Federal judge approves JPMorgan Chase settlement in class-action insurance case

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ALBANY, N.Y. – A federal judge has approved settlement of a class-action lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase for its force-placed insurance practices, an agreement that could pay more than $300 million to about 750,000 mortgage borrowers.

The national settlement prohibits the bank for six years from getting commissions, kickbacks or reinsurance from the insurance, which it obtains when a homeowner’s policy lapses.

Under a judge’s order Friday in Miami, class members can file claims to recover part of the premiums they were charged between 2008 and Oct. 4, 2013.

The judge also barred JPMorgan Chase and Assurant and subsidiaries “from inflating premiums” for six years.

Assurant says it hasn’t acknowledged wrongdoing but it’s in its interests to settle.

A spokeswoman for New York-based JPMorgan Chase says the decision formalizes a tentative agreement reached months ago about practices stopped before that.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

A federal judge has approved settlement of a class-action lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase for its force-placed insurance practices, an agreement that could pay more than $300 million to about 750,000 mortgage borrowers.

The national settlement prohibits the bank for six years from commissions, kickbacks or reinsurance from the hazard insurance it obtains when a homeowner’s policy lapses.

Under Judge Federico Moreno’s order Friday in Miami, class members will have to file claim forms to recover 12.5 per cent of the net premiums they were charged between Jan. 1, 2008 and Oct. 4, 2013.

Moreno also barred JPMorgan Chase and Assurant and its insurance subsidiaries “from inflating premiums” for six years.

Assurant says it hasn’t acknowledged wrongdoing but it’s in the company’s best interests to settle.

New York-based JPMorgan Chase didn’t initially reply to requests for comment.

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