January 18, 2011 (Shirley Allen)
JPMorgan Chase reported yesterday, they overcharged roughly 4,000 troops on their mortgages and improperly foreclosed on 14 of the families. The bank has admitted it had made the mistakes and is trying to correct the problem, and as a result, Chase said it will be sending roughly $2 million in refunds to families that have been overcharged and will give back the homes that were improperly foreclosed.

Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act last amended in 2003, lenders can be required to lower mortgage rates for active-duty military personnel to 6% and cannot pursue a foreclosure.

According to a report from NBC News, Chase was slow to make the change for many of the families, including charging a Marine Captain, Jonathan Rowles, as much as 10% and hounding him with debt collection calls for as much as $15,000 in arrears.

“I’m concerned and troubled over JP Morgan Chase’s disclosure,” Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said. “Our deployed men and women should focus on their deployment. Neither they, nor their families, should have to endure this kind of financial distraction back home.”

The Rowles case against Chase is still pending, but the bank said it had made the mistakes and is trying to correct the problem.

“We made mistakes here and we are fixing them,” a Chase spokeswoman Kristin Lemkau said.

Chase claims it is reviewing how it services loans to military personnel, and it has implemented a team that works only for these borrowers, however according to Rowles’ attorney, that isn’t enough.

“These are people who are in active duty. These are people fighting for us. The suit is going forward,” Harpootlian said. “Chase got caught. It’s a good first step, but it’s not enough.”

Tags: veterans mortgage, foreclosure, lower mortgage rates, active duty veterans