Samuel Davis says he was swindled out of his property and evicted from his home at 215 Chestnut St. in South Nashville in February 2022. The property had been in his family since 1937.

Davis took out a loan from Franklin American Mortgage in 2007. They sold the loan to J.P Morgan Chase. Chase foreclosed on the loan and sold the property to themselves in June 2012. Davis says the loan was not in default and that the foreclosure sale never should have happened.

The line of credit Davis obtained was processed as an FHA loan and the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was guarantor. HUD inherited a lot of toxic loans during the 2008 recession. HUD forgave Davis his loan in 2012. 

HUD paid J.P. Morgan $124,000 on June 7, 2012 discharging Davis’s debt. On the same day, Chase issued Davis a letter cancelling his debt. It should have ended there.

“Apparently, the lawyers, who alleged they represented JP Morgan Chase, determined that they could secure another piece of valuable property by other means,” said Walter Searcy, a well-known Nashville lawyer. He is now retired.

Searcy said those lawyers used forged documents, unverified statements, and lies to take another piece of Davis’s property.

“Not only did HUD make good on the only loan that he was paying on until they discharged the loan but he also had property that was seized that was not even subject to the loan, was not securing the loan, was not backing the loan. The loan was for one property but the seizure was for two properties,” Searcy said.

A deed of trust was later filed in federal court on the parcel naming HUD as the property owner of Parcel 249. But also on June 7, 2012, a deed of trust was filed in JP Morgan Chase’s name for the same property. That really sticks in Davis’s craw because HUD and Chase, two different parties, cannot hold title to the same property. That is really fishy.

“They cannot show a default on that loan,” Davis said, adding, “The alleged foreclosure was fraudulent.”

Davis said Chandler & Chandler, an Atlanta law firm, is behind the swindle. He faults the Nashville Register of Deeds for accepting false title papers with incorrect property descriptions.

“They took those fraudulent papers into court and that’s how they beat me. That’s how they covered up the swindle and fraud,” Davis told the Tribune.

Samuel Davis says he was swindled out of his property in South Nashville.

Davis said JP Morgan Chase bank officials told him they do not own the property at 215 Chestnut St. and the Atlanta firm is acting without their authorization. However, they claimed to represent JP Morgan in the foreclosure sale of Davis’s Parcel 249, 1205 2nd Ave South.  

“Since 2014 I’ve been trying to resolve the trickery that took both my parcels. Chandler & Chandler obtained a wrongful detainer warrant on behalf of JP Morgan Chase in 2012. They alleged that the loan was in default. “I wasn’t evicted from the Chestnut property until 2022. They’ve been trying to evict me for ten years,” Davis said.

JP Morgan Chase sold a special warranty deed on May 7, 2018 to a Nashville real estate company, Sovereign Investments.

James Hamilton is a lawyer who works for Nelson Mullins Riley and Mulligan, a large real estate law firm that does work for JP Morgan. Hamilton brokered a confidential agreement with Nathaniel Claybrooks of Sovereign Investment in 2018.

The agreement allowed Davis to buy back the property for $205,000. The agreement stated that Davis agreed to hand over the property on Chestnut St. to JP Morgan if he didn’t pay up within 90 days. Davis said someone forged his signature. At the time, he was at Trevecca Rehabilitation Center recovering from an amputation of his left leg from diabetes.

“I never signed that agreement. If they had sold it back to me it would have been extortion,” Davis said. He has the original title; none of the players who have taken the property from him have true legal title to it.

Fruit of a poisoned tree and Res Judicata

Davis filed a complaint in Chancery Court in September 2013 challenging the eviction of his tenant on parcel No. 249, 1203 2nd Ave South. Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle decided in the bank’s favor.

Davis fared no better in the 6th Circuit Court of Judge Thomas Brothers. He affirmed Lile’s decision under the legal doctrine called res judicata. It means “already decided”. Documents that passed muster in Lyle’s court were accepted as legal fact in Brothers court even though they were likely fraudulent.

Davis appealed. The appellate court dismissed the appeal, ruling that “Davis no longer owns the property” and that his appeal was “frivolous”. They sent the case back to Lyle to decide some matters of fact (the alleged fraud). Lyle once again sided with the bankers’ lawyers.

When civil courts denied him, Davis took his case to District Attorney General Glenn Funk in January 2022. Funk met with Davis three times and his investigators met with him several times.

Last week, Funk’s White Collar crime specialist, Chad Jackson, delivered the bad news. “I have not been able to find a way around the statute of limitations,” Jackson said. Depending upon the alleged crime, it runs out as early as two years but no longer than eight years after which it can’t be prosecuted by Funk’s office.  

“What has been done cannot be undone. The law is not going to allow us to do any more, not by us through a criminal prosecution, and I think this is where it has to stop,” he said.

Davis can return to civil court to resolve the issue of who has a genuine property title but he has already lost there.

