A class action lawsuit has been filed against Chase Bank USA, N.A. after the credit card issuer more than doubled minimum monthly payments and imposed an "Account Service Charge" on customers who had accepted its fixed-rate balance transfer offers.
The class action complaint alleges that Chase induced preferred customers to take out sizable balance-transfer loans by offering 2.99% to 4.99% promotional rates that would remain fixed for the life of the loan. It is alleged that after soliciting these long term loans – and charging transaction fees of up to 3% of the loan amount – Chase implemented a "forced loan modification program" to coerce consumers to surrender the benefit of their fixed promotional rates.
Chase has recently notified customers that unless they pay off their entire loan balance within 30 days or accept a higher annual rate, Chase will more than double their required minimum monthly payment and charge a $10 fee for each month that the loan remains outstanding.
The number of Chase customers that could be affected by the class action lawsuit remains unclear, but comments by Chase put the upper limit at 500,000 people.