories and clothes from the past year. At midnight, they light him on fire to burn away the bad memories. (May we suggest checking local regulations before you burn an effigy in your yard?)

The Japanese hold Bonenkai or “forget-the-year parties” throughout December to bid farewell to the problems and concerns of the past year and prepare for a new beginning.

Some parts of the Middle East and Asia celebrate Nowruz (or New Day), albeit in spring. Celebrations often include bonfires and egg dying.

If you find yourself celebrating the New Year by using noisemakers and setting off fireworks (again, check the regulations, folks) to celebrate the New Year, you have that in common with people in ancient times, who believed that loud noises would scare off evil spirits and bring good luck.

No matter how you celebrate the New Year, all of us at Regents Bank wish you peace, prosperity and happiness for 2017.



Two ways to help those in need this holiday season

christmas-cove-display-la-jollaFor many, the holidays evoke magical memories of childhood they’ve cherished throughout their lives. As we celebrate the time of year when we have so many opportunities to provide for those less fortunate, we hope you’ll consider brightening a child’s Christmas morning by helping with our Salvation Armyscreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am Angel Giving Tree gift drives.

In the spirit of the holidays, Regents Bank’s San Diego offices are welcoming our staff, clients and friends to contribute now through Friday, December 16 at our offices in downtown, La Jolla, Vista and Escondido.

At our Escondido and Vista offices, you’ll find Angel Trees with gift tags for specific requested gifts. The requests come from hundreds of San Diego children, ages infant to 12 years old, who would otherwise have no gifts to open this holiday season. Families in need that sign up for the program must meet Federal minimum poverty guidelines to qualify.

Each angel on our trees has the name, age, gender and gift request of a child in need. You can “adopt” a child and purchase their (unwrapped) Christmas gift wish to deposit in the barrel we have displayed onsite.

Our La Jolla and Downtown offices are hosting similar gift drives based on a list of suggested items from the Salvation Army.  The general drives help the Salvation Army complete family packages for the holidays. Gifts for “tweens” are most needed since they are the ones who are chosen the least from the Angel Trees.  Again, please do not wrap the gift.

According to the Salvation Army, gifts that interest boys in the tween age group are: Legos, remote controlled toys, athletic balls (soccer balls, footballs, baseballs, basketballs), skateboards, building sets, clothes, watches and electronic items.  Tween girls appreciate: hair tools, hair accessories, nail supplies, make-up, jewelry, art sets, journals, CDs, DVDs, toiletry sets (body wash, lotions, body mists, etc.), scooters, Polaroid cameras (instant cameras) and stationery sets.  Of course, any items for all ages will be gratefully accepted and appreciated.

Please feel free to contact your Regents banker or the main telephone line at any of our San Diego-area  offices if you have any questions about our Salvation Army gift drive.

If your philanthropic heart leans toward higher education, we invite you to help us invest in educating tomorrow’s leaders. Throughout the year, we support Friends of Downtown,screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am a non-profit 501 (c)(3) with a membership comprised of individuals who work or live in downtown San Diego. Its goal is sharing information and ideas to enhance the community.

In 2000, Friends of Downtown began awarding scholarships to students at San Diego City College, one of the hidden jewels of downtown, which serves more than 16,000 students on its 60-acre campus. Since then, Friends of Downtown has awarded over $425,000 in scholarships, becoming the largest SDCC scholarship provider. Students who apply are evaluated on their academic performance and interview with the group’s scholarship panel.

FOD Scholarship Luncheon Group Photo

2016 San Diego City College Scholarship Recipients and Friends of Downtown Presenters

For additional information about the Friends of Downtown, please visit

Thank you in advance to those who plan to contribute to the Salvation Army, Friends of Downtown or any other organization working to lift up our neighbors and our communities.


screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am Linking to Non-Regents Bank Websites

This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Regents Bank. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Regents Bank. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Regents Bank assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.


Happy Thanksgiving


It was 1621 when the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Indians shared a fall harvest meal, regarded by most as the first Thanksgiving. It wasn’t until 1863, however, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day.

Those very early colonists were faced with a harsh New England winter in their first year, which brought malnutrition, illness and death. The kindness of an American Indian who spoke English, which he learned during his time as an English sea captain’s captive, went a long way toward preventing more colonist deaths.

