Thank you for your question. It is well-put and actually involves quite complicated legal issues.
The clerk's analysis is incorrect. To be able to bring suit against the borrower in Arizona, you would have to be able to establish that the court has personal jurisdiction over him. The lender is the Plaintiff, the borrower is the Defendant. When a Defendant does not reside in Arizona, the only way that the Arizona court can establish jurisdiction over the Defendant without the Defendant's consent is through the Arizona Long-Arm Statute.
Arizona's long-arm statute is very broad and is intended to allow Arizona to exert personal jurisdiction over a non-resident litigant to the maximum extent permitted by the United States Constitution. Houghton v. Piper Aircraft Corp., 112 Ariz. 365, 367, 542 P.2d 24, 26 (1975); see also Ariz. R. Civ. P. 4.2(a). Consequently, we need only consider the constitutional limitations of asserting specific jurisdiction under the Due Process Clause. See Batton v. Tennessee Farmers Mut. Ins. Co., 153 Ariz. 268, 270, 736 P.2d 2, 4 (1987).
Under the federal constitution, two factors govern the scope of personal jurisdiction: the defendant's minimum contacts with the forum state and the reasonableness of exercising personal jurisdiction over the defendant. The requisite contacts for specific jurisdiction exist if Barnard Vogler "purposefully created contacts" with Arizona, id. at 271, 736 P.2d at 5, or "'purposefully directed' [its] activities" at Arizona residents. Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 472, 85 L. Ed. 2d 528,XXXXX 2174 (1985) (quoting Keeton v. Hustler Magazine, Inc., 465 U.S. 770, 774, 79 L. Ed. 2d 790,XXXXX 1473 (1984)).
So, in this case, if the Defendant was residing in Arizona at the time of one of the disbursements, then there could potentially be jurisdiction in Arizona over him. Further, the fact that the Defendant kept an account in Arizona and that one of the disbursements at issue was to that account will likely subject the Defendant to jurisdiction in Arizona, as this would be considered a minimum contact necessary for due process.
The issue in your case will be serving the Defendant with process. You will need to be able to locate him. The court will be hesitant to grant a default judgment against the Defendant if he was not served with process and is being brought into the court's jurisdiction by the long-arm statute.
Please let me know if you need further information.