Doucet & Associates secured a free house for a client today as a result of a bank’s massive blunder. The bank apparently did not have their paperwork in order and failed to file a foreclosure against our client within the statute of limitations...
First-Knox National Bank applied our clients mortgage payments wrong after they were granted a loan modification with deferred interests and other charges. In this case, we learned that an employee must manually remove deferred interests from a loan when applying a mortgage payment...
Foreclosure is the legal process of a lender enforcing the mortgage against the property of a homeowner or landlord. If you are a tenant, you probably make routine payments to the landlord for the property you are renting.
A Mortgage Servicer Must Show Compliance with Housing and Urban Development Regulations Prior to Initiating Foreclosure Action
In Wells Fargo, N.A., vs. Awadallah, 41 N.E.3d 481 (2015), the Ninth District held that where a note and mortgage requires compliance with HUD regulations, such compliance is a condition precedent to bringing a foreclosure action. A condition precedent is something that must occur before something else will or can occur. Ms. Awadallah’s promissory note and mortgage were prepared on Federal Housing Administration forms and required that the bank, as a condition of receiving federal money, meet all HUD requirements prior to filing a foreclosure action. Under HUD, Wells Fargo was required to have a face-to-face interview with Ms. Awadallah, or make a reasonable effort to arrange such. At minimum, Wells Fargo was required to send a certified letter to Ms. Awadallah and make at least one trip to see her at the mortgaged property. It failed to do so.
Wells Fargo failed to present evidence to the Ninth District regarding their reasonable effort to make a visit to Ms. Awadallah’s home, which is expressly required under her note and mortgage and federal regulation. Wells Fargo argued that they didn’t need to meet that requirement because after the foreclosure action was filed, the parties attempted to settle the case in mediation. Wells Fargo argued that the purpose of the in-person meeting, as required under HUD, is to consider loss mitigation and that court-sponsored mediation serves the same purpose. The Ninth District disagreed, stating that mediation after the foreclosure action has been initiated does not show compliance with the federal regulation. Wells Fargo failed to strictly comply with standard regulations set forth to protect consumers. Thus, Wells Fargo did not satisfy the conditions precedent to filing a foreclosure action against Ms. Awadallah. Therefore, Wells Fargo was not entitled to succeed on its motion for summary judgment. The Ninth District reversed the judgment and sent the case back for further proceedings.
Robo-signing: A still present problem for homeowners
“Robo-signing”. Most homeowners are aware of the term as a type of fraud that involved banks and mortgage servicers colluding to fabricate false documentation. The servicer would fashion legal documents of property ownership they did not have in order to initiate foreclosures on properties. Countless homeowners lost their homes when these documents were filed with the foreclosure action as “true and accurate” documents before the courts.
There was an attempt at culpability for this debacle that ultimately resulted in a $25 billion National Mortgage Settlement among the five leading mortgage servicers. Robo-signing never should have happened in the first place, but most of America was given the impression that the settlement was the end of it.
However, writer David Dayden of the financial news and analysis blog Naked Capitalism asserts that robo-signing has continued to this day. Dayden presents as proof an email sent to a former mortgage industry loan officer-turned-licensed private investigator specializing in securitization and chain of title analysis. This former mortgage industry insider is often called upon as an expert witness in foreclosure defense lawsuits. The email came from a document services provider working for large mortgage firms. The sender promises clients “peace of mind” that if documents are missing in a mortgage recording, their highly-trained researchers will locate and record these documents. In doing so, they create plausible deniability for fabrication of mortgage records.
The email to the former loan officer turned investigator requests a signature for an assignment of mortgage from the investigator. The investigator informed Dayden this isn’t the first time he’s been solicited for such a request. He theorizes that these companies are attempting a form of mutually assured destruction. If they can get him to sign on a forged record, it would indicate he is complicit in foreclosure fraud and tarnish his reputation and credibility as an expert defense witness. Alternatively, he posits that maybe they really did just need someone to help produce this mortgage assignment, and his name came up because he’d previously worked for the bank that needed it.
However, it’s likely worth noting that this same company was just fined $1.6 million in restitution and civil penalties by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for not honoring modifications for loans transferred to them by other servicers.
The investigator initially feigns ignorance. He asks for more information from the firm. The company responds by again indicating that an assignment is needed to show the bank assigned the loan over to the services firm. The “team lead” who had been communicating with the investigator attached a copy of the mortgage – which included confidential information that likely violated privacy laws.
