CLARKSBURG - Quicken Loans Inc., the nation's largest online home lender, has asked that a potential class action lawsuit filed against it in a state circuit court be moved to federal court.

Defendant Quicken Loans filed a notice of removal in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia Monday.

In December, plaintiffs Phillip Alig, Sara J. Alig, Roxanne Shea and Daniel V. Shea filed their lawsuit in Ohio County Circuit Court, seeking monetary restitution arising from Quicken Loan's alleged predatory lending practices.

According to their original complaint, in late 2007 the company solicited the Aligs to refinance their existing mortgage loan with the assigned appraisal value of $125,500.

Alig's property had a market value of $99,500, and they were charged $260 for a contaminated appraisal, the suit stated.

The plaintiffs are seeking punitive and compensatory damages in the suit, filed on behalf of themselves and others.

In its federal court filing earlier this week, Quicken Loans argues that federal court is a more appropriate venue for the case.

According to the company's filing, federal courts have original diversity jurisdiction over a class action whenever any member of a putative class of plaintiffs is a citizen of a state different from any defendant; the number of members of all proposed plaintiff classes in the aggregate is 100 or more; and the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $5 million, exclusive of interest and costs.

"More specifically, and as demonstrated in more detail below, (1) the citizenship of plaintiffs is diverse from that of Quicken Loans; (2) the number of members of all proposed plaintiff classes, in the aggregate, well exceeds 100; and (3) the matter in controversy, in the aggregate, well exceeds the sum of $5,000,000.00, exclusive of interest and costs," lawyers for the company wrote in the 11-page filing.

Quicken Loans, which is based in Michigan, says it denies the allegations contained in the plaintiffs' amended complaints, which were filed last month.

Victoria L. Wilson of Charleston law firm Goodwin and Goodwin LLP is representing the company in the matter.

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