Tampa Bay homeowners sue JPMorgan Chase for billing on already-paid mortgages

JPMorgan Chase is the subject of a lawsuit by two Tampa Bay homeowners who say the bank attempted to collect on mortgages they already paid off. | [Getty Images]
JPMorgan Chase is the subject of a lawsuit by two Tampa Bay homeowners who say the bank attempted to collect on mortgages they already paid off. | [Getty Images]
Published August 16 2017
Updated August 16 2017

ST. PETERSBURG — Two Tampa Bay homeowners are suing JPMorgan Chase Bank for attempting to continue to collect on what they say were already-paid-off mortgages.

Seeking class action, the lawsuit alleges that JPMorgan Chase, "as part of its customary and uniform practice and procedure, attempts to collect debts on its customers' mortgages even though the debt has been satisfied."

According to the suit filed last week in Pinellas County circuit court, Brian Huff secured a $30,000 mortgage with JPMorgan Chase in 2006 for a New Port Richey house. In late 2014, Huff paid off the mortgage in full.

But then he got three letters from JPMorgan Chase saying he still owed $27,000.

"We know you struggled to make your mortgage payments," one letter, dated July 12, 2016 said. "Together, we can find a solution."

Just a few years before Huff took out his loan, St. Petersburg resident John Karas got a mortgage with JP Morgan Chase for $87,000.

By late 2015, the lawsuit says, Karas paid off his loan. He, too, received letters from the bank saying he still owed $86,900.

"We have been trying to reach you to let you know you have new options when it comes to your mortgage debt," an Aug. 11, 2016 letter said.

Huff's and Karas' lawyers did not return calls for comment. JPMorgan Chase declined to comment for the article.

The residents are seeking a jury trial, attorneys fees and costs from JPMorgan Chase, punitive damages and "such other relief" the court decides is fair.

Contact Malena Carollo at mcarollo@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2249. Follow @malenacarollo on Twitter.

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