Tuesday, January 5, 2016


VICTORY OVER CHASE: CHASE FORECLOSES ON VIETNAM WAR HERO'S WIDOW: Since April 2009 for almost seven years time, Vietnam war widow, Brenda Reed , has valiantly fought to save her Oakland, California home of ...

Monday, January 4, 2016


Since April 2009 for almost seven years time, Vietnam war widow, Brenda Reed, has valiantly fought to save her Oakland, California home of forty-two years from foreclosure.  It was where she raised a son and a daughter. Despite years of effort, marching in the streets as a foreclosure warrior and expensive litigation, JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA succeeded in foreclosing on her home on December 10, 2015.  Reed is facing eviction and possibly homelessness.  Not only has she lost her home of 42 years, she has lost a primary source of income from her bed and breakfast business, Acacia House, which she operated out of her home.  Reed is age seventy and works paat time as a contract EEO mediator with the US Postal Service in the SF Bay Area.  She needs assistance with housing and moving.

JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA put hReed's home up for foreclosure auction on December 10, 2015.  No one purchased the house at the auction.  The property reverted to Chase as the alleged beneficiary on Christmas Eve 2015,  A few days later two real estate agents (Mary Lou Costellanos and an unidentied associate) from Sotheby's dressed like undertakers  came to her door to deliver papers and to tell her just how sick they felt but that they were just doing their jobs.

Brenda Reed is the widow of Vietnam war hero US Army Captain James Eddie Reed who was killed in action in Vietnam on February 1, 1968 in a heavy artillery attack while serving as Company Commander of Company A, 3rd/39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. He was awarded two Purple Hearts, the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars with V device, Army Commendation Medal with V device, Combat Infantryman's Badge,and other awards.  Captain Reed was Airborne Ranger.  He grew up in Kingsport, Tennessee where the City of Kingsport honored him in 2014 by naming a bridge in his honor.  His alma mater, East Tennessee State University, honored him by naming the Eddie Reed Ranger Company in the ROTC Department for him.

Brenda Reed moved into her home with her two children in 1973.  After they went off to college (Texas A&M and UC San Diego), she continued to live in her home.  In October 1991 Brenda Reed's home burned to the ground in the Oakland Firestorm, a conflagration that took 3,500 homes in one day/  She successfully rebuilt and moved back in 1994.  She enjoyed her beautiful new home and prosperity for many years until a back injury changed her employment situation as she could not travel to work as an EEO investigator and mediator.

Through a series of predatory lending practices, Washington Mutual Bank FA refinanced her property in October 2007.  She suffered a serious back injury and fell behind in her payments April 2009.  Washington Mutual Bank failed and was acquired from the FDIC as Receiver by JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA,  What is of interest is that WMBFA had ceased to exist in 2005 according to Washington Mutual Bank's 10K filed with the SEC.  The identity of the actual lender is a mystery.

Shortly after the mortgage loan was made in October 2007 by the alleged lender, WMBFA, Reed's Note was endorsed in blank by Cynthia Riley as Vice President of the non-existent WMBFA.  However Ms.. Riley's employment with WMBFA and WMB was terminated in November 2006, one year prior to the date of the Reed mortgage.  Neither was she employed by JPMorgan Chase Bank NA during the period in question. Riley in a sworn deposition in a case in Florida revealed this emplooyment.

JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA never acted in good faith 

 in dealing with Brenda Reed.

In July 2009 Reed applied for a loan modification at the nearest Chase branch in Oakland.  Sandra Edwards was the representative assigned to work with her..  In August 2009 Chase put her in a 3 month trial modification plan with the promise that she would be granted a permanent modification if she was successful.  She successfully made a total of five monthly payments on this three month plan.  Repeatedly the bank lost her documents.  She spend countless days at the local Chase branch repeatedly submitting her documents.  She was kept in a high state of stress.  Edwards repeatedly assured Reed that the paperwork for a  permanent loan modification was coming down, stringing her along to get more money from her.  On February 1, 2010 Sandra Edwards telephoned Reed and acknowledged that it was the anniversary date of Captain Reed's death in Vietnam after which she laughed and informed Reed that she had been turned down for a permanent modification and foreclosure was imminent.  Three days later Reed accompanied by her son met with a Chase official who proceeded to call Reed names and humiliated and abased her in front of her son.  She left his office in tears and felt like a beaten woman. 

