Plaintiff claims Citifinancial engaged in predatory lending

By Molly English-Bowers | May 31, 2016

FAYETTEVILLE – The son of a deceased property owner is suing over alleged predatory lending practices by the defendant.

Jerome Fruit, administrator of the estate of Nannie Fruit, filed the suit May 12 in Fayette Circuit Count against Citifinancial Inc.

When Nannie Fruit died in March 2015, she had a mortgage on a home at 44 Washington Road, Scabro, that Citifinancial had convinced her to refinance, according to the complaint. Even though the actual value of the property in 2007 was no more than $10,000, the suit alleges that Citifinancial obtained an inflated appraisal for $39,000, and then originated a loan with Nannie Fruit for nearly $30,000.

Nannie Fruit had dementia at that time and was unsophisticated in banking matters and Citifinancial took advantage of her situation, according to the complaint. After Nannie Fruit died, her son attempted to make payments on the house, but Citifinancial representatives refused to provide information, including how much was still owed on the loan, the suit alleges.

Rather than permit Jerome Fruit to make payments on the loan, according to the complaint, Citifincial foreclosed on the house on April 29.

The counts this suit brings against Citifinancial include unconscionable inducement, fraud and illegal loan. In addition to a trial by jury, Fruit seeks declaration that Citibiank's contract is illegal, actual and punitive damages, equitable relief, attorney fees and court costs and other relief the court deems equitable.

He is represented by Bren J. Pomponio and Daniel F. Hedges of Mountain State Justice Inc. in Charleston.

Fayette Circuit Court Case number 16-C-135

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