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Chase Converts 23% of Mortgage Modifications to Permanent Status

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Chase bank has offered mortgage modifications to more than 900,000 homeowners since the start of last year. The consumer- and commercial-banking unit of JPMorgan Chase (JPM) said 23% of the modifications it offered during the period resulted in a permanent change to the homeowner’s mortgage. Chase offered 263,553 modifications through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) during the period. Nearly 73,000 of applicants were approved for modification and almost 58,500 ended in a permanent modification via the federal program. The Treasury Department launched HAMP in March 2009 to provide incentives to servicers for the modification of loans on the verge of foreclosure. To receive a permanent modification through the program, borrowers must make three monthly payments during the trial period and submit all documentation. Chase offered its own modification programs to 346,642 mortgage holders over the year and half. More than a third were approved for a permanent modification and almost 111,000 received one. The bank offered 303,114 clients modifications through GSEs during the period, but just 65,000 were approved using these programs and only 45,049 received a permanent modification. Chase has added 8,000 loan counselors and other staff over the past 18 months, and its bankers have met with more than 140,000 struggling homeowners. "Time and time again, homeowners have told us how helpful it is to talk one on one with a Chase loan counselor,” said Charlie Scharf, head of retail financial services at Chase. “Our counselors listen to each family and then help them start the process, fill out documents and walk them through possible options – all at no charge to the customer.” Write to Jason Philyaw.

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