Just a week after it was ordered to pay $165 million in refunds and penalties for wrongful credit card practices, Capital One reached a settlement with the Department of Justice over charges that it financially abused active military members. Under the terms of the settlement, the bank will pay $12 million to American military members who were denied their legal right to reprieve from foreclosures, high interest rates, and auto reposession while on active duty.
The Justice Department estimated that 4,000 troops were affected by Capital One’s violation of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which grants certain financial protections to military members. Capital One will pay $55,000 in fines to DOJ while also providing settlement money to troops and restoring lost and damaged credit, the Washington Post reports:
Justice officials have asked Capital One to pay $7 million in damages to military personnel — including $125,000 for foreclosure, $10,000 for repossession, $500 for failed interest rate reduction and a refund of all the interest charged above 6 percent.
The bank will provide another $5 million to service members who did not receive the full benefits allotted under the act. The settlement also requires Capital One to repair the credit of those affected by its actions, which occurred from July 2006 to November 2011.
But Capital One was hardly the only bank to take advantage of members of the military before and after the housing crisis. Ten lenders were accused last year of illegally foreclosing on thousands of military members, and multiple banks, including JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup, have settled claims with the government over their abuses of servicemembers.