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Military homeowners’ class action suit against Chase settled for $48 million



Military class action suit

JP Morgan Chase has settled a class action suit for violating the nearly 70 year old Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act (SCRA) which states that even when legal and in states that don’t require it, only a judge can authorize a foreclosure and only after a hearing where military members are represented. The law is in place to protect active duty military members from financial duress.

The lawsuit was brought on by Captain Jonathon Rowles who sued Chase Bank for a bevy of acts that violated SCRA including refusal to reduce his interest rate to six percent by the date required by SCRA and attempted to collect on account balances that didn’t exist.

Pending the judge’s approval, the settlement entails a $48 million payment by Chase to the class action suit for overcharging and falsely foreclosing on active military members, violating SCRA.

The $56 million breaks down to $12 million directly to the class action suit, $15 set aside for a case by case basis of payout, $6 million already issued directly to those who were overcharged, $6 million in additional benefits to borrowers wrongfully foreclosed upon, $8 million to pay plaintiffs’ legal bills with the remainder toward the formation of the Chase Veterans Advisory Council (VAC).

Overseeing SCRA enforcement

Chase has offered a leadership role in the VAC to Capt. Rowles and it remains unseen if other banking entities will take similar steps in overseeing enforcement of the SCRA.

We reported in January about Sergeant James Hurley going through his home being foreclosed upon by the Deutsche Bank while he was fighting abroad, violating the SCRA.

Frankly, violations of the SCRA are not the only atrocious violation by the banks, there are numerous wrongful foreclosures homeowners have gone through from banks foreclosing on the wrong address to simple misreporting of credit. The lawsuits are not over and although in this case was a settlement, others have been awarded by a judge. It will be interesting to watch as the banks are brought to task over their misdeeds.

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  1. darlene

    May 26, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    JP Morgan Chase is putting banking back to the 1800's by blatently violating federal laws. I am a single mother and they have repeatedly tried to force me into foreclosure with mis-information and deliberate misdeeds. I try to make a modified payment and they deny it and refuse to accept it until I contact a government employee this is ludicrous. Why is there no class action suit in Michigan against a bank that is so blatent in violations?

    • Infinity

      May 30, 2011 at 1:06 pm

      My husband never received any thing from chase and what about the people that didnt know about the foreclose lawsuit? They foreclosed on his home in 2004..

  2. darlene

    June 30, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Chase recently reversed my July 1st payment, (trying to force my disqualification from the loan modification program). After repeatedly telling me that the July 1st payment was made, I have documentation, The payment of over $1000. was reversed. Now they have the funds floating somewhere but don't know where. They are not accounting for the payments made and repeated calls are fielded by people who only say, "I will research it." I have requested involvement from; the department of treasury, office of the comptroller of currency, the federal trade commission and department of Justice. Chase has not responded to any of them since March and as of June 30, 2011. Now they are blatently violating federal laws by taking monies and not accounting for where they are. A deliberate attempt to force me into default by backing out a payment already made is just the latest. According to Shelley from the office of the comptroller of currency they can take 10 to 20 days to respond…..I filed a complaint in March, May, June 9 and still Chase has never responded to our united states government. They are laughing at our government and it's citizens because they do not abide by the laws set forth. They hold themselves above the laws of this nation. Wake up America this is turning our banking back to the 1800's when the bank saw a property and snatched it from a mother with no husband. I have paid taxes since 1974 and now my government has turned it's back to me.

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Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?



Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.



aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.



zillow move

zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub,, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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