RALEIGH, N.C. — Shanahan Law Group, along with co-counsel Knoll Lowney of Seattle based firm Smith & Lowney, have filed a Class Action Complaint in Raleigh, North Carolina on behalf of military servicemembers against JP Morgan Chase & Co., JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., Chase Bank USA, N.A. and Chase Bankcard Services, Inc. (collectively, “the Defendants”) for violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (the Act).
The Act guarantees that all debt obligations incurred by a deployed servicemember will be reduced to 6% interest from the date his or her orders are received until the end of the ensuing active duty period. The act also requires financial institutions to permanently forgive interest above 6% for active duty servicemembers. The Lawsuit alleges that despite heavy marketing campaigns focused directly on attracting military families to its bank, the Defendants failed to comply with the Act’s clearly defined provisions, and then did not disclose the misconduct when the problem was discovered.
“We are honored to help our soldiers and sailors who put themselves in harm’s way receive the benefit of their service as intended by Congress,” said SLG Principal, Kieran Shanahan. “JP Morgan Chase has taken advantage of those who have served this country with honor.”
The Lawsuit contends that the Defendants illegally charged interest rates higher than 6% to thousands of overseas, active duty servicemembers and allowed unlawful interest charges to exaggerate servicemembers’ principal balances, subsequently charging compound interest on the exaggerated balances.
Plaintiffs and other class members did not discover that Defendants were violating their rights until 2016, when Defendants sent misleading correspondence and payment checks to some military families, prompting an investigating into the Defendants’ compliance with the Act. The named Plaintiffs in the Lawsuit are Gary and Anne Childress of Raleigh, Russell and Suzannah Ho of Crestview, FL, and Michael Clifford of Hingham, MA. These servicemembers and their spouses seek to represent thousands of military families in enforcing their rights under the Act.
Shanahan Law Group and Smith & Lowney previously filed a Class Action Complaint against Bank of America in June 2015, for similar violations in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. The bank’s Motion to Dismiss the lawsuit, was recently denied on May 18, 2016.
Shanahan Law Group is a boutique law firm in Raleigh, North Carolina that offers a full range of business and litigation services. The firm’s practice areas include complex business litigation, business formation and exit strategies, banking and financial institutions, licensing and distribution, real estate and construction, secured transactions, property rights, employment law, white collar criminal defense, trust and estates, and government representation. The firm has offices in downtown Raleigh and North Raleigh. For more information, call (919) 856-9494 or visit http://www.shanahanlawgroup.com.