JP Morgan Chase (JPM) will open 24 new homeownership centers during the next four months, nearly doubling the number of centers it operates to help distressed mortgage borrowers. The centers offer face-to-face counseling to help borrowers who are behind on their mortgage understand their options for bringing their loan current, sometimes with a mortgage modification. More than 60,000 homeowners have received services in the 11 months since JP Morgan Chase established the first centers. “Our first 27 centers have proven to very effective in reaching families who are facing financial hardship and have fallen behind on their mortgages. So, we are adding more locations to help more homeowners with their loans, including working with them to complete and assemble all the documents we need to provide permanent payment relief,” said Charlie Scharf, head of Retail Financial Services at Chase, the consumer business of JPMorgan Chase. The centers operate in 14 states and Washington DC. The new centers include operations in six new markets — Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Boca Raton, Ft. Lauderdale and Seattle. Chase mailed 538,000 letters to distressed borrowers living near the centers. California has the most centers, with 16, followed by Florida (11). Other markets include New York/New Jersey, Chicago and Atlanta. Chase said it approved more than 568,000 trial modifications under the Making Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), its own modification program and with government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Veterans Administration (VA) and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) programs. Write to Austin Kilgore. The author held no relevant investments.

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