A team of lawyers from around the country have filed a class action lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase & Co. and its affiliates, alleging it used robo-signed affidavits to illegally obtain default judgments against credit cardholders.
The civil lawsuit filed March 11 in Miami federal court alleged violations of the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act and common law fraud. The suit against JPMorgan Chase & Co., Chase Bank USA N.A., Chase Bankcard LLC and Chase Bankcard Services Inc. appears to mirror others filed in recent years against lenders and mortgage services alleging robo-signing in foreclosures.
A company spokeswoman declined comment on the suit, citing pending litigation.
The suit was brought on behalf of Miami resident Ruth Moya, who was sued twice by Chase in 2009. In 2010, Chase USA moved for default against Moya and submitted an affidavit signed by Zandra Sanchez, a Chase Bankcard employee, according to the suit. In the second case against Moya, Chase Bankcard Services employee Kevin Fletcher submitted a signed affidavit to obtain a judgment. Both motions resulted in orders of default against Moya.
Chase used robo-signed affidavits to obtain default judgments, garnish wages, attach bank accounts and even seize assets, the lawsuit claimed.
“For many years, defendants have committed debt collection abuses against thousands of their credit card customers who have purportedly defaulted on their accounts,” the complaint said. “To collect on these accounts, defendants have flooded state courts, including Florida courts and state courts across the United States, with collection proceedings against their credit card customers to collect on alleged credit cardholder debt.”
This is not the first time Chase has been sued over its credit card collection practices. Last year, the California attorney general sued the bank, accusing it of running a “massive debt collection mill” that used robo-signed documents to obtain default judgments against 100,000 credit cardholders in three years.
The lawsuit was assigned to U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez.
It was filed by David Buckner and Seth Miles of Grossman Roth in Coral Gables, Shannon Carson and Patrick Madden of Berger & Montague in Philadelphia, Joseph Guglielmo and Joseph Cohen of Scott+Scott in New York, Christopher Burke and Joe Pettigrew of Scott+Scott in San Diego, Edward Millstein of Sacks, Weston, Petrelli, Diamond & Millstein of Philadelphia and John Bruster Loyd of Jones, Gillaspia & Lloyd in Houston.