JPMorgan Chase (JPM) executives are staying silent about the widespread problems in their credit card debt collections operations and about what they are doing to fix them.
The nation's largest bank is awaiting a regulatory enforcement action over how it pursues borrowers who have appeared to fall behind on their credit card debt. It is also facing a California lawsuit charging that it has consistently taken procedural shortcuts and used inadequate paperwork and illegal "robo-signing" to support its collections activities.
JPMorgan Chase has shut down much of its collections operation as it awaits regulatory actions; in the past two years, it has stopped filing lawsuits to collect on charged-off consumer debt, and American Banker reported this month that the bank is no longer selling most bad debt to third-party collectors. But on Friday, Chief Executive Jamie Dimon and Chief Financial Officer Marianne Lake rebuffed repeated questions about the status of its collections operations.
"We're not going to comment on any specific discussions or issues with regulators," bank spokesman Joe Evangelisti told reporters during a conference call on Friday, jumping in each time Dimon and Lake were asked to discuss the bank's collections operations.
JPMorgan said in a May regulatory filing that it awaits an enforcement action from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency relating to "certain nonmortgage consumer collections practices."