Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chase Bank Says You're a Nigerian Scammer; Chase Bank Says You're Dead

Over the weekend Scott Greenfield ran the story at his Simple Justice blawg of the African-American construction worker who tried to pay his mortgage with a REAL Chase check at his local Chase Bank branch and ended up in jail accused of various crimes by Chase for his innocent and responsible effort. Read Scott's post, but at left is a picture of Ikenna Njoku, the 28 year old victim of Chase's utter stupidity.

This morning, Rene Stutzman at the Orlando Sentinel reports that Chase Bank declared a Florida woman dead, and Wrenella Pierre's lawsuit describes the nightmares associated with her bank's erroneous declaration:

Wrenella Pierre is not dead, she insists. Her bank, however, disagrees. In November, Chase Bank USA sent her family a letter of condolence.

"We are very sorry to hear of your loss," it said.

Pierre, of Oviedo, is not amused. She is suing Chase Bank, saying it has stymied her attempts to refinance her mortgage and ruined her credit rating.

Who, after all, wants to lend money to a dead woman?

"I don't know why the bank made this type of disastrous mistake," said her attorney, William Peerce Howard of Tampa. "There is no possible way to have credit extended when you're deceased."

Pierre and her husband, Curtis, built a home in Oviedo in 2007. They got two mortgages totaling $460,000 from JPMorgan Chase Bank, according to Seminole County records.

Two years later, after the home had declined in value, Wrenella Pierre tried five or six times without success to have the mortgage modified, according to her lawsuit.

Last year, the bank, for some reason, notified credit-reporting agencies that she had died, the lawsuit says.

On Nov. 2, Chase sent her family the letter of condolence, an unsigned form letter. Someone from the bank would be in touch, it said, about the outstanding balance.

She notified the bank that she was still alive, according to the lawsuit, and a few weeks later tried again, going into one of its branches, asking it to correct the error.

A month later, credit-reporting agencies were still reporting she was dead, according to her lawsuit.

Nancy Norris, a spokeswoman for JPMorgan Chase, on Monday would not discuss details of the case, citing the lawsuit.

"We're investigating how it happened," she said.
As I said in a comment at Scott's blawg, Chase's priors would make Whitey Bulger blush.  Here's further evidence. 

As you sit around tonight eating your salad and idly staring at Wheel of Fortune or whatever you run in the background while you eat and one of those sexy Chase ads come on, remember the examples of Wrenella Pierre and Ikenna Njoku.  That's the real JP Morgan Chase.


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