Woman says Quicken Loans engaged in predatory lending practices

CHARLESTON – A woman is suing Quicken Loans, Inc., after she claims it engaged in predatory lending practices and has caused her damages.

Delmar Barrett and Bank of America were also named as defendants in the suit.

In 1984, Ruth E. Nicewarner purchased her home for approximately $48,000, according to a complaint failed Jan. 17 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Nicewarner claims Quicken originated a loan in the amount of $91,000 on Sept. 29, 2007, and the loan was immediately transferred to Countrywide for servicing.

Less than one year after the loan, Quicken again solicited Nicewarner to refinance her home and appraised her home for $125,000, according to the suit.

Nicewarner claims Barrett, who was not a licensed attorney, conducted the closing on Aug. 18, 2008, and did not have the ability to explain the transaction and, as a result, did not afford her a meaningful opportunity to understand the terms and impact of the transaction.

In June 2009, Quicken again solicited Nicewarner to refinance her home, but did not appraise her home and instead used the appraisal amount from the year before, according to the suit.

Nicewarner claims in fall 2011 she began to struggle with making payments on the loan and contacted the defendants for a loan modification.

The defendants denied Nicewarner’s loan modification applications and threatened to foreclose her home, according to the suit.

Nicewarner claims she began to make multiple payments to the defendants in 2012, but on July 16, she discovered the defendant had simply been placing her payments into a suspense account, rather than applying them to amounts due on her account.

In September, Nicewarner learned that the market value of her home in August 2008 was approximately $102,000 and that in July 2009 it was approximately $70,000, according to the suit.

Nicewarner claims she would not have refinanced her loan with Quicken or increased her loan amount if she had known the true value of her home at the time of the loans.

The defendants breached their contract with Nicewarner and engaged in unconscionable means to collect, which violates West Virginia code, according to the suit.

Nicewarner is seeking actual damages and civil penalties of $4,600 for each violation pursuant to West Virginia code. She is being represented by Jennifer S. Wagner and Daniel F. Hedges.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Tod J. Kaufman.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 13-C-117

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