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Appellate court rebuffs wild-goose Chase

Poway couple loses case to J.P. Morgan Chase

On January 30, the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, gave a pretty good spanking to a Poway couple who appealed when a Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the big J.P. Morgan Chase Bank.

In 2007, Kirk and Dawn Carmichael borrowed $2.4 million from Washington Mutual Bank for their Poway dream house. In 2008, the bank failed. New York's mammoth J.P. Morgan Chase acquired certain assets and liabilities of Washington, including the Carmichaels' loan.

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The Carmichaels defaulted and later substituted an individual as trustee. Chase had not authorized such a move and would not relinquish its status as beneficiary of the loan and accompanying deed of trust.

According to the appellate court, the Carmichaels filed documents "falsely claiming" — the court's words — that the sums secured by the deed of trust had been paid. The Carmichaels also filed a modification of the deed of trust, "falsely claiming" the same thing. Then the Carmichaels filed a warranty deed stating that they had granted title to the property to Running Deer Ministries. They also filed a rescission of the notice of default that Chase had not authorized.

Chase filed to cancel the documents "due to their unauthorized and fraudulent nature," said the appeals court. The Carmichaels filed a cross-complaint and the district court judge ruled in favor of Chase. The Carmichaels appealed.

In essence, the Carmichaels argued that Washington Mutual's assets did not pass to Chase, which therefore lacked standing in the case. Both the trial court and the appellate court disagreed.

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On January 30, the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, gave a pretty good spanking to a Poway couple who appealed when a Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the big J.P. Morgan Chase Bank.

In 2007, Kirk and Dawn Carmichael borrowed $2.4 million from Washington Mutual Bank for their Poway dream house. In 2008, the bank failed. New York's mammoth J.P. Morgan Chase acquired certain assets and liabilities of Washington, including the Carmichaels' loan.

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The Carmichaels defaulted and later substituted an individual as trustee. Chase had not authorized such a move and would not relinquish its status as beneficiary of the loan and accompanying deed of trust.

According to the appellate court, the Carmichaels filed documents "falsely claiming" — the court's words — that the sums secured by the deed of trust had been paid. The Carmichaels also filed a modification of the deed of trust, "falsely claiming" the same thing. Then the Carmichaels filed a warranty deed stating that they had granted title to the property to Running Deer Ministries. They also filed a rescission of the notice of default that Chase had not authorized.

Chase filed to cancel the documents "due to their unauthorized and fraudulent nature," said the appeals court. The Carmichaels filed a cross-complaint and the district court judge ruled in favor of Chase. The Carmichaels appealed.

In essence, the Carmichaels argued that Washington Mutual's assets did not pass to Chase, which therefore lacked standing in the case. Both the trial court and the appellate court disagreed.

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