Washington D.C.— Lucia Mattox, the director of western states outreach and senior policy associate at the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) made the following statement in response to recent reports that JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s largest bank with over $3.2 trillion in assets, has renewed a predatory practice called “robo-signing,” which occurs when companies filing lawsuits against consumers sign and churn out affidavits without verifying the validity of debts or pertinent documents:
Even as they continue to struggle with the impact of the COVID19 pandemic, tens of thousands of American families who bank with Chase could see their wages garnished, money taken out of their accounts for wrongful debts and negative credit score impacts if the bank does not put an immediate end to its abusive robo-signing practices in its lawsuits against credit card customers who may have overdue payments. If Chase continues this trend unfettered, impacted consumers will have a harder time obtaining housing and affordable credit down the road, effectively shattering their American Dream. And history shows that consumers of color will be most affected by these predatory debt collection practices.
We commend Senate Democrats for highlighting this issue in its recent inquiry letter to JPMorgan Chase.
In 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a consent order prohibiting JPMorgan Chase from robo-signing and engaging in debt collections practices that were in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act. The CFPB’s consent order expired on January 1, 2020.
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