JPMorgan Chase has agreed to a $136 million settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and 47 states, including Nevada, and the District of Columbia. It follows an investigation into the company’s debt collection practices.
If you’re the target of debt collectors employed by JPMorgan Chase or other companies, contact a consumer rights attorney in Nevada today. Your lawyer can help ensure that the debt collectors are following all appropriate debt collection laws and that you’re not being harassed for debts you do not actually owe.
Debt Collection Investigation Findings
The JPMorgan probe found that consumers were subject to collections activities for accounts that were not theirs, as well as collections efforts for debts that were in the wrong amounts or uncollectable. Some debts that were sold to collection agencies were actually inaccurate, previously settled, discharged in bankruptcy, or not actually owed by the customer.
Lawsuits were filed against customers using documents and affidavits that were inaccurate, deceptive and prepared using “robosigners.” Judgments obtained against the customers – as well as other inaccurate credit reporting practices – damaged customers’ credit ratings, making it difficult to obtain new credit, get insurance, qualify for mortgages and obtain new jobs.
JPMorgan Chase Settlement
As part of the settlement, JPMorgan Chase has agreed to overhaul its debt collection practices and put safeguards in place to ensure that the problems found in the probe do not reoccur.
“This settlement will help to ensure that consumers in Nevada are not misled or unlawfully taken advantage of by this bank,” says Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt. “Dealing with aggressive debt collectors can be overwhelming. This settlement holds Chase accountable for its past practices, provides restitution to harmed consumers and prevents future unlawful debt collection from occurring.”
The state of Nevada will receive $1,714,376.53 and 50 victims in the state will receive a total of $57,000.
The settlement agreement was announced by Attorney General Laxalt in July. Participating states are Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Federal and Nevada Debt Collection Laws
Several laws protect consumers who are the target of creditors and debt collectors.
If you are being contacted by a debt collector, that debt collector must obey the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Nevada Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (NFDCPA). Under the FDCPA, you have the right to:
- Request that the debt collector provide verification of the debt.
- Only be contacted between 8 am and 9 pm.
- Instruct the debt collector to cease all communications with you. (They will still be legally allowed to notify you about the status of your account.)
- Request that the debt collector instead communication with your Nevada consumer rights attorney.
- Not be harassed by the debt collector.
- Instruct the debt collector not to contact you at work.
If the debt collector fails to respect your rights or follow your requests, you can hire a consumer rights attorney in Nevada to sue the debt collector for violating the FDCPA.
If There Is a Judgment Against You
If a creditor or debt collection company wins a court judgment against you, they may be able to garnish your wages or seize property to satisfy the judgment. However, there are restrictions on what property can be seized or garnished.
Under Nevada law, the following types of income are considered exempt, and cannot be taken by a creditor or collection agency:
- Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability (SSD)
- Public assistance
- Unemployment benefits
- Disposable earnings under $362.50 per week
- Up to $1,000 in a checking or savings account
- Certain veteran’s benefits and government employee benefits
- Worker’s compensation
- Child support
- Payments received from a wrongful death judgment or settlement
Certain property is also exempt from court judgments. This includes:
- Up to $550,000 in equity in your home
- Jewelry, musical instruments, or other keepsakes collectively valued at up to $5,000
- Essential household goods valued at up to $12,000
- Farm equipment and supplies valued at up to $4,500
- Work materials, such as tools and supplies, valued at up to $10,000
- One vehicle with less than $15,000 in equity
If You Are the Target of Creditors or Debt Collectors
Whether you’re being unfairly targeted for money you don’t owe, such was the case with JPMorgan Chase, or if you have a debt you’re unable to pay, contact Nevada consumer rights attorney Matthew L. Sharp at (775) 324-1500. We can help ensure that creditors and debt collectors treat you fairly, and can help enforce your consumer rights if a debt collection agency is failing to follow the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Nevada Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or other laws related to debts and debt collection.