JP Morgan Chase and U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Jonathon Rowles announced that they have agreed to settle a class action lawsuit over financial protections due military customers under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). “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,” said Frank Bisignano, Chief Administrative Officer of JP Morgan Chase. “We hold ourselves accountable and responsible for these mistakes.”
Under the terms of the class action settlement, which is pending court approval, Chase will make $27 million in benefits available to Chase’s military customers. The firm will pay $12 million to the class and set aside $15 million for additional damages on a case-by-case basis. Any remaining funds will be used to benefit military members, veterans and their families. Chase will also provide an estimated $6.4 million in additional benefits to borrowers who may have been subjected to wrongful foreclosure practices.
Marine Captain Rowles stated, “It is our hope that this settlement will result in greater attention by the entire financial services industry to the nation’s laws that protect our military families.” As a foreclosure defense attorney, I can assure Captain Rowles that I’m doing my part.
Our servicemen and their families are making tremendous sacrifices so that the rest of us can enjoy our freedoms without worry. Congress rightfully provided protections to our soldiers so that banks couldn’t foreclose on their homes while they’re off in battle overseas. You’d think that banks would want to honor our servicemembers’ sacrifices–or at least uphold the law. Unfortunately, that’s simply not the case. This is nothing more than another example of Chase’s philosophy of “Foreclose first, ask questions later.”