Congratulations Chase, Florida hates you!

This is great.  Chase is not very popular in Florida to begin with, as it has only 3% of that states deposits, and yet it accounts for 9% of complaints filed against banks in Florida.  The study’s author concludes the results like this:

Even the strongest banks, however, can have many complaints if they are not serving their customers well.

To compare Chase’s ranking in the study to that of other top ranking financial institutions:

Among other findings, a credit union cracked the Top 5 complaint list: Space Coast Credit Union, which assumed assets of the failed Eastern Financial Florida FCU. Saxon Mortgage Services, which assumed part of the mortgage portfolio of the failed Taylor, Bean & Whitaker operation, also ranked high for its size.

Yes, Chase is in the same class as banks that FAILED!

Chase looses yet another foreclosure case in court

Chase has lost another foreclosure case in court because it was unable to produce the original promissory note.

A Florida couple is staying in their home because the bank holding their mortgage could not prove they owed them any money.

According to a report at, the Reddick, Fla., couple admitted in court that it owed its bank money on their home mortgage. The bank in the case pursued foreclosure proceedings against them in an attempt to reclaim the home.

However, this Florida couple, like thousands of other homeowners across the country, had their foreclosure documents filed in court through the robo-filing process. Robo-filers were employed by the nation’s biggest banks and largest home-loan lenders to quickly file foreclosure proceedings against tens of thousands of homeowners who’d fallen behind on payments.

For Phillip and Viva Evans, they had fallen nearly a half-million dollars behind on their home payments and Chase Finance filed foreclosure documents. The Evans’ challenged the foreclosure process in court and when it came time for Chase to provide proof of the loan, it was learned they had lost the original promissory note.

Chase overcharges troops on mortgages

This story makes me wonder if this practice was deliberate because they felt as if they would never be caught?  And here is even more evidence that Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s statement that no-one is getting foreclosed upon that shouldn’t be is complete crap.  Here are more than a dozen families that WERE incorrectly foreclosed upon.

NBC News

updated 1/17/2011 5:22:50 PM ET 2011-01-17T22:22:50

One of the nation’s biggest banks — JP Morgan Chase — admits it has overcharged several thousand military families for their mortgages, including families of troops fighting in Afghanistan. The bank also tells NBC News that it improperly foreclosed on more than a dozen military families.

The admissions are an outgrowth of a lawsuit filed by Marine Capt. Jonathan Rowles. Rowles is the backseat pilot of an F/A 18 Delta fighter jet and has served the nation as a Marine for five years. He and his wife, Julia, say they’ve been battling Chase almost that long.

The dispute apparently caused the bank to review its handling of all mortgages involving active-duty military personnel. Under a law known as the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), active-duty troops generally get their mortgage interest rates lowered to 6 percent and are protected from foreclosure. Chase now appears to have repeatedly violated that law, which is designed to protect troops and their families from financial stress while they’re in harm’s way.

A Chase official told NBC News that some 4,000 troops may have been overcharged. What’s more, the bank discovered it improperly foreclosed on the homes of 14 military families.

“We are deeply appreciative of those who fight to protect our country and Chase funds a number of programs that provide benefits to military personnel and veterans, and while any customer mistake is regrettable, we feel particularly badly about the mistakes we made here,” Chase chief communications officer Kristin Lemkau said in a statement to NBC News.

She said that beginning this week Chase will be mailing a total of about $2 million in refunds to families that may have been overcharged. She says most of the families improperly foreclosed on have gotten or will get their homes back. A bank official described what happened here as “grim,” but emphasized the mistakes were inadvertent, not malicious.

The news comes as millions of Americans are struggling to keep their homes. Banks have come under fire for allegedly improperly foreclosing on homes across the country.

This wasn’t brought to light by Chase’s own internal investigation UNTIL they were sued by one of the wrongly charged customers.

Update:  Chase has agreed to refund $2,000,000 to the customers involved, which pegs the amount of overcharge at $500 per customer.

Chase looking to trick customers into correcting paperwork

Here is an interesting development sent to us by a reader:

I had a mortgage with WaMu and then Chase took over and THEY SUCK!  They harass me about modification even though I’m current.  Recently they sent a letter requesting I work with some lawyer to “re-sign” missing docs from my loan.  LOL. What scam is this now?

First, why does Chase continue to offer loan modifications to people that aren’t asking for them and aren’t behind on their loans?  Are they trying to force people into getting behind, which is what a trial modification will do?  Are they trying to increase their loan modification numbers by stuffing the ranks with people they are sure won’t fail, i.e. customers that weren’t behind in the first place?  I could certainly see them offering a very slight discount on customers not likely to default just to make their permanent loan modification numbers go up.

