By Chris Bruce
BMW Financial Services Inc. will pay more than $2 million to settle U.S. claims that its refund practices violated a federal law that protects military service members, the Justice Department said Feb. 22.
The accord, the latest of several recent actions against financial services firms under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, centered on claims that BMW Financial Services failed to refund certain lease payments by 492 service members who terminated their leases early. It’s the first such action by the Justice Department under the SCRA.
The Justice Department filed a complaint against the company in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey and announced the settlement the same day. BMW Financial Services didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The SCRA gives special protection to service members on a range of financial services matters. Among others, the statute allows them to terminate motor vehicle leases early without penalty after they enter military service, or if they receive qualifying duty orders, such as orders to deploy. In such cases, the SCRA requires refunds of any amounts they paid in advance.
“We ask a great deal of those who serve our nation, including asking them to drop their affairs to deploy or serve in a new location, sometimes at a moment’s notice,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the DOJ Civil Rights Division. “Our men and women in uniform should be able to devote their entire energy to their service and defense of our nation, and the Justice Department is committed to protecting these rights when their obligations to the American people force them to change their plans.”
The settlement requires BMW Financial Services to make refunds on a pro rata basis, and to pay indirect damages amounting to either three times the refund amount, or $500, whichever is larger.
The case is United States v. BMW Fin. Svcs. Inc. , D.N.J., No. 18-cv-02495, complaint filed 2/22/18 .
To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Bruce in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Ferullo at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2018 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)