Son seeks class action justice for deceased mother

Steve Gonzalez Jan. 12, 2005, 4:44am

Gary Peel of the Lakin Law Firm in Wood River filed the first class action of 05

A son seeking justice for his deceased mother was the first to file a class action lawsuit in Madison County Circuit Court in 2005.

Gary Treadway of Madison County--representing Juanita Treadway's estate--is suing Nationscredit Financial Services, doing business as Equicredit of North Carolina. He alleges that Equicredit charged his mother a $150 “loan discount fee” but failed to lower his mother’s interest rate in exchange for that fee.

Treadway is represented by Gary Peel of the Lakin Law Firm of Wood River.

“The interchangeable terms 'loan discount fee' and 'discount fee' are subject to only one reasonable interpretation- a fee paid to reduce the interest rate on the loan," according to the complaint. "In the context of home mortgage loans, these terms cannot be reasonably be construed as anything other than a fee paid to reduce a loan’s interest rate.”

Treadway claims that Equicredit should not be permitted to keep the loan discount fee it collected from his mother, without lowering the rate in exchange for that fee.

Juanita Treadway originally obtained the loan for her home in Hartford in September 1999. She died in November 2001.

Treadway claims that if his mother had known she would not have had reduced rates in exchange for the fee--and it was just simply another source of profit--she would have refused to pay the fee or would have sought alternative financing.

The suit seeks an amount not to exceed $75,000 for alleged violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, unjust enrichment, and breach of contract.

The case has yet to be assigned by Chief Judge Edward Ferguson.

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