HEY, CHASE! YEAH, YOU… JPMORGAN CHASE! One of Your Customers Asked Me to Give You a Message…
Hi JPMorgan Chase People!
Thanks for taking a moment to read this… I promise to be brief, which is so unlike me… ask anyone.
My friend, Max Gardner, the famous bankruptcy attorney from North Carolina, sent me the excerpt from the deposition of one Beth Ann Cottrell, shown below. Don’t you just love the way he keeps up on stuff… always thinking of people like me who live to expose people like you? Apparently, she’s your team’s Operations Manager at Chase Home Finance, and she’s, obviously, quite a gal.
Just to make it interesting… and fun… I’m going to do my best to really paint a picture of the situation, so the reader can feel like he or she is there… in the picture at the time of the actual deposition of Ms. Cottrell… like it’s a John Grisham novel…
SFX: Sound of creaking door opening, not to slowly… There’s a ceiling fan turning slowly…
It’s Monday morning, May 17th in this year of our Lord, two thousand and ten, and as we enter the courtroom, the plaintiff’s attorney, representing a Florida homeowner, is asking Beth Ann a few questions… We’re in the Circuit Court of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, Palm Beach County, Florida.
Deposition of Beth Ann Cottrell – Operations Manager of Chase Home Finance LLC
Q. So if you did not review any books or records or electronic records before signing this affidavit of payments default, how is it that you had personal knowledge of all of the matters stated in this sworn document?
A. Well, it is pretty simple, I have personal knowledge that my staff has personal knowledge of what is in the affidavit on personal knowledge. That is how our process works.
Q. So, when signing an affidavit, you stated you have personal knowledge of the matters contained therein of Chase’s business records yet you never looked at the data bases or anything else that would contain those records; is that correct?
A. That is correct. I rely on my staff to do that part.
Q. And can you tell me in a given week how many of these affidavits you might sing?
A. Amongst all the management on my team we sign about 18,000 a month.
Q. And how many folks are on what you call the management?
A. Let’s see, eight.
Isn’t that just irresistibly cute? The way she sees absolutely nothing wrong with the way she’s answering the questions? It’s really quite marvelous. Truth be told, although I hadn’t realized it prior to reading Beth Ann’s deposition transcript, I had never actually seen obtuse before.
In fact, if Beth’s response that follows with in a movie… well, this is the kind of stuff that wins Oscars for screenwriting. I may never forget it. She actually said:
“Well, it is pretty simple, I have personal knowledge that my staff has personal knowledge of what is in the affidavit on personal knowledge. That is how our process works.”
No you didn’t.
Isn’t she just fabulous? Does she live in a situation comedy on ABC or something?
ANYWAY… BACK TO WHY I ASKED YOU JPMORGAN CHASE PEOPLE OVER…
Well, I know a homeowner who lives in Scottsdale, Arizona… lovely couple… wouldn’t want to embarrass them by using their real names, so I’ll just refer to them as the Campbell’s.
So, just the other evening Mr. Campbell calls me to say hello, and to tell me that he and his wife decided to strategically default on their mortgage. Have you heard about this… this strategic default thing that’s become so hip this past year?
It’s when a homeowner who could probably pay the mortgage payment, decides that watching any further incompetence on the part of the government and the banks, along with more home equity, is just more than he or she can bear. They called you guys at Chase about a hundred times to talk to you about modifying their loan, but you know how you guys are, so nothing went anywhere.
Then one day someone sent Mr. Campbell a link to an article on my blog, and I happened to be going on about the topic of strategic default. So… funny story… they had been thinking about strategically defaulting anyway and wouldn’t you know it… after reading my column, they decided to go ahead and commence defaulting strategically.
So, after about 30 years as a homeowner, and making plenty of money to handle the mortgage payment, he and his wife stop making their mortgage payment… they toast the decision with champagne.
You see, they owe $865,000 on their home, which was just appraised at $310,000, and interestingly enough, also from reading my column, they came to understand the fact that they hadn’t done anything to cause this situation, nothing at all. It was the banks that caused this mess, and now they were expecting homeowners like he and his wife, to pick up the tab. So, they finally said… no, no thank you.
Luckily, she’s not on the loan, so she already went out and bought their new place, right across the street from the old one, as it turns out, and they figure they’ve got at least a year to move, since they plan to do everything possible to delay you guys from foreclosing. They’re my heroes…
Okay, so here’s the message I promised I’d pass on to as many JPMorgan Chase people as possible… so, Mr. Campbell calls me one evening, and tells me he’s sorry to bother… knows I’m busy… I tell him it’s no problem and ask how he’s been holding up…
He says just fine, and he sounds truly happy… strategic defaulters are always happy, in fact they’re the only happy people that ever call me… everyone else is about to pop cyanide pills, or pop a cap in Jamie Dimon’s ass… one or the other… okay, sorry… I’m getting to my message…
He tells me, “Martin, we just wanted to tell you that we stopped making our payments, and couldn’t be happier. Like a giant burden has been lifted.”
I said, “Glad to hear it, you sound great!”
And he said, “I just wanted to call you because Chase called me this evening, and I wanted to know if you could pass a message along to them on your blog.”
I said, “Sure thing, what would you like me to tell them?”
He said, “Well, like I was saying, we stopped making our payments as of April…”
“Right…” I said.
“So, Chase called me this evening after dinner.”
“Yes…” I replied.
He went on… “The woman said: Mr. Campbell, we haven’t received your last payment. So, I said… OH YES YOU HAVE!”
Hey, JPMorgan Chase People… LMAO. Keep up the great work over there.