Wednesday, February 16, 2011

NEWS: Bank returns seized homes to military families

WASHINGTON — JPMorgan Chase & Co. has returned 10 homes to military families whose properties were seized when they should have been protected a by law designed to shield service members from financial stress, a bank executive said.

The properties were among 18 found to have been improperly taken by New York-based JPMorgan, said Stephanie Mudick, the bank’s head of consumer practices. Two other homeowners got unspecified settlements, and six cases remain unsettled.

“We will attempt to make the remaining borrowers whole as quickly as possible,’’ said Mudick, who added that the bank is continuing its review.

JPMorgan, the nation’s second-biggest bank by assets, said last month it would return money to families who were overcharged on mortgages or lost their homes after the company was accused of violating the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. The bank has begun paying back $2.4 million to about 4,500 service members, Mudick said. The median payment is $70 plus interest.

The law restricts the ability of lenders to foreclose on homes owned by military service members who are on active duty or recently returned. It also caps mortgage interest rates at 6 percent during active duty and for 12 months afterward.

Bloomberg News February 10, 2011

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