Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Chase Home Finance will have to pay the Fort Lauderdale-based law firm Ben-Ezra & Katz a $4 million surety bond to get its foreclosure case files back.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida made the ruling Friday after the bank’s lawsuit against Ben-Ezra & Katz alleging that the firm was delaying the return of the documents after being fired March 9.

Chase said the files contain more than $400 million worth of original notes and mortgages “without which Chase will be unable to proceed with any of the pending cases.”

Ben-Ezra & Katz, which also was let go by federal mortgage backer Fannie Mae in February, said it is owed $6.2 million in legal fees from Chase.

“This will enable Ben-Ezra & Katz to complete its long-standing pledge to transfer the files in an orderly, professional manner,” the company said in a statement Friday about the ruling.

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