What followed were years of harassment and abuse.Repeated submissions of applications for modification.  More broken promises.  More lost documents.  More verbal abuse.  More name calling.  More threats.  Desperate to save her home  Reed enlisted the assistance of NACA but it was more of the same abuse from Chase.  Reed finally filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in May 2010 after which the governor of California declared a foreclosure moratorium for a short time.

During discovery Reed acquired records from Chase Bank that indicated the receipt of several payments totaling about $600,000 on the loan from an unidentified source.  It is possible that these were credit default insurance payments, paid out to an unidentified investor.

Frustrated and angry Reed emerged as a "foreclosure warrior" fighting for herself and other homeowners in distress.  She organized a  protesting the foreclosure auctions of homes on the courthouse steps in Oakland. ACCE and the Home Defender's League supported her.  She was covered by local media.  She then joined ACCE and HDL.  She marched against the banks in the streets of Oakland, Berkeley, Walnut Creek and San Francisco.  She did bank actions and sit-ins throughout the SF Bay Area to help other beleaguered home owners and helped others save their homes. She was arrested inside Chase Bank during an act of civil disobedience during the Make Banks Pay Action.  She worked with others and the California Attorney General's Office on the Mortgage Bank Settlement and the California Homeowners Bill of Rights.  She testified before the joint Senate Assembly hearing about her experience with Chase Bank; that bill was successfully passed.  Homeowners were optimistic. However the courts in California have failed to enforce the new laws.

Reed contacted US Senators Diane Feinstein, and Barbara Boxer, and Congressional Representative Barbara Lee for their assistance.  Nothing came of those repeated requests for assistance.

Reed filed complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau but that too was to no avail.

Frustrated Reed sent a bah humbug email to President Barak Obama in November 2014.  The White House figured out which bank was involved and sent a referral to the CFPB on Reed's behalf with a letter to expedite because of her military status.  The bank refused to speak with her attorney and made little effort to work with Reed at all, leaving garbled inaudible messages for her.

After exhausting every avenue to work with Chase, Reed hired attorney Jason Estavillo of Oakland who filed litigation on her behalf.  Reed  lost her case on a demurrer and Judge Ronni McLauren refused to stay the foreclosure sale even though Reed's case is under appeal.  Judge McLauren was displeased that Reed's case had been going on for years. The judge was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican. She appears to have ignored the Homeowner's Bill of Rights.

Reed's attorney and Chase's attorney (Bryan Cave in San Francisco) were in last minute negotiations to settle the case with an offer pending from Chase's attorney which Reed's attorney and she were evaluating up to the time of the foreclosure auction.  Chase Bank refused to delay the sale by even a few days so that the parties could negotiate in good faith.  Chase was holding the sword of Damocles over Reed's head which is hardly good faith negotiations.  Chase has stripped Reed's equity of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Reed's future doesn't look promising.  She has exhausted her savings. Her home was her primary asset. She is facing eviction and possible homelessness.  She is deeply concerned about her future as a seventy-year-old woman left to live off her Social Security and VA benefits of about $2,600 a month.  Rents in Oakland and the bay area have sky rocketed to upwards of $2,500 a month for a tiny one bedroom apartment with the insurgence of the tech industry. She has lost her income from her B&B.  Her daughter and son-in-law have offered temporary respite in San Diego.  Her options are returning to Kingsport, Tennessee or moving to San Diego or trying to start fresh in Oakland.  Relocating means giving up her mediation practice and further loss of income.

Brenda recently told friends that she felt like "such a failure."  Each one disagreed vehemently and emphatically stated "You fought the banks longer and harder than anyone. You are our hero."

Brenda is battered but not beaten, scared but not paralyzed, overwhelmed at times.

If you have words of wisdom or ideas for making her future brighter, please contact Brenda at brendahreed@gmail.com

Brenda will appreciate your sharing this across the land.

Reed's Home Reconstructed after the Oakland Firestorm

Friday, July 24, 2015

CFPB, 47 States and D.C. Take Action Against JPMorgan Chase for Selling Bad Credit Card Debt and Robo-Signing Court Documents

CFPB, 47 States and D.C. Take Action Against JPMorgan Chase for Selling Bad Credit Card Debt and Robo-Signing Court Documents

Chase Ordered to Overhaul Debt Sales and Halt Collections on 528,000 Consumers’ Accounts

Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Attorneys General in 47 states and the District of Columbia took action against JPMorgan Chase for selling bad credit card debt and illegally robo-signing court documents. The CFPB and states found that Chase sold “zombie debts” to third-party debt buyers, which include accounts that were inaccurate, settled, discharged in bankruptcy, not owed, or otherwise not collectible. The order requires Chase to document and confirm debts before selling them to debt buyers or filing collections lawsuits. Chase must also prohibit debt buyers from reselling debt and is barred from selling certain debts. Chase is ordered to permanently stop all attempts to collect, enforce in court, or sell more than 528,000 consumers’ accounts. Chase will pay at least $50 million in consumer refunds, $136 million in penalties and payments to the CFPB and states, and a $30 million penalty to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in a related action.

