Homeowners claim predatory lending by mortgage company

By Robert Hadley | Apr 29, 2016

FAYETTEVILLE – A Fayette County couple's lawsuit says their mortgage lender tricked them into signing a high-interest loan for an amount more than their home was worth.

Craig Allen Mitchell and Holly Gwen Mitchell filed a lawsuit April 21 in Fayette Circuit Court against Citimortgage Inc., formerly known as ABN-AMRO Mortgage Group Inc., and appraiser William Whitehair, alleging fraud, unconscionable inducement and breach of contract.

According to the complaint, when the Mitchells refinanced the mortgage on their double-wide manufactured home in 2000, they were told the home was worth $90,000 and given a loan for $72,250 at 9.7 percent interest. In reality, the suit says, the home was only worth $60,000 at the time of the appraisal, and the plaintiffs ended up locked into a loan for an amount beyond their home’s value.

The plaintiffs claim that the alleged unfair loan terms came to light in 2011 when they sought a loan modification after a change in income. Citimortgage allegedly told the plaintiffs not to make payments for a period of time, causing them to fall in arrears under threat of foreclosure, the suit says.

The Mitchells seek a jury trial and actual damages and penalties against the defendants. They are represented by attorney Brent J. Pomponio of Mountain State Justice Inc. in Charleston.

Fayette Circuit Court Case number 16-C-105 (B)

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