The investigator then asks for a “prepared assignment,” which is a template from the company to fill out. Company responds with an attachment with blanks for investigator to fill in. It’s pre-signed and pre-notarized, with amounts that differ from the actual note (indicating the company wanted the document to appear as if it was first created in 2002).
Dayden characterizes this as “solicitation to commit a felony,” specifically, to fabricate a mortgage document. The investigator says that by “recreating chains of title,” they are dumping “garbage” into the courts daily.
Catching this kind of flaw in the chain of documentation requires the help of an attorney who is familiar with the intricacies of the foreclosure process and can spot irregularities. The firm of Doucet & Associates specializes in foreclosure defense. If you are facing foreclosure, call Doucet & Associates to schedule a consultation and let us help you save your home.
Watch Out for the Dotted Line!
This week, the Ohio Sixth District Appellate Court in Toledo dismissed a consumer’s appeal after he claimed he was convinced to sign a consent agreement with the property owner through fraud because he had entered into a contract that barred his case. The lesson to learn from the Sixth District is to be aware of what you sign and how it can affect you into the future.
Charles Hanson was living in a house when Flex Property Management purchased it at a sheriff’s sale. Flex Property gave notice to Mr. Hanson to leave the property, and was directed to vacate by the end of February 2015. Mr. Hanson, representing himself pro se, entered into settlement agreement with Flex Property outside the courtroom. In exchange for $1000 cash, receiving a pre-approval letter from the bank, and an appraisal on the home, Mr. Hanson was permitted to stay in the house and make an offer to purchase. Mr. Hanson signed a consent judgment in April 2015 that was sent along with a drafted purchase agreement for the property.
However, when the two sides returned to the court, Flex Property filed the consent judgment and, according to Mr. Hanson, this showed that Flex Property had no intention of allowing him to purchase the property. With the consent judgment duly filed, the court informed Mr. Hanson that he would be removed from the house on May 30, 2015. Mr. Hanson appealed the court’s order.
The Sixth District court dismissed Mr. Hanson’s appeal.
The key issue identified by the Appellate Court is that a consented judgment entry or settlement agreement is a binding contract between the parties. Generally, one cannot appeal a contract. Since Mr. Hanson did not expressly reserve the right to appeal in the terms of the consent agreement, he was barred from contesting the judgment in that fashion.
Since the fraud that Mr. Hanson alleged to Flex Property occurred outside the courts, there is no evidence of it on the record. As such, Mr. Hanson could not argue the fraudulent inducement claim in a direct appeal either. Instead, the Sixth District instructed that Mr. Hanson would have to petition the court to set aside the judgment under Ohio Rule of Civil Procedure 60(B) and make that case to the trial court. This is a more difficult process than a direct appeal.
Realize that when you sign something, you are likely forming a contract with the other party. Mr. Hanson represented himself and entered into two contracts with Flex Property: the settlement agreement & the consent judgment. Without realizing it, he had given up some of his rights and limited his options for the future.
A contract does not need to be a formal document that reads “Contract” at the top, or have “Wherefores” and “Therefores” sprinkled throughout. If the essential legal elements of a contract (offer, acceptance, and consideration) are met, the court will likely deem an agreement a legally binding contract.
Before you sign anything, ensure that you understand the consequences of each term and element. If you are across from a bank or property management company, you know they have had their attorneys make sure their rights and options are well protected. The best option is to get an attorney on your side to review everything and protect your interests. Contact Doucet & Associates to help ensure that your rights are protected.
Read the decision [Capital Income & Growth Fund, L.L.C. v. Hanson, 2016-Ohio-2973]
Doucet Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Chase Mortgage for Alleged Violations After Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Doucet & Associates filed a class action lawsuit against Chase Home Finance, LLC and JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. (Chase Mortgage) alleging a systematic practice of violating borrower court ordered and approved Chapter 13 Bankruptcy plans. Our after-bankruptcy lawyers allege that the practice does not allow mortgage debtors to have the fresh start they deserve following the successful completion of the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy process. The option remaining for our after-bankruptcy lawyers is to sue, and our bankruptcy lawyers have filed this lawsuit specifically alleging that Chase Mortgage:
- Improperly applies and accounts for after-bankruptcy mortgage payments made as part of confirmed Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plans.
- Continues attempting to collect (and collecting) additional fees following successful completion of their Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Plans.
- Blatantly ignoring court orders discharging our client under Section 1328(a) of the United States Bankruptcy Code.
