JPMorgan Chase had to publicly apologize before Congress to military families for the bank’s financial abuse of Americans fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan over the same period. In violation of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, designed to protect those serving overseas during their absences from home, JPMorgan overcharged at least 4,500 soldiers on their mortgages and illegally foreclosed on 18 of them.
Many of these victims have been battling JPMorgan for years to get it to obey the law, but the bank is not alone. HSBC, and particularly HSBC Finance, is also the subject of Servicemembers Civil Relief Act complaints. When HSBC was featured in a report outlining abuse of the US military no action was taken and no uproar was heard.
The US military is but a small portion of those who paid the price for predatory lending.
Bankers and regulators once claimed to monitor and detect predatory lending. Somewhere between 2003 and 2004, bankers realized that huge profits would result from creating boarderline predatory mortgages while betting against them. The net result was a world economy that paid the price.
“The world has paid with tens of millions of unemployed, who were in no way to blame and who paid for everything,” French president Sarkozy said. “Too much is too much.”