Chase Home Lending Executive Office

I’m guessing that Jamie Dimon, Chairman & CEO JP Morgan Chase, isn’t opening his own mail. He’s probably not reading it either, because after sending him a letter on December 16, 2009, this is what happened:

January 15, 2010: I received a letter dated January 12, 2010 from Chase Home Finance. Jacqueline Ham, a Home Lending Executive Office Analyst in the Home Lending Executive Office, indicated she was “investigating” the issue. The subject line: Initial Response.

The letter:

Dear Ms. Wright:

I am writing in response to your correspondence we received on Monday, December 21, 2009, about a loan modification.

I am investigating your issue, and will work with you to provide you with a complete and accurate response in a timely manner. Chase appreciates your patience in this matter.

Chase’s goal is to provide the highest level of quality service to each of our customers. If you have any questions in the interim, you can reach me at (866) 605-9253, extension 4663, Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time

We appreciate your business and value our relationship with you.

Sincerely,

Jacqueline Ham

Home Executive Office Analyst

Home Lending Executive Office

As I scramble to scrape together the soon to be delinquent February mortgage payment, I realize patience may be a virtue at Chase, but it’s a one-way street. I’ll be paying a late fee in exchange for Chase’s patience.

January 15, 2010: Letters remained on my mind. I’d heard back from Senator Lautenberg’s office and submitted forms authorizing the Senator to take action on my behalf. Congressman LoBiondo provided brochures on HUD, HOPE NOW and a one-page printout “Foreclosure Fast Facts”. (Was he trying to tell me something?) I wrote them both along with Senator Robert Menendez and The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Alan J. Heavens, updating them on the situation and asking for additional help.

The continuing chase for a Chase loan modification

January 13, 2010, 9:00 am: I called Chase (866) 550-5705 and spoke with Amy who indicated the loan modification application was still in review and Chase was not requesting any additional information at this time. She confirmed it went in on 12/15/09 and that it takes 60 days. I told her I could not make my February payment. She said they could do nothing; they needed to hear back from the loan modification team regarding a decision. I asked again about the copies of the 6/30/09 and 8/25/09 denial letters and was transferred to Imminent Default. I listened to a message that Chase was “experiencing a high volume of calls.” I waited on hold then spoke with Jeannine. She offered to e-mail a request to her supervisor that copies of the letters be sent. I said this was the third request; I needed to speak with a supervisor. She said his name was Jason Coates and he was not in, she would send him a message to call me on my cell phone and confirmed the number. Jason never called.

What to do? I thought I could make my February payment but my spreadsheet cash flow calculations were based on getting another one-month summer rental while I was away on business. What if I had no house to rent? The folks who’d rented from me the last two seasons would have paid a deposit, and that deposit would have in turn paid the mortgage, but how could I in good conscience take their deposit to pay Chase when I might not have a home? This would not do.

I would have to miss the February payment. I was a bad person now, the very sort of bad person I’d marveled at months before, the sort of person who did not pay their mortgage; the sort of person who destroyed their credit rating. The sort of person who lost their home. Boy, I hoped I was not that kind of person. Hope, however, is not action, so I took action. I wrote my Senators and my Congressman, and I wrote to Jamie Dimon, again.

You Have to Give Chase Credit?!

January 5, 2010, 9:00 am: I kept my appointment with the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Delaware Valley in the Camden, NJ office, even though my credit scores were decent (701 Equifax, 706 TransUnion, 732 Experian) and I’d never missed a loan payment, although I was about to…

I needed an advocate to get someone at Chase to actually talk with me.

My counselor, Doris B., was extremely professional during our two hour meeting. She said they usually help individuals complete and submit their paperwork – the same paperwork I had already submitted three times! She told me about the Chase Home Ownership Center in Media, PA – I  told her I had phoned them on December 15, 2009 and they had refused to  speak to me because my mortgage payment was not yet 31 days past due. Doris assured me she would be able to get through to them, and right then proceeded to call her contact Jason Papa at the Chase Home Ownership Center.  Jason Papa also stated that he could offer no help until the 31 day delinquent mark, and further informed us that I had “too much equity” in my home. When pressed to clarify what exactly that meant, his reply was, “programs change all the time,” and, “you are back in for loan review so I cannot help you or comment on your loan.” Jason told us to call Chase (866) 550-5705.

Next, Doris and I called the Chase loan modification line (866) 550-5705. We first spoke with Barb and confirmed all paperwork had been received and was in good order, and then asked to be transferred to the Imminent Default Department.  After 25 minutes on hold, we were disconnected. We called Imminent Default back on (888) 708-3336, and were again put on hold. After 35 minutes we finally had to disconnect because my two-hour appointment was over!

January 10, 2010: Alan J. Heavens “On the House” column in The Philadelphia Inquirer features my plight.

The home Chase Home Lending wants to take

Why won't Chase save my home and modify my loan? $$$$$

Chasing a Loan Modification

December 17, 2009, 2:00 pm: I called Chase (866) 550-5705 and spoke with Customer Care Professional Tammy. Per Tammy, Chase had received all the information and it looks like file is being reviewed. The status is active and still in process. When they make a decision I will be contacted by mail. It’s normally taking 30- 60 days. I asked if account had been assigned to a negotiator and realized she was clueless. Tammy admitted she could not answer specific questions and would need to transfer me to Imminent Default (888)708-3336. I was transferred and heard the recorded message “We’re sorry, we cannot continue with this call. Please hang up.” I was then disconnected.  

