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JP Morgan Chase Freezes Foreclosures and Faces Criminal Investigation

Chase logo

by Mike on September 30, 2010

Chase Follows GMAC, Freezes Foreclosures

JP Morgan Chase announced a freeze on mortgage foreclosures in 23 states—including Florida—just a few days after GMAC did the same. Chase took this unusual action because it could not tell whether it had submitted false affidavits or had committed perjury before the foreclosure courts of those states. While announcing the move, Chase downplayed its importance as being mere technical errors.

Both Chase and GMAC routinely file sworn affidavits that its employees have reviewed the records for accuracy, but those same employees have admitted under cross-examination that the almost never do so—meaning those affidafits are perjury going to the heart of the case. According to the Washington Post:

Both firms are investigating whether foreclosure files were improperly assembled, and whether their employees failed to review the documents even as they signed off on them. A growing number of homeowners – even those who missed their mortgage payments – are now scrambling to challenge the proceedings, weighing down an already overburdened court system.

J.P. Morgan had declined to address the matter until Wednesday. But in a sworn deposition, one of the bank’s employees, Beth Ann Cottrell, admitted that she and her team signed off on about 18,000 foreclosures a month without checking whether they were justified.

Many other banks should follow suit very quickly, as the affidavits in GMAC and Chase cases are virtually identical to those in every other foreclosure case I’ve seen.

Ohio Asks Federal Prosecutors to Investigate JP Morgan Chase

The Chase freeze also comes just when Ohio officials have asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate widespread criminal activity by Chase, based on false or absent notarization of foreclosure documents.

Want to know more? Contact us at Ricardo & Wasylik, PL.

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