Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Chase Bank's Harassment and Intimidation of 68 Year Old Vietnam War Widow



Rockridge District

July 30, 2014 at 2:45 p.m.

Don't let his smile fool you.
Foreclosure vultures are alive and well in Oakland, California.  Trespass and harassment of foreclosure fighters is a regular occurrence. 

Today in broad daylight a tall muscular dark skinned male identifying himself as a "Chase Bank realtor" trespassed on the residential property of Brenda Reed, a Vietnam war widow, age 68.  Reed is a foreclosure rights activist who has been battling with Chase for some time and continues to try to get Chase to produce chain of title to her home.

Reed was home alone when she heard someone rattling her front door.    Reed opened a french door on an upstairs floor of the house, saw a tall dark man running down the stairs and asked what he wanted.  The alleged Chase representative had entered her property through her front gate, came up three flights of stairs and attempted to get in.

The man refused to provide any form of identification.

This is the second occasion that a foreclosure vulture has trespassed on her property.

According to this man "we do this all the time."  Unwitting homeowners can be tricked into letting these men into their homes so they can check out the property before a foreclosure auction.

When Reed inquired as to what he wanted, the man said he was going to get her house. Reed told him that under California foreclosure law that he was prevented from disturbing the home owner and from trespass on the property.  Reed told him she was going to report his behavior and call the police.

The man laughed in Reed's face and said:  "I work for some very rich man who's gonna get your house and there's nothing you can do about it."

Reed immediately began to shake and her heart raced as she recognized him as one of the
many foreclosure vultures who work the Alameda County foreclosure auctions.  Many bidders are under investigation for the abuses of the law and many have been prosecuted.

Reed photographed the man and his vehicle, a  silver Toyota Corolla, California license 6BNJ179.  She filed a police report and a complaint with the CFPB.  She did not allow him to gain entry to her home.

If you can identify the man or his vehicle email the information.

California 6BNJ179

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

National Community Organizations Seek Detailed Accounting for JPMorgan Chase Settlement

Homeowner assistance from $13 billion deal yet to materialize substantially, groups seek answers from Justice Department

Washington [July 28, 2014]— A group of community organizations from throughout the country submitted a Freedom of Information Act request this week to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), seeking specific answers to questions related to the November 2013 DOJ settlement agreement with JPMorgan Chase. The request for information comes at a time when the department has recently announced a similar settlement with Citigroup and is reportedly in ongoing negotiations with Bank of America.

The FOIA request asks the DOJ to provide detailed information on how the settlement is actually being implemented; along with the demographics of who is getting relief from the settlement and correspondence between the department and the appointed monitor, Joseph A. Smith, assigned to oversee the implementation of the settlement.

“This settlement was meant to bring relief to those most hurt by the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008,” the request letter states. “The Settlement Agreement called for $4 billion to be delivered in the form of relief to consumers. This relief could come in a variety of forms, including, principal reduction, loan modifications and anti-blight activities, as laid out in Annex 2 to the Settlement Agreement. Unfortunately, many homeowners have yet to see any of this relief.”

“People demanded that the bankers who crashed the economy be held accountable—some of us even went to jail demanding it,” said Kevin Whelan, National Campaign Director of the Home Defenders League. “The bankers bought their way out of jail, but the money hasn’t actually arrived to help the families who need it. The Home Defenders League and community groups across the country are using our rights as citizens to file this official request because people are still suffering across the country. Fulfilling the terms of their settlements is the least the banks can do.”

The FOIA request is the latest in a series of actions that have taken place nationwide in recent weeks, asking the DOJ to provide information and to hold the major banks accountable in past and future multi-billion-dollar settlements.

"Even with the landmark settlement, I have not received any principal reduction on my mortgage,” said Pina Orsillo Belgrano, a Realtor and entrepreneur from Seattle, Washington. “JPMorgan Chase intentionally misled me, and the modifications they offered me never included principal reduction and only reduced my monthly payments by $40." Belgrano says she has struggled for years to get Chase to agree to a sustainable modification. Organizers from Washington Community Action Network and the national organization Home Defenders League forwarded her case along with other examples of the kind of borrower needing relief to officials at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and DOJ, but her loan was instead sold from Chase to a new servicer.

“Eight months after JPMorgan Chase entered into this mortgage settlement amid much fanfare, people in distressed communities in New York City and around the country have seen little relief,” said Josh Zinner, Co-Director of New Economy Project. “This follows the unfortunate pattern of prior mortgage settlements with the biggest banks, where promised relief has failed to reach the hardest hit communities. Regulators must draw the line—the public deserves to know whether Chase is providing principal reduction modifications in the neighborhoods where they are most needed.”

