CHARLESTON -- A Calhoun County couple is suing JPMorgan Chase Bank, Chase Home Finance and an unknown company for breach of contract and illegal debt collection, among other things.

Paul D. Ellis and Sandra L. Ellis purchased their home in 1996 for $36,000, according to a complaint filed March 18 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

The Ellis' claim in December 2007 the refinanced the home to pay of a vehicle. The loan was for $91,700, with monthly payments of $831.97 and was secured by their home.

In March 2008, Mr. Ellis suffered a stroke and became disabled, which caused the Ellis' to experience a significant change in income, according to the suit.

In February 2009, the Ellis' contacted the defendants about the change in income and a possible loan modification. They claim they submitted financial information and in September they were instructed to not make further payments on the loan while the loan modification application was being processed.

The Ellis' were informed in January that their loan modification request had been denied in May 2009, according to the suit. On Feb. 11, foreclosure attorneys contacted the Ellis' in an attempt to collect a debt, according to the suit.

The Ellis' claim the defendants refused to process their loan modification requests and repeatedly discouraged them from making payments, but the defendants still pursued foreclosure.

The Ellis' are seeking actual and punitive damages; for the court to enjoin the defendants from taking possession of their home; and actual damages and civil penalties of $4,000. They are being represented by Bren J. Pomponio and Daniel F. Hedges.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James C. Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 10-C-529

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