- Ignoring our clients multiple requests to update their account.
- Disregarding notices from our client’s previous bankruptcy lawyer explaining that Plaintiff’s Chapter 13 Bankruptcy had been completed and discharged.
The suit alleges that after bankruptcy Chase Mortgage continued to treat our client as if the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy had never been completed. The recourse here is for the lawyers with Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. to file a class action lawsuit and sue Chase Mortgage after its bankruptcy errors.
The complaint alleges that our client and those similarly situated, having followed the proper rules and made payments under their court approved Chapter 13 Bankruptcy plan, are now left to pay hundreds to thousands of extra dollars in unknown and un-accounted fees after bankruptcy. Chase Mortgage is also alleged to have mishandled the bankruptcy credit reporting process leaving our client’s account as “in bankruptcy” and not properly accounting for the current status of the loan.
Our client followed the proper Chapter 13 Bankruptcy procedures, including making regular monthly payments to Chase Mortgage, until the plan was approved. She also submitted the proper monthly payments to the Trustee for submission to various creditors including Chase Mortgage during bankruptcy, and after bankruptcy, she made proper monthly payments again to Chase Mortgage.
Doucet & Associates believes that this is indicative of a broad pattern of incorrectly handling debtors’ mortgage loans for previously discharged debts, and has filed this class action lawsuit against Chase Home Finance, LLC and JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. on behalf of our client and those similarly situated. We estimate this case could be representative of at least thousands of individuals and encourage anyone who has gone through a similar experience with Chase Home Finance, LLC and JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. or any other mortgage loan servicer to call us immediately at (614) 944-5219 if they have been discharged from Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Doucet Prevents Default Judgment in Reverse Mortgage Case
Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. focuses on foreclosure defense because we firmly believe that the needs of innocent consumers can be eclipsed in court by massive banks. Because of the size of today’s banks, it is easy for banks to cut corners and neglect their duties to their customers under the guise of efficiency, which often contributes to foreclosure. However, this activity can result in illegal behavior, especially when short-term profits outweigh basic human decency. In the case of our client, it likely jeopardized her mother’s estate.
Our client is the executor of her late mother’s estate. The estate included a home subject to a reverse mortgage that came due upon the mother’s passing. Unlike conventional mortgages, a reverse mortgage requires no monthly payments and accrues interest until it comes due after the borrower dies, moves out of the property, or sells the house. Because interest is not paid during the life of the loan, a reverse mortgage can result in a substantial debt when it finally comes due. If the borrower dies, it usually means that the lender has to go through the borrower’s estate to collect the outstanding debt, which can be troublesome for whoever is tasked with the estate’s management.
OneWest, the bank holding our client’s note, filed a foreclosure lawsuit in an attempt to collect the outstanding reverse mortgage debt. If a foreclosure lawsuit is filed in Ohio, the defendant has twenty-eight days to file an answer. If no answer is filed, the defendant may face a default judgment. As the executor of her mother’s estate, our client was the one tasked with the responsibility of answering the lawsuit. However, our client asserts that OneWest attempted to circumvent the law by foreclosing on her mother’s home without first providing notice to the family. Had the foreclosure lawsuit gone unnoticed, a default judgment would have likely been entered against our client.
OneWest alleged it was unable to find the addresses of the family members to notify them of the outstanding debt and foreclosure, yet our client’s brother lived next door to the mother’s home. Our client was not even made aware of OneWest’s foreclosure lawsuit until the bank servicing on her brother’s home notified her. She hired Doucet & Associates to file a motion for additional time to properly respond to the foreclosure lawsuit, and hopefully save the family’s estate. The court granted the motion and Doucet & Associates is now working to protect the mother’s estate and ensure all debts are properly paid.
Time is always an important factor in a foreclosure lawsuit, and this added time will allow for our law firm to properly analyze the case and create a solution that best suits our client. As a law firm focused on consumer law and foreclosure defense, it is unfortunate to say that we experience this sort of behavior from banks quite often. We have seen, time and again, that banks would much rather file for foreclosure and attempt to keep other parties in the dark than settle the debt on terms that all parties involved can agree on. If you are currently dealing with a foreclosure lawsuit, or need advice managing an estate, call Doucet & Associates at (614) 944-5219.
