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Marine Captain, JPMorgan Chase and the mortgage mess

January 17, 2011

JPMorgan Chase is another company that waves the red white and blue, gets their corporate name on support sites and banners proclaiming how much they support the troops… but really isn’t! Surprise, Surprise! This recent NBC investigation shows that for all their feigned support, they need to police themselves much more stringently.

It seems it took a lawsuit, by  Marine Captain Jonathan Rowles and his wife, challenging JPMorgan Chase and their practices, ranging from the length of time it took the lender to charge them the statutory limit on interest (under the SCRA, not more than 6%, good site for information here too) after he went on active duty, and then the harassing phone calls to collect a debt that the family DID NOT OWE!
While defending the suit, JPMC “discovered” that they have been overcharging military families, about 4000 of them, and even worse, have improperly foreclosed on 14 military families (that’s what they found so far).

Now, you ask, why should it be any different for military families than the rest of the country? Besides the fact that JPMC is being two faced about their practices? Besides the fact that military families need all the support they can get while they go through deployment after deployment? Besides the fact that military families are having trouble finding buyers for their homes when they are forced to move due to PCS orders? [I speak from personal experience here!] Besides the fact that many military families are either living apart with the service member in barracks at one post, while the family stays in the unsellable house at another? Besides the military families who live in a rental while the unsellable house in another state is rented at far below the mortgage? [again, personal experience]
A huge factor, that doesn’t affect non military in quite the same way – credit ratings. Yes, having a bad credit rating can mean a civilian finds it harder to find a job. But I don’t know of too many civilian jobs that will treat their employee the way the military treats those with a bad credit rating. Bad credit ratings lead to many servicemembers losing their security clearances. Without those clearances, servicemembers are often forced to either change their MOS, or even worse, are kicked out of the military since they can’t do the job they were “hired” for. Yeah, THAT’S a huge difference!
A communications person for the lender “said that beginning this week Chase will be mailing a total of about $2 million in refunds to families that may have been overcharged. She says most of the families improperly foreclosed on have gotten or will get their homes back. A bank official described what happened here as “grim,” but emphasized the mistakes were inadvertent, not malicious “
Malicious or not, these mistakes cost military families like Captain Rowles and his wife stress, sleepless nights. I wonder how many of those service members were downrange when they found out about these issues, how many spouses were trying to take care of it all during the particular stress hell that deployment can be… talk about deployment gremlins! JPMorgan Chase owes these families an apology. I am relieved to hear that the foreclosed families will get their homes back, but don’t you wonder what happened to them in the meantime? Did anyone get discharged?  Why did it take a lawsuit for JPMC to do this internal review?

Wonder who else is currently checking all those military mortgages. Hmmm? How about you?

LAW

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 18, 2011 3:30 am

    Thanks for the story LAW. I’ll have to check into it. My mortgage is with Chase/JP Morgan and it’s a problem considering our recent PCS to Germany- we were unable to sell our home in CO and were forced to rent. I spoke to Chase multiple times to see if there was anything they could do to accommodate us but was told our only option was to go through the normal short-sale process.

    We’ll see.

    • libarmywife permalink
      January 18, 2011 7:08 am

      So glad we might have helped! I hope they will work with you more now.

      LAW

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  1. Marine Captain, JPMorgan Chase and the mortgage mess « LeftFace — The Other MilSpouse Blog | Civilitasnovus's Blog

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