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Thursday, May 19, 2016

True Story: Wamu Chase Mortgage--Settled--Be Forewarned

Having personal knowledge about this particular case, we will share what we learned about how devious this was, and how wrongfully it was Chase/Fannie Mae.

Owner only owed less than $2,000 in back pay (not including fees/costs) and had at least $65k in equity; and tendered FULL amount to the alleged entity in San Diego, via cashiers check, with certification that such $$ was received in person at the business.

However, after that, owner never received a payment statement and attorney kept trying to get a written answer as to why?  All letters were ignored, despite having been sent to all Chase locations known.

Then attorney went in person to turn in the next month's payment for owner, and Chase bank refused it and claimed there was no full payment made according to "their records." Well--trying to get hold of anyone on phone at either Chase or the entity which received the full tender was insane because they claimed they didn't know anything? Seriously, that was the answer.  After so many calls, it was obvious that full tender was made but they did not care if it was accepted; after 90 days, it was never posted.

At that point, it's either litigation, or free rent. The option of free rent was chosen since they would not accept payments nor would they credit the full tender. Attorney even spoke to the VP of local branch and he couldn't figure it out.  Eventually, attorney found out, 3 years later, than Fannie Mae claimed to have owned the house---by--check this out--"QUIT CLAIM DEED."

And how did that happen? Oh, Fannie Mae says that JPM sold the house at noticed foreclosure sale (not true) and then quitclaimed it to Fannie Mae. What really happened was that there was a bankruptcy in place and when it fell out Chase never followed the law for sales post bankruptcy. The sales post bankruptcy are very tricky and they are not required to give new notice under certain circumstances, one is supposed to call the auction person to find out the date. There was no date because the sale was never set up.

Chase simply told Fannie Mae they never received full tender and gave away the house (on paper) because Chase never owned the house, it was only the "servicer" so that meant that Fannie Mae owned the house to begin with, in theory, and couldn't prove it. Possibly a "servicer" could buy a property, but normally it's the loan holder that buys back the property. And who knew which entity had the loan then? Not Chase.

Recall-- the master list of Wamu owned properties was destroyed (this was determined back East in several litigated cases.)  As to which houses Fannie Mae owned is a problem in and of itself, but clearly Chase refused to take/or credit full tender payment(s) beginning August 2010.  That meant Chase was already in trouble and if it was to keep taking the money, perhaps for Fannie Mae, which was also in trouble, it would just be more evidence of their wrongdoing as no entity held the deed, and they didn't want "securitization" issues, plus, there was a faulty issue involving the assignment.

Well, three years of no rent is ok, and after filing for fraud and negligence, judge allowed counsel to amend complaint to restate the fraud, and negligence was moving forward, but client opted to settle case [after case was 2yr old...] The litigation documents probably weighed (physically) about 73 pounds, and would not fit into a huge rubbermaid tote if you get our drift. The settlement didn't take too long, but then guess what Chase defendants' attorneys did?  They drafted a settlement (998) proposal, got an acceptance, but refused to give client the draft to sign?? Unbelievable.

Then they later tried to force court to enter the dismissal without any signed 998 settlement done and despite refusing to hand it over for many months for signature...counsel read what the offer stated, and did notice that dismissal was to be executed first, BUT clearly executing a dismissal first and filing it,  without having the settlement agreement to sign is a farce. That would be ridiculous but Chase attorneys tried to wait out client, hoping he would file the dismissal and then they would make up some crap like latches or whatever. And there would be no settlement document to sign because there would be nothing? Maybe even no jurisdiction?

Thus counsel had an alleged settlement acceptance, but document was never given by Chase  to client or attorney; then, another  attorney filed a $120,000 new lawsuit (subrogation) against landowner, claiming that a deputy had fallen into a trench on the property and got seriously injured and could not work. In reality, the deputy had fallen into some contrived covered trench that the adjoining 20acre neighbor had devised, apparently to guard his medical MJ crop. That was on the neighbor's land, not client's.

So without a settlement document to sign, Chase tried to force dismissal of the client's case. Counsel was then forced to show why that would or should not be done, since the 2nd lawsuit made a radical change as to the liability, since the liability would obviously fall on client and not Chase or Fannie Mae who was also sued. Such liability would take out all of the settlement proceeds.

The Court then had Chase draft a judgment as to the last order, and Chase finally gave client the "settlement" draft to sign. As we know, it's quite possible that in certain instances, if the 998 hits a snag--the court does not necessarily retain jurisdiction. Therefore counsel did not want to enter the dismissal as early as Chase wanted it. We noted that when the client's opposition was filed, an attorney higher on the chain was used to file the response.

After the pleadings were filed which CLEARLY explained what the Chase/FM attorneys did, client was even further beleaguered because the judge then purportedly ordered that the client should face a sanction of nearly $5,000 for not having paid the fee waiver out of the settlement. (Recall, there was no settlement proceeds at this time)  So counsel then had to do opposition to a nonsensical "sanction" on this code, because a cursory review of the code does not support such an outrageous sanction.

After counsel appeared and explained the entire long winded story, judge dropped the entire sanction.
Now you might wonder how long did this all last? About 3.5yr--for chump change, trust us. BUT it is still a victory, thought hard-won, it was not a loss because the facts of what Chase attorneys (Bryan Cave) did is set in stone in the pleadings. And we can say without any hesitation---beware of how Bryan Cave attorneys handle their work, since what we saw was not only incredulous, but purposefully and knowingly done simply because they know they can get away with it.

We estimate Chase/FM probably conservatively spent more than $135,000+ in time on this plus the 3yr of free rent. It actually started in 2011. If case had not settled prematurely, it would conservatively be a $200k+ case and we know it. No other attorney would touch this case on contingency because they all know bank mortgage litigation. They practically force one into an appeal on purpose.

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