December 17, 2009, 2:04 pm: I called Chase Imminent Default (888) 708-3336 and was transferred to debt collection and heard the recorded message: we are “experiencing a high volume of calls and apologize for the wait”. I stayed on hold for 27 minutes with no messaging of any kind other than assorted clicks; finally I decided to hang up.

December 30, 2009, 10:32 am: I called Chase (866) 550-5705 and spoke with Amy. Per Amy there was nothing to report. The loan modification request went to underwriting on 12/15/09 and no additional information was required at this time. It’s running 45-60 days. I then asked again about getting copies of the 6/30/09 and 8/25/09 denial letters. Amy said she couldn’t even “open” or read the 6/30/09 letter as it was “too old”. She could read the 8/25/09 letter; it said I was turned down because my “property equity exceeds program guidelines”. Amy would also check with a supervisor about how I might get a copy.

Amy transferred me to the Imminent Default department as they were processing the past letters so maybe they could provide a copy of the letter(s). I spoke with Oleg in Imminent Default who advised my Chase loan modification was in underwriting. I told him that was not my question and asked for copies of letters. Oleg tried to send me back to Customer Service but I insisted on speaking to a supervisor. Oleg transferred me to Kevin Strubble, whose mailbox was full and not accepting messages. I hung up.

Chasing a Chase Home Loan

December 17, 2009, 11:30 am: It was obvious that with “too much equity”, Chase was not going to play ball. Their web site offered attractively low interest rates and encouraged folks to refinance now. Why not? No one else would work with me but if Chase thought my financial situation was so great, surely they help me to refinance. I called (800)-873-6577 and responded to the prompts. Yes, I was an existing customer and yes I could key in my loan number. I was directed to Cynthia, a debt collector. She did not know why I was sent to her as I was current on the loan. I told her I wanted to refinance. Cynthia said she’d try to send me to the right place and gave me the number (877) 835-3019 just in case. We were disconnected.

I then called (877) 835-3019 and spoke with Kathy, who took my qualifying information “before turning me over to a loan officer”. After taking my all of info she advised that it would be impossible for me to refinance at this time as Chase was running 90-120 days behind on processing. She couldn’t offer me anything nor would she accept an application from me. In fact, Chase had selected QuickenLoans to handle the massive volume of inquiries they were getting. I was then transferred to QuickenLoans, where I spoke with Bryan, Executive Banker. (480) 346-0551. Bryan reviewed my financial situation and said that based on my salary, he could offer nothing. Loan too big, salary too small.

Chase Home Loan Modification Help

December 15, 2009, 10:25 am: The situation was going downhill and I needed an advocate, fast. If credit counseling was required, so be it. I would make an appointment today. Back to the   makinghomeaffordable.gov to download a pdf of credit counseling services. Consumer Credit and Budget Counseling in Marmora, NJ was on the list and close, but they would only help if I was past due. Not good. I started calling and soon found the agencies were all swamped. The first available appointment I could get anywhere was Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at 9 am, with the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Delaware Valley in Camden, NJ. I took it.

December 15, 2009, 10:34 am: I called Chase (866) 550-5705, the number for Making Homes Affordable. Spoke with Stewart who advised “all systems are down”; call back in an hour.

December 15, 2009, 11:45 am: I called Chase (866) 550-5705 and spoke with Jillian. I asked for a copy of the denial letter dated 6/30/09. Jillian could not provide this but she offered to read the content to me and said I was ineligible as the “L.T.V. was less than 80%”. As she read the notes to me she freely admitted she did not understand them. Jillian confirmed Chase had received my new application for a home loan modification on 12/11/09 and that it was with the technical team who was looking to see if all of the required information was there. “This can take a few days or up to two weeks”.

I pressed for more information and was transferred to Mary in Imminent Default. Mary said Chase required a one-line statement that I do not pay condo or homeowner association fees and that line 6 on my tax request form needed completion; she could accept a verbal approval on that but I was to fax the “missing” document and be sure to note my loan number on the document. I again requested a copy of my 6/30/09 denial letter; Mary said she could see an 8/25/09 letter but no 6/30/09 letter – she would send an e-mail to request a copy be re-sent to me. Mary indicated that loan modification reviews were taking 30-60 days and I should follow up every 7-10 business days. We ended the call.  I then faxed (866) 282-5682 a one-page document indicating I did not pay condo or homeowners association fees on my home.    

December 16, 2009, 11:54 am: I called Chase (866) 550-5705 and spoke with Tony who confirmed Chase had all the necessary documents including the verbal tax form release and the fax about no condo fees. Tony then transferred me to Imminent Default. I spoke with Sandra and again requested a copy of the 6/30/09 or 8/25/09 denial letter. I asked Sandra to read the letters to me and she said I was ineligible due to L.T.V., my “loan to value was too much” and I had “too much” cash reserves (more than three months). Sandra said she’d send the letter again; it should take 7-10 days.

December 16, 2009: Since letters were on my mind, I wrote some. I wrote to Jamie Dimon, Chairman & CEO, JP Morgan Chase, Senator Frank Lautenberg, Senator Robert Menendez, Congressman Frank LoBiondo, Alan J. Heavens, real estate columnist at The Philadelphia Inquirer, and I wrote one to Wall Street Journal reporter Ruth Simon.