Woman sues mortgage firm, holder for predatory lending

By Kyla Asbury | May 2, 2011

CHARLESTON -- A woman is suing HSBC Mortgage Services and an unknown holder after she claims they participated in predatory lending practices.

Mirna Carina Suarez purchased her home on April 8, 2004, for $86,000 at an interest rate of seven percent, according to a complaint filed March 30 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

In 2006, Suarez responded to television advertisements for HSBC's correspondent lender, which represented to her that it would obtain a low-interest rate loan with a payment of approximately $150 more than her old payments, according to the suit.

Suarez claims at the time she was paying approximately $675 per month on her loan with seven percent interest and was seeking to obtain $10,000 to $15,000 for home improvements.

An employee of the defendant talked to Suarez many times until she convinced her to refinance her home in addition to paying off previously unsecured debt in the amount of $30,621, according to the suit.

Suarez claims the loan totaled $125,000, but she did not receive enough cash from the loan to make the home improvements.

Unknown to Suarez, the loan contained a 9.99 percent interest rate and her new loan payments would be $1,096.05 per month, according to the suit.

Suarez claims she had difficulty making the payments on the high-interest loan and the defendants assessed unauthorized fees on at least seven occasions in 2007 and on at least nine occasions in 2008.

The defendants damaged Suarez by assessing the unauthorized charges and unnecessarily increased indebtedness, according to the suit.

Suarez is seeking actual damages and civil penalties. She is being represented by Jacklyn A. Gonzales and Daniel F. Hedges.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 11-C-520

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