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Chase to refund new fees to a few cardholders

JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Friday that holders of a number of low-interest-rate credit cards will be refunded monthly service charges that generated complaints from customers.
/ Source: The Associated Press

JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Friday that holders of a number of low-interest-rate credit cards will be refunded monthly service charges that generated complaints from customers.

At the end of last year, the bank notified one-half of one percent of its credit card customers that it would start charging a $10 monthly service fee and would raise the minimum monthly payment to 5 percent of the card balance from 2 percent, said company spokeswoman Stephanie Jacobson. The changes took effect in January, she said.

But based on feedback from customers, the bank has decided to stop charging the monthly service fee and will refund the customers the service charges billed to date. However, the minimum payment due will remain at 5 percent of the account balance, Jacobson said.

"There has been a small percentage of customers that have made little progress in paying down these loans and our desire is to have these loans repaid in a reasonable period of time," Jacobson said.

Amid the ongoing economic downturn, consumers have increasingly struggled to pay off their debts as unemployment rises and personal wealth withers. Credit card companies, which have reigned in lending, have said they expect delinquencies and loan losses to continue to increase this year.