Couple sues Chase Home Finance, unknown holder for breach of contract

CHARLESTON -- A Great Cacapon couple is suing Chase Home Finance and an unknown holder for breach of contract.

Linda Clark and Raymond Clark responded to a telephone book advertisement by a mortgage broker for a home loan refinance because they wanted a lower interest rate, according to a complaint filed March 1 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

The Clarks claim they were promised a loan with a lower, fixed interest rate of 6.5 percent.

On May 1, 2007, the Clarks were refinanced for $112,000, according to the suit.

The Clarks claim Mrs. Clark had pneumonia at the time of the closing and that approximately one to two weeks after the closing, she recovered from her illness and examined the loan papers to discover that the loan did not have a fixed 6.5 percent interest rate as promised, but instead had an adjustable rate starting out at 10.775 percent with the possibility of increasing to 17.775 percent.

Upon discovery, the Clarks immediately contacted the lender and loan servicer for assistance, but were told it was too late to do anything about the loan's terms, according to the suit. After meeting with counsel in 2010, the Clarks first learned that the loan also contained a pre-payment penalty.

The Clarks began struggling to make mortgage payments in October 2008 when their painting business suffered in the declining economy, according to the suit.

In March or April 2009, the Clarks offered to make partial payments to Chase, who instructed them to not make any payments, and on June 4, 2009, a Chase representative told them they qualified for assistance and that their payments would be reduced, according to the suit.

Throughout June, July and August, the Clarks claim Chase never sent them any paperwork, but each month they were told it was still being processed. They claim on Oct. 14, they were told they no longer qualified for assistance and Chase then referred their home to foreclosure.

The Clarks claim the defendants breached their duty of good faith and caused them anxiety and fear.

The Clarks are seeking actual and civil penalties of $4,000. They are being represented by Nathan J. Fetty and Daniel F. Hedges.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 10-C-388

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