US-based Chase Bank is giving its customers across the border a final gift before it leaves the Canadian credit card market.
Chase Bank, part of JPMorgan Chase & Co., closed all credit card accounts in March 2018 and customers expected to continue to pay their debts.
This changed on Friday when the company decided to forgive all outstanding balances on one of the two VISA cards as part of their closing after 13 years in the Canadian credit card market, according to CBC.
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"Chase made the decision to leave the Canadian credit card market," he said Maria Martinez, Vice President of Communications for Chase Card Services. "As part of this exit, all credit card accounts were closed before or in March 2018. A further business decision has been made to forgive all outstanding balances to complete the exit."
The reactions of customers across Canada range from shock, disbelief to joy as people who owed thousands on their credit cards had all that debt wiped away in an instant.
"I was somehow over the moon last night, with a smile on my face," said Douglas Turner of Ontario, who owed more than $ 4,500 on his card, told CBC. "I couldn't believe it."
Canadian Paul Adamson, 43, whose debts were also cleared, told CBC that he initially thought he missed a payment after hearing his account was closed.
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"I'm honestly still over it," he said. "There is [usually] surprise fee, extra complications, stuff like that, definitely, but not forgiveness of loans."
When asked why Chase decided to forgive instead of trying to collect the money owed, Martinez said that the company, "felt it was a better decision for all parties, especially our customers, to forgive the debt. "
The company would not elaborate on how much debt was outstanding or how many customers had signed up on their cards.
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"Everyone I've talked to is very concerned about this good news credit card story," Adamson added. "These are not words that usually go together."