“Chase sold bad credit card debt and robo-signed documents in violation of law,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Today we are ordering Chase to permanently halt collections on more than 528,000 accounts and overhaul its debt-sales practices. We will continue to be vigilant in taking action against deceptive debt sales and collections practices that exploit consumers.”
Chase Bank, USA N.A. and its subsidiary Chase BankCard Services, Inc. are based in Newark, Del. and provide consumers with credit card accounts. From 2009 to 2013, when consumers defaulted on debts, Chase attempted to collect by contacting consumers, filing collections lawsuits, and selling accounts to third-party debt buyers. When Chase sold accounts, it provided debt buyers with an electronic sale file containing certain basic information about the debts from Chase’s internal databases, which the debt buyers used to collect on the debts. Chase was also responsible for preparing affidavits to verify debts when it or its debt buyers filed lawsuits to collect on defaulted credit card debts.

The CFPB found that Chase violated the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act’s prohibitions against unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices. Chase sold faulty and false debts to third-party collectors, including accounts with unlawfully obtained judgments, inaccurate balances, and paid-off balances. Chase also sold debts that were owed by deceased borrowers. Chase also filed misleading debt-collections lawsuits against consumers using robo-signed and illegally sworn statements to obtain false or inaccurate judgments for unverified debts. Specifically, the CFPB and states found that Chase:
  • Sold bad debts to third-party debt buyers: Chase sold certain accounts that had already been settled by agreement, paid in full, discharged in bankruptcy, identified as fraudulent and not owed by the debtor, subject to an agreed-upon payment plan, no longer owned by Chase, or that were otherwise no longer enforceable. Chase also sold debts with missing or erroneous information such as whether the debt had been paid and the amount owed.
  • Assisted third-party debt buyers in deceptively collecting debt: By selling inaccurate or uncollectable debts, Chase subjected certain consumers to debt collection by its debt buyers on accounts that were not theirs, in amounts that were incorrect or uncollectable. Chase knew, or should have known, that third-party debt buyers would seek to collect these faulty debts. Therefore, by providing inadequate or incorrect information, Chase assisted debt buyers in deceptive collection activities.
  • Robo-signed affidavits to sue consumers for unverified debt: Chase filed more than 528,000 debt collections lawsuits against consumers and provided more than 150,000 sworn statements to debt buyers for their collections lawsuits against consumers, often using robo-signed documents. In doing so, Chase systematically failed to prepare, review, and execute truthful statements as required by law. Chase also made calculation errors when filing debt collection lawsuits that sometimes resulted in judgments against consumers for incorrect amounts. Chase failed to notify consumers and the courts once it learned of these problems.

