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Chase Bank Suspends Foreclosures in Ohio, 22 Other States

JPMorgan Chase bank has put a temporary halt to the foreclosure process of 56,000 home scattered across 23 states. Ohio is included in the temporary suspension of foreclosures. The news came a week after Ally, formerly GMAC Mortgage, suspended foreclosures in the 23 states to review whether documents used to seek a court order to foreclose were improperly signed.

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has weighed in on the issue. She has asked the United States Attorney's Office to investigate whether foreclosures were processed illegally. Chase Home Mortgage and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. are among those Brunner listed who may have acted improperly in seeking foreclosure. She is asking the Attorney General to investigate for Ohio foreclosure fraud.

The controversy surrounds the supporting documents lenders use when seeking a court order for foreclosure. The companies must submit a signed document to attest that all of the information regarding their alleged claim is accurate before filing in court for foreclosure. Allegations surfaced that employees signed documents without fully reviewing the paperwork.

Secretary of State Brunner delivered letter to United States Attorney Steven Dettelbach stating that during foreclosures, courts should mandate "absolute adherence to the law." She suggested prosecuting large corporations that fail to diligently adhere to foreclosure law. The letters were delivered to the U.S. Attorney's office on August 11, and September 1, of this year.

A spokesman for Chase Home Mortgage said that homeowners affected are being notified through their attorney, or directly if they do not have lawyer. Chase has suspended the foreclosures pending an internal review. Chase expects the review to last a few weeks.

Source: The Plain Dealer, "Ohio homes among 56,000 foreclosures suspended by JPMorgan Chase," Teresa Dixon Murray, 30 Sep 2010

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