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Lawsuit Accuses Chase of Illegally Winning Default Judgments

collectionscreditrisk.com | March 17, 2014

By Darren Waggoner

JPMorgan Chase illegally won thousands of default judgments in credit card collection lawsuits by robosigning affidavits, according to a class action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Lead plaintiff Ruth E. Moya brought the lawsuit on behalf of all credit card borrowers who have been sued by, or on behalf of, Chase to collect on a credit card debt - then had the court enter a default judgment based on a robosigned affidavit submitted by Chase.

The case alleges that Chase and its subsidiaries robosigned affidavits on a mass scale that did not include adequate controls to ensure that the information in the affidavits was correct. The complaint further alleges that the affidavits then were notarized by a notary who falsely attested to witnessing execution of the affidavit.

Chase then submitted these affidavits by the thousands to state courts in order to obtain default judgments against its credit card borrowers who were past due on their credit card bills, Moya's lawsuit claims. Once the default judgment was obtained, the complaint alleges that Chase aggressively pursued post-judgment remedies such as garnishing wages, levying bank accounts and assessing post-judgment interest.

"Chase could have easily put policies and procedures into place that complied with its obligations under the law, but instead, in order to maximize its revenues, Chase engaged in systematic fraud and made a mockery of our legal system," the complaint states.

The lawsuit seeks a court order requiring Chase to stop using robosigned affidavits, and provide notice to class members of Chase's misconduct so borrowers can take steps to reopen their cases and expunge the default judgments. The lawsuit further seeks reimbursement of all monies unlawfully taken by Chase following the default judgments such as through wage garnishments, attachment of bank accounts and asset seizures.

Lawsuits with similar allegations against Chase have been filed by the California Attorney General's office and the Mississippi Attorney General's office. Chase halted its collection litigation operation in 2013. Chase's collection operation came under an Office of the Comptroller of the Currency probe a year earlier.


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