"Homeowners in California's hardest hit communities are still wondering where the promised relief from the Chase settlement, and other settlements, has gone," said Kevin Stein of the California Reinvestment Coalition." Greater bank and servicer transparency is needed to ensure that homeowners in all communities have equal access to loan modifications so that families and neighborhoods can begin to recover from the crisis."
Organizations signing the request letter include the Center for Popular Democracy; Home Defenders League; Action NC; Action Now; Alliance for a Just Society; California Reinvestment Coalition; Consumer Action; Colorado Foreclosure Resistance Coalition; Minnesota Neighborhoods Organizing for Change; National People’s Action; New Economy Project and New Jersey Communities United.

A PDF of the letter is linked here.

The Home Defenders League is a national organization fighting against foreclosures and for a just resolution to the mortgage crisis including mass principal reduction for underwater homeowners.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chase bank being sued by Ohio woman claiming violation of mortgage law

Teresa Dixon Murray, The Plain Dealer By Teresa Dixon Murray, The Plain Dealer
on July 22, 2014 at 3:00 PM, updated July 22, 2014 at 4:18 PM

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- In one of the first cases of its kind in Ohio, a Youngstown-area woman is suing JPMorgan Chase for allegedly violating a new law aimed at protecting home owners.

Bethanne Wasko, of Poland, has filed a complaint accusing the nation's largest bank of violating a provision of the Dodd-Frank law that requires lenders to work in good faith with customers who have applied for a loan modification.

Instead of trying to work with Wasko, Chase "literally did everything the opposite," said Cleveland attorney Marc Dann, who is representing Wasko. Chase declined comment.
In this case, Chase filed for foreclosure against Wasko despite the pending loan modification request, according to the suit.

Dann said Chase's behavior is typical of banks nationwide that have pushed back against the law known as HAMP, or the Home Affordable Modification Program, created to help consumers who are dealing with subprime or other home loans that they can't afford.
The case against Chase was filed last week in U.S. District Court in Cleveland.
Wasko's story began in 2007, when she took out an adjustable-rate mortgage with BNC Mortgage. The loan was serviced by Chase. By 2009, Wasko was having difficulty keeping up with her payments and asked about a loan modification. She "remained current on her loan until representatives of Chase directed her to stop making payments on her loan in order to be considered for a loan modification," the complaint said.

Wasko has been setting aside money for the payments for five years, but Chase refuses to accept the money, Dann said.

As of now, Chase has dismissed the foreclosure, but hasn't discussed the loan modification with Wasko.

Chase spokesman Jeff Lyttle declined to comment on the case, but said Chase has designated a section of its web site ( for homeowners facing financial difficulties.

Under revisions to a law issued last year that took effect in January, a loan servicer cannot file for foreclosure when a modification application has been filed. If a modification application has been filed, the servicer is required to review the request promptly and notify the borrower about whether the application is complete.

In addition, a bank that has received a loan modification application is required to consider the borrower for all options.

Dann said the new law should help homeowners because it requires banks to be accountable.

"People are still having a hard time getting loan modifications," he said, predicting that there are many, many other cases out there that will be filed.


Wasko v. JPMorgan Chase Bank

Plaintiff: Bethanne Wasko
Defendant: JPMorgan Chase Bank
Case Number: 4:2014cv01544
Filed: July 14, 2014
Court: Ohio Northern District Court
Office: Youngstown Office
County: Mahoning
Presiding Judge: Benita Y. Pearson
Nature of Suit: Truth in Lending
Cause of Action: 28:1331 Fed. Question
Jury Demanded By: Plaintiff

Yuba jury awards homeowner $16 million in mortgage case

Published: Friday, Jul. 18, 2014 - 2:43 pm
It started out as a simple loan modification for a troubled homeowner. It turned into a $16.2 million jury verdict against a nationwide loan-servicing company.

A Yuba Superior Court jury this week awarded $16.2 million in damages to a homeowner who nearly lost his home to foreclosure after the loan servicer botched his mortgage modification, the homeowner’s lawyers said Friday.

Phillip Linza, a homeowner in Plumas Lake, was awarded the damages after a three-year battle against PHH Mortgage Services, a loan servicer based in Mount Laurel, N.J.
Linza’s attorneys, Andre Chernay and Jon Oldenburg of the United Law Center in Roseville, said the award included $514,000 in compensatory damages and $15.7 million in punitive damages.

