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Veterans’ Committee Holds Oversight Hearing on Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Compliance

Feb 9, 2011 Issues: Veterans

WASHINGTON, DC–Today, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a full committee oversight hearing on mortgage-related violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) by J.P. Morgan Chase Bank.
 
In the hearing, a bank representative admitted that the bank violated the SCRA by improperly charging interest on some 4,500 active duty servicemembers’ mortgages beyond the 6% cap that is required under the law.  The witness also admitted that the bank further violated SCRA by improperly foreclosing on 18 servicemembers’ homes while they were deployed.   
 
“Our nation’s war fighters – and their families – should not have to fight to keep their piece of the American Dream while they are on foreign ground defending that fundamental right for all of us,” commented Full Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (FL01). “While I am heartened that J.P. Morgan Chase Bank is attempting to fix these errors with respect to wrongful foreclosures and is refunding over $2.4 million in excessive interest charges, more must be done to ensure that this never happens again.”
 
“I hope this is a wake-up call for the entire financial services industry,” continued Miller.  “The lesson is to understand and follow the requirements of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, and to undertake the same sort of review as has Chase to ensure compliance.  For the Department of Defense, it is time to review whether the services’ SCRA training programs are getting the job done to educate servicemembers and their families about the protections afforded to them under the law.”