California Superior Court Judge Jane L. Johnson in Los Angeles has rejected JPMorgan Chase's bid to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that it illegally tried to collect credit card debt from about 100,000 borrowers. Johnson on Jan. 7 rejected JPMorgan's argument that the case, filed in May by state Attorney General Kamala Harris, included unfair competition claims that were precluded by California legal authority.
The firm's lawyer, David Schrader, said he will ask the judge to certify her decision for immediate appeal -- which Deputy Attorney General Bernard Eskandari plans to oppose. Harris' suit alleges that JPMorgan’s Chase unit engaged in “wide-spread and illegal robo-signing” and other unlawful practices against credit card customers and used the judicial system as a mill to obtain default judgments. The state is seeking civil penalties of $2,500 per violation of California law and another $2,500 for each violation against a senior citizen or disabled person.