“We can’t use the criminal court to undo it,” Jackson said.

Franklin American Mortgage based in Franklin, Tennessee, extended Davis a line of credit in 2007. In 2015 the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a $70 million settlement with the company for “improper and inadequate underwriting of mortgages insured by the federal government”.  (See the DOJ press release here:

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/franklin-american-mortgage-company-agrees-pay-70-million-resolve-alleged-false-claims-act)

While Black homeowners were disproportionately impacted by predatory loans that led to the 2008 recession, many others, mostly poor working people, lost their homes and savings in the crash. Ten years later, Samuel Davis lost his family’s legacy and Nashville courts have not restored it.

Join the Conversation

34 Comments

  1. Is it any wonder why Government agencies are despised? The wealthy get richer on backs of any citizens who get in the way of what they desire. When elections come around, promises are made. Once in office they bow to special interest groups. So many wonderful & historic wonderful homes are being destroyed to build high rises. Then property taxes increase. Promises made to attract corporations..who begin their gentrification. Nashville is loosing its identity. Low income families as is most often the case manipulated by legal dancing. And the rich get richer.

  2. Once again the predatory lenders cooked up a scheme not only to steal a man’s property but deny him the right to argue the facts in court! One judge says documents are ok and there’s no way to argue that they are actually fraudulent?! Soup like SCOTUS 6 th Amendment screwed over once again! Don’t have big money for hoting a competent lawyer and you get substandard legal advice! Now you can’t appeal that your previous lawyer was dog you might be able to call your representative but the Senatoin this state don’t care unless you’re ina big money donor! I guess it’s no dojo business with them as a lender! Maybe suing the original lawyer for inept representation?! Amity reason to call title lock the compythat let’s you know if someone else is screwing with the title to your property! It’s getting so a regular person can’t own anything anymore without someone else trying to steal it through the court system no less! The republicans have gerrymandered the shit out of Madison only they can win control and them dismiss any conch from non white or non ted meat loving trump supporters! Just put up a sign entering the state we don’t want any independent or Democrat moderates living in Tennessee! We will screw you every chance we get! You certainly won’t have ANY REPRESENTATION IN WASHINGTON! We don’t believe in science but love a good conspiracy theory! Also don’t get raped and pregnant as a result because unless you have the money to fly out of country you will have the child with no support from the sperm donor! Nor any help with preschool care! Good luck making ends meet on minimum wage! Now GTFO AND STAY OUT!

    1. It is a terrible story and so unfair. Our court system works for the wealthy! I would bet those bankers and lawyers our democrats lik most of them are but it’s really beside the point.

  3. Black people have been screw over all over the world it doesn’t surprise me if that was white person he would got his property do not tell me he wouldn’t this is america

    1. I agree Eddie. I live in Tennessee and they are as crooked as they come. This man deserves his property back. All the fraud going on speaks for itself. Something is very, very, wrong here in TN and it needs to be fixed. JP Morgan are crooks.

    2. Please white people have their property sized everyday in America. My wife passed away and I lost my job and couldn’t pay my mortgage. Guess what? They seized my property and sold it at auction. It sucks but these things happen when you don’t pay your bills. Honestly if he had all this documentation to back up his claims in this article this never would have happened.

  4. I lost 2 apts in Miami JPMorgan
    And Bayview loan servicing presented fraudulent documents
    to the court. I presented payments as bank and I agreed so bank can work out new loans but banks ignored them; I appealed both then banks knew they will loose the cases so they offer a little cash as settlement but I refused to take their dirty money. That money they offered me went to the judges in the appeal courts. Never again I will buy an apt with bank. Miami courts are corrupted. Little guys get crunch.

  5. These thieves will not stop they stole a whole country and told us a lie we’re from Africa we built this country it’s ours we gotta fight back

  6. The courts and the government are running a Scam to take this man’s property, they have taken his home, and his business next door from him, they have combined his home with the business next door and have it listed as a 7 bedroom house, not noting that his property next door was a business, a pizza parlor that caught on fire, so therefore they are not on the same deed. But they plan to quickly tear it down before is noted that they are 2 separate entities, they are selling all the blacks corner lots for a million and better, but the blacks get under 50,000, they know this was a poisonous deal, and you cat beat the government, he is not the only one. They have done several blacks like this in this community…

  7. This is straight bulls…!! Fraud,stolen,muscled and simply because he was black sick of them I am.

  8. This is a travesty. Time to think outside the box. If I’m not mistaken, the city could (in theory) take that property by Eminent Domain (though they would have to pay ‘fair market value’). At that point they could likely decide to sell the property to Mr. David for a small amount. Yes, it would cost a small sum, but it’s at least partial justice. Of course, if I’m not mistaken, the mayor is a developer (or a part of that industry), so who’s interest would he side with?

