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Bank sues Eisners for $3 million debt

The Baltimore Sun

Carrollton Bank is seeking more than $3 million in judgments against Steve Eisner and Sara Eisner in connection with loans the couple guaranteed for the failed advertising agency Eisner Communications Inc.

Two separate complaints filed in Baltimore Circuit Court this week ask for unpaid balances of $1.9 million and $1.2 million, along with interest, collection costs and attorney's fees of close to a half-million dollars.

Neither the Eisners nor an attorney for Carrollton Bank could be reached yesterday.

Eisner Communications, which was one of Baltimore's largest advertising agencies in the mid-1990s, closed in November after a downward slide that followed the agency's loss of the US Airways account, said to have been worth $20 million a year.

The lawsuits stem from two loans, one for $4 million made in November 2002 and a second for $2 million made in January 2004 - both of which the Eisners personally guaranteed, according to the court filings.

Both loans went into default in November 2006, the complaints said.

"Under the guaranties, the liability of the Eisners, as guarantors, is unlimited and the obligations of the Eisners, as guarantors, are continuing," according to the legal papers.

Steve Eisner became president of the agency in 1983 and later bought it from his father. Sara Eisner was named a company vice president in 1992.

The company expanded from 12 employees to 120 at its peak. New divisions included a public relations arm and a subsidiary specializing in Internet advertising. Another affiliated operation called Beverly & Eisner targeted African-Americans, Hispanics and other groups.

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