Chase sued by Fort Worth resident claiming predatory lending

Michelle Massey Dec. 13, 2010, 2:12pm

Seeking $10 million in damages, a Fort Worth resident has filed a lawsuit pro se that accuses Chase and AmeriQuest of predatory lending and mortgage fraud.

Plaintiff Donald D. Willis also accuses the lenders of racial discrimination in the suit filed Dec. 7 in federal court in New Orleans.

Willis claims the defendants have acted arbitrarily in denying him the ability to own and refinance his home. He accuses the defendants of acting in a scheme to defraud him out of his home for greedy and selfish reasons.

Specifically, he argues that the lender pressured him into getting the loan, that his house cost more than other homes in his neighborhood although it isn't any bigger or better and that he signed a blank loan document and one with inaccurate information. Willis also claims the cost and loan terms were not what was originally agreed upon.

Willis claims the mortgage companies stated that Federal Housing Administration insurance would protect him against property defects or loan fraud, that refinancing would solve his money problems and that he could only get a good deal on a loan if he refinanced with a particular lender.

The lenders targeted borrowers on the basis of race, national origin, age and gender with less favorable loan contracts, Willis claims.

"Predatory mortgage lending practices strip borrowers of home equity and threaten families with foreclosure, destabilizing the very communities that are beginning to enjoy the fruits of our nation's economic success," the lawsuit states.

Willis is asking the court for an award of $10 million in damages to punish the defendants for deception and to permanently enjoin the lenders from continued predatory lending and mortgage fraud.

He is acting as his own attorney in the case. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10-cv-04450

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