Wisconsin consumers may be interested to know that the Mississippi Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against JP Morgan Chase for illegal credit card collection practices. The bank has previously found itself in trouble for its methods.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency initiated an investigation into the bank’s collection practices last year. The outcome of the investigation was the bank being ordered to return $309 million to customers and pay $80 million in fines.

The state of Mississippi is now alleging that the banking and financial services giant forced people to pay debts that they did not owe, garnished wages and ruined credit scores. Other allegations include deficient record-keeping practices. Other states have also taken action against the bank, with thirteen states having formed a group that was looking into the company’s practices. The bank is accused of setting collection quotas for employees and firing those who did not meet their targets. In addition, two legal firms that had been hired by the bank are alleged to have undertaken collection activity without any supervision. Chase said that they had taken steps to clean up their collection activity, but Mississippi officials said that the suit was filed because they were not getting cooperation from the bank.

While JP Morgan Chase no longer will be pursuing litigation to collect delinquent amounts, the credit card debt remains. A bankruptcy attorney may be able to help determine if bankruptcy as well as alternative forms of debt relief are available for a client who is burdened by credit card debt or other financial obligations.

Source: CBS News, “JPMorgan accused of credit-card misconduct by Mississippi“, Aimee Pichee, December 18, 2013