Hello Chase, I really do live here!

March 4, 2010, 10:45 am:  I called Megan who told me she had “no record of a denial” although there “may be a question as to my residency”. Megan indicated I should only call her; if I called the Customer Service line I would get conflicting information. That may be, but the “conflicting information” I gleaned was often accurate. I offered to provide additional documentation to verify my residence but she said to wait. Chase likes to wait, except when it comes to being paid. 

March 11, 2010, 8:45 am: I called to follow-up; Megan was not in so I left a voice mail regarding the BPO and my residency status. I was starting to panic; I had to be in Florida for business and nothing was happening at Chase. Would they padlock my home while I was away like Bank of America did to the lady with the parrot? 

March 15, 2010, 8:30 am: I called again to follow-up; Megan was not in so I left another voice mail reiterating the need for an answer on the BPO and my residency status. 

March 16, 2010, 8:30 am: I called Megan and she advised that my residency was an issue – Chase was “unable to verify owner occupancy”. I pointed out that I’d submitted three years of Federal Income Tax returns with this address and she agreed. Nonetheless, Chase wanted the following information:

1. Copies of last 4 months bank statements (previously submitted)
2. Copies of last 2 months pay stubs (previously submitted)
3. Copies of most recent utility bills with service address (previously submitted)
4. A P&L for 1099 “business” 

I told Megan this had all been submitted with my modification request in December 2009. I told her I didn’t own or operate a business; I am a W-2 employee who supplements my income as a 1099 employee for another company, as reflected on the tax returns.

Megan steadfastly reiterated the need for all of the information and a P&L regardless of what I said; she also noted she’d be out of the office 3/24/10 to 4/5/10 and I should get this information to her as soon as possible and call to confirm receipt. 

I faxed items 2, 3 & 4; putting my 1099 earnings in a P&L format to satisfy her request. I also took it upon myself to obtain and fax my Cape May County, NJ Voter’s Record indicating my residency since 2005. As I was in Florida on business, I couldn’t access my checking statements but told Megan I would provide them by Saturday 3/20/10 when I returned home.   

A word about voting. I vote, and not just in the “big” elections but all the elections, and care as much, maybe more, about the school board and the sheriff as I do about who will be our next President. Because I vote I had no problem writing to my Congressman and my Senators to both ask for help and express outrage over opaque banking procedures and predatory lending practices. 

March 17, 2010, 1:00 pm: I called Megan to confirm receipt of the information. Megan reviewed the submissions and agreed the information received  (3 pages voter’s records; 5 pages P&L + two months paychecks; 3 pages owner occupied cover memo & utility bills) was in order and legible. I again confirmed that checking statements would be sent 3/20. 

March 20, 2010, 10:30 am:  I arrived home to find a denial letter dated 3/5/10 and postmarked 3/8/10 indicating I was denied for a loan modification as Chase was “unable to verify residence“. I immediately called Chase; Megan confirmed I had been denied but the case was reopened as my voting record satisfied “them”. Chase also wanted a contact telephone number to schedule an interior appraisal. I gave the same number I’ve provided since 2/24/09 and asked again about the BPO. Megan indicated it was a 32-page document; she tried to extract a price/value from it while I waited but after putting me on hold and speaking with a co-worker, decided she was unable to do so. Megan said the interior appraisal was important and she would be going away so the sooner I sent the checking account statements, the better. That evening I faxed:

1. Copies of last 4 months bank statements

2. A formal notice indicating my contact phone number for scheduling an interior appraisal

March 20, 2010: The mailbox held a second letter from Chase, dated March 10, 2010, from the JP Morgan Chase Home Lending Executive Office, 2201 Enterprise Drive, Florence, SC 29501.

The subject line: Issue Still Being Reviewed

The letter:

Dear Martha Wright:

I am writing in response to your correspondence we received on December 24, 2009, about a loan modification.

At this time, the matter you brought to our attention is still being reviewed. Please be assured that we will make every effort to provide you with the timeliest response possible.

Chase’s goal is to provide the highest level of quality service to each of our customers. We appreciate your business and value our relationship with you.

If you have any questions in the interim, please contact Megan Valdivia (888) 310-7995, extension 7850, Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time.


Home Lending Executive Office

Was this in reply to my December 16, 2009 letter to Jamie Dimon, Chairman & CEO JP Morgan Chase, my January 15, 2010 letter to Jamie Dimon, or perhaps my letter to Jamie Dimon dated February 18, 2010? I had no idea, and the letter said absolutely nothing.


Chase, what’s the problem with equity?

March 3, 2010, 8:45 pm:  Keisha Hackney phoned looking for payment. She told me I was denied because I had “the equity” and that I should list my home for sale; a modification was not available for me. I should liquidate my assets and pay up; consider a short sale. I will receive a denial letter and a letter with intent to foreclose. I was denied because I have “the equity” and I “should have refinanced or pulled all the equity out.”

Ms. Hackney had the unique ability to make having equity sound like I had the clap.

I asked if Chase merely serviced the loan and she said no, “this is an asset loan in the portfolio” (interesting, because I strongly suspected this particularly predatory Washington Mutual loan had been sliced, diced, repackaged as a mortgage-backed security and sold down the river.) I said I was going to make a payment March 5 but had been told it would not be applied if it was a partial payment; she confirmed this. I said I could commit to a full payment with late fees by April 5, 2010. She told me she would note in the file I “was not able to make a commitment at this time”. I said I was making a commitment but she would not hear of it. I ended the call.