Congresswoman Jackie (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) and other members of Congress sent a letter (attached) today to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Acting Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh urging them to hold JPMorgan Chase accountable for overcharging thousands of military families on their mortgages and even wrongfully foreclosing on 14 families:

“JPMorgan Chase turned the lives of thousands of military families into nightmares. There is absolutely no excuse for this, even though the bank admitted its ‘mistake.’ JPMorgan Chase has to be held accountable for its illegal actions that forced 14 families into foreclosure and overcharged 4,000 active service members.

“I urge Chairman Ben Bernanke and Comptroller Walsh to require JPMorgan Chase to immediately train their employees on federal law covering mortgages of active-duty military service member and to fine JPMorgan Chase and use those funds to inform service members of their rights to certain mortgage protections. Further, I ask that all major financial institutions be audited to determine if this is a systemic problem and then take appropriate steps to assist affected military families and ensure that no more families are similarly victimized.

“Imagine the life of Julia Rowles who battled with the bank for five years while her husband Marine Captain Jonathan Rowles was away on active duty. JP Morgan Chase demanded $15,000 the Rowles did not owe. The bank has violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act which reduces the mortgage interest rates for soldiers on active duty to 6% and shields them from foreclosure. Julia Rowles made her mortgage payments based on that 6% rate and didn’t miss a single payment. She did everything a responsible homeowner is supposed to do, yet she got caught up in the abuse of the lender. The last thing a soldier fighting on the front lines should have to worry about is losing his or her home.

“We need to send a clear message to banks that such behavior will not be tolerated.”