Lesage couple sues Chase for breach of contract

By Kyla Asbury | Apr 14, 2011

HUNTINGTON -- A Lesage couple is suing JPMorgan Chase Bank and Chase Home Finance after they claim the bank breached its contract with them.

HUNTINGTON -- A Lesage couple is suing JPMorgan Chase Bank and Chase Home Finance after they claim the bank breached its contract with them.

Denise Ash and Matthew Ash purchased their home in 2003 for $91,000, which was financed with a loan through First Franklin Financial Corporation, according to a complaint filed March 24 in Cabell Circuit Court.

The couple claims the loan was ultimately assigned to JPMorgan Chase Bank and the servicing of the loan was assigned to Chase Home Financial.

In the summer of 2010, Chase Home Financial informed the Ashes that it would be raising their payments from $680 to $1,190 for repayment of force-placed insurance over the previous two years, according to the suit.

The couple claims they contacted Chase because they were concerned about being able to afford the new payment and a representative suggested they apply for a loan modification and stated that the couple should not may any payments until the loan modification was processed.

In August 2010, the Ashes were denied their loan modification request. Unable to pay the total amount of the arrears, they requested any other loss mitigation assistance, according to the suit.

The Ashes claim in January they received a second offer to consider them for a loan modification, so they sent Chase the documentation it requested.

On Feb. 24, Chase's foreclosure trustee informed the Ashes that their loan was accelerated in advance of a foreclosure sale.

The Ashes claim the defendants breached their contracts and duty of good faith by exercising their discretion under the contract in bad faith.

The defendants breached their contracts and duty of good faith by discouraging the Ashes from making payments on the loan; by representing to the Ashes that hardship assistance was forthcoming; exercising their discretion in bad faith in refusing to provide the Ashes with a loan modification as represented; and referring the couple's home to foreclosure, according to the suit.

The Ashes are seeking actual, compensatory and punitive damages and civil penalties. They are being represented Bren J. Pomponio and Daniel F. Hedges.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 11-C-156

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