Roseville, California (PRWEB) October 27, 2011
On Tuesday October 18, 2011, United Foreclosure Attorney Network (UFAN) filed suit in Superior Court in Martinez, CA (case number C-11-02390) on behalf of numerous homeowners against JP Morgan Chase and others alleged by Plaintiffs to be involved in a scheme to defraud and otherwise take advantage of investors and borrowers.
The complaint details how the lending practices of JP Morgan Chase led directly to Plaintiffs being placed in harmful and predatory loans. After a loosening of lending restrictions in the 1980s, banks like JP Morgan Chase began originating exotic non-prime mortgages with adjustable interest rates. These risky loans were often securitized into mortgage backed securities and sold to investors. Because a bank could quickly recoup amounts spent issuing mortgages by the sale of these residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS), banks incentivized mortgage brokers to participate in the scheme with high fees for origination. According to the filing, these fee incentives encouraged complete disregard for underwriting standards which were used to lure borrowers into highly predatory loans they could not afford.
The complaint alleges that Plaintiffs relied on statements made by JP Morgan Chase employees and mortgage brokers when they accepted bad loans. Plaintiffs were often told that they would be able to afford high loan amounts and were promised the ability to refinance at a later date. It is alleged that in some instances, loan officers blatantly lied to Plaintiffs about the quality of the loans they were receiving. The complaint alleges that Chase not only knew about these broker practices, but encouraged and incentivized them. A Chase internal memo states, If you do not get Stated/Stated, try resubmitting with slightly higher income. Inch it up $ 500 to see if you can get the findings you want. Do the same for assets.
Similarly, the complaint alleges that appraisers were encouraged to inflate property values in order to give borrowers higher loan amounts. The higher the loan amount, the more money JP Morgan Chase was able to make on the sale of the loan. It is argued that the bank incentivized appraisers to falsify property valuations in order to secure a higher loan to sell to investors. The complaint alleges that Plaintiffs borrowed excessively in reliance on inflated appraisals and other statements.
Plaintiffs also argue that because of the sale of their loans, they did not receive the benefit of the contract for which they bargained. Plaintiffs, believing they would be placed into a mortgage with a traditional Lender/Borrower relationship, later found that they did not have a lender with whom they could deal. Servicers are not at liberty to make changes to contracts when circumstances are unforeseeably changed. Furthermore, loan servers have an incentive to foreclose whereas a lender has the incentive to modify a loan if it would be more profitable in the long run. Had many homeowners had a lender with whom to deal, they could have restructured the mortgage for a more desirable result for both parties. The complaint details how many Plaintiffs diligently sought modification of their loans but were denied simply because the servicer had no authority to grant a modification.