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Chase Modification Suit

Chase Modification Suit

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Published by Foreclosure Fraud

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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: Foreclosure Fraud on Aug 01, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTDISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTSCASE NO. 11-md-02290-RGSIN RE: JPMORGAN CHASEMORTGAGE MODIFICATION LITIGATIONMEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANTJPMORGAN CHASE’S MOTION TO DISMISSJuly 27, 2012STEARNS, D.J.In March of 2009, the United States Department of the Treasury announced thedetails of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), a component of theoptimistically styled “Making Home Affordable Program.” Under the provisions of HAMP, mortgage loan servicers contract with Fannie Mae, the designated financialagent of the United States, to modify certain mortgage loans in their portfolios inexchange for financial incentives. This multi-district litigation (MDL) consolidateshomeowner lawsuits brought in a number of jurisdictions alleging that JPMorgan ChaseBank, N.A. (Chase), breached the terms of plaintiff’s trial mortgage modificationagreements, made false and misleading promises to homeowners about the prospectsof a mortgage modification, managed the modification process with gross ineptitude,and, in some cases, foreclosed on homes despite promises to homeowners that they
JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. is, on information and belief, a national bankingassociation with headquarters in New York. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. directed, controlled, formulated,and/or participated in the loan servicing activities of EMC Mortgage Corp., BearStearns Companies LLC, and Chase Home Finance LLC. JPMorgan Chase & Co.purchased the banking operations of Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu) in 2008, whileJPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., absorbed the loan servicing portfolio of WaMu.Consolidated Am. Compl. ¶¶ 45-46. Plaintiffs are citizens of California, Florida,Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Nevada,New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington.
. ¶ 6.
In the context of a motion to dismiss, plaintiffs’ plausible allegations of factsare assumed to be true.
See Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly
, 550 U.S. 544, 555-556 (2007).
“As a participating servicer in HAMP, Chase entered into written agreementswith its borrowers, known as Trial Period Plan (TPP) Agreements. In theseAgreements, Chase agreed to a finite ‘trial period,’ and promised that borrower2could remain in their homes while negotiating new payment terms with Chase.
 On October 11, 2011, the MDL was formalized, and on March 5, 2012, Chasefiled a motion to dismiss certain claims set out in the consolidated Amended Complaint(CAC) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, and failure to join necessary parties. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1), (6) &(7). The court heard oral argument on the motion to dismiss on July 12, 2012.
Plaintiffs have set out their claims under four group headings. Group 1 plaintiffsallege that Chase “systemically breached obligations set forth in form contracts that itsent to its borrowers pursuant to HAMP,”
despite the fact that plaintiffs kept their end
compliance with the TPP Agreement would result in the tender of a permanent loanmodification under HAMP rules or, at the very least, a timely decision that such amodification was not forthcoming.” CAC 2.
Group 1 plaintiffs claim breach of contract and breach of the duty of good faithand fair dealing, promissory estoppel, and state consumer protection violations.
Plaintiffs in Group 3 are borrowers who cleared the TPP hurdle and receivedpermanent Loan Modification Agreements. The Agreements modified plaintiffs’mortgages by recalculating the interest rates, principal balances, the number and/ortiming of the required payments, and the payment amounts.
 ¶ 637. Despite the factthat the Group 3 plaintiffs kept current on their adjusted mortgages, Chase continuedto demand payments in amounts that exceeded those stipulated in the LoanModification Agreements. As a result, plaintiffs allege that thousands of homeownersare in danger of losing their homes from foreclosure.
¶¶ 639-640. Chase is not3of the bargain by submitting the required documentation and making the adjustedmortgage payments.
¶ 2.
Group 2 plaintiffs, alleging State consumer protectionstatute violations and a theory of promissory estoppel, claim that “Chase deceived,strung along, and misled [them].”
¶ 3. The Group 3 plaintiffs maintain that Chasebreached their negotiated “Loan Modification Agreements.”These agreements are clear in their finality and permanence and giveChase no right to unilaterally renege on the terms. Yet Chase has failedto honor these modifications, either by continuing to treat thehomeowner’s account as if no modification had occurred, or by cancellingthe modification without notice several months after the modification,throwing the homeowner back into delinquency. In these instances, Chasehas failed to meet its contractual obligation to honor the terms of itsmodification agreements.
¶ 4.
Finally, Group 4, represented by a single plaintiff, asserts a claim under the

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