That man, Squanto, taught the colonists how to cultivate and collect food in their new homeland. He also helped them forge an alliance with the local tribe, the Wampanoag; an alliance that endured for more than 50 years.

Historians speculate that the 1621 Thanksgiving menu, shared between the settlers and their new friends, probably included fowl of some sort as well as deer and corn. With no oven and a dwindling sugar supply, cakes and pies were almost certainly not on the menu.

Despite the fact that approximately 90 percent of Thanksgiving meals now feature turkey, the wildfowl served at the first Thanksgiving meal was probably goose or duck.

As traditions have evolved, one or two lucky turkeys get pardoned by the U.S President each year, which started in the mid 20th century. Some state governors do the same for turkeys in their respective states. Over time, parades and volunteering have also became part of the U.S. Thanksgiving tradition.

However you celebrate Thanksgiving, whatever you include in your feast and whomever you invite to your table, from all of us at Regents Bank, we hope this Thanksgiving fills your heart, as well as your belly, and that we all reflect on the charity and friendship exemplified by that first Thanksgiving celebration.

Happy Thanksgiving.



Government Guaranteed Loans and Helping Businesses Grow

leticia-scearce_biltmore-bankSecuring a business loan can be vital to a company’s growth or even survival. Senior Vice President Leticia Scearce, head of Grandpoint’s Government Guaranteed Lending division, shares some great loan options that are available through various government programs which can be facilitated by the Bank and its divisions, Regents Bank, The Biltmore Bank of Arizona and Bank of Tucson.

Q: What should people know about the government guaranteed lending programs that are available?

LS: Government guaranteed loans are there to help small- and medium-sized businesses, since these loans require less cash investment up front and offer longer loan terms. Government guaranteed loans can help bridge the gap for small- and medium-sized businesses that otherwise would not have access to capital.  Also, many businesses that could qualify for conventional loans opt for government guaranteed loans instead because they require less money down and have longer terms. When opting for guaranteed loans, clients usually pay two percent more in fees for 10 to 15 percent cash down versus the 30 percent down for conventional loans.

The most well-known government guaranteed loan programs are those offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) loans.  These loan programs can include financing for owner-occupied real estate purchase or construction, refinance, equipment, business acquisition, exporting and short term working capital (revolving lines of credit).

Another very attractive loan program is available through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  Eligible USDA loans can be for real estate and equipment (including renewable energy projects) in rural or farming areas and can have a loan term up to 30 years. In addition, there are a few subprograms under the USDA loan program umbrella that allow us to finance projects in urban areas that have a local foods component – food manufacturing, distribution, retail, etc. The USDA loan product is attractive because it offers the longest term of the government guaranteed loan programs; is more flexible in pricing and prepayment penalties; has less oversight with franchises and dealer agreements; and has less regulation overall. It needs to be mentioned that even though the program is offered under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the financing of eligible projects / properties under this program do not need to be agriculture related.  Rather, its availability is contingent on the current population levels of a specific census tract in which the business or property will be located.

Q: What is the current status of government guaranteed lending?

LS: We’re hitting record levels of government guaranteed lending as the economy is improving. One reason is that the banks’ lending standards for conventional loans haven’t changed much since the recession, which makes guaranteed loans more attainable and attractive.

Q: Have you seen any big changes in the government guaranteed lending programs that business owners should know about?

LS: We saw a big change recently in the SBA 504 program. This product offers low cash down and a 20-year fixed rate on the client’s second loan, which is financed by the SBA. The agency now allows the client to refinance existing loans on owner-occupied real estate and allows some cash out provisions, helping the small business owner access capital for long-term working capital.

Q: How do the members of the government guaranteed lending program for Grandpoint Bank and its divisions work together to assist clients?

LS: We are tasked with helping all our regions expand our government guaranteed lending, which is a combination of SBA loans, USDA loans and export loans. I’m based in Phoenix at The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, along with Debbie Lindsay, our loan administrator. My team’s loan specialist/underwriter, Marchette Wesley, and portfolio servicer, Hector Palomares, are in California, and I travel to our offices throughout Arizona, California and Washington to train our staff about our guaranteed loan platform.  We assist our relationship managers in deepening their knowledge base with the different loan products we have available. We also train our credit staff so they can recognize when a conventional loan isn’t suited for a client and a government guaranteed loan could offer a great alternative.