Doucet Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Nationstar Mortgage
Doucet & Associates filed a class action lawsuit against Nationstar Mortgage alleging a systematic practice of collecting and attempting to collect fees that were discharged following bankruptcy. Our client was forced to take money out of his wife’s 401k to prevent Nationstar from inexplicably foreclosing on his home. He alleges Nationstar made no effort to adequately explain or rectify the charges on his account, and damaged his credit by considering his account delinquent even after receiving a court discharge.
Terry Forson filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 2008 and spent the next five years adhering to the repayment plan approved by the court. At the end of this period, the court issued an order deeming his mortgage current and requiring Nationstar to adjust his loan balances to reflect the amounts paid and discharged. In preparation for resuming responsibility for his mortgage, Mr. Forson sent a letter to Nationstar requesting information regarding his post-bankruptcy loan.
Forson claims Nationstar ignored his request for several months and never told him what his monthly payments would be. He contacted the trustee who managed his finances during bankruptcy and made several monthly payments for the amount he advised. According to the lawsuit, Nationstar accepted all of these payments.
After three months and two more written requests, Forson finally received some of the information he requested. However, the information he received made no mention of his total loan balance or any recent account activity. When Forson called to inquire about this, Nationstar responded by telling him to fax written his request. He obliged, but claims Nationstar never responded.
Forson eventually found a way to access his mortgage through Nationstar’s website. He was shocked to find the site allegedly stated he owed roughly $7,000 in delinquent payments and “Lender Paid Expenses.” Forson maintains Nationstar never adequately explained these charges to him, but spent the next eight months insisting his account was delinquent. Nationstar also allegedly refused to deem his mortgage current because it claimed he was delinquent on two payments. However, he made regular monthly payments every month both during and after bankruptcy, all of which were accepted.
Forson continued to make regular monthly payments until August 2014, when Nationstar rejected Forson’s payment. Forson called Nationstar about this, and it stated the amount was insufficient to cover the $8,100 he owed. Forson removed that money from his wife’s 401k in order to prevent what he felt was an imminent foreclosure. Despite their alleged claims that the $8,100 was required to bring his account current, Forson claims that Nationstar never updated his mortgage status. Forson made regular payments to Nationstar until the following March, when the company barred him access to the website.
Doucet & Associates believes that this is indicative of a broad pattern of incorrectly charging debtors for previously discharged debts, and has filed this class action lawsuit against Nationstar on behalf of Mr. Forson and those similarly situated. We estimate this case could be representative of at least thousands of individuals and encourage anyone who has gone through a similar experience with Nationstar or any other mortgage loan servicer to call us immediately at (614) 944-5219 if they live in Ohio or have been discharged from Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Social Security Administration Mislabeling People as Dead
60 Minutes released a report a few months ago concerning individuals who were incorrectly reported as dead to the Social Security Administration. The government agency keeps a Death Master File compiled from information submitted by funeral homes, doctors and hospitals, but this information is not always accurate and certainly subject to human error. The social security administration estimates that roughly 9,000 individuals are incorrectly labeled as deceased every year, which can cause serious problems to the people unfortunate enough to be on that list, but not actually deceased.
If you find yourself on the Death Master File, it effectively means that as far as the government is concerned you no longer exist. Your social security number is rendered invalid, and you no longer qualify for Medicare or social security. Government agencies such as the IRS and law enforcement are also affected, meaning that you can be labeled as an identity thief simply for trying to use your own credit cards. In addition to all of this, the Death Master File is used by banks and credit reporting agencies, which means that you may never be able to get another bank account or loan in your life.
According to the 60 Minutes report, one woman was locked out of her bank accounts, which essentially threw her $80,000 balance into limbo and forced her to live in her car for six months, as she was unable to rent an apartment. Attempts to correct this issue are often numerous and fruitless. The same woman attempted to correct an error with just one credit agency, and had to report the same information over twenty times simply to get them to consider correcting the error.
Doucet & Associates regularly works with our clients to correct errors on mortgages and credit reports, and is willing to evaluate your options if you have fallen victim to this bureaucratic error. If you have been incorrectly labeled as deceased by a credit reporting agency, or would like any other credit reporting error rectified, call us at (614) 944-5219. We may be able to help, and may be able to secure compensation or damages if this has happened to you.
