A company blamed for wrongfully attempting to collect a debt from an Edwardsville couple by telling them their home was about to be foreclosed on has filed a notice of removal to federal court.
Defendant Green Tree Servicing LLC filed a notice of removal to the U.S. District Court in East St. Louis on Nov. 18. It claims removal is appropriate due to complete diversity of citizenship. The defendant is a citizen of Delaware, Minnesota, Florida and Maryland. The plaintiffs are citizens of Illinois, the company says.
The plaintiffs seek a judgment of $50,000, plus costs and damages in the amount of the “entire amount of payments, penalties, and interest claimed to be due on a GMAC first mortgage from Jan. 1, 2013 through March 1, 2014.” Damages on payments add up to $14,000, plaintiffs claim.
According to the complaint filed Oct. 2, Harmon and Pamela Cook say they had been making mortgage payments on their home to GMAC Mortgage through December 2012.
Then on Feb. 7, Green Tree Servicing sent a letter to the couple stating that it had taken over the payments from GMAC. Green Tree then sent another letter claiming the couple owed $5,757.32 immediately, the suit states.
Harmon Cook says he called Green Tree regarding the letter and was told that he must pay immediately or have his home foreclosed on.
The couple decided to hire attorney Richard L. Steagall of Peoria to help with the situation and chose to refrain from proceeding with any payments until Green Tree provided documentation proving its right to the money.
The couple and their counsel have still not received any verification from Green Tree, despite the continued foreclosure threats, the suit states.
The plaintiffs allege Green Tree’s attempts to collect money from them consisted of deceptive communication. They also claim the company violated the Fair Debt Collection Act by failing to provide requested information within five days.
Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth is presiding over the case.
The couple is also represented by Ryan S. McCracken of Nicoara & Steagall in Peoria.
Donald K. Schoemaker of Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale in Swansea represents the defendant.
Madison County Circuit Court case number 13-L-1654