Mark Phillips, Grandpoint Capital’s chief credit officer, and David Ross, Grandpoint Bank’s chief credit officer, and our regional bank presidents have been very supportive of our division and expansion.

Q: How is Grandpoint Bank, and its divisions, differentiating itself in this type of lending?

LS: Our Southern California and Vancouver, Washington markets do a lot of export business, so with our large geographic footprint and sizable lending capacity, we can target more middle market customers.   In Arizona, we have more rural opportunities, and thus the USDA programs are a great fit. We are already one of the top lenders in the state for USDA loans.  We are looking forward to expanding our footprint in USDA lending in all of our markets.   Seventy to 90 percent of government guaranteed loans don’t count against a bank’s legal lending limits, so we have more capacity to service larger companies as well.

Q: How did your career lead you to becoming the head of the government guaranteed lending division?

LS: I was drawn to SBA lending in 2007 when I was working in commercial lending at a community bank here in Scottsdale. I further progressed into this niche lending sector during the recession when the credit markets froze and guaranteed loans became even more essential. When I joined The Biltmore Bank of Arizona in 2011, I helped established the SBA department, and a year later I pushed for expansion into other government guaranteed loan programs such as USDA loans and export financing.  A diverse, more inclusive platform was important to our brand and to our customer base, and I was fortunate that key management at Biltmore trusted and supported my recommendations. In 2012, Biltmore Bank was acquired by Grandpoint Bank, and with the backing of a larger bank, it allowed us to expand our lending efforts even further.  Personally, Grandpoint gave me access to a larger platform with great management resources to help expand and develop this lending niche. Prior to the acquisition, our government guaranteed lending activity was small, but many of the banks acquired by Grandpoint around the same time had SBA loan portfolios, so my servicing and liquidation role increased. Soon thereafter, our senior management team decided to expand this niche of lending for the whole family of banks. I’m pleased to have a very amazing team. We all have to stay up to date on policies and procedures for all of these programs. This type of lending makes you a better banker, because it requires a complex level of understanding and mastery of detail; it makes you sharper.

Q: Are you involved in any civic work?

LS: I serve on the City of Phoenix Investment Advisory Board, which advises the city on its entire investment portfolio.

Q: What do you like to do for fun?

LS: My husband and I are into cycling, and I love to hike. I also enjoy cooking and baking, and I’m a wine connoisseur. We have visited more than 100 wineries, and I’d love to become a sommelier someday. More immediately, I’d like to look at growth and loan opportunities in the wine industries throughout the various regions we serve. I also enjoy reading, gardening, and I am a big tennis fan!



Veterans Day, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 3.07.58 PM.png

Our great nation was founded on the belief that everyone is created equal and that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are inalienable rights. At times in our history, as will surely be the case in our future, brave men and women have been called upon to defend those rights and ideals.

Today we celebrate those individuals who have given their time, their skills and even their lives, to protect our safety, freedom and way of life.

To all the members of the United States military, past, present and future, thank you for your service. No one better demonstrates than you the closing line of the Declaration of Independence: “we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

Happy Veterans Day


Regents Bank Celebrating 15 Years with Our Clients & Our Team

September marked 15 years in business for Regents Bank – our crystal anniversary. Much has happened in our world, our economy and our company during that time. We’re fortunate that valued clients and hard-working employees have been our constants, and we would like to give extra, special recognition to the following people:

Thank you to our legacy Regents Bank employees who have shared their talents with us since the beginning. They are our continuity and our inspiration.


Pictured from left to right:
Dawn Stout, VP, Credit Applications & Data Administrator
Cecilia Wittmann, Client Service Specialist II
Claudia Sanchez, AVP, Client Service Officer
Darla Clark, EVP, Regional Manager
Pamela Cummins, Senior Loan Administration Specialist

Many clients have also been with us since we launched our bank, which we consider to be the highest form of compliment. Some of these legacy clients include:

La Jolla client:

grandeGrande Colonial Hotel

Amidst the pristine beaches and regal bluffs of La Jolla’s coastal village, the Grande Colonial Hotel has been welcoming guests since 1913. Completely modernized, yet faithful to its storied past, this intimate boutique hotel harkens back to a quieter, more dignified era, when travel meant something special and personalized guest service was a hallmark of every stay.

