BofA, Chase Halt Foreclosure Evictions Until Jan. 3

Bank of America (BAC) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) are suspending foreclosures for the holiday, joining Citigroup (C) and the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE). From Dec. 21, 2009 through Jan. 3, 2010, Chase and BofA will postpone foreclosure evictions, according to HousingWire sources. Decisions to suspend foreclosure are common this time of year. This week, BofA's executive of credit loss mitigation strategies, Jack Shakett, said that it needs to create a "sense of urgency" in its customers to get documents in for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). Through HAMP, the US Treasury Department provides capped incentives to servicers for the modification of loans on the verge of foreclosure. Shakett said that the more than 1m loans in its HAMP-eligible portfolio has been reduced to 340,000 after talking with customers. BofA has started 156,864 three-month trial modifications under HAMP but has converted 98 into permanent status. Shakett said that 10,000 borrowers had all documentation in, all underwriting done and were in the final stages of permanent conversion. Chase announced this week that it will open 24 additional homeownership centers during the next four months to assist distressed mortgage borrowers with modifications. Under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), Chase has started 143,027 three-month trial modifications of its 448,815 HAMP-eligible portfolio, according to the latest data from the US Treasury Department. Chase converted 4,252 trials into permanent modifications. Active trials and permanent modifications make up 31% of its entire eligible portfolio. Write to Jon Prior. The author held no relevant investments.

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