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Loan Modification News
Loan modification activity, reports and legislation.

Chase Hires 1,000s as Mod Activity Leaps

138,000 trial modifications approved since April 6

June 30, 2009

By staff

JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s banking business has approved more than 100,000 trial loan modifications during the past three months, and the company is pleased so far with first-payment activity. Thousands of new employees have been hired to handle increased modification and origination activity.

From April 6 through June 30, the New York-based institution approved 138,000 trial mortgage modifications, an announcement today said. Included in the total were 87,100 modifications under the Making Home Affordable program and 50,900 of its own modifications.

The figure is huge given that another report today from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency indicated that nine of the biggest U.S. banks completed a total of only 185,156 loan modifications during the entire first quarter. The disparity suggests few "trial" modifications ultimately become completed modifications after they are approved.

Of Chase's trial modifications made since April 6, borrowers made their first modified payment on 53,600 loans. A Chase servicing executive called the first-payment activity encouraging.

Chase said it has utilized trial modifications to prevent 138,000 foreclosures since 2007. In all, 565,000 foreclosures have reportedly been prevented since 2007.

The current pipeline of pending modifications is 155,000.

The activity has driven -- or been driven by -- 1.9 million visits to Chase's Web site for delinquent borrowers.

As part of its efforts to contain delinquency, Chase said it has added 950 loan counselors this year. Its counseling staff stands at 3,500, and hundreds of additions are planned during the coming weeks. It also opened 27 new homeownership centers.

In addition, 2,000 new mortgage operations employees have been hired "to handle the unprecedented volume generated by the troubled economy and housing market."

Chase said it services around 10.3 million loans, including about 8 million loans for investors.
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