They said it ranked among the biggest jury awards they’ve encountered in years of representing homeowners in foreclosure and other mortgage-related cases.

“This is really the highest we’ve seen,” Oldenburg said. “It’s a huge figure.”

PHH said it plans to “seek further judicial review of the case and verdict,” which it said wasn’t supported by the facts. It called the jury’s award “grossly disproportionate to any alleged damages” and added, “We take our responsibilities to borrowers seriously and remain commited to meeting all of our obligations as a servicer.”

Chernay said the case began when Linza, a salesman, fell on hard times after buying a home in 2006 for approximately $280,000. Court records show Linza filed for personal bankruptcy protection in October 2009.

According to the lawsuit, PHH agreed in late 2010 to a loan modification that was supposed to reduce Linza’s monthly payments to $1,543 from $2,100. The new loan was supposed to take effect in January 2011, Chernay said.

After Linza made three monthly payments under the new terms, PHH began sending him letters demanding different amounts. First it said his new payment was $2,350 a month – slightly higher than before the modification. Later it sent him a notice saying he owed PHH $7,056. The company also told him it wasn’t applying his monthly payments to his loan balance because he wasn’t paying the proper amount, according to Chernay.
“It was their mistake as of January 1 (2011) that created this whole scenario,” Chernay said.

Despite numerous phone calls and letters, Chernay said Linza wasn’t able to resolve the problem. After learning that his payments weren’t being used to reduce his balance, he stopped sending money to PHH, the lawyer said.

In 2012, the loan-servicing company initiated foreclosure proceedings. The proceedings halted when the Roseville law firm stepped in and filed suit on Linza’s behalf, Chernay said.

Even with the foreclosure stopped, Linza’s credit rating suffered and he endured emotional stress, Chernay said.

“If the Yuba County jury hadn’t saved him, the house would have been gone and he would have had to move in with his daughter in Colorado,” Chernay said.

Call The Bee’s Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066. Follow him on Twitter @dakasler.

JPMorgan Alledges Debt Forgiveness and other Help For Struggling Homeowners

Allegedly Chase is now providing debt forgiveness and other help to struggling homeowners.  Yet to date Chase has done little to comply under the $13 billion settlement.  Why should we believe them now?  Is this more "liars, liars pants on fire"?

JPMorgan begins to provide consumer help under $13 billion settlement
Tue, Jul 22 09:02 AM EDT
Reuters, by Aruna Viswanatha

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co has begun to provide the debt forgiveness and other help to struggling homeowners under last year's $13 billion accord with federal and state authorities, though it has only turned over a handful of details, a monitor of the deal said in a report released on Tuesday.

Joseph Smith, who was appointed by the bank and governments to monitor a settlement over mortgage securities, said he determined that the largest U.S. bank had so far earned $6.3 million in so-called "credits" from either cutting borrowers' principal or agreeing to defer some payments on 100 loans in a test pool.

The bank receives extra credit for certain types of help and less for others, so the total is not a dollar-for-dollar accounting of the assistance provided.

In an interview, Smith said he didn't yet have enough information to assess whether the bank is on track to fulfill its obligations, which it has until 2017 to accomplish, but he expected to put a more comprehensive report out later this year.

JPMorgan agreed last November to pay $9 billion in cash and $4 billion in the form of loan modifications and other help to consumers to resolve federal and state claims that it misrepresented risky mortgage securities that it sold in the run up to the 2008 financial crisis.

While Smith said Chase had informed him it had provided more than the confirmed $6 million in help to struggling borrowers, he said the bank chose to first test whether it was accurately calculating its credit on the sample loan pool.

Chase is JPMorgan's brand for consumer loans.

"This really was a dry run," Smith said.

Chase spokesman Jason Lobo said in a statement the bank had been "working closely" with Smith's team on the limited sample of loans in order to be prepared for a full reporting cycle that begins in August.

The report comes one week after Citigroup entered into a similar $7 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice and several states over shoddy mortgage securities the No. 3 U.S. bank sold before the crisis. Under that deal, Citigroup similarly agreed to provide around $2.5 billion in help to struggling homeowners and low-income tenants.

Bank of America has also held talks to resolve federal and state probes into securities packaged by the bank and its units, though the Justice Department has threatened to sue as settlement talks have stalled.

Any settlement with Bank of America is expected to include similar provisions for help to borrowers.

(Reporting by Aruna Viswanatha; Editing by Cynthia Osterman