An article by Payments Source, a sister publication of the American Banker, recently reported that J.P. Morgan Chase has stopped filing lawsuits to collect on credit card and other debts in several states — including Maryland.
The publication noted that Chase had fired in-house attorneys involved in collections. A review of electronic court records by the American Banker found that Chase collections efforts disappeared in Maryland, California, Florida, New York, and Washington, and dropped off dramatically in Illinois in recent months.
In an email, Chase spokesman Paul Hartwick wrote: “I cannot confirm any of the information in that article, and because we operate in a highly competitive business, we consider our collections strategy to be proprietary, so I do not have any comment on the issue at this time.
Peter Holland, a lawyer who runs the consumer protection clinic at the University of Maryland, says Chase’s move is a response to a whistle-blower lawsuit brought by a former employee. The whistle blower alleged that Chase overstated amounts due on accounts that were later sold to a third party for collection.