If you would like to read the 60 Minutes report referenced, please click the following link:
Doucet & Associates Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Nationstar Mortgage
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 13, 2015
Contact: Troy Doucet, (614) 944-5219
(Columbus) – The law firm Doucet & Associates recently filed a class action lawsuit against Nationstar Mortgage, LLC. Their client, Terry Forson alleges that the mortgage company has been engaging in a deliberate and systematic practice of coercing debtors into paying additional fees on their mortgages after bankruptcy. The lawsuit also claims that Nationstar has unfairly damaged the consumer’s credit score by failing to comply with court orders that deem the mortgages “current.”
Mr. Forson filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy in 2008 and repaid his debts over a five year period. After completing the payment plan, the court ordered that his mortgage be updated to “current,” and all arrearages that existed prior to the filing be discharged. Mr. Forson also alleges that he made repeated requests to Nationstar to provide update statements, but that the company failed to do so for months after his bankruptcy ended.
He also maintains that despite a consistent pattern of timely payments that were accepted by Nationstar, he was still being charged for unauthorized fees. Additionally, Nationstar refused to update his mortgage status, which could be a clear violation of the court order. Ultimately, despite timely payments, Nationstar threatened Mr. Forson with foreclosure and required him to pay $8,109.41 in order to prevent his house from being foreclosed on.
Mr. Forson took money out of his wife’s 401k to pay the demand. This was in spite of the fact that he had made regular monthly payments that he alleges were both satisfactory to the terms of the mortgage and accepted by Nationstar. At this point, over a year after exiting bankruptcy, Nationstar still had made no meaningful attempt to clarify the nature of the charges.
Doucet & Associates believes that Nationstar’s practices affects thousands of individuals similarly situated. They have filed a class action lawsuit to recover the erroneously charged fees to Mr. Forson and others. If you would like to join the lawsuit, and you live in Ohio or have been discharged from Chapter 13 bankruptcy, please contact Doucet & Associates today at (614) 944-5219.
How to Correct Mortgage Errors
For years, homeowners have complained that mortgage companies do not adequately address concerns about their loans, do not respond to requests for information, or fail to correct errors. This has become such a problem that federal law now requires mortgage companies to formally respond to any homeowner’s written request when the request alleges the mortgage company:
Failed to accept payments or apply payments correctly;
Failed to credit payments on the receipt date;
Failed to pay escrows as agreed;
Charged unreasonable fees, or without a basis;
Failed to provide an accurate payoff quote;
Failed to timely provide transferring notices; or
Failed to provide assistance to avoid foreclosure.
Homeowners facing problems with their mortgage company have a right to demand the company research their complaint and provide a written answer within 30 days. The company must correct any mortgage error immediately, or it must provide an explanation why it believes the account is correct. It cannot simply mail the homeowner an accounting of the loan, and it cannot charge the homeowner to research the complaint.
Attorney Troy Doucet of the Dublin, Ohio law firm Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. regularly litigates mortgage cases on behalf of homeowners. He recommends that homeowners with concerns about their mortgage send a written letter to their mortgage company that clearly identifies the concern, includes supporting documentation, and asks for a formal correction. He cautions that the letter must be sent to the address designated to receive correspondence (not the payment address), and he recommends keeping a copy of the letter sent via certified mail.
The mortgage company must acknowledge receipt of the letter within five days, and respond to concerns within 30 days. Failing to adequately respond to the letter can trigger damages under federal law, including attorneys’ fees. If the letter does not produce the expected results, a knowledgeable foreclosure and consumer attorney should be able to help with the next step. Call (614) 944-5219 to speak with one now.
Doucet Sues Caliber for Harassing Homeowners for Amounts Not Due
Doucet & Associate has filed a lawsuit against Caliber Home Loans, Inc. and the Bank of New York Mellon Trust on counts for RESPA, breach of contract, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation and invasion of privacy.
The homeowners that Doucet represents took out a mortgage with Caliber Home Loans in 2005. In 2009, they were forced to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy and entered into a payment plan to repay Caliber and the Bank every penny owed.
The homeowners paid back what they owed and the bankruptcy Trustee filed a motion with Caliber Home Loans that the homeowner’s loan be deemed current. Caliber Home Loans did not object. During this time, Doucet’s client alleges that a bank representative assured the homeowners the loan would be made current once the bankruptcy was discharged a month later. The bank issued a statement in bankruptcy court claiming the homeowners were not behind on their loan.
The Bankruptcy Court deemed the homeowners’ mortgage current. Yet, the lawsuit alleges Caliber Home Loans refused to acknowledge the court’s decision. Instead, the lawsuit alleges that the bank continually refused to update its records and harassed the homeowners with letters and phone calls multiple times a day.
