JP Morgan Chase admitted it overcharged thousands of military men and women. The company also admitted that it wrongfully foreclosed on 14 active duty service families. Federal law protects active duty military personnel from high interest rates and foreclosures.
“Soldiers who are fighting on the front lines to protect our country shouldn’t have to needlessly fight with banks to protect their homes,” said Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed. He asked the attorney general’s office to examine the incidents for possible federal prosecution.
Other states have now begun investigating whether other mortgage companies have also violated state and federal foreclosure laws. Apparently violations are widespread. Complaints have been pouring in from servicemen about Chase, Countrywide/Bank of America, HSBC, Capital One and others.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and many states limit the interest rates that can be charged to active duty soldiers. Servicemen and women are deployed are also protected from foreclosures until they return.
For its part, Chase has admitted overcharging over 4000 military families and has pledged to mail refund checks. Fixing the problem for the 14 families that lost their home may be more difficult. One soldier said that not only did Chase foreclose on his home while he was on active duty, the resulting financial loss forced him into bankruptcy. It is one thing to mail a refund check but quite another to restore someone’s home, peace of mind and credit standing.
Numerous lawsuits have been filed and more are expected.
If you are the subject of a foreclosure action, seek legal help as soon as possible. In many instances an experienced lawyer can help you modify your loan, work out a short sale (selling the property for less than one is owed) or raise defenses to the bank’s actions.
Mahany & Ertl is a full service law firm offering mortgage defense throughout Wisconsin. Often we can represent you on a flat fee basis and help you remain in your home. Contact our Milwaukee mortgage foreclosure lawyers at (414) 704-6731 for a no obligation, no nonsense consultation.
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