Vancouver clients:

scottThe Scott Horenstein Law Firm, PLLC

Since 1999, the Law Firm has assisted individuals and families throughout Washington in resolving family law conflicts. Their mission is to use their years of experience and considerable knowledge to resolve legal disputes both compassionately and completely.

Horenstein Law Group, PLLC

HLG is a progressive law firm founded by Steve and Cindy Horenstein. HLG maintains all of the positive values clients expect from a traditional law firm, including excellent, well-trained lawyers, a high level work product and responsiveness. In addition, the firm is responding to new client needs and expectations that have evolved in part because of the economy. The prolonged recession has forever changed the practice of law. Clients now expect a higher level of service, billings based on value received and results obtained, as well as better access to lawyers and documents through client (not lawyer) focused technology.

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-12-53-19-pmNBP Capital, LLC

Lauren and Spencer Noecker began their careers in the Los Angeles office at Marcus & Millichap before founding their real estate contracting and property management firm, NFN Investments, in Portland in 2007.

Lauren Noecker Robert is currently the Managing Member & Co-Founder of NBP Capital LLC. NBP Capital is a privately held commercial real estate fund with a focus on value-add, opportunistic investing on the West Coast. NBP Capital’s portfolio has over three thousand apartments and one million square feet of commercial assets across fifty properties. The fund is invested across all sectors: multifamily, office, hospitality, industrial, storage & retail.

Spencer D. Noecker is the original co-founder and an investor in NBP Capital LLC.  Mr. Noecker acted as Managing Member for the fund from 2008-2015 and co-built the portfolio of companies to service NBP Capital.  While Mr. Noecker remains invested in NBP Capital, he moved on to new opportunist ventures in 2015.  Mr. Noecker continues to consult for NBP Capital and sits on the Board of Advisors.

Bean Investment Real Estate

Bean Investment Real Estate is a real estate acquisition and brokerage company established in 1946 by Ormond Bean, Jr. The company is currently owned and run by his son, Terry Bean. Terry has built on his father’s success and distinguished the firm as a leader in the multi-family real estate market.

Don Heimbigner

Don Heimbigner is a businessman, inventor and philanthropist in his Vancouver, WA community. Don recently made the donation for the 9,000-square-foot project that will be built next to an existing 10-bed hospice care center, which will now be named the Elaine and Don Heimbigner Hospice Care Center. Fun Fact: Don invented bowling ball finger grip inserts in 1981. He is known and loved by all of the Vancouver banking team who enjoy seeing him every Friday for cookies!

Don Holsinger

Don Holsinger owns and manages six commercial buildings and is developing two large land projects in Clark County. He graduated from University of Washington as a mechanical engineer and started home building in 1974.  He has banked with Tami Nesburg for 38 years in the Vancouver community. When Regents Bank was first established in Clark County, Don was first in line with his land development project and has been a client ever since.

“Regents Bank was extremely helpful navigating through the 2008 downturn and has continued to serve me well in the current economic environment.”

San Diego clients:

luckyLucky Line Products

Family owned for over 50 years, Lucky Line creates innovative products for keys, including tags, shapes, hardware and storage with a simple principle at the core of its operations: treat customers, suppliers & employees well to ensure long-term success.

Discflo Corporation

Discflo leads the field in engineering pump solutions for hard-to-pump applications. Founded in 1982, the company has established a reputation for designing pumps to solve some of the industry’s toughest pumping problems, in categories as diverse as wastewater treatment, offshore oil platforms, pharmaceutical manufacturing and mining.

North County clients:

The Arendsee Group

Richard Arendsee is the founder and a key principal of the Arendsee Group, a diversified owner and operator of apartment communities, primarily in the Dallas and Fort Worth area for the past 25 years. The Arendsee Group has diversified to include WAK Management, KAWA Insurance, Brandy Investments and others. Mr. Arendsee was previously the Chairman of the Board of California Community Bank, which Grandpoint Capital acquired and merged into Regents Bank in 2012. All of the companies under the Arendsee Group provide clean and safe housing to over 2,800 families and employ over 100 people.

