Bank decides to relieve car lease for active duty soldier after FOX25 story

by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:

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PEABODY, Mass. - A Peabody soldier was called to active duty and at first  a bank wouldn't give her any relief on her car lease. After FOX25 brought the situation to the bank's attention, not only did they forgive the lease, Chase Bank is allowing the soldier to keep the car.

"She's been paying the lease for three years...they should give back to our soldiers a little something," Roxanne Katz, the soldier's mother. 

Roxanne Katz said as long as she can remember, her daughter has wanted to serve her country. When she got the call for basic training, the Peabody soldier, Kristina Katz, had just two weeks to get her affairs in order. She tried to terminate the car lease on her Mazda 6, which she would no longer be able to drive or afford. She still had a year left on the 48 month lease, but her family said at first, Chase Bank wasn't budging.

"They sent her a letter saying that they denied the early termination," said Roxanne Katz. 

She has since shipped out to her basic training and her family was still trying to get her some relief. FOX25 Investigates learned relief on car leases falls under the Service Members Civil Relief Act.

In fact, Kristina's sergeant sent the bank a letter verifying she would be active duty from Jan. 26 until August 2019.

"You're not helping someone that's in the military protecting you, " said Lauren Katz, Kristina's sister. 

The family didn't want Kristina's credit to take a hit, so they had taken over the payments. 

FOX25's Kerry Kavanaugh contacted JP Morgan Chase which immediately began looking into the family's concern. Friday afternoon, they emailed FOX25 Investigates a statement saying, "We have nothing but the utmost respect for those who protect and serve our country. We have been in touch with the customer's family and are working with them to quickly resolve the issue."

Just before 6 p.m. Friday, JP Morgan called FOX25 and said they will not only forgive the lease, but let Kristina keep the car. 

Kerry Kavanaugh confirmed with the family the issue has been resolved. The Katz family said they were relieved and grateful.