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!)