In the past several days, we were visited by two clients, Joe and Sam, both victims of the incredible arrogant audacity of Chase Bank. First, let’s talk about Joe’s story. His mortgage battle with Chase has been going on for three years. His problems began when he suffered an injury which required hospitalization, resulting in the loss of income. After reaching out to Chase for a mortgage modification, his interest rate and monthly payment were reduced somewhat, allowing him to stay above water on his mortgage until the next disaster struck a little over a year later. At that point, Joe suffered another injury which caused him to lose an even more income than his first injury did.
After discussing his situation with him, we determined that Joe most likely qualified for HAMP mortgage relief, but was denied it. This phenomenon, which we refer to as a “False HAMP Denial” (FHD), is very common in our experience. Even more compelling in Joe’s case, however, is the fact that his victimization actually went back to the beginning when his income first took a hit three years ago. Joe actually qualified for HAMP relief at that time, but was fraudulently denied it. Thus, Chase’s fraudulent conduct actually cost Joe tens of thousands of dollars in interest overcharges over that three year period.
Sam came in to the talk with us about his mortgage problem with Chase the day after Joe. Sam took out his mortgage in 1999, with an interest rate of almost 12%. After paying on his mortgage for almost ten years, Sam ran into financial difficulty, requiring him to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Through that proceeding, Sam continued to pay his Chase mortgage. After coming out of bankruptcy, Chase gave him a loan modification which added another $5,000 onto Sam’s loan balance, so that he actually owed considerably more than the amount he borrowed a decade earlier. Under his modification, Sam’s interest rate remained at 12% as well as his fifteen year loan maturity date. In other words, like Joe, Sam was a FHD victim of Chase.
Both Joe and Sam’s cases exemplify the bald-faced arrogance of Chase, the Country’s largest bank. But no more! Chase has been the subject of numerous lawsuits by the government, investors and borrowers over the past several years, based on its abusive and illegal practices. In fact, just a week ago Chase entered into a $13 billion for settlement with the federal government as recompense for its illegal activities. All these large lawsuits have taken a tremendous toll on this financial behemoth.
Which takes us back to Joe and Sam. Both of their situations scream out for mortgage relief from Chase. Just a year ago, Chase most likely would have beaten its chest and dragged Joe’s and Sam’s cases out for years. How times have changed! Now, like a wounded animal Chase is on the run, not only from the federal government, but even from individual homeowners who are willing to stand and fight for their rights. The hunter has now become the hunted. However, that is only true when the victimized homeowner, like Joe and Sam, stands on his or her ground and calls Chase out on its fraud.
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Kate Eyster and Lauren McGookey contributed to this article.
Copyright 2013 Daniel L. McGookey