I am a huge fan of the travel credit cards offered by Chase Bank. The cards are a major part of my travel so much that I have five of their credit cards (IHG Rewards Card, Chase Freedom Unlimited Card, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card, and United MileagePlus Explorer Card). The points/miles earned on the cards have allowed me to travel the world. One thing I especially like are the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) Benefits offered by Chase Bank.
Chase offers servicemembers the following benefits under the SCRA:
- Reduction of Interest Rate
- Protection from Foreclosure
- Protection from Repossession
- Early termination of Auto Lease
The reduced interest rate is capped at 4% Annual Percentage Rate/per card. The card had to be issued prior to joining the military or being called to active duty (for National Guard or Reserve members). I personally have three cards which are covered by this benefit and two which are not. Some of my associates have all of their cards covered under this benefit, even the ones opened after joining the service. This has baffled me for the longest time but the situation may have become clearer.
In July 2020, I received the following e-mail:
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
If you received reduced interest and/or fee benefits on your Chase Bank credit card account because of your military service, a class action settlement may affect your rights.
You May Be Eligible For Payment from a Class Action Settlement.
A federal court authorized this notice. This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.
A Settlement that will pay the Class over $62 million has been reached in a class action lawsuit alleging, among other things, that, since January 1, 2005, Chase Bank failed to properly reduce the interest rate on the credit card accounts of servicemember customers as required by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and by Chase Bank policy. Chase Bank denies each and all of the claims and allegations of wrongdoing made by the Plaintiffs. The Settlement provides payments to customers who received and/or may have been eligible to receive reduced interest and/or fee benefits from Chase Bank because of his or her military service.
Your legal rights will be affected whether you act or do not act. Please read this notice carefully.
How do you receive payment? If you have received this notice, you do not need to do anything to receive a settlement payment. You will be sent a payment if the Court approves the Settlement and it becomes final. You may visit www.chasebankclassaction.com for more information, to request electronic payment, or to update your address for check payments.
Who is included in the Settlement? If you received this notice, you are in the Class. The “Class” is defined as: “All persons identified in Chase Bank’s records as the holder of a credit card account who, at any time between January 1, 2005 and the Execution Date, received reduced interest and/or fee benefits from Chase Bank because of his or her military service, including benefits in the form of a Remediation Payment Check, or whose Calculated Refund Amount was determined to be negative, zero, or de minimis (meaning less than $10.00), but excluding persons who have executed a release of the rights claimed in this action.”
If you have other questions about the Settlement, visit the Settlement website at www.chasebankclassaction.com or call the toll-free number, 1-866-403-6561. You may also send questions to the Settlement Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not send questions to Chase Bank or to the Court.
What does the Settlement provide?
- The Cash Settlement Amount of over $62 million will be used to pay court-approved attorneys’ fees and costs, service awards to Class Representatives, all settlement administration costs and taxes and tax expenses. The remainder of the Cash Settlement Amount will be distributed to Class Members. For more detailed information about how the Cash Settlement Amount will be used and distributed, please visit the case website to review the full-length Notice and Settlement Agreement.
- Credit Reporting Relief. If the Class Member ID number at the bottom of the notice starts with the letters “CR,” one or more of your closed credit card accounts may be eligible for credit reporting relief. You have until August 31, 2020 to complete a claim form to qualify for this relief. You may complete the form online at the Settlement website: www.chasebankclassaction.com or call 1-866-403-6561 to request a paper form.
- Information on Certain Unclaimed Payments. If the Class Member ID number at the bottom of this notice contains an unclaimed property state abbreviation below this number, a prior payment to you can be claimed by contacting that state’s unclaimed property department. More information is available online at the Settlement website: www.chasebankclassaction.com.
How can I determine what my payment will be? At this time, it is not possible to calculate a Class Member’s payment. More detailed information regarding how the payments for each group will be calculated can be found in the distribution section of the Settlement Agreement posted at the case website www.chasebankclassaction.com.
What are my Legal Rights and Options in this Settlement?
- If you do nothing, you will receive a settlement payment as a Class Member. You will give up your right to participate in other litigation against Chase Bank about the claims made in this case.
