J.P. Morgan Must Face Lawsuit Challenging Mortgage Fees

June 14, 2013
mortgage lending news

A federal judge has allowed a lawsuit charging JPMorgan Chase with mortgage fraud and unjust enrichment to go forward, rejecting the argument that she had no jurisdiction by virtue of its 2011 settlement with U.S. regulators to address servicing and foreclosure issues. The action in question accuses the bank of illegally imposing marked-up or unnecessary fees on delinquent mortgage borrowers. For example, it charged $95 to $125 for "broker's price opinions" that provide current estimated property valuations. Fannie Mae guidelines dictate that the cost of this service should not exceed $80, and the plaintiffs argued that BPOs can cost as little as $30 to produce. Although District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland, Calif., dismissed racketeering claims against JPMorgan, she said the plaintiffs can try again to pursue them. The plaintiffs hope to represent classes of borrowers across the country. Similar lawsuits are pending against Wells Fargo and Citigroup.
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