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Court Finds RFI Response Insufficient

On October 14, 2015, in Saint-Fleur v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., Southern District of Florida Judge William P. Dimitrouleas issued an order denying the defendant’s Motion to Dismiss in part in a Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), 12 U.S.C. § 2601, et seq. lawsuit.

The facts are as follows: In December 2014, JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. (“Chase”) sent the Plaintiff a letter informing Plaintiff that there was an adjustment due on his loan in the amount of $184.78. The letter was deficient as to the reasons for the adjustment and whether it was a debit or a credit, a one-time adjustment or a monthly adjustment. As such, Plaintiff sent Chase a Request for Information (“RFI”) pursuant to Regulation X, 12 C.F.R. § 1024.36, inquiring about the December 2014 letter. The RFI asked Chase to “explain with specificity exactly how you discovered the error. Additionally, please detail what steps you have taken to correct said error.” Saint-Fleur v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., Case No. 0:15-cv-61110-WPD at *2 (S.D. Fla. Oct. 14, 2015). Chase responded to the RFI by stating “the adjustment of $184.78 was made due to fees that were quoted in your loan modification.” Id. Plaintiff was dissatisfied with the response because “Plaintiff was even more confused because he entered into a modification nearly five (5) years prior. Plaintiff still did not know if he was being credited this amount or charged this amount.” Id. at *3 (internal citations omitted). Plaintiff then sent a follow up correspondence to Chase informing Chase that he was “not closer to understanding the $184.78 correction than [he] was before [he] sent the RFI.” Id. (internal citations omitted). Chase never responded to the follow up letter and thus Plaintiff sued Chase for a violation of 12 U.S.C. § 2605(k).

Chase moved to dismiss the action claiming, inter alia, that the response provided was sufficient and that Plaintiff’s dissatisfaction with the response does not give rise to a RESPA violation. The Court disagreed. The Court held that “rather than Plaintiff merely being dissatisfied with Chase’s response to his query, Plaintiff did not receive the information he requested. Thus, the Court, upon review of the RFI, Chase’s response, Plaintiff’s follow-up, and Chase’s subsequent failure to respond, finds that the Complaint sufficiently alleges that Chase failed to meet its obligation to “provid[e] the borrower with the requested information.” See 12 C.F.R. § 1024.36(d)(1).” Id. at *5-6.