Washington Mutual shareholder class-action lawsuit

If you were a shareholder of Washington Mutual between 2005 and 2008 you might be interested to know that a lawsuit against former WaMu officers, directors, underwriters, and auditors has just been granted class-action status.  You can find more information here.

You must have an account to contact Chase

Is requiring an account number for phone or email communications with Chase an oversight that limits people doing the right thing?

One person with no Chase account started receiving deposit notification emails from Chase.  Probably someone entered the wrong email address, but what is a concerned citizen who wants to to the right thing do when Chase won’t accept communications without an account number.  No way to tell Chase about the problem.  Sigh.

Chase minimum payment class-action lawsuit

I’ve just been informed of a class action lawsuit against Chase related to the raising of minimum payments.

On July 26, 2009, Girard Gibbs LLP and co-counsel filed a consolidated class action lawsuit against Chase on behalf of a national class of consumers in the District Court of Northern California. The complaint alleges that beginning in November 2008, Chase began notifying consumers participating in the low APR, fixed for life offers that their minimum monthly payment would increase from 2% of the loan balance to 5% of the loan balance, and some accounts would also be charged a $10 service fee, which Chase now says it has refunded.

For most customers the increase in the minimum payment meant that they suddenly had to come up with hundreds of extra dollars each month to meet this new payment requirement.

Girard Gibbs attorney, Eric H. Gibbs, states, “Chase’s conduct is having a real impact on our clients, particularly in these tough economic times. Our clients are people who made sound decisions in how to manage their long term debt, only to have Chase change the rules because it is not reaping enough profit from our clients’ accounts. It is an important issue for the courts to address in a meaningful way.”

For more information and to join the lawsuit, please see:  http://www.girardgibbs.com/chase.asp

Understanding the FHA mortgage probe and the foreclosure crisis

Chase CEO Jamie Dimon recently made comments about the banks problems with foreclosure procedure, including the use of robo-signers and improperly reviewed foreclosure files.  In his comments, he stated that no-one is losing their home when they shouldn’t be because of these problems.

His comments are directed at whether people are losing their homes because of mistakes.  But as the Federal Housing Administration’s recent probe into this mess clarifies, that isn’t the thing we should be looking at.  The FHA has plainly stated that five large mortgage servicers (i.e. banks) are not following the proper procedure to work with people to keep them in their homes, especially helping people to qualify for a loan modification that they are entitled to under FHA rules.  In short, the servicers are failing to help people get loan modifications they should be getting.

Does that ring a bell?  We’ve seen a huge number of stories about the endless impediments people experience when trying to get a loan modification with Chase.  In fact, Chase’s own reporting of both the number of temporary modifications and especially permanent modifications granted (it isn’t many compared to the number of loans in trouble) clearly points the finger at either a broken or intentionally difficult process.  Furthermore, Chase’s admission that they practice parallel foreclosure when someone applies for a loan modification clearly shows their interest is not in helping the borrower.

The FHA isn’t specifying who the five servicers they’ve found in violation of the rules, but I suspect that Chase may be one of them.

If posting Chase horror stories to twitter, use #boycottchase

Apparently the recommended hash tag for posting Chase horror stories to Twitter is #boycottchase.

Have you been treated poorly or been a victim of their incompetence at Chase Bank? Here is your platform to make comments. Tell us your horror stories. It will make everyone feel better. Promise! Vent it here.

Chase foreclosures continuing despite self-imposed moratorium?

From the information posted in this article, it appears that at least some Chase foreclosure actions are continuing despite their statement that they have stopped them in all 23 states that require judicial oversight.

JPMorgan Chase & Company and Bank of America Corporation announced that they were holding off on court-based foreclosures until they could sort out issues with them.

But, in Lee County, court records indicate that both of those banks kept on receiving court judgments that allowed the sale of mortgages on foreclosed houses at public auctions.

Three years and still no loan modification

How screwed up is this?

I called Chase and they said they would not talk to me until I was 2-months late on my payment. So I became 2-mos late. So over the last 2.8 years or so, I have done trial payments 3-times. Each time, Chase has reneged and decided to start the entire process over again. I have tried NACA, to no avail. I have written my congress people etc. to no avail. I have dealt with the executive offices several times and they have made permanent modifications (I have letters to the effect) yet the right hand of Chase does not know what the left is doing and even though I have letters and documents saying my loan is complete and final, they refuse to acknowledge that and continue to send threatening letters of foreclosure.

Who really owns your loan?

On Thursday, the stock market reacted negatively to the foreclosure crisis and punished bank stocks.  Why the negative outlook?

According to a story in yesterdays Marketplace program, investors are worried about the validity of documents, but not just the documents between the banks and the homeowner, but the documents between the banks and the scads of people who they sold the loans to, in little bits and pieces.

It may just be that in all the excitement, the banks didn’t do a very good job of tracking all the transactions and the documentation for those transactions, which might make it extremely difficult to actually prove who owns the loan.

So what does this mean?

If it isn’t possible to prove who owns the loan, it would be very difficult to banks or anyone else to prove they have the authority to demand that you pay them your mortgage payments, in a court of law.  This likely means though that, barring some high-level litigation by state’s Attorney’s General or a class-action lawsuit, you would have to challenge the bank in court to prove it has the authority to accept your payments or foreclose on you.  This is not without precedent; people have successfully gotten their loans dismissed because the bank couldn’t prove it owned the loan.

Another scenario is that banks might be forced to take back the loans they can’t properly document, and this is perhaps the main reason the banks stocks got hammered yesterday.  If the securitazation transaction is reversed, the bank would still have to document the original transaction, but I think they are more likely to have this paperwork.

A little bright news for borrowers.

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