Bank accused of harassing Shell Beach couple
August 3, 2012
Following years of allegedly being bombarded with no less than 75 collection calls a week, an elderly Shell Beach couple has filed a lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase.
Not long after JPMorgan Chase began servicing John and Anna Canaday’s mortgage, callers for the bank began threatening the couple with foreclosure if they did not make their mortgage payments on time, even though the couple had not been behind on their payments, the suit says.
In 2009, the Canadays contacted the bank asking them to stop the constant phone and written collection attempts. After that failed, they contacted Pismo Beach police and filed complaint letters with the California Attorney General, the office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Trade Commission.
In December 2010, the Canadays followed the advice of the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s office and sent a cease and desist letter to JPMorgan Chase.
Officials with JPMorgan Chase responded with a December 2010 letter assuring the couple that they would not contact the Canadays by phone any longer. Nevertheless, the couple says the barrage of collection calls continued while the bank claims the number of calls the couple reports is inaccurate.
“When homeowners fall behind on their mortgage payment, we actively try to reach them,” a JPMorgan Chase spokesman wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. “Our top priority is to help families stay in their homes. We have researched the frequency of calls placed in 2010 and do not believe the allegations in the complaint are accurate.”
Since 2012, following an alleged cease and desist letter from the Comptroller of the Currency, the bank’s representatives calls slowed to no less than 15 calls per week, but the calls continued, the lawsuit says.
In the lawsuit filed on June 4, the couple’s attorney Jim McKiernan seeks a jury trial and punitive damages, civil penalties, attorney’s fees and court costs.