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Chase Expands Loan Mod Program

""Chase"":http://www.chase.com, the U.S. consumer and commercial banking arm of ""JPMorgan Chase & Co."":http://www.jpmorganchase.com, announced on Friday that it is xexpanding its already significant mortgage modification program by undertaking multiple initiatives designed to keep more families in their homes, including extending its modification programs to WaMu and EMC customers,x the bank said in a press statement. JPMorgan Chase purchased the failing ""Washington Mutual"":http://dsnews.comview_story.cfmxid=2904 (WaMu) on September 25. EMC Mortgage Corp., the mortgage platform of Bear Stearns, was acquired by JPMorgan when it ""took over the investment bank"":http://dsnews.comview_story.cfmxid=2254 in the first quarter of this year.
Chase said it plans to open 24 new regional counseling centers, hire 300 additional loan counselors, introduce new financing alternatives, proactively reach out to borrowers to offer pre-qualified modifications, and commence a new process to independently review each loan before moving it into the foreclosure process. The bank said it will implement these changes within the next 90 days.
In addition, Chase has issued a foreclosure moratorium for all owner-occupied properties with mortgages owned by Chase, WaMu, or EMC, until the above changes have been fully implemented. The bank also said it would diligently seek investor approval to apply the new programs to the loans it services for others, xso its efforts have the broadest possible impact.x
The enhanced program is expected to help 400,000 families - with $70 billion in loans - over the next two years. Since early 2007, Chase, WaMu, and EMC have helped about 250,000 families avoid foreclosure, primarily by modifying their loans or payments, the company said.
Chase inherited pay-option adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) when it acquired WaMu's and EMC's mortgage portfolios. Chase said that after reviewing the alternatives that were being offered to customers on these loans, it decided to add more modification choices. All the new offerings will eliminate negative amortization and are expected to be more affordable for borrowers in the long term, the bank said.
Going forward, Chase said it will systematically review its entire mortgage portfolio to proactively determine which homeowners are most likely to require help - and try to provide that help before they are unable to make payments.
xThe enhancements reflect Chase's commitment to continue to seek additional ways to help homeowners,x the bank said in its press statement.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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