Enforcement Action

Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB has the authority to take action against institutions or individuals engaging in unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices or that otherwise violate federal consumer financial laws. Chase suspended collections litigation in 2011 and stopped selling debts in 2013. The CFPB and state actions provide relief for injured consumers, prohibit Chase from reviving its unlawful practices, and impose penalties for Chase’s law violations. Specifically, the order requires Chase to:
  • Cease collecting on 528,000 accounts: Chase cannot collect, enforce in court, sell, or transfer debts for consumers whose Chase credit card accounts were sent to collections litigation between January 1, 2009 to June 30, 2014. If Chase previously obtained a court judgment requiring consumers to pay the debt, Chase will notify the consumer that they will not try to collect, enforce, or sell the judgment. Chase will also contact the three major credit reporting companies to request that the judgments not be reported against consumers. These accounts had an original face value estimated at several billion dollars when Chase sent them to collections litigation. The actual market value is now estimated in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. Debt relief of this kind permanently protects consumers from any further collections and judgments on these accounts.
  • Pay at least $50 million in cash redress to consumers: Chase will pay cash refunds to consumers against whom collections litigation was pending between January 1, 2009 and June 30, 2014, for amounts paid above what the consumer owed when the debt was referred for litigation, plus 25 percent of the excess amount paid.
  • Prohibit debt buyers from reselling accounts: Chase must require by contract or agreement that debt buyers cannot resell debts purchased from Chase, unless to sell back to Chase.
  • Confirm debt before selling to debt buyers: Chase cannot sell debts that have been paid, settled, discharged, or are otherwise uncollectable. Prior to sale, Chase must provide account-level documentation to debt buyers confirming that the debts are accurate and enforceable. For a minimum of three years after selling the debt, Chase must make certain additional account information available to debt buyers including agreements, statements, and dispute records.
  • Notify consumers that their debt has been sold and make their account information available to them: Chase must notify consumers when their account is sold and reveal who purchased the account, the amount owed at the time of sale, and that consumers can request further information about their accounts at no charge.
  • Not sell zombie debts and other specified debts: Chase may not sell debts that do not have the required documentation, have been charged off for over three years or where the consumer has not paid for three years, are in litigation, are owed by a servicemember, are owed by someone who is deceased, or where the debtor has a payment plan.
  • Withdraw, dismiss, or terminate collections litigation: Chase will withdraw, dismiss, or terminate all pre-judgment collections litigation pending at any time after January 1, 2009.
  • Stop robo-signing affidavits: Declarations must be signed by hand, must reflect the actual date of signing, and must be based on the direct knowledge of the person signing and their review of Chase’s business records. Supporting documents submitted for debt collection litigation must be actual records of the debt, verified to be accurate, and not created solely for litigation.
  • Verify debts when filing a lawsuit: When filing collections lawsuits, Chase is required to submit specific information associated with the debt including the name of the creditor at the time of the last payment, the date of the last extension of credit, the date of the last payment, the amount of debt owed, and a breakdown of any post-charge-off interest and fees.
  • Pay $30 million civil penalty: Chase will pay a fine for its unlawful debt sales and robo-signing practices.
Chase must also implement policies, procedures, systems, and controls to ensure compliance with federal consumer financial laws when selling and collecting debts.

The Bureau is joined by 47 states and the District of Columbia in today’s action. The Bureau also worked in coordination with the OCC, which entered into a related agreement with Chase in 2013. The total relief to consumers includes debt relief associated with halting collections on more than 528,000 consumers’ accounts and at least $50 million in refunds. The amount of penalties and payments to states includes a $30 million civil penalty paid to the CFPB, a $30 million civil penalty paid to the OCC on the related matter, and $106 million in payments to states.

A copy of the consent order can be found at: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/f/201507_cfpb_consent-order-chase-bank-usa-na-and-chase-bankcard-services-inc.pdf

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. For more information, visit consumerfinance.gov.

JPMorgan Chase Order to Stop Illegal Debt Collection Practices

We’re ordering JP Morgan Chase to refund $50 million and stop collecting on 528,000 accounts

Today we’re ordering JP Morgan Chase to stop illegal debt collections practices. Along with the Attorneys General in 47 states and the District of Columbia, we found that Chase sold credit card accounts to debt buyers that included amounts that were inaccurate or debts not owed by the consumer. Debt buyers then sought to collect the faulty debts it purchased from Chase. We’re ordering Chase to reform its debt sales practices to prohibit it from selling certain types of debt, like old or disputed debts, and “zombie debt” which are debts that debt collectors repeatedly attempt to collect, even when it’s not collectible. Chase will also have to provide specific documentation to debt buyers when it does sell debts, and must prohibit its debt buyers from re-selling debts they buy from Chase.

Chase also filed more than 528,000 lawsuits against consumers to collect on debts, often using sworn documents that were “robo-signed” and not verified for accuracy. As a result, Chase must refund at least $50 million to consumers, stop collecting on all of these accounts, and include specific information when filing debt collection lawsuits in the future. Chase must also pay $136 million in penalties and payments to the CFPB and states.

Chase has already begun compensating consumers and will contact you if you are eligible for payment. If you have questions about your eligibility for your refund, or to find out if Chase is prohibited from collecting on your account, you can contact Chase.

Debt collection complaints remain high

Of all of the complaints we receive from consumers, debt collection is one of the largest categories.
If you don’t recognize a debt from a debt collector, you have certain rights to verify debt. You can send a letter to the debt collector to request more information. If you have a complaint about debt collection, you can submit a complaint online or by calling us at (855) 411-2372.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Burke v. JPMorgan Chase Bank NA - First Amended Complaint

Below is the First Amended Complaint in Burke v JPMorgan Chase Bank -- US District Court, ND


                     BLOOMBERG REFERENCE


                     Assignment of DOT

FAC ¶ 12. Plaintiffs provide significant detail regarding the process through which
 allegedly sold their loan. See id. ¶¶ 12-19.