Earlier this year, JPMorgan Chase Bank admitted to overcharging thousands of military members and their families on their mortgages, and even erroneously foreclosing on more than a dozen families. The bank is now set to pay out over $26 million to settle the class action lawsuit that arose as a result.
These actions were brought to light when Marine Capt. Jonathan Rowles filed a suit, along with his wife, accusing Chase of violating the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Under this act, which was created in 1942 to protect deployed military personnel from financial strain, active-duty troops are provided reduced mortgage interest rates and are supposed to be protected from foreclosure and eviction.
However, Rowles and his wife were overcharged on monthly mortgage payments by hundreds of dollars and even received threatening collections calls at 3 a.m. when Chase claimed they owed an additional $15,000.
After the original suit sparked an investigation by NBC News and led to the eventual admission of fault by the bank, a class action lawsuit on the behalf of the military families who were overcharged was settled for $56 million.
The settlement includes $27 million in cash to about 6,000 active-duty military personnel who were overcharged on their home loans, a reduction of interest rates on soldiers’ current mortgages and the return homes to owners who were wrongfully foreclosed upon.
Frank Bisignano, Chase’s chief administrative officer, was quoted as stating, “We are sorry and regret the mistakes our firm made on mortgages for members of the military, and we’d like to thank Capt. and Mrs. Rowles for helping us address them.”