Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

January 29, 2014

Georgia Court Finds Chase Had Authority to Foreclose

By Ebube Okoli

The court in deciding Ball v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146503 (M.D. Ga. 2013) granted the defendants’ motion for judgment on the pleadings.

Plaintiffs Johnny Frank Ball Jr. and Tempie Ball filed a suit in the Superior Court of Sumter County, Georgia, seeking to set aside the non-judicial foreclosure of their home. They also sought compensatory and punitive damages against Chase and the Freddie Mac for wrongful foreclosure and fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation.

The legal theory underlying the plaintiff’s causes of action was premised on the definition of a “secured creditor” in the Georgia Code. Plaintiffs maintained that Chase lacked authority to foreclose its property because only a “secured creditor” [a creditor who holds the promissory note] may initiate a non-judicial foreclosure, and only Chase held the security deed.

The court in assessing the validity of this argument rejected it as the Georgia Supreme Court recently rejected this very theory. Therefore, the court granted the defendants’ motion for judgment on the pleadings.

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