Friday, November 11, 2011

Texas Homeowner, Chase Settle Suit Over Improperly-Filed Mortgage Lien Release That May Have Led To 'Free House'

In San Antonio, Texas, the San Antonio Express News reports:

  • Chase bank has dropped its lawsuit against a San Antonio couple who in 2002 were mistakenly released from having to make any more house payments. The bank and Ramiro and Delia Guerrero Jr. have reached a settlement that will require the couple to pay a portion of their $86,750 mortgage note. Stephen Cochran, the couple's lawyer, declined to disclose the amount.

  • The Guerreros will not have to pay any late fees, penalties or taxes, he added. “What we're going to do is renew, extend and modify that original note and lien so it will be a different number (with) longer terms,” Cochran said.

  • Chase sued the couple on Sept. 16 in U.S. District Court in San Antonio seeking to rescind the mortgage-lien release that was recorded in error nine years ago. The bank voluntarily dismissed the suit last week.


  • In an Oct. 11 Express-News story, Cochran said the couple stopped making their payments after a 2001 refinancing.(1) He cited the lender apparently losing the note at the time and the couple's confusion over where to send their payments as reasons why they stopped making payments.

  • Nevertheless, Cochran said, a lawsuit seeking to rescind the mortgage-lien release needed to be filed within four years of the recording of the release under the statute of limitations.

  • Cochran said he believed he had a strong case, but he said fighting Chase's suit would be “kind of like betting the farm.” “If you win, you win, but if you lose, you lose big,” he said.

  • He added that a judge could have ruled in Chase's favor and declared the Guerreros owed the money, raising the prospects of a possible foreclosure. Plus, he said, it was never the Guerreros' intent to try to get afree house.”

For the story, see Settlement reached in mortgage case.

(1) See Chase Sues To Collect On Erroneously-Released M'tgage; Homeowner Admits Owing Money, But Leans On Statute Of Limitations To Tell Bankster To Get Lost.

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