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July 27, 2012

Capital One agrees to $12M settlement

WASHINGTON (UPI) -- Capital One has agreed to pay $12 million to settle allegations of wrongful service member foreclosures, among other things, U.S. officials said.

The settlement resolves allegations Capital One N.A. and Capital One Bank (USA) N.A. violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, the Justice Department said Thursday.

A department statement said the settlement "covers a range of conduct that violated the protections guaranteed service members by the SCRA, including wrongful foreclosures, improper repossessions of motor vehicles, wrongful court judgments, improper denials of the 6 percent interest rate the SCRA guarantees to service members on some credit card and car loans and insufficient 6 percent benefits granted on credit cards, car loans and other types of accounts."

A proposed consent order, filed simultaneously with the complaint, is one of the most comprehensive SCRA settlements ever obtained by a government agency or any private party under the SCRA, the department said.

The agreement requires Capital One to pay approximately $7 million in damages to service members for SCRA violations, including at least $125,000 in compensation plus compensation for any lost equity (with interest) to each service member whose home was unlawfully foreclosed; and at least $10,000 in compensation plus compensation for any lost equity (with interest) to each service member whose motor vehicle was unlawfully repossessed.

In addition, the agreement requires Capital One to provide a $5 million fund to compensate service members who did not receive the appropriate amount of SCRA benefits on their credit card accounts, motor vehicle finance loans and consumer loans, the department said. Any portion of the $5 million that remains after payments to service members are made will be donated by Capital One to one or more charitable organizations that help service members.

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