JPMorgan Chase Nightmare Foreclosure Story

Monday, July 09, 2012
Harry Engel (photo: Engel Family)
JPMorgan Chase has been accused of evicting a family of four just days after their father died of a stress-induced heart attack brought on by the foreclosure, which they were duped into by the bank.
 
In their lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase, the family claims patriarch and retired minister Harry Engel died on July 1, 2010, after struggling to keep his wife and three adult children from losing their home in Grand Prairie, Texas.
 
The trouble began earlier that year after the Engels, who had been making mortgage payments for 22 years, but lived on a fixed income, received a letter from the bank offering to refinance their home in order to lower their monthly payment.
 
Upon the advice of JPMorgan Chase representative Michael Paretti, the Engels missed one of their mortgage payments so they could qualify for the refinance program. That’s when things turned dark.
 
The bank decided the family was not eligible for a loan modification. The Engels were told to immediately pay the amount owed. Eventually Paretti gave them a piece of paper with a number on it and told them “just pay this amount.” They did so, but Chase moved ahead with foreclosure procedures and then served them with an eviction notice.
 
According to the lawsuit, “Immediately after the Engels received the eviction notice, Mr. Engel changed dramatically. He was overcome with stress and fear” and died of a heart attack shortly thereafter.
 
The family is suing JPMorgan Chase, EMC Mortgage and LPS Field Services on charges that include wrongful death, wrongful foreclosure, trespass, gross negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. In addition, they have filed a civil complaint against JPMorgan Chase alone for fraud, fraudulent inducement and deceptive trade. In their defense, Chase claims that they never actually foreclosed on the house.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
 
To Learn More:    
Engel v. JPMorgan Chase (District Court, Dallas, Texas) (pdf)

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