JPMorgan halts collections suits

The number of lawsuits being brought against consumers with delinquent and defaulted debt by one of the nation's top lenders has all but halted.

JPMorgan Chase seems to no longer be filing lawsuits over outstanding consumer debts and may have all but shuttered its collections operations, according to a report from American Banker. Less than a year ago, Chase was making hundreds of millions of dollars per month in judgments against delinquent borrowers. Altogether, it recovered $1.4 billion from defaulted accounts in 2011, though not all of that came as a result of these suits. Currently, it is unclear why the bank has made the decision, and a spokesman simply told the news outlet that its collections strategy is "proprietary."

There is speculation, however, that Chase may have fallen under investigation from government agencies, the report said.

While falling behind on debt payments can lower a consumer's credit score significantly, their standing may already be weighted down through no fault of their own. Many credit reports contain unfair markings that unfairly lower credit ratings, but working with a credit repair company can help reduce these problems.