- Request Exclusion. You will receive no benefit from the Settlement. This option allows you to retain your rights to participate in other lawsuits against Chase Bank for the claims in this case.
- Object. If you are a member of the Class, you can object to any part of the Settlement, the Settlement as a whole, Class Counsel’s requests for fees and expenses, and/or the Service Awards to the Class Representatives.
- Go to a Hearing. You have the option to request to speak at the Final Approval Hearing, but you must send a letter informing the Court of your intention to appear and speak.
Detailed instructions regarding how to exercise your legal rights and options can be found at the case website www.chasebankclassaction.com or by calling the toll-free number 1-866-403-6561.
Final Approval Hearing. The Court has scheduled a Final Approval Hearing on October 1, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. at the United States Courthouse in Raleigh, North Carolina. Updates to the date, time and courtroom will be posted to the case website at www.chasebankclassaction.com.
At the hearing, the Court will consider granting final approval of the Settlement based on whether it is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court may also consider requests by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses related to the litigation and administration of the Settlement and Service Award for the Class Representative. If there are objections, the Court will consider them at the hearing as well.
As you can imagine, I was more than a bit skeptical of the entire e-mail due to receiving solicitations from African Princesses to fake PayPal account reset. I did nothing with the message except keep it in my inbox. I did not want to delete it and miss out on a blessing. LOL.
Still not thinking about the e-mail from July, I was sent the following in January:
A federal court authorized this notice.
This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.
Class Member ID: XXXXXXXXXX
URGENT — ACT NOW TO PREVENT YOUR SETTLEMENT CHECK FROM EXPIRING
You have not cashed or deposited the settlement check we mailed to you on November 12, 2020. You must deposit or cash the check as soon as possible while the check is still valid. The settlement check will void after May 11, 2021.
If you have misplaced or do not have the check, or have questions regarding the check, please call the Settlement line at 1-866-403-6561 and press 5, or email us at email@example.com.
More information is on the settlement website at www.chasebankclassaction.com.
You can disregard this reminder notice if you deposited or cashed the Settlement check that was mailed to you.
Childress Settlement Administrator – 7002
PO Box 0171
Minneapolis, MN 55440-0171
This message caused me to do a little internet searching to see if this was legit or not. My Googling led me to a Reddit thread where I was able to gather some more details about the settlement checks. According to the thread, the settlement checks range from $75 USD, at the lowest, to $4500, at the highest. I am fairly certain that the check amount is tied to the amount of interest the person paid, when they should not have paid as much. I am sure the amount of interest received by Chase Bank was wayyyy more than whatever the settlement check will be.
This propelled me to send the following e-mail and letter to the addresses above:
I have not received a check from this settelment. What do I need to receive one?
Class Member ID: XXXXXXXXXX
RE: CHASE BANK SETTLEMENT CHECK
I have not received the settlement check. Are you able to forward it to my address below?
XX XXX XXXX
XXXXXXX, XX XXXXX
If you have any questions, please contact me at 832-XXX-XXXX or XXXXXXX@gmail.com.
I did not expect anything in response to my correspondence with the lawyers, but received this a few days after the Priority Mail letter was delivered:
Thank you for the communication. Your check will be reissued and mail on February 22, 2021 to the address XX XXX XXXX, XXXXXXX, XX XXXXX. Please be aware that when a check is reissued, a stop payment will be placed on the original check. This means that the original check cannot be cashed or deposited. In the event the original check is cashed or deposited, it will be returned as a stopped item and the person or bank that accepted the check may charge you a fee. If you find the original check dated November 12, 2020, you should destroy it.
Thank you for your Service to our Country!
Childress v. JPMorgan Chase Bank
I still have a few weeks to go to see if I will receive a check. Once I e-mailed and sent the letter by Priority Mail, there was no turning back. The issue I have with this is Chase Bank who never admitted wrongdoing but agreed to a $62M USD settlement. This had to be significantly lower than the amount of interest paid on the credit cards from service members during that period.
Did you all know about this settlement? If so, how much was your check?