CHARLESTON - A couple are suing U.S. Bank National Association after they claim it violated their mortgage contract.

The defendant repeatedly misrepresented amounts due on John and Esther Stitt's account and assessed a variety of illegal fees to the account, according to a complaint filed March 14 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

The Stitts claim the defendant also refused to credit payments on the account by either returning payments or placing the payments in suspense.

Rather than provide the Stitts with any assistance, the defendant ultimately chose to pursue foreclosure, in violation of their mortgage contract, according to the suit.

The Stitts claim on Jan. 31, 2008, the executed a Deed of Trust securing a mortgage loan for the principal sum of $227,157.

On Oct. 31, the defendant returned a check in the amount of $1,662.19 and subsequently informed them that it would be returning checks in the amounts of $1,500 and $80, according to the suit.

The Stitts claim on Nov. 2, the defendant sent them a letter stating that their home was being reviewed for foreclosure.

Unbeknownst to the Stitts, the defendant was holding $1,582.50 of their payments in a suspense account and the defendant applied this amount solely toward the principal balance of the loan on Nov. 5, despite outstanding principal, interest and escrow, according to the suit.

The Stitts claim on Nov. 8, the defendant sent them a letter informing their home was going into foreclosure and, faced with this news, they sent a check in the amount of $1,662.19 to the defendant, which was processed on Nov. 23.

Shortly thereafter, the Stitts contacted the defendant about the status of their account and were informed the defendant would not accept any new payments because they were three payments behind, according to the suit.

The Stitts claim during the course of servicing the loan, the defendant assessed unauthorized and illegal fees to their account and added fees that were never agreed to.

U.S. Bank National Association breached its contract with the Stitts, according to the suit.

The Stitts are seeking actual damages and civil penalties. They are being represented by Daniel T. Lattanzi, Jennifer Wagner and Bren J. Pomponio of Mountain State Justice Inc.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James C. Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 13-C-500

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