[From Charlie Scharf, CEO of Chase Retail, to employees who are veterans.]
I wanted to reach out to the veterans at JPMorgan Chase to talk about a story that has been running in the press about Chase’s mishandling of mortgage loans for members of the military. As many of you know, interest on loans is capped at 6% to members of the military during their period of military service and they are not required to pay certain fees.
The reports are correct that we made some mistakes. As our employees and veterans who have served our country, you should know more about what went wrong and what we’re doing to fix the problems. We hope we have a complete list of veterans, but please feel free to circulate this to other colleagues who have also served and may not be in our database.
JPMorgan Chase has said publicly that we have made mistakes, are taking accountability for them, and are making best efforts to fix the problems that caused them. In terms of how it could happen, there are no easy answers and we’re not attempting to make any excuses. Essentially, it was a series of operational failures on our part, but it was not malicious or deliberate. There were problems with the connectivity between databases with the Department of Defense, there were problems with our systems, there was human error in manual processes, and there was inadequate training of phone personnel.
Several months ago, Chase initiated a review of how we handle service member mortgage loans. We reviewed our mortgage loans held by service members to ensure we understood the root causes of the issues and had correctly calculated their payments. As a result of that review, we are currently in the process of issuing approximately $2 million in refunds to more than 4,000 Chase customers. We also discovered that we mistakenly foreclosed on some borrowers during their military service protected period. We have resolved most of these cases and are working to resolve the ones that remain.
Our review will continue until we feel completely confident that we have identified and cured every problem and are satisfied that they won’t recur. And if we find other mistakes, we will fix them.
We believe we have fixed many of the issues that caused problems for Captain Rowles and other service members. As one of the changes we have made, we now have a dedicated, trained team within our Home Lending business focused on military customers. They deserve nothing less. Any Chase customer in the military who has an issue with their mortgage should call our dedicated hotline at 877-469-0110.
As a firm, we deeply regret any difficulty this has caused Captain Rowles and his fellow members of our armed forces. There is no finer group of people than the men and women in the military who fight to protect our country every day, and there is no excuse for the problems they encountered with their loans.
As you know, JPMorgan Chase has a very strong history of supporting military and veterans’ organizations, which makes the mistakes we made here particularly painful. It is a horrible aberration, but we hope it does not take away from all of the remarkable work the firm and its employees have done to support people who serve and have served in the military.
Most important, we want to apologize to all of you for letting the men and women of our military down. We are committed to making this right for everyone who had problems and to the veteran community.
Thank you for all of your work to the firm and for your service to our country.