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Class Accuses Chase Bank of Robosigning

MIAMI (CN) - Chase Bank illegally won thousands of default judgments in credit card debt collection lawsuits by robosigning affidavits, a RICO class action claims.

Lead plaintiff Ruth E. Moya sued JPMorgan Chase & Co. and affiliates in Federal Court, alleging RICO violations and common law fraud.

Moya claims Chase has "flooded state courts" for years with collection proceedings, with its primary goal obtaining default judgments, so it can garnish wages and seize assets.

She claims the giant bank secured default judgments by using "improper, incorrect and fraudulent affidavits" that were executed by Chase employees "thousands at a time" and notarized "by notaries who did not witness the execution of the documents."

"Chase could have easily put policies and procedures into place that complied with its obligations under the law, but instead, in order to maximize its revenues, Chase engaged in systematic fraud and made a mockery of our legal system," the complaint states.

An added incentive for default judgments is the ability to sell the accounts to third-party debt buyers, activating a new, longer statute of limitations for collection of the alleged debt, according to the complaint.

Chase's business model did not ensure accuracy of affidavits "because Chase's ability to maximize its revenue from its debt collection practices depended on executing affidavits concerning alleged cardholder debt as quickly as possible and in great number," the complaint states.

Moya seeks class certification, an injunction, expungement of default judgments illegally obtained, and punitive damages.

She is represented by David Buckner with Grossman & Roth, of Coral Gables.

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