COLORADO ATTORNEY GENERAL CYNTHIA H. COFFMAN ANNOUNCES CHASE WILL REFUND FEES, CEASE UNLAWFUL DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES AGAINST COLORADANS
DENVER— Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman announced today that Colorado and 46 other states, the District of Columbia, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have reached a $136 million settlement with Chase Bank USA N.A. and Chase Bankcard Services Inc. (“Chase”). The settlement resolves allegations that, between 2009 and 2013, Chase employed unlawful debt collection practices, including the “robo-signing” of affidavits, to collect approximately $4.5 billion in defaulted credit card debt.
“Chase's debt collection practices valued profits-from-volume at the expense of its consumers,” said Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman. “Unfortunately for Chase, greed does not trump the rule of law.”
In addition to the robo-signing of affidavits, a joint state-federal investigation into Chase’s debt collection practices uncovered evidence of collections activity against individuals on accounts they did not own, inaccurate credit reporting, and calculation errors by Chase regarding amounts actually owed by consumers.
The agreement requires Chase to significantly reform its credit card debt collection practices in areas of affidavit preparation, collections litigation, debt sales, and debt buying. The agreement specifically prohibits the future resale by debt buyers, an important measure to prevent long-term harm to consumers that often results from such resales. As a part of the agreement, Chase will also cease collection on an estimated 528,000 defaulted credit card accounts, and will refund at least $50 million in restitution directly to consumers who were overcharged as a result of Chase’s practices.
Of the $136 million settlement payment, Colorado will receive $1,212,325.18, plus a payment for the reimbursement of the Colorado Attorney General’s fees and costs it incurred while working on an executive committee of states that investigated Chase’s conduct. Chase also will cease collections pending against over 3,000 Coloradans, and pay refunds directly to Colorado consumers. Chase also will notify the affected consumers and will ask all three major credit reporting agencies to not report judgments obtained by Chase.