Kyla Asbury Aug. 5, 2013, 7:45am
HUNTINGTON - A lawsuit filed against Nationstar Mortgage LLC alleging predatory lending practices has been removed to federal court.
Nationstar is formerly known as Centex Home Equity Company. Mark Greenlee was also named as a defendant in the suit.
The lawsuit has been removed to federal court because the amount they are seeking exceeds the $75,000 requirement, according to a Notice of Removal filed July 25 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Huntington.
The loan amount was for $76,500, according to the Notice.
Greenlee was also "fraudulently joined in this action and, thus, should be disregarded for diversity purposes," according to the Notice of Removal.
Adam West first moved into his home in Hurricane in 1998, when he agreed to purchase the home pursuant to a land contract for $55,000, according to a complaint originally filed May 2 in Putnam Circuit Court.
West claims in November 1999, when the land contract vendor began experiencing financial problems and West’s mother arranged to finance the remaining balance on the land contract.
In early 2000, West sought to obtain a loan to repay his mother and closed on a loan with UC Lending on April 25, 2000, with a principal balance of $66,700, according to the suit.
On Aug. 18, 2001, Adam West and Bethany West were married and she moved into the home with him, and the plaintiffs went to Lending Tree, an online service, to find a lender.
The Wests claim a few days later, Nationstar contacted them to solicit them into a loan for refinancing and they asked for a fixed rate loan and Nationstar informed them an adjustable rate loan would be best for them.
Nationstar arranged for Greenlee to appraise the Wests’ home, according to the suit, and Greenlee, who has a practice of providing inflated appraisals, provided them with an inflated appraisal and indicated their home was more than $76,000 when it was, in fact, worth approximately $55,800.
The Wests claim after making payments for one year, they contacted Nationstar about promised refinancing, but Nationstar refused to refinance the loan.
Nationstar refused to apply payments to the Wests’ account and charged them illegal fees, according to the suit.
The Wests are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by Colten L. Fleu and Jennifer Wagner of Mountain State Justice.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Huntington case number: 3:13-cv-20989