A duo from the Philippines is suing JPMorgan Chase, alleging that the institution sold assets that have been kept in the bank’s secure deposit boxes in New York and were valued at $8 to $10 million.
Jorge and Stella Araneta submitted a complaint in the Southern District of New York on March 22, 2022, alleging that even though they lived in the Philippines, they have a flat in New York City.
As per the complaint, which Insider has seen, the couple says that the institution accessed four out of their seven deposit boxes for safekeeping when they missed making their rent payments.
The Arnetas claim that since the financial institution sent the invoices to the incorrect address, the family fell behind with their safe box payments. The couple claimed that the bank sent the final two notifications for the renewals of two boxes to a Louisiana PO Box that was not related to or have authorization from them. The bank received the letters back.
The Aranetas paid the unpaid rent in whole in October 2019 during their visit to the bank in person to extend leases, according to the lawsuit, which failed to describe how they ultimately recognized they hadn’t yet paid for the four boxes. At the time, the bank offered them the assurance that every item taken would be restored.
Yet, the lawsuit alleges that JPMorgan proceeded to auction off its items. JPMorgan decided not to respond.
The contents of the security deposit boxes, stated by the pair, are valued at $8 to $10 million. They didn’t provide any proof in the lawsuit to back their figure. According to the lawsuit, JPMorgan sold the things for $552,700 in the first half of 2020’s summer.
The Aranetas say they started renting the safe deposit boxes in 2006:
The Aranetas stated in their lawsuit that they began renting the safe deposit boxes in 2006 and extended the leases every year. The upfront investment of the leases was not revealed in court, however, the lawsuit alleges that the pair made 4 installments totaling $190.53 for the deposit boxes in May 2014.
According to the lawsuit, JPMorgan withdrew the contents of four of its security deposit boxes without their consent around the time of February 17, 2017.
The couple is now demanding payment for their belongings. According to legal papers, the vaults contained gold coins, jewelry, and Rolex watches. A five-page listing of the items, that the couple, alleges were stored in the safe deposit boxes is included in the lawsuit as an exhibit.
According to the legal brief seen by Insider, US District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald denied one of the lawsuit’s allegations on Wednesday based on how New York banking law was interpreted.
The lawsuit is going forward on counts of carelessness as well as other things. Araneta v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, 22-cv-2346, Southern District of New York US District Court.