Chase Overcharged Over 4,000 Military Families On Mortgages, Improperly Foreclosed On 14

Chase has admitted that it overcharged over 4,000 military families on their home mortgages, as well as wrongly foreclosed on 14 of them. Some of these are families of troops that are fighting in Afghanistan.

Active-duty troops generally get their mortgage rate reduced to 6% and are protected from foreclosure, under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).

The bank said it was mailing over $2 million in refunds back to the families and that “most” of the families wrongfully foreclosed on have gotten or will get their homes back.

That’s not good enough for Marine Capt. Jonathan Rowles, who is filing a class action lawsuit against Chase. He said that it took a few months for Chase to reduce his interest rate to 6%, during which time his family was overcharged by $900 a month. Everything went fine for 2 years, and then he started getting harassing phone calls from the bank demanding sometimes almost $15,000 even though he had made all his payments in full and on time.

“Saturday, Sundays, middle of the night. It did not matter if it was a holiday,” his wife Julia Rowes told NBC. “Collection calls at 3 in the morning. He would state, “I’m in California. I’m stationed here in Miramar. It’s 3 in the morning. What are you doing calling me?” “Well, sir, this is an attempt to collect a debt.”

Turns out that while they were making payments at a 6% rate, the bank still kept charging them at 9 or 10%. Phone call after phone call could not resolve the issue. Finally, they got a lawyer.

“We made mistakes here and we are fixing them,” a Chase spokeswoman told NBC. “We now have a dedicated team in place devoted to servicing home loans for military personnel –the members of our military deserve nothing less. We welcome the opportunity to talk to Captain Rowles and others who would like to discuss their accounts.”

You can read Chase’s full statement here.

No. 2 bank overcharged troops on mortgages [NBC] (Thanks to John!)

Comments

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  1. AllanG54 says:

    Yep…we just made a few mistakes. Mea culpa. Like the whole thing is just a small error. I hope these defenders of our country make out real well in this suit because ignorance is NOT an excuse for not following the law.

  2. ubermex says:

    I hope they do more than just “fix” it. If I, through negligence, cheat someone out of money, I’d do more than just pay it back if it went to court.

    • sonneillon says:

      Actually chances are you would just pay it back. In most cases civil court is designed to make you “whole.” And put you back to where you were before you started.

  3. NashuaConsumerist says:

    10% rate? Good god…. I hope they lower it to 6% as they should and keep it there….

  4. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    Chase, the “Number two” bank. Fitting.

  5. kc2idf says:

    For those that got foreclosed, great if they get their homes back, but what about the belongings they might have lost in a “trash out”?

    How about the stress they will have caused? Nothing stresses more than helplessness.

    And why did it take a lawyer to get them to put it right in the first place? They should pay for that, too.

    Enough of this shit.

    • c!tizen says:

      Let he who has never made a $2 million error that sent service member’s families packing and led to 3am collection calls for debt that was never owed cast the first stone. Thank god we don’t have financial regulation… if we had someone may have caught this and Chase wouldn’t have been able to play the “I’m sorry” card.

      /s

  6. axhandler1 says:

    The system currently in place is so biased in favor of corporate rights. What? We committed fraud “unintentionally”? Well, we’ll pay everyone back (taking our sweet time to do it) and everything goes on as normal. No fines or punishments, of course. You had to lawyer up due to our monumental incompetence? Too bad, hope it wasn’t too expensive. I hope this class action suit hits them hard in the only weak spot corporations have; their wallet.

    • Snowblind says:

      Treason and aiding and abetting the enemy.

      Get a rope.

    • One-Eyed Jack says:

      Meanwhile, the members of the Class will get … $14.95 and a gift card for free checks next time they need them.

      I hate the settlements for class action lawsuits. The company may be punished, but the lawyers are the only ones who win. The consumers usually get but a token of apology.

  7. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    I ran into similar problems during the many times I was deployed to the Balkans. I followed the procedures for the Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act to the letter (our Jag attorney helped write the correspondence) and the banks acted like they had never heard of the law that had been on the books since WWII. This was before the Iraq & Afghanistan conflicts, so there were less people initiating the requests but I was still surprised that they had no procedures in place to handle them.

    I wound up giving my brother power of attorney for financial matters.

  8. toddb says:

    6%?? What a rip-off. I refi’d at 4.125 fixed for 30 years. How about you give them a real break since they are fighting to protect corporate profits…I mean democracy. For those you overcharged, how about instead of just refunding the overcharge, you give them a free refinance at 4% or less. Or, better yet, Chase should pay thousands of dollars in fines and overcharges for basically stealing their money. Cause if was the other way around, you know that Chase would have no problem with extra fees and whatnot.

    • Firethorn says:

      You have to remember the law’s been around since around WWII. Back in those days 12+% interest was a GOOD rate for somebody with the equivalent of ‘good’ credit back before the credit bureaus really got started.

      6%, historically, hasn’t been a bad rate. Yes, it’s sad that falling interest rates have made it so that I can’t get my interest rates reduced if I deploy. Oh well.

  9. Invader Zim says:

    Wish I had a dollar for every mistake. I’d be a rich biatch

  10. RogerX says:

    “We welcome the opportunity to talk to Captain Rowles and others who would like to discuss their accounts”

    “…and will continue to call daily at 3am until they agree to discuss their account and why they weren’t paying the extra $900 a month we just decided they owed.”

    • jeffbone says:

      Those Chase boys must be a special blend of industrial grade stupid, going around irritating Marines like that.

      “No better friend, no worse enemy…” Gen James Mattis, USMC

  11. flip says:

    even 6% is high..You think your doing them a favor by giving that rate?

    Bunch of paper pushing pu$$ie$. They should be ashamed trying to take advantage of the ones protecting our freedoms.

