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Soldier, wife sue bank for not lowering loan rate

By Steve Fidel | Posted - Jun. 20, 2011 at 9:41 p.m.

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TAYLORSVILLE — A Utah National Guard soldier and his wife are suing U.S. Bank, saying the bank denied their request to lower the interest rate on their car loan under the provisions of the federal and state Service Members Civil Relief Act.

It's not only happening to my family but it's happening to other military families while they're away fighting for their country.

–Heather Nehring

Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Nehring, assigned to the Guard's 19th Special Forces Group, was deployed to Iraq one year ago and returned home last month. He and his wife, Heather, had been paying for three years on a loan on their 2003 Ford Expedition with U.S. Bank that has an interest rate of 10.14 percent, according to the lawsuit filed in federal court.

"As a result of the deployment in 2010, plaintiff is entitled to a reduction of the interest rate on his automobile loan to 6 percent from the date of deployment," claims the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court.

Heather Nehring said she first requested the rate reduction shortly after her husband deployed and filed the lawsuit in May after consulting with the Guard's judge advocate general's office.

"I tried to call them several times and give them second chances," Heather Nehring said. "Since they kept denying me, that's when I got my lawyer."

"We've gone back and forth with them so many times," Daniel Nehring said. "Now they've started admitting, 'Yes, we are wrong.'"

We've gone back and forth with them so many times ... Now they've started admitting, 'Yes, we are wrong.'

–Daniel Nehring


U.S. Bancorp spokesman Tom Joyce issued a statement Monday afternoon that did not directly address the lawsuit but said the bank made a regrettable error.

"Unfortunately, the information we pulled from the Department of Defense database regarding Mr. Nehring's service status was inaccurate. We have previously communicated that we will retroactively reduce the interest rate on the loan, and we will credit the account accordingly. We apologize for the inconvenience, and look forward to resolving the matter as soon as possible."

Heather Nehring said the bank's acknowledgment of the error came only after multiple contacts with the bank and after the lawsuit was filed.

The Nehrings say it's too late. They want to resolve this for all military families.

"It's not only happening to my family but it's happening to other military families while they're away fighting for their country," Heather Nehring said.

The Nehrings are now seeking $55,000 in damages plus fees.

Story written by Steve Fidel with contributions from Jed Boal

Steve Fidel


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