Between January 2008 and April 2011, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. filed more than 100,000 lawsuits against customers for delinquent amounts concerning their credit-card accounts. A recent review of the company's dealings found that almost 100 cases of the 1,000 studied involved an error on the part of the company. While the bank has concluded that the mistakes were "minor" and that the principle amounts that were collected in the lawsuits were accurate, concerns have the raised as to what may be found with further examination into more cases.
In the study, a regulator of the bank had approximately 10% of all the cases filed between 2008 and 2011 reviewed. The report found errors involving such matters as inaccurate interest and fees applied by law firms. The review even claims that a small percentage of the cases listed higher balances than the amounts owed by the customers. While no one is venturing to claim that the bank made these errors on purpose, several sworn documents were signed without examination of their accuracy.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris is looking forward to the bank conducting more reviews on its own dealings, especially after allegations that the bank signed off on a significant amount of foreclosure actions without any examination of the documentation behind each case. In fact, the foreclosure allegations are what sparked the bank's self-inflicted internal review, which surfaced this new issue of debt-collection lawsuit errors.
This is not the first occurrence of faulty debt-collection practices on the part of large U.S. banks. In 2012, the Iowa Attorney General negotiated a multi-billion dollar settlement involving over-due mortgage abuses in 13 states, not including California, which filed its own lawsuit against J.P. Morgan for unlawful methods of pursuing overdue debts.. One legal professional from Georgia stated that errors in debt-collection lawsuits are not a rare occurrence and are not only reserved to J.P. Morgan. Examiners, lawyers and attorney generals from different states are pooling their resources and sharing the information they find with groups like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Federal Trade Commission. If findings continue at this same pace, banks like J.P. Morgan and others may expect more lawsuits or even an industry-wide settlement, some experts claim.
If you believe you have been the victim of a debt-collection lawsuit error or collection abuse, contact a California collection harassment lawyer to learn how Ronald Wilcox, Attorney at Law can help you.