The lawsuit alleges that the inaccurate reporting to the credit agencies have made it impossible for the homeowners to refinance their home or seek new employment. Most upsetting, however, is the severe emotional damage the bank’s harassments have caused the homeowners, which resulted in a tragic miscarriage of the homeowner’s baby.
The homeowners are seeking actual, punitive, and statutory damages, declaratory and/or injunctive relief, attorney fees and costs and any other relief the court deems appropriate.
Doucet & Associates is dedicated to fighting for the rights of consumers, protecting their interests and offering legal assistance to those who would otherwise be unable to afford it. If you need help with a company that is trying to take advantage of you or a loved one, call the firm today at (614) 944-5219.
Wells Fargo Admits to Wrongful Conduct in Mortgage
Wells Fargo, a multinational banking and financial services holding company, admitted wrongdoing by proffering judgment in a federal lawsuit filed by Doucet & Associates on behalf of its client, a Westerville homeowner. Wells Fargo confessed to the lawsuit’s allegations and paid the homeowner money for the wrongful conduct.
In 2009, the homeowner accepted a promissory note and a mortgage in order to create a security interest in his home. During this time Landstar Title, LLC, APR Mortgage Corporation, Century Mortgage Company of Kentucky, and Prominent Title Agency, LLC, allegedly improperly set up an affiliate relationship (sharing profits from the real estate settlement). The homeowner alleged they did not properly inform the homeowner of this profit sharing, meaning he alleged all monies that changed hands were illegal kickbacks.
Later in 2012, the homeowner informed Wells Fargo that he wished to cancel his mortgage loan transaction under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) on the basis of the non-disclosure of payments between the title company and mortgage company. Wells Fargo failed to honor this request, and in doing so violated the Truth in Lending Act.
The homeowner sought the cancellation of his mortgage loan be honored and that the security interest on his property be terminated. He also sought actual, statutory, and punitive damages in addition to injunctive relief to ensure these actions would not happen again, and wished to ensure these dealings did not affect his credit score.
Wells Fargo, in response, admitted wrongdoing and offered the homeowner cash in damages, which he accepted.
Doucet & Associates is dedicated to fighting for the rights of consumers, protecting their interests and offering legal assistance to those who would otherwise be unable to afford it. If you feel that a company is taking advantage of you, the law firm welcomes your call at (614) 944-5219.
Firm Wins Major Appellate Decision
Doucet & Associates is happy to announce it won a major case in the federal court of appeals yesterday, paving the way for consumers to be able to hold their mortgage companies accountable for failing to adequately respond to mortgage inquiries.
The firm’s client, Christine Marais, faced years of trouble trying to get her mortgage company to correctly apply her mortgage payments when she sent in more than the amount due.After trying repeatedly to get Chase Home Finance to correctly apply her overpayments, she retained Doucet & Associates in an attempt to hold it accountable.The law firm sent a formal written request to Chase pursuant to the federal law, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), demanding that Chase provide certain account information and that it correct her mortgage account.
Rather than making any corrections to Ms. Marais’ account in response to the firm’s formal demand, Chase’s representative testified in a deposition that it used a form letter to respond to the inquiry, and that letter contained no indication that any substantive review was undertaken of her account.
Chase Home Finance filed a motion with the trial court to win the case based on its outrageous claim that Ms. Marais could not show she suffered damages.The federal appeals court disagreed with Chase, and found Ms. Marais had properly alleged damages, and that she stated a claim to recover for Chase’s failures.The case now goes back to the trial court for further litigation.
The decision, Marais v. Chase Home Finance, LLC was decided by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and was recommended for publication as binding law throughout the federal court system encompassing Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee.To the firm’s knowledge, this would be the first appellate level published case on this particular RESPA issue, meaning it will be persuasive authority throughout the United States.
Spouse on Deed But Not Mortgage?
If a spouse is on the deed but not on the mortgage, your lender has serious problems! Seek a real estate lawyer immediately!!
The deed is the document that transfers interest in a property from one party to another (different from a deed of trust). A deed usually provides that each person who owns the property has an undivided interest in it (two people each own half the property, but a line isn’t cut down the center of it). Thus, if one spouse is on the deed but the spouse’s interest isn’t encumbered by the mortgage, then they likely own their half free and clear of the mortgage. Assuming they are not on the loan, the lender will probably half to fork over half the proceeds to the spouse who didn’t sign the mortgage but is on the deed.