But perhaps most interesting is their attempt to get a customer to admit that they own his loan.  I highly recommend anyone against doing this, or if you intend to, consult an attorney first.

This just adds fuel to the speculation that Chase has gotten itself into a real paperwork mess where they can’t prove they own quite a few loans and won’t be able proceed with foreclosures in states that require proof of authority.

Reminder: not all debit transactions are subject to opt-in

Reader Melissa writes:

Hello, I noticed today that I had two overdraft fees on my account. I DID NOT opt in for the protection. My account has gone negative once or twice since the new policy, and not one overdraft fee. That changed today, One was for a .99 itunes transaction which they turned around and charged me $34 for, and the other was for my cable bill which I was short $20 on  my account. So since I did not opt in, they are supposed to decline right? How do I get my money back. Thank you, Melissa

What she’s found is one of the loop holes that banks have with automatic overdraft protection.

Electronic transactions like bills and online purchases where you’ve given a company like Apple your debit card number are not required to adhere to the automatic overdraft protection opt-in rules, so Chase can legally bilk you as before, and they do.

Just the facts mam

This story sound familiar to anyone?  Seems hard to just get the proper info from Chase customer service.

I had a very frustrating experience with Chase bank yesterday.

I wanted to pay down the balance of our home equity line of credit to zero. I did not want to close the account.

The pay down amount isn’t obvious on their web site, so I called their customer service.

The woman I talked to was clearly a script reading drone, as she could not give me JUST the information I wanted. She had to give me ALL the information that showed up on her screen.

The balance on the account was about $60 plus some variable interest.

The first amount she told me was to close the account entirely (which I explicitly told her I did not need) was around $500. This included the early termination fee.

The next amount she gave me was (supposed to be) the amount to bring the balance to zero. She quoted me $400!

I explained that the amount she gave me could not be right because my current balance was only $60.

So she had to log back into the account to get the breakdown. Since the call had already gone on for 25 minutes, I just told her to forget it and I would calculate the amount myself.

Back on their website I finally found the variable interest that was due: $0.46.

Unfortunately the website would not let me pay the full amount … I had to pay the current balance first, then pay the variable interest.

The last time I wanted to do this I was unable to make a payment less than $1 … So I had to make a $1 withdrawal so I could pay a little more than $1.

This time it let me pay the .46 without jumping through hoops.

I like many of the services Chase offers, but their phone customer service leaves a lot to be desired.

MA Supremes rule against banks in foreclosure cases

Things just got a little easier for homeowners challenging their foreclosures.

The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled in two foreclosure cases (WSJ Two Banks Lose in Foreclosure Cases,1/8/11) to void the foreclosures because the owners of the mortgages could not sufficiently prove that they owned the loans.

The Massachusetts case is a closely watched example of what some mortgage experts describe as “show-me-the-paper” cases over widely used procedures for transferring loans after they are made. Individual loans often are sold to an investor, with the new owner’s name left blank in loan documents to minimize paperwork hassles as the loan subsequently changes hands before being combined with other loans into mortgage-backed securities.

The real significance of this ruling however is the fact that the banks could not get the proper paperwork together even after months and for the Supreme Court of Massachusetts.  It seems likely that the banks have really screwed up the paper trail in the last several years such that there may be a lot more loans they can not prove ownership on.

Even more reason to challenge your Chase foreclosure before it is final; start asking them now to prove they have the authority to foreclose on you.

Chase customer retention strategy: don’t let people close their accounts

From a reader:

Is anybody else encountering the AGGRESSIVE Chase account managers who will not let them close their bank account? Holy crap, today I will be going to a branch for the THIRD time in an attempt to close. I have never bounced a check or managed the account badly. Now I want to close before the fees hit. (I already opened a new FREE biz acct with US Bank)

Chase literally will not let me go. They want to get all personal, asking all kinds of questions which now, I’m just stubborn, I’m not answering. Yesterday I cleaned out all the money. I had to stand in the freaking line forever because you can’t get 116.57 from an ATM. Then I have to see an account manager who puts me through the wringer, “Are you suuurrrre you don’t have anything pending?” and then tells me they have a policy that I can’t close an account on a day when there’s been activity. Because I cleaned my money out, I couldn’t close the freaking thing.

Before, I was fine about Chase. Maybe one day I might’ve come back. But now? I resent them. I’ll never do business there again. Wish me luck today, hopefully three times a charm in offloading Chase.

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