Brian J. O’Connor, Detroit News Finance Editor
Here’s a fun banking fact: JP Morgan Chase owns the pistols used in the famous duel between Aaron Burr (founder of a firm that merged with the bank) and Alexander Hamilton. I saw the pistols in person a few years ago and, since they were antiques, I assumed they weren’t getting much use. But clearly Chase is regularly pulling those .54-cal. babies out on a regular basis to shoot itself in the foot — and its customers squarely in the wallet.
This time it involves Chase coughing up $216 million in penalties and fines to settle with Michigan, 46 other states, the Comptroller of the Currency and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau over illegal and abusive debt-collection practices involving 528,000 credit card accounts.
The violations included trying to collect or selling to debt collectors accounts that Chase wasn’t legally allowed to collect. These debts had already been settled or paid in full, discharged in bankruptcy, was fraudulent and not owed by the debtors, was already under a payment plan, or no longer owned by Chase, according to the Protection Bureau.
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