  12. GearheadGeek says:

    NOW can we march on Chase HQ with pitchforks and torches? PLEASE?

    • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

      I’ll bring the tar and feathers.

    • kenj0418 says:

      With 4000 military families being mistreated – I’m sure we can get better armaments than that.

      • Jack Doe says:

        Better armaments? Yeah, you can get firearms, but I think a pitchfork in the gut of Jamie Dimon might get the “point” across better.

        • Pax says:

          No, the pitchfork would actually kill him, eventually.

          But one of those HUMMV-mounted, microwave-based “Nonlethal Crowd Suppression” things? The ones that make you FEEL like you’re literally on fire, without actually being burned? PLEASE, let us have a few of those!!

      • MamaBug says:

        you, sir, have a wonderful mentality.

  13. Rachacha says:

    I saw a bunch of comments that said that 6% interest rate was high, and I agree that it is, but also consider that families in the military are typically not in the best financial situation, may not have the best credit history, and the spouse at home may be without any income if the soldier is killed in action. In the eyes of the bank, this is a large credit risk, and the 3-4% decrease is getting them a better rate than if the family were not in the military performing a similar job.

    It is not the job of the private sector to support the men and women in the military, that is the job of the government.

    I am not saying that I agree or disagree with the interest rate that they are being charged, just pointing out that for these families, 6% might be a GREAT rate and may be much better than they could get anywhere else.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I think it has more to do with the age of the law. The Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act was originally passed in 1940 (and amended several times) — Historically, a 6% interest rate has been considered very good.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      If you think it isn’t the job of the people to support the military, perhaps you’d prefer they not bother protecting you, eh?

      Rail against the government, rail against the soldiers who are caught doing terrible things, but you should NEVER – *NEVER* – fail to recognize the *GRAVE* sacrifices that members of our military make, on our behalf, *VOLUNTARILY*, day-in and day-out.

      They deserve EVERY LAST DROP of courtesy that we can extend to them, and they deserve EVERY SINGLE BREAK that businesses can provide.

      No soldier, past or present, for as long as we maintain an all-volunteer military, should *EVER* be allowed to go homeless, no matter how grave their debts may become.

  14. larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

    Sounds like Chase (or their agent) violated several FDCPA regulations as well – calling outside the hours of 8AM to 9PM, calling at times known to be inconvenient, calling repeatedly or continuously …. http://credit.about.com/od/debtcollection/tp/fdcpa-violations.htm

    Individuals can file suit for up to $1000; I’d hope the attorney in this case can get more and/or slap sanctions on Chase (or their agent).

  15. Gman says:

    Sigh…if only we had legislators with an actual spine.

    I wish someone would put in new laws that basically say corporations can be held criminally responsible for crimes.

    Example: In cases where specific individuals can’t be found at fault, than the corporation itself takes responsibility [They hired the person and the person was officially acting on the companies behalf being the acting employee]. The corporation should be fined significant amounts [percentages of profit, not hard numbers] and forced to pay all legal fees. Of course this should be a sliding scale.

    And if a major crime is commtted [ex company knowingly commuting fraud worth millions] than in addition to paying everything back, the companies executives should be held responsible and charged as if they did the crime themselves. No way in any company i have ever worked for has a CEO not noticed millions in profit and not asked where it was coming from.

  16. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Again I say, if Hong Kong and the Brits can charge corporations with manslaughter, we should be able to charge corporations with fraud, at the very least.

  17. oldwiz65 says:

    Smart idea to admit making mistakes in this case. After all, do you really want people full trained in all sorts of weapons mad at you? Would you like a mortar attack on bank headquarters? An apache helicopter circling the bank president’s house?

  18. scoosdad says:

    “We welcome the opportunity to talk to Captain Rowles and others who would like to discuss their accounts.”

    So how quickly can we get a bunch of Chase executives on a Ryanair flight to Afghanistan to meet with the servicemen and women they screwed?

  19. mopman64 says:

    We overcharged you, we got caught. It was on purpose until we got caught. Now it’s a mistake. Here is your money back, sucker. Oh and thanks for defending our country.
    I hope this class action gets them where it hurts.

    • unsmith says:

      Traveling halfway around the world to decimate another sovereign nation is not defense, it’s offense.

      If you think it’s ok to do so because of what people in those countries “might” do, I invite you to watch the movie “Minority Report.”

  20. bben says:

    I’m sick of big time vastly overpaid CEOs getting off with this kind of BS. If the CEO was doing his job, heads should have rolled as soon as he found out.

    How bout a reasonable fine – for Chaise reasonable should be in the billion range. Then prosecute under RICO – this looks like organized crime to me. And jail time for the CEO – he was in charge. That makes him the responsible party – he should do the time. We really need some serious penalties for these rich biaches when they ruin somebody elses life. An apology then back to business as usual doesn’t cut it.

    Please put me on the jury for any civil trial against a bank.

  21. jeffbone says:

    In an interesting bit of irony (or collusion), Chase holds the contract for credit cards associated with USAF Officers’ Clubs as a result of their takeover of FirstUSA:

    http://www.firstusa.com/cgi-bin/webcgi/webserve.cgi?partner_dir_name=afmc&page=cont

    Getting that card jammed down your throat if you wanted to be (or remain) a club member is the reason a bunch of folks quit the clubs many moons ago.

  22. Branden says:

    these numbers sparked my curiosity, so i ran them:
    in order for you to have your mortgage payments lowered by $900/month just from having your interest rate lowered from 10% to 6% you would have to have approximately a $325,000 mortgage (assuming 30 year amortization).

  23. Nick says:

    So these Chase people, they are not the ones we are fighting in Afghanistan?