Pack Hyuhn, LLC

PackHuynh, LLC, is a franchising company that owns and operates 13 El Pollo Loco restaurants in San Diego, Los Angeles and Phoenix. The company was founded in 2011 by co-owners Maurice Pack and Phong Huynh. Each partner brings extensive expertise in franchising, experience with multiple restaurant brands and a strong track record of successful franchise management to the business.

Peter Aardema

Mr. Aardema is an investor in commercial real estate properties located throughout San Diego County, where Mr. Aardema’s father first began buying land during the 1930s. Mr. Aardema owns and manages approximately 375,000 square feet of commercial-industrial property. He was a founding investor and advisory board member of California Community Bank, which Grandpoint Capital acquired and merged into Regents Bank in 2012. Mr. Aardema’s hobby interest is custom building overhead cam engines, which he installs in cars and hot rods that he and his drivers have been racing at El Mirage lake bed and Bonneville, Utah since 2001. They have set a handful of land speed records with his cars.

Thank you for being part of our community and letting us be part of yours. We are proud to be your business bank and a resource for your financial success. We look forward to celebrating many more milestones with you.



Introducing Our New Multifamily Lending Division


We’re happy to announce that we have expanded our service offerings once again.

Multifamily properties represent an important part of the housing market, especially as cities become denser and land constrained. Grandpoint Bank and its divisions, Regents Bank, Bank of Tucson and The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, now has a multifamily lending division, managed by Senior Vice President Karen Kim.

According to Karen, 2016 is expected to be another good year for the multifamily sector due to favorable demographic trends and economic growth, based on the Multifamily Outlook study completed by Freddie Mac.

“Demographically, the strong multifamily market is further bolstered by Millennials and empty nesters, who are increasingly choosing multifamily over single-family residences in many cities,” Karen says.

Karen’s multifamily lending team is comprised of experts in multifamily lending who have previously worked at institutions that have produced a large volume of multifamily portfolios for the past two decades or more.

Multifamily property owners and investors can access three-, five- and on a very limited basis, seven-year hybrid loans from our bank, as well as a six-month ARM loans. Qualifying properties include five or more units in Class A or B buildings, with Class C-type properties considered on a deal-by-deal basis. As portfolio lenders — meaning most of these loans remain with our bank — we have more control over our products and pricing, which is a huge advantage.

We’re working with a network of seasoned mortgage brokers throughout the markets we serve to educate them about how Grandpoint Bank and its divisions can help their clients finance or refinance properties up to approximately $15 million in loan value. Karen and her team are currently cultivating additional mortgage broker relationships in Greater Los Angeles area, San Diego County, Ventura County, Orange County, Portland, Vancouver, WA, Greater Phoenix area and Tucson.

Please contact Karen to inquire about becoming an approved broker with Grandpoint Bank.  You can also ask her to connect you to an approved broker already working with Grandpoint Bank.

Karen H. Kim, SVP, Multi-Family Lending Manager or (213) 542-2727.



Thirteenth Consecutive 5-Star “Superior” Rating From BauerFinancial for Grandpoint Bank and its Divisions

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-7-47-45-pmWe’re honored to share that Grandpoint Bank and its divisions, Regents Bank, Bank of Tucson and The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, received a thirteenth consecutive quarterly 5-Star “superior” rating from independent rating and research firm BauerFinancial,screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am based on June 30, 2016 financial data filed with the government.

BauerFinancial, regarded as “the nation’s bank rating service,” gives the 5-Star rating only to banks that are considered the strongest in the nation, as assessed for strength, stability and soundness.

One of our core operating principles has always been to build long-term partnerships with our clients, so that our seasoned bankers can develop an in-depth understanding of their businesses and anticipate their needs. To our clients: Thank you for your trust, your support and your business.

According to BauerFinancial, to earn this highest rating level, institutions are required to maintain a tangible capital ratio of at least four percent, a tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of at least four percent and a total risk-based capital ratio of at least eight percent. Other criteria evaluated include: profitability/loss trend, evaluating the level of delinquent loans and repossessed assets, the market versus book value of the investment portfolio, regulatory supervisory agreements, the community reinvestment rating (CRA) and liquidity.

Banks cannot pay to be rated nor opt out of being rated by BauerFinancial. Four- and five-star banks appear on BauerFinancial’s Recommended Report.



screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am Linking to Non-Regents Bank Websites

This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Regents Bank. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Regents Bank. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Regents Bank assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.