  9. I don’t know what color has to do with it. But since you brought in race maybe black lives matter can help him with all the billions they have

    1. Wtf you mean you don’t know if color has something to do with it! Blacks are behind years and years due to the disadvantages our families have been dealing with so you can pipe down with all that BS

  10. Is there a GoFundMe or other avenue for donations that we can help Samuel Davis cover the costs of attorneys? Or to buy back the property?

    1. I don’t think one has been started maybe you can get one started.I’m just not familiar with it.This is a good idea

  11. Old White guys at it again. Murder the Brotherman in court. Murder the Brotherman on the street.

  12. This type of swindle is apparently so common that Knox county now has a system to notify the current owner of record when any documents are submitted that might affect your property ownership.

  13. It’s like that old saying, the rich get richer and the poorer. We can’t win against them. It’s a sad fact.

  14. What in the world is going on. It’s absolute unethical, illegal, and with all of the evidence that you have there should be no law to keep you
    from going back to the beginning and getting this taken care of. I am so sorry and so disappointed in this system and it appears that JP Morgan should be audited.
    And no law should allow them to get away with it and it should go way way back.
    And only end when it’s up to date. I am just sick over this. And I happen to be a white woman.

  15. Sam is a personal friend of mine and I know this property has been in this family for three generations. We need to band together and support Sam with pressure on politicians and financial support from our community. Sam is not the only victim here, but let this be a start for our community in making our city give fair and equal treatment to our people of color. This was wrong!! Consider what judges you vote for in the up and coming election. Call your friends and family to pressure your political representatives. “This could be YOU”.

  16. This is the government raping its citizens of there private property to benefit rich corporations and individuals. The city government gets there kickback from building and property taxes. Along with clearing land for housing for the rich and not the folks that are now homeless because there is no affordable housing and destroying the heartiage of Nashville.All city leaders like the mayor are new high priced conds. To drive up land values for everyone.

  17. They do the same thing to white folks. They did the exact same thing to a little old white lady in her 90s. These people h8 everybody…..the old the sick the disabled they don’t give a hoot. They’ll crush us all, every colour.

  18. Sounds like another “black victim of the system”! What a JOKE!! this is just another nigger that couldn’t pay his mortgage and is trying to get something he don’t deserve!!

    1. Shackleford is just another racist SOB that hides behind a keyboard, or a firearm, or privilege, or a group of like-minded ignoramuses but would NEVER say something like that to a Black man one on one without hiding behind something. It’s sad. Just admit you’re a fearful person, sir.

  19. Black men aren’t the only ones being swindled, why does everything have to be about race? Well hey, guess you got your clicks. So tired of race baiting reporters.

  20. If you watch old westerns, it was always about the banks trying to “steal” the peoples land example the railroad…all those folks were white so its not always about color of skin, its the Richer vs. the Poorer. Period. But hey if this man can get his property back using a race card, I wish him all the luck….something us poor white folks couldn’t ever utilize. They should have to give it back cause they stole it.

  21. I just read the story and the comments it’s sad what has happened to that man and many others but what’s even more sad to me is that in 2022 there is so much hate racial hate religious hate all the negative comments are ridiculous stop tha hate start tha lovin for all the evil bastards of all colors and religion I mean seriously why can’t we all get along life is short and hate breeds hate

  22. The white man been taking Land for years and years took from the Indians to from the black etc that’s why they call them white devils

  23. This is nothing new property is so valuable in the City of Nashville yes I believe the man was beat out of his property it goes to show racism still exist no one’s playing the race car it’s factual they will beat you out of your life your property and your money it’s still Jim Crow South in Nashville Tennessee. I also believe that they’re beating old white people too it’s just good old America . As far as the courts are concerned you don’t have the money for representation you will lose facts. So the proceeds of the property the black man didn’t receive a dime and he lost his property it’s a lose-lose situation.

  24. Between the banks, lawyers, developers and contractors no one stands a chance in Nashville. I lived there 50 years and took care of patients from every race and neighborhood. It happens, is happening and personally I left my home because I couldn’t stand the politicians lining their pockets with all this tear down and rebuild. Hope everyone who let these developers rip the city apart are happy. I’d love to rip them apart. Bunch of weasels.

  25. My question would be: did Mr. Davis continue paying on the loan he took out? Or did he accept the fact that “ HUD paid J.P. Morgan $124,000 on June 7, 2012 discharging Davis’s debt. On the same day, Chase issued Davis a letter cancelling his debt.”
    If he continued making payments and J.P. Morgan took his payments then it is Mr. Davis’ property.
    If Mr. Davis stopped making payments at that point, then it is J.P. Morgan’s property.

  26. As an underprivileged white woman, wish I had inherited or could afford property!?! Sounds like he was privileged, ya know inheriting and owning land and businesses, def sounds privileged to me?!? This story ain’t about race, they didn’t know if that man was black or white?!? And that means this this article is actually reverse racism, stop stirring that racism pot and being a bigot already people, please!